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Life and Religion

Head for the mountains to retreat and unwind
Art of Living spa in Boone takes holistic approach
 
Published Wednesday, December 21, 2016 7:54 am
by Ashley Mahoney

PHOTO/ASHLEY MAHONEY
The Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone encourages clients to unplug from the everyday hustle and bustle through yoga, meditation and massage.

BOONE—Wind through the Blue Ridge Mountains until you reach the top of Whispering Hills Road. Park your car. Step out. Look around. Take it all in with a deep breath. Perhaps you brought your worries with you. Leave them in the car. Turn your phone off, and take another deep breath.


Nestled in the mountains about two hours from Charlotte lies the Art of Living Retreat Center.


North Carolina has plenty of spas, but how many leave you with a sense of peace? How many implement Ayurveda Treatments?  It's easy to get stressed around the holidays, to eat or drink too much, to lash out at those close to us, or even total strangers. Take a weekend to practice yoga, meditate, experiment with clay, consume nourishing food, drink less coffee and more tea (shocking we know), and disconnect from your phone, tablet or computer. More than anything else, the Art of Living reminds you to breathe-something simple, yet essential.


At the Shankara Ayurveda Spa, the experience is unique to the definition of Ayurveda, or “the science of life,” which comes from the Sanskrit words Ayus “life” and Veda “knowledge of science.” It goes to the source of issues rather than place a bandage over the problem. From the Royal Treatment, a signature service consisting of a warm oil massage and Shirodhara relaxation therapy and lasts two hours, to the Shirodhara relaxation therapy (known as “Bliss Therapy,” a constant stream of warm oil poured over the forehead which allows for mental clarity and peace) the spa provides a holistic approach.


In the mountains, you can connect to yourself. Doesn’t it seem a little ridiculous that you can inhabit something and fail to truly connect to it? How can that be? You live in a body, but what about everything else that goes on in it? How do we live in an age of instant connection, yet fail to connect without wifi or cell phone service? At the end of the day, are we really connected at all?


So retreat to a place of peace. We fight small battles every day against ourselves, friends, family or co-workers. Perhaps we fail to see the armor we carry, but we feel its weight. Somewhere inside we all have peace, but struggle to find and maintain it. Change your location, approach and perspective, and maybe you’ll make it through the holiday season.


Don't forget to breathe.

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