Having Trouble Sleeping?

Add these techniques to your daily routine

 by Kat Tudor

 

Does clearing the mind and counting sheep as we fall asleep actually help us get those recommended seven hours of nightly Z’s?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC,) more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. If you have tossed and turned the night away, Kat Tudor, co-founder and creative director of Manitou Springs’ Sun Water Spa, believes that clearing the mind of everyday stress and worries through meditation, is the perfect way to end the day, and a natural way to promote sleep. Just 20 minutes of peaceful meditation and silence takes you into the stillness of yourself, setting the stage for a good nights’ sleep. Finding a quiet place in your home, free from electronics and boisterous family members, where you can close your eyes and visualize calm is essential.

Healing Hands

Hectic day? Nothing de-stresses like the healing hands of a masseuse. “Sun Water’s ‘Breath of Life’ is a favorite of mine,” says Tudor. “Drawing on the healing properties of laurel leaf, eucalyptus and lemon, the masseuse takes you to a place of deep relaxation as your whole body enjoys increased circulation and oxygenation.” If a spa visit isn’t in the cards, try an at-home massage, which can be particularly effective for your neck, shoulders, feet and hands. Start by applying healing oil, such as lavender or eucalyptus, to dry skin. For the neck and shoulders, using your fingers, make small circular motions. A foot and hand massage both begin by pressing each between your thumb and fingers. Massage with your thumb, applying pressure as needed.

Tips to Stop Tossing & Turning

Still tossing and turning? Sleep experts recommend:

  • Eliminating caffeine and spicy foods before bedtime
  • Participating in aerobic exercise at least 4 times each week, ending 2 hours before bedtime
  • Eating a light dinner, on the early side
  • Eliminating smoking
  • Restricting cocktails, particularly near bedtime
  • Creating a sleep friendly environment–a darkened room with a temperature around 65 degrees
  • Creating an electronics free zone, as studies have shown that the light from the phone and iPad stimulate the brain.

By gradually adding sleep-enhancing techniques to your daily routine, those restless nights will become a distant memory, replaced by peaceful dreams and energetic mornings.

 

Kat Tudor is the creative director and co-owner at the new SunWater Spa and Healing Arts Center in Manitou Springs, Colorado. An innovative yoga practitioner and instructor, her unique and creative yoga draws on her art and dance background and extensive training, to transform the mind, body and spirit.

 

In need of a refreshing facial?

It’s as easy as raiding your refrigerator

by Kat Tudor

Spring is the time of rebirth and revival, and nothing communicates health and wellness like vibrant and luminous skin. A facial is a wonderful way to help you look and feel better.

If you don’t have the energy or time to make an appointment with an aesthetician, take a tour of your kitchen and refrigerator for inspiration! Be it acne, dark bags under your eyes, uneven skin tone, or a dry and dull complexion, refrigerator facials are a quick fix until you can get to the spa.

As delicious as they are effective, some of the best recipes require only one ingredient from the grocery store. Try to use fresh and organic ingredients so that you aren’t putting unnecessary toxins onto your exposed skin. Here are some of my favorite options.

ANTIOXIDANT OATMEAL AND CHOCOLATE FACIAL

This combination helps unclog pores and smooths the skin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce uncooked oatmeal
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate (raw if you can find it)
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey

Mix all ingredients together and apply to your face using upward movements. Leave on for 10 minutes. Delicious!

SALSA FACIAL

Brighten and decongest oily, acne-prone skin with this mixture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 finely chopped ripe organic tomato
  • Generous squeeze of ripe organic lemon

Mix ingredients. Apply to skin with your fingers, making certain to avoid eye area. Relax for 5 minutes with your head back. Rinse off with warm water. Margaritas, anyone?

YOGURT FACIAL

Use one or both ingredients to remove dead skin cells and brighten the face.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup 2% or full-fat organic, plain Greek yogurt. The fat is important so that it will absorb into your skin.
  • 4 teaspoons warmed organic honey (optional)

If using the honey, vigorously mix honey and yogurt to blend. Apply with upward movements to your face. Close your eyes and relax, let the lactic acid and milk proteins in the yogurt nourish your skin for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Perhaps a new Ben & Jerry’s flavor?

