RECONNECT WITH FAMILY OR YOURSELF
There is something simply indescribable about just being in Banff and Lake Louise. You feel small, you feel inspired, but most of all, you feel connected. Connected to nature. Connected to your friends and loved ones who are sharing in this moment with you. And most of all, connected to yourself at your very core. The jagged peaks, fresh mountain air, and stunning valleys of Banff National Park simply silence all the other noise in your life, and yank you into the present moment. Make the most of it!
Spring clean your wellness routine with the latest trends in Banff National Park
As personal health and wellness become 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.
Cedar & Sage Co.
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 holistic lounge, the team of expert massage and 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 spirits above.
It’s an eye-opening experience when you take a walk in a mountain meadow or through the forest with Brenda Holder. She can point to and identify any plant, tree or bush and tell you how it can be used to make something crucial to survival – a fire cider for a flu or cold, a food source or a fire starter. Holder, operator and owner of Mahikan Trails, is following in the footsteps of her family lineage as a Cree guide of the Kwarakwante people of Jasper, Alberta where she grew up. Passing along her knowledge is part of her passion for supporting indigenous tourism for which she has won many distinctions. Holder offers several workshops, including her medicine walks, designed to educate people about how her ancestors survived off the land for millennia. Over two days in the hands-on workshop guests learn how to identify a variety of plants and learn how to make simple medicines.
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. 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. With its many protected acres of pine, spruce, willow, aspen and fir forests, where better to give it a try than Banff National Park with the expert guidance of Forest Fix?
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 the Banff 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.
Bring this story to life:
- Visit Banff’s only dedicated yoga studio, Rocky Mountain Yoga
- Ask us about heli-yoga or eco yoga experiences