Spring clean your wellness routine with the latest trends in Banff National Park
As personal health and wellness becomes ever more important in our lives, travellers are no longer looking to take a break from their positive lifestyle choices when they go on vacation. Luckily Banff National Park is a health and wellness haven where visitors can connect with awe-inspiring nature, indulge in the latest spa treatments and go home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Here’s a round-up of the latest wellness trends and where to find them in Banff National Park.
A Juice for Everything!
Juicing isn’t new, but these days juicing isn’t just a tasty way to get your 5-a-day – now there’s a juice for every reason! Whether you’re looking for post-hike recovery, a boost to the immune system, stress reduction or an energy lift, juicing has an array of benefits, and no one knows this better than the team at Banff’s holistic lounge Cedar & Sage. Stop by for the tastiest of juices in tranquil surroundings at this hot new locals’ spot.
Spas are not just sanctuaries of physical renewal but also of mind and spirit, and this is reflected in a trend towards the incorporation of cultural traditions into treatment experiences that draw inspiration from ancient rituals. At Cedar & Sage, Banff’s brand new holistic lounge, the team of expert massage and other holistic therapists are influenced by organic living and Banff’s First Nations ancestry. One example is the smudging ceremony that occurs daily at the Lounge – a ritual that sends out positive affirmations to the spirits of the earth, asking for health, prosperity and understanding, while the use of sage cleanses the lounge’s serene surroundings, lifting negative energy and emotion into the sky and spirts above.
Something for the boys
Gone are the days when spa treatments were just for girls’ getaways – these days even the most alpha of males are wising up to the importance of taking time to relax, indulge and take care of themselves – whether as a couples’ getaway or even a boys’ weekend! Spots like the spa at the Rimrock Hotel & Resort understand that when it comes to treatments guys have different needs to the ladies, and have created a specially-tailored spa menu with something for every well-groomed man – from hand and foot treatments to scalp massages and facials.
Perhaps the ultimate trend in wellness circles right now is the simple acting of mindful living – the idea that attentiveness to the present moment can help declutter a mind constantly on overdrive in today’s digital world. Recognizing the need many travellers have to detox their mind as well as their body, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has introduced Mindfulness Retreats with Tracey Delfs of Balance Quest, offering guests the opportunity to learn more about mindfulness and how to integrate it into daily life, in the spectacular setting of Lake Louise.
Taking mindfulness to the next level is the Japanese concept of forest bathing, tipped by Spafinder Wellness, a leading predictor of wellness industry trends, as one to watch in 2015! It revolves around a simple practice of walking with the mind focussed on the sights, sounds and scents of the forest. Cynical? Phytoncides are chemicals emitted by trees, which have been scientifically proven to have an effect with longevity on the immune system. Where better to give it a try than Banff National Park with its many protected acres of pine, spruce, willow, aspen and fir forests!
Stealthy Healthy Restaurants
A new trend on the culinary scene is hot restaurants serving up healthy dishes that are as creative and delicious as they are nutritious – think organic, farm-to-table ingredients, gluten free options and fruit and veg infused cocktails. Nestled on Banff’s Bear Street, Nourish is the perfect example, serving up globally inspired vegetarian comfort food that is both fresh and innovative using local, organic ingredients.
Hot Springs Heating Up
Bathing in hot springs has been considered a spa experience since the Roman times, and indeed it was as far back as 1885 when three Canadian Pacific Railway workers discovered natural hot springs near what is now the Town of Banff that one of Canada's great stories, the creation of the nation's first national park, was born. But Hot Springs are as on trend today as they have ever been as wellness seekers recognize their affordability, sociability and myriad of therapeutic benefits, from improved circulation to pain relief and stress reduction. A soak in Banff’s Upper Hot Springs is a must-do on any visit to Banff National Park.
High Elevation Yoga
Bet you’ve never done yoga at 7300 feet. Banff National Park helps you elevate your practice with an inspiring and refreshing environment. If you’ve never practiced outside with the sunshine and a fresh breeze, an eco-yoga experience will turn your downward dog upside-down. You can also enjoy a walking meditation or an outdoor class without the hiking. Scale the whole experience up a notch and take a helicopter ride to a backcountry location for the best yoga class of your life.
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- Visit Banff’s only dedicated yoga studio, Rocky Mountain Yoga.
- Ask us about heli-yoga or eco yoga experiences.
The Healing Hot Springs
The hot springs in Banff National Park are what first made this destination so famous. In fact, their discovery led to the establishment of the Canadian parks system. Long ago, travellers were allured by the medicinal qualities of the hot springs and journeyed to Banff via the newly constructed Canadian Pacific Railway to take a dip in the mineral waters. Today, the Banff Upper Hot Springs, located at the end of Mountain Avenue, are the only hot springs in Banff that can be enjoyed by the public.
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