RAW POTATO EYE MASK

This combo will help to de-puff your eyes and brighten the surrounding skin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic, raw potato, peeled and finely grated
  • ¼ cup organic 2% or full-fat Greek yogurt

Mix ingredients together with your hands and gently apply to the under-eye area. Tilt back your head and relax for 15 minutes. Beautiful!

 

Kat Tudor is the creative director and co-owner at the new SunWater Spa and Healing Arts Center in Manitou Springs, Colorado. An innovative yoga practitioner and instructor, her unique and creative yoga draws on her art and dance background and extensive training, to transform the mind, body and spirit. SunWater Spa offers a range of radiant, invigorating and soothing facials that use natural ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil to purify your skin and Cherry Enzymes to exfoliate. A personal favorite is the 60-minute Sun Radiance, which will leave your skin glowing.

A prime tool for achieving a less stressful, more centered and happy life.

By Kat Tudor

Rooted in cultures and civilizations thousands of years old, meditation is “in” again. According to Forbes, businesses such as Google, Aetna and the Goldman Sachs Group offer mindful living programs for employees. Scientists have found that as little as 12 minutes a day of meditation over a two-month period can change the physical structure of the brain, and help you process information more efficiently, as well as reduce insomnia, manage anxiety and lead to a happier, more fulfilled life.

Mindfulness Meditation

At the SunWater Spa and the new SunMountain Center, in Manitou Springs, Colorado, developing mindful living is at our core; meditation is a prime tool for achieving a less stressful, more centered life. If you aren’t in our neighborhood, here are tips to help you start an at-home practice. A key: allow yourself to breathe.

  1. Begin with a 5-minute session. Gradually work up to 15-20 minutes.
  2. Relax before you begin. Yoga and a gentle neck self-massage can put you in the mood; comfortable clothing also helps.
  3. Set your timer before you begin. You don’t want to interrupt the “zone” by glancing at your clock.
  4. Find a distraction-free zone in your home, office or yard. The book, Altar Your Space, A Guide To The Restorative Home, is filled with tips on creating a peaceful space.
  5. Relax and be consciously aware of your exhale and inhale as your breathing quiets your mind. Here is an excellent story on breath.
  6. Don’t try to force your mind to stop thinking. This will happen naturally as your practice develops, perhaps by repeating mantras such as these.
  7. Consistency is best. Make this a daily routine.
  8. Experiment with different types of meditation: mantras, transcendental, Zen.
  9. Explore guided meditations. There are many to choose from. Freemindfulness.org provides gratis meditations at varying lengths.
  10. Relax and find the joy.

If you happen to be in Colorado, the SunWater Spa in Manitou Springs, as well as the new SunMountain Center, offer a range of meditation programs, including a Breakthrough Meditation Workshop that focuses on breath. For more information, visit www.sunwaterspa.com or www.sunmountaincenter.com.

Kat Tudor is the founder and creative director of SunWater Spa in Manitou Springs, Colorado, as well as the founder and visionary behind SunMountain Center, a premiere wellness retreat in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

By: Mackenzie Winebold

 

We’re all too familiar of the feeling of slacking on our New Year’s resolution and goals. We tell ourselves we are going to exercise more, quit our unhealthy habits or try something new. We commit to it for about a month but then, many of us tend to fall back into our same, unhealthy routines a month later. We justify our actions by saying, “This one time won’t hurt,” or “I’ll start next back up again week.” These are our famous last words. Don’t let them be! We make these types of decisions due to a lack of understanding of what it really means to achieve wellness goals. Take ownership of your goals and health this year. Don’t doubt your ability to achieve wellness, it is important! Here are 12 ways in which you can stick to, and carry out your wellness goals in 2018.

Twelve Steps to Wellness

1. Understand exactly what wellness means for you, and create goals to achieve it.

The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as, “ a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.” Wellness is a dynamic process of change and growth that you should not confuse with being free from illness. It takes time and practice to truly understand wellness. Once you take this first step in fully understanding it and what it means to you, you can start generating real-life goals and commitments on how you will achieve it.

