5 Midwest Getaways for a New Year's Refresh
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin: Aspira Spa In Aspira's central Meditation Sanctuary, water trickles over rocks and into a copper pool as clients perched on thick cushions let their minds settle. Down the hall, guests slip into luxe treatment rooms for indulgent facials and massages or intriguing therapies. One on the menu is Reiki healing, in which therapists manipulate clients' energy with a "serene and meditative soft touch." (aspiraspa.com).
Courtesy of Aspira Spa
Kohler, Wisconsin: Destination Kohler A weekend at this five-star resort targets the total person. The famed Kohler Waters Spa's novel treatments include a full-body massage with hot bamboo sticks. Trainers work with guests to create a personalized workout plan. Chefs host healthy-cooking demonstrations. And designers help you make plans for a more efficient home. (Because who wouldn't be happier starting the year with a decluttered kitchen?) (americanclubresort.com).
Courtesy of Destination Kohler
Drexel, Missouri: Timber Creek Retreat House Owner Tom Jacobs welcomes world-weary visitors to this retreat in the woods with a warm hug and a cup of coffee. Some 53 miles south of Kansas City, day and overnight guests can use the yoga space, a reading room with a fireplace, a cinema stocked with inspirational films, and 80 acres laced with hiking trails. Tom offers private, nondenominational spiritual mentoring and leads group meditation sessions (timbercreekretreat.org).
Timber Creek Retreat House
Nashville, Indiana: Winter in the Woods Some find serenity in gentle yoga; others find it on a long run through the woods. Indiana's Brown County State Park attracts both with this three-day event. For a set fee, participants in the Winter Bliss Wellness Retreat program class-hop among meditation, yoga and creative arts sessions in Abe Martin Lodge. Prefer to play outside? The easygoing Winter Hike includes hot chocolate; the Frosty Trails 5 Mile run ends at a shelter warmed from a fire (browncounty.com).
Wisconsin Dells: Sundara Inn and Spa We know, "Relax" and "Water Park Capital" may not equate. But trust us: The pines wrapping this Dells location create a pure mellow zone designed to reset spirits. Guests spend kid-free (and electronics-free, in the public spaces) weekends in robes, indulging in locally sourced meals and holistic spa treatments. So take a yoga class. Snowshoe the golf course next door. Get a massage. And don't worry about posting any of it on Facebook (sundaraspa.com).
Sundara Inn and Spa
Peace in your pocket
Can't get away for a retreat? Meditation apps are the next best thing. We tried and liked these three; each gives you free guided sessions. (The first two offer advanced sessions for a fee.)
Quick start Headspace A former Buddhist monk leads newbies through the Take 10 program: 10 minutes of meditation a day, for 10 days.
Here comes the science Omvana Follow the Envisioning Method beginner series, which pairs each meditation session with a podcast on the science behind the practice.
A tailored solution Stop, Breathe and Think A quick quiz when you open the app gauges your mood; the app then recommends a specific meditation track.