Santa Fe

October 1, 2005 by  
Filed under Travel Blog

A short journey west yields otherworldly relaxation

The history
The history of Santa Fe is quite unique with its mixture of Indian, Latino and Anglo cultures. Although they do intermingle, each culture remains distinct. With eight sovereign Pueblo Indian communities, this is a land rich in tribal tradition and ceremony. Upon witnessing the dances and feast days of the Pueblos, visitors come to appreciate their centuries-old way of life. The Latino history here can be easily spotted with its adobe mission churches scattered throughout this land. Many of the artists also continue the traditions of the past by using traditional natural mediums, such as wood and natural pigments, to create artworks to adorn homes and churches.

The vibe
Santa Fe speaks to you. Whether in the center of town or in the mountainous exterior, the holistic energy surrounding this land has summoned people here for many years. The feeling lingering from the pueblo culture is one of healing, calmness and tranquility. Homes and businesses sport the adobe style that blends perfectly with the beautiful desert landscape. The many restaurants offer a variety of flavorful foods to tantalize your taste buds.

The feel
The healing atmosphere leads to some of the most revered spas around. Ten Thousand Waves is known worldwide for massage. It’s no wonder that the local school of massage provides a training ground for people who are devoted to healing and helping. After training, it’s hard for them to leave

Santa Fe – thank goodness.
A short 10 minutes from the city’s main square, the Bishop’s Lodge has played host to generations of families as they relaxed together, enjoying horseback riding, skeet shooting and dining.

A new addition to the Bishop’s Lodge is the ShaNah Spa, an intimate and cozy healing center, located just next to the pool. The Ayurvedic menu of offerings center on the balance of the mind and body; channeling this 5,000-year-old “Science of Life” established in India.

Before you select a treatment, start by discovering your dosha type. If you’ve never heard of a dosha, as I hadn’t, it’s the Ayurvedic measurement of your mental and physical characteristics – the right treatment is said to “align your dosha.” To determine your dosha type, a simple quiz is given with questions about your hair, weight, activity level and many other aspects of your life.

At the ShaNah Spa, it is the therapists who take this spa to the next level and make the treatments especially memorable. The Paprika facial came with a personal testimonial. Upon receiving this treatment for the first time, my facialist changed her major from education to beauty – just so she could administer this facial. She made the right choice.

The stimulating paprika and natural alpha hydroxy acids were tingly, yet not painful. Throughout this facial, you are certain it is working – something is going on – perhaps a little boost of elasticity? Positive effects of this facial can be felt for 10 days.

Don’t head to Santa Fe to have just another deep tissue massage. Opt for a one-of-a-kind treatment like a Cranial Sacral. Even the name made me wonder. Inside your body, between the cranium and the sacrum, your body holds cerebral-spinal fluid. While lying on your back, the therapist gently touches your back and neck. Quietly, she “listens” to your body. Any ailments are made known as she connects to your cerebral-spinal fluid. Slowly, she massages parts of your body “as they speak to her.” All the while you experience deep relaxation and a renewed sense of balance, all the way to the core of your being.

When to go
Is it the altitude or the attitude that makes this one of the best balloon festivals in the world? Oct. 1-9 marks the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. If you’re in Santa Fe, wake up early for the hour drive to Albuquerque. Even if you’re afraid of heights, riding in a hot air balloon is simply divine. The mass ascension begins at 7:15 a.m. – so get there early. First-time riders are met with champagne upon landing. Cheers! H

– Ten Thousand Waves, 3451 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, (505) 982-9304, www.tenthousand – Bishops Lodge, 1297 Bishops Lodge Road, Santa Fe, (505) 983-6377, 1 (800) 732-2240, – ShaNah Spa, 1297 Bishops Lodge Road, Santa Fe, (505) 819-4000, – Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, 4401 Alameda N.E., Albuquerque, (505) 821-1000, 1 (888) 422-7277, – Santa Fe Convention &Visitors Bureau, (505) 955-62001, 1 (800) 777-2489,

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