 

2. Stick to your mission/vision

Take a moment to write down what your mission statement is. This mission statement will be what you reference back to when making personal or professional decisions. You should constantly be asking yourself if the decision you are about to make aligns with your mission statement, if not, it’s probably best you steer clear of those temptations. This includes eating junk food, not exercising, or not making time to meditate. To help give your mission statement more purpose, try creating a vision board by collecting imagines of what inspires you to follow your mission statement. These two aspects combined will give your a very clear path to follow along.

 

3. Tell yourself that self-care and wellness are your priorities

There are no excuses for this one. Plain and simple. You are your best caregiver and you should keep reminding yourself that self-care is a major priority. Making it a priority, will give you the steps needed to build a powerful and healthy foundation to make your new lifestyle a good one. Tell yourself on the daily how important self-care is to you. Another way to maintain this new habit is using post-it notes. Write positive messages on them; ones that will keep you on track. Place the notes in random locations throughout your home, car or workspace as little daily reminders. Seeing is believing, and believing is achieving!

4. Create a calendar

Scrap the lousy to-do’s, and make yourself an organized calendar to keep track of your journey. One of the traits of highly successful individuals is the ability to follow a calendar. A to-do list only creates a feeling of being unproductive when you don’t get to cross something off. Calendars give you the ability to schedule each small step of your day. Whether it is taking a walk, going to the grocery store, meditating or reading a passage in a new book. Make all the events on your calendar a priority as well. When you are able to look back and see all you have accomplished for the day, it sends a fulfilling message to yourself that you are making progress.

 

5. Learn how and when to say “no”

This can be tricky, because with saying no there may be a feeling of disapproval or guilt that follows. Learning to say no, is learning to establish healthy limits and boundaries for yourself that will save you from over-commitment. Be true to yourself and hold your ground in these new situations until you get comfortable with the process.

 

6. Live in the present, and be patient

Jon Kabat-Zinn said in his national bestselling book, Wherever You Go There You Are, that we should all try what is called our “being mode.” He says to think of ourselves in this mode as ‘eternal, timeless witnesses’ and to just feel life happening around us. He encourages the reader to just watch the moment happen and to not try and change it. He continues to say this mode is the first step in learning how meditation and mindfulness best works for us. The funny thing about our “being mode” is that as soon as you do it, here you are. You are present, you are aware and you are still making progress one small moment at a time.

 

7. Plan self-care/wellness activities

Use your new calendar you crafted to introduce self-care and wellness activities into your routine. The activities you introduce should be things that bring you joy. Let joy be your ongoing reward. Some suggestions are: signing up for a yoga class – SunWater Spa in Manitou Springs offers an array of yoga classes for the novice to experienced yogi. They welcome walk-ins as well as an online registration through their website. SunWater also features seven cedar tubs filled with natural, healing mineral water from the historical Seven-Minute Spring that you can relax in, practice meditation or simply enjoy the scenic views of Pikes Peak.

 

8. Practice consistency

Being consistent means that you don’t say one thing and not follow through. You cannot be inconsistent with your behavior and expect yourself to behave consistently in other parts of your life. Your actions need to match your words. To maintain consistency in your new lifestyle, practice your yoga and meditation at the same time each day or on the same day of the week. Put everything in your new calendar, and follow through. You will begin to see a change in your overall morale and enthusiasm, which in turn will keep your mind and focus on the right track, and you’ll never have to worry about “restarting.”

 

9. Practice self-compassion

Self-compassion is another huge part of your wellness foundation that will set the path for progress and success. It is more a practice of goodwill rather than good feeling. Be gentle and forgiving to yourself when you make a mistake; we all make mistakes. If you let mistakes own you instead of you owning the mistakes, self-compassion loses all meaning that you once put into it. Be mindful of your mistakes, accept them in that moment and continue to love yourself endlessly.

 

10. Expect setbacks

With creating goals, there is always the chance that something will not unfold as you planned it to, and that is completely okay. We learn our most valuable lessons from mistakes or setbacks along our journey. The key to this is to not turn your setback into a failure. Failure is a scary word that no single person wants to hear, because it’s ultimately a judgement of your self-worth. So to put this into perspective, if you believe a setback is a failure, and label it as a judgement upon your self-worth, it is almost impossible to bounce back from that feeling. A better way to handle your setbacks is not to just accept them, but to expect them to happen! Be mindful and aware that nothing you do is a failure. It is only a minor setback on your journey to wellness.

 

11. Be accountable

There are three steps in accountability. First is responsibility, then process, and finally accountability. This loops us back to expecting setbacks. If something doesn’t pan out like you expected it to, be accountable and take ownership of your results. At first, it may feel like a stab to your ego and self-image but learning to be judgement free of these things will make you understand that being accountable is better for you than boosting your ego or making excuses.

 

12. Beware of perfection, rather strive for progress

The last and final step, and arguably the most important, do not strive for perfection. You can set the bar high for yourself, that is okay. But, again, striving for perfection in our goals only leads us to the fear of failure and mental paralysis, which we already know is a ticking time-bomb. Progress outshines perfection on so many levels. Progress is the “now” path we are all on, leading us to our own, unique wellness goals. Encourage yourself to keep track and write down any progress you make. Remember to be judgement free of yourself, your surroundings and other individuals in your life. Our progress resembles our journey, not our destination.

 

By: Emily Stockton and Mackenzie Winebold
Spring has sprung in Colorado, making it the perfect time to go explore the hiking trails near Manitou Springs. During your stay at SunMountain Center, be sure to check out one or all five of these beautiful spots!
1. Manitou Incline
The Manitou Incline has officially been made legal to hike (not that it stopped Coloradans before!) and offers the best aerial view of Manitou Springs around. After climbing all 2,744 steps, you’ll have reached the summit—an impressive feat!
If you intend to hike the Incline, be sure to bring plenty of water, clothing that is suitable for the weather, and wear a good pair of hiking shoes. You should also be aware of the signs of altitude sickness, as this one-mile hike comes with a 2,000-foot increase in elevation.
Still interested? To access this trail, you’ll need to hop on the free shuttle that runs between Memorial Park and the base of the Incline.
2. Intemann Trail
The Paul Intemann Memorial Trail is named for the Manitou Springs City Planner, Paul Intemann. This 1.8-mile trail is great for beginners, as the elevation increase is fewer than 400 ft. As you walk along this trail, you’ll notice beautiful Colorado wildflowers and stunning mountain views.
 3. Barr Trail
Barr Trail is another hot spot here in Manitou Springs, as this hike will bring the brave of heart to the top of Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain. In 6.5 miles, you’ll have climbed an astounding 3,800 ft. in elevation, most of which is accomplished in the first three miles of the trail.
Similarly to the Incline, you’ll want to bring plenty of water, snacks to keep your energy up, and clothes that are appropriate for all types of weather, as you may experience dramatic differences in temperature as elevation increases.
You can also access this trial using the Free Shuttle from Memorial Park to the base of the Incline.
4. Red Rocks Open Space
This gorgeous open space is composed of six hiking trails, each beginner-friendly, and relatively short compared to the others on this list. The longest trail, Hogback, is 3.3 miles while the shortest, Upper Dog Loop, is only one mile. Additionally, Red Rocks Open Space offers a little glimpse into Colorado history—in the 1800’s, a quarry was opened in this space, and one can still access this area via Quarry Trail. With six trails to hike, there is plenty of space to explore.
5. Garden of the Gods Trails
You won’t want to miss out on the iconic Garden of the Gods. With 15 miles of hiking trails at various difficulties, there is truly something for every adventurer in the park. From the wheelchair and stroller accessible Perkins Trail which will bring you to iconic rock formations such as Kissing Camels rock, to more challenging trails like the Siamese Twins trail which offers stunning views of Pikes Peak, you’re sure to find the adventure you’re looking for at Garden of the Gods. Similar to Red Rocks Open Space, you’ll need to be prepare for hiking in a vast area.

For more details about these trails and other great activities in Manitou Springs, visit https://www.sunwellness.net/manitou-springs/

By: Mackenzie Winebold

 

Spring has sprung in Colorado, making it the perfect time to get out there and explore the Manitou Springs area. (Before tourist season really starts)! From unique shopping, dining and historic finds to scenic hiking trails, there is a little bit of everything in Manitou that’ll feed your desire for adventure. Here is a list of Manitou’s hidden and not so hidden gems for you to check out!

 

Manitou Incline

The Manitou Incline is officially legal to hike (not that it stopped Coloradans before!), and offers the best aerial view of Manitou Springs around. After climbing all 2,744 steps, you’ll have reached the summit-an impressive feat!

If you intend to hike the Incline, be sure to bring plenty of water, clothing that is suitable for the weather, and wear a good pair of hiking shoes. You should also be aware of the signs of altitude sickness, as this one-mile hike comes with a 2,000-foot increase in elevation.
Still interested? To access this trail, you’ll need to hop on the free shuttle that runs between Memorial Park in the heart of Manitou Springs and the base of the Incline.

 

Infamous Manitou Penny Arcade

This arcade will bring back tons of nostalgic feels. The arcade boasts hundreds of games ranging from original skee-ball to a 12-person horse race. You will quickly see that the arcade still has a lot of its original features, which date back to the early 1900’s, wh making it even more charming and authentic. The arcade is the size of a full-block so it may require a couple visits to hit every game they have to offer.

You can check out more of the arcade’s history while you’re there as there are pictures above most of the games with some historical facts and early pictures. The arcade has several change machines, but be sure to also bring your dimes, nickels and pennies as many of the games still operate on them!

 

Barr Trail 

Barr Trail is another hot spot here in Manitou Springs, as this hike will bring the brave of heart to the top of Pikes Peak, which inspired the song, “America the Beautiful”. In 6.5 miles, you’ll have climbed an astounding 3,800 ft. in elevation, most of which is accomplished in the first three miles of the trail.

Similarly to the Incline, you’ll want to bring plenty of water, snacks to keep your energy up, and clothes that are appropriate for all types of weather, as you may experience dramatic differences in temperature/weather as elevation increases.

This trail can also be accessed using the free shuttle bus from Memorial Park to the base of the Incline.

 

Miramont Castle

Located in the foothills or Pikes Peak, you will be blown away upon setting foot inside the Miramont Castle. The castle boasts over 14,000 square feet and 40 rooms. What makes the Miramont castle so unique is nine different styles of architecture that can be found here. The design for the castle came from the original owner, Father Francolon, who wanted to incorporate all his favorite designs. From English Tudor to domestic Elizabethan to gothic, the list goes on.

For a very small fee, you can tour the beautiful castle and even make reservations in their tea room. Be sure to check out their website for hours and menu options. The Miramont castle has a vast and interesting history just waiting to be heard!

 

SunMountain Center and SunWater Spa

Nestled in the red rocks of Manitou, you will find the historic Rockledge and Onaledge homes. SunMountain Center emerged once purchasing these turn-of-the century homes. SunMountain operates as a bed and breakfast and retreat center,  turning these homes into places straight out of a fairytale. With much of the original architecture and charm, you’ll find something special around every corner.

SunMountain Center hosts weekend retreats aside from bed and breakfast stays. All breakfasts served are vegan, organic and sourced local as well as from their on-site farm. You will find several meditation trails on the properties three acres. During your stay, be sure to take advantage of your complimentary two-hour mineral water soak at SunWater Spa. The spa offers seven, heated cedar tubs for soaking in the infamous Manitou mineral waters that are drawn from the Seven Minute Spring across the street. The spa acts as a yoga studio as well, offering an array of classes for all levels wanting to deepen their practice.

 

Manitou Cactus Store

Located on Ruxton Ave. is the quaint Manitou Cactus store. You can find the perfect cactus, succulent or other plant here, all within a very reasonable dollar amount. The greenhouse offers all sizes of plants. If you’re looking for the perfect cactus for your office or one that will reside in your living space, this is your go-to shop!

 

Garden of the Gods

You won’t want to miss out on the iconic Garden of the Gods. With 15 miles of hiking trails at various difficulties, there is truly something for every adventurer in the park. From the wheelchair and stroller accessible Perkins Trail which will bring you to iconic rock formations such as Kissing Camels rock, to more challenging trails like the Siamese Twins, you’re sure to find the adventure you’re looking for at Garden of the Gods.

 

Anna’s Apothecary

Opened in 2012 by two sisters, who dedicate themselves to serving the Earth and its people with holistic healing. Anna’s Apothecary offers in-house made remedies, Tonics, Tinctures, Salves and Elixers. All items grown, produced and sold are natural, organic and non-gmo. You can visit their website or stop in the shop to see the abundant amount of natural remedies they have to offer.

 

With these just being some of the amazing attractions Manitou has to offer, be sure to check out https://manitousprings.org/ for even more attractions and adventures out there that are waiting for you.

 

Every Mother’s Day, we are gifted the opportunity to show our mama’s just how much we appreciate them. From their strength, kindness, and loving nature to all of the wisdom they’ve so graciously shared with us, we are all incredibly lucky to have women as sweet as our moms in our lives. This year, ditch the candles and feel-good cards she’ll burn through and forget about in a month, and give mama meaningful self-care, and healing gifts where she can form deeper connections with you and herself. We all love gifts that keep on giving: Give mama the gift of shared experiences with you. In need of inspiration? Check it out:

 

Journal

Give mom a place to record her innermost thoughts, feelings, and memories. Include a few pens in her favorite colors for added inspiration.
Wanting to add a more personal touch? Fill in the first few pages with artwork, inspiring quotes, images, and your favorite things about her.  

 

Photo Album

If you’re able to, pull together some of your family’s old photos of fun memories with your sweet mama—remember that vacation you took in third grade that you never forgot? What about that time mom surprised your on your birthday with the present you really wanted, but were certain you wouldn’t receive? These special moments define not only your life, but her life as well. Put them all together in a keepsake book that mom will treasure for years.

 

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz, the stone of the heart chakra. Rose Quartz is associated with feelings of unconditional love, like that between a mother and a child. Rose Quartz aligns with the heart chakra, providing feelings of comfort and love while dispelling feelings of fear and anxiety. This sacred gemstone contains feminine energy which balances and aligns the heart chakra with the third eye and crown chakras, bringing about the spirit of Mother Earth—the most sacred mother of all. Keeping this crystal within her home, mom will feel more aligned, more surrounded by love, and more balanced and connected in her day-to-day life.

 

 

Gaia Flow: Watsu with Mom

Watsu is a form of shiatsu that takes place in near body temperature or warmer water which combines elements of massage, shiatsu, muscle stretching, and water dancing. The receiver is continuously supported by their therapist while allowing their body to be floated, stretched, and cradled. At SunWater Spa, our watsu treatments take place in a body temperature, saline floating pool which grants the body added ability to float, making Watsu a truly weightless experience. Without the added weight of the body, the spine, joints, and muscles of the receiver can be manipulated and freed in a way which is unique to water work. This Mother’s Day, share this healing and nurturing experience with mom and book a side-by-side watsu for two, or simply give her the gift of nurturing with a single-person watsu appointment.

 

Mountain Mother Massage

Let’s not forget about the wonderful mommy’s-to-be in our lives! SunWater Spa’s Mountain Mother Massage is a soothing experience for mama, allowing her and baby the opportunity to relax and find refuge from the symptoms of pregnancy. Making use of the nourishing (and pregnancy safe!) oils of sunflower, sweet almond, jojoba, avocado, wheat germ, vitamin e, sweet orange, rosewood, tangerine, lemon peel, rose maroc, sandalwood and ylang ylang, she’s certain to leave feeling refreshed, renewed, and fully relaxed.

 

A Hike at Garden of the Gods and a Soak at SunWater Spa

Garden of the Gods has over 15 miles of space for you and your mom to explore. Get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and spend some quality time with one another. The Siamese Twins trail, in particular, holds desert beauty and stunning views of Pikes Peak.
After you’ve worn yourselves out at Garden of the Gods, swing on into Manitou for a healing soak at SunWater Spa. Allow the healing waters of the historic 7 Minute Spring to repair your tired, sore muscles while you relax and reconnect with your mom. Whether you choose a 2-hour soak or a full-day pass, you will both have access to our indoor saline pools, hot and cold plunge pools, and our infrared sauna. With all of these options, you and your mama will leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and closer to one another when the day is up.

 

 

Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found within various parts of plants which can be used to treat various ailments, lift spirits, and be used as an all-natural, aromatic perfume. To extract these oils, plants undergo a process of distillation by steam or water. After distillation, a highly concentrated essential oils is left behind, containing not only the aromatic essence of the plant, but also the plant’s healing properties. These oils aid in protecting plants against predators and disease, why not let them do the same for mom? Here are four examples of essential oils that are perfect for moms everywhere.

 

  • Lemon to enhance mom’s feelings of joy, provide immune support, and cleanse or purify the body.
  • Citrus oil to feel invigorated,provide an instant boost in energy, and similarly to lemon oil, boost her immune system.
  • Lavender to help mom relax, unwind, and to improve blood circulation.
  • Eucalyptus for stress relief, pain relief, and relief of cold symptoms!

 

Credit: Mariana Ziegler Photography

A Stay at SunMountain Center

Spring has sprung in Manitou Springs! Give mom the gift of experiencing a true (and beautiful!) Colorado spring with a stay at SunMountain Center. The days are longer and warmer, the flowers are blooming, and SunMountain Center is bursting with life and love. She’ll spend time perusing our gardens, exploring acres of property and winding meditation trails, and deepen her connection with herself and those around her.

By: Kat Tudor as originally seen on Live Naturally.

 

Are you struggling with sleep? Have the kids gotten you down? Are you stressed by day-to-day traffic? The road to calm just might be as easy as changing your breathing patterns and channeling your breath.

According to a 2015 article published by Harvard Medical School, the practice of “deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange,” which can result in the stabilization or lowering of blood pressure and the slowing of your heartbeat. And, with a bit of practice, including “breath focus”—slow and deep breathing—can help you disengage from your thoughts and stresses.

See also Mindful Living with Meditation.

There are numerous breathwork techniques used to bring about different results. These methods include alternate nostril breathing, abdominal breathing, upper chest breathing, and fast or slow breathing, among others, according to Kris and Savanna Cassidy of Breakthrough Breathwork, who are leading a Breakthrough Breathwork Meditation workshop at Manitou Springs, Colorado’s SunWater Spa in early September. Their methodology utilizes “connected breathing, also known as circular breathing, to facilitate deep healing and transformation.”

To begin your home practice:

  • Start by finding a comfortable place to sit, away from your daily clutter.
  • Gently close your eyes.
  • Take a normal breath.
  • Then take a long, deep breath through your nose. Breathe in slowly through your nose, as your chest and belly rise and the air fills your lungs.
  • Now exhale or breathe out slowly through your mouth.
  • Once you become comfortable with controlled breathing, you might want to incorporate simple imagery or a word or phrase to help you relax.

Unfortunately, conscious breathing isn’t as simple as it seems. These two books, The Breathing Book: Good Health and Vitality Through Essential Breath Work and Conscious Breathing: Breathwork for Health, Stress Release and Personal Mastery Healthcan help you on your journey with more sophisticated and focused breathing techniques, such as progressive relaxation, alternative nostril breathing and guided visualization.

 NEW PACKAGES AT SUNWATER SPA

Beginning May 1, SunWater Spa will offer three-day packages: Refresh, Hydrate and Repair. The Refresh package includes a 30-minute Aquacranial session, 30-minute Ursa Minor facial, 30-minute Target Relief massage and 2-hour mineral spring soak for $180. The Hydrate package includes a 30-minute Watsu session, 60-minute Silk Road Wrap, 60-minute Cascading Falls facial and 2-hour mineral spring soak for $260. The Repair package includes a 90-minute Mountain Healer Massage; 30-minute head, scalp and Sole Renewal treatment; 60-minute Garden of Eden facial and 2-hour mineral spring soak. To book, call 719-695-7007 or visit the spa online.

 

 

Summer is full swing, and the temperatures are on the rise. With 90+ degree days already here, and more on the horizon, many of us are searching for ways to simply keep cool and survive the summer. Beat the heat this summer with SunWater Spa— here’s how!

What to Wear

It can be tough to decide what to wear, especially in Colorado in the summer, where cool morning temperatures clash with the intense sunlight and heat of the afternoon. Generally speaking, the clothing that will keep you as cool as possible will be made of 100% cotton, fit loosely, and incorporate lighter colors. Clothing which is made of 100% cotton and fits loosely allows for airflow near the body, aiding in regulating one’s body temperature. Lighter colored clothing, by nature, tends to absorb less light, and therefore, less heat, keeping you cool during the hot summer months.

Essential Oils

Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil contains a significant amount of menthol. Menthol is known to aid in easing tension headaches and various other aches and pains, as well as providing a cooling, tingling sensation when applied to the skin.  However, please be aware that peppermint oil is quite stimulating and could potentially interfere with your sleepings habit if used too close to bedtime.

Spearmint

Spearmint essential oil works very similarly to Peppermint oil, however, it contains a smaller amount of menthol, making the scent less overbearing and pungent. This oil also provides a cooling, tingling feeling when applied to the skin.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus acts as a nice alternative or complement to Peppermint and Spearmint oils in cooling blends. In addition to its ability to provide a cooling sensation, Eucalyptus essential oils have been known to act as both an anti-inflammatory as well as an expectorant.

Hydration

As outdoors temperature begin to rise, taking our body temperatures with them, our bodies begin to sweat in an effort to regulate our temperature can keep us (relatively) cool. As sweat exits the body and evaporates, heat is released, cooling our bodies. If at any point you notice that you’re no longer sweating, it is incredibly important that you drink water as soon as possible. Dehydration can come on quickly and without warning, lack of sweat is one of the first signs. Find the nearest water station (or mineral springs, if you’re in Manitou Springs) and fill up your water bottle ASAP!

Minerals for Cooling and Hydration

Electrolytes

Though sweating helps to regulate your body temperature, you lose a TON of electrolytes through sweating. Electrolytes are minerals in your body which carry an electric charge. These molecules affect the amount of water within your body, the acidity of your blood, your muscle function, and so much more.


You can pick up electrolyte tabs for your water at nearly any natural health store, or enjoy bottled water which contains electrolytes to ensure that you are maintaining your electrolyte levels!

Houseplants

Looking to cool your house without turning on the AC? House plants can help by absorbing the hot air for their own life processes, and adding humidity to the room through transpiration, or the process by which water evaporates from the leaves of the plant. More specifically, Aloe Vera, Ficus trees, and ferns are particularly adept at improving air temperature within a room.

Soaking

Having a healing mineral water soak can also help keep you cool in the summer, as crazy as it may sound. Similarly to the cooling phenomena created when one sweats, the evaporation of the warm waters as your rise from one of our seven cedar soaking tubs can help cool you as well. When the water evaporates from your skin, it releases humidity into the air, as well as the heat that is trapped within the skin.

Cooling Foods for Summer

Cucumber

Ever heard the phrase “cool as a cucumber?” Well, there might just be some truth behind it. Cucumbers are naturally super hydrating and delicious! These delicious vegetables will help keep you hydrated and provide a crisp, refreshing taste to keep you feeling your best!

Watermelon

No day at the beach is complete without a watermelon snack, but why only consume watermelon at the beach? Watermelon is a great seasonal fruit; like cucumber, it is extremely hydrating, and the cool, crispy flavor is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and revived.

Peaches

Originally cultivated in China, peaches are another awesome seasonal pick. Peaches are particularly delectable this time of year (especially Colorado’s own Palisade peaches), and are rich in vitamin a and c, making them a delicious and nutritious way to keep cool!

Yoga Poses for Cooling Down

Spinal Twists

Twisting poses help cool the blood and release excess heat from the abdomen, particularly from the small intestine and liver. Seated twists, or twist performed while lying down down are particularly cooling. Try Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist) and Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclined Spinal Twist) to release some of your internal heat!

Gentle Backbends

While some backbends can be warming, gentle backbends apply beneficial pressure to release tension and dissipate excess heat from the mid-abdomen, much like spinal twists.  Bujangasana (Baby Cobra), Matsyasana (Fish) and Bandhasana (Bridge) are helpful to integrate into your cooling yoga practice.

Forward Bends

Forward bends physically cool the body, calm the spirit, and are essential to counteract internal heat. Paschimottasana (Seated Forward Bend) and Balasana (Child’s Pose) are perfect ways to relax and cool the body toward the end of a practice.