A Weekend of Wellness and Bliss at YO1 Catskills
This past Saturday (June 8) was Global Wellness Day, which I spent reminiscing about a recent retreat to the YO1 Wellness Center in Monticello, a charming village in the Catskills. I was invited to attend over Memorial Day weekend with friends and it marked the perfect time to kick off my birthday month in June!
During the entire 3-day, 2-night adventure, I surprisingly took a “digital detox” and didn’t post a single IG story (I know, gasp!) in hopes of finding my inner zen—without any distractions. The experience was the ultimate mental and physical break. I’m not one to usually feel anxious or stressed out, but my body was sending me SOS signals for a while to listen and take action.
I packed my bags and headed upstate, along with a few of my favorite workout gear: 32 degrees clothes, my pink lace-up Bzees sneakers, Yummie leggings, Panache sports bra (from Figleaves), and more. The YO1 wellness center stood out to me for its mix of Ayurvedic and Naturopathic therapies. Prior to attending, a wellness counselor will give you a call to discuss the goal of your stay—whether it be to simply relax or to treat a specific health concern. They then create a personalized itinerary for you according to your conversation. I learned that YO1 stands for “Yovan” in Sanskrit, which means “youthful”. I can see how the name fits the space, as the mission of their Indian holistic wellness program is to help you attain eternal youth through reviving the mind, body, and spirit.
On the Road to Wellness
The team there is so welcoming and everyone has a depth of experience in the wellness field. After meeting with my Ayurvedic counselor, I discovered that there are five elements of life: space/ether, fire, water, air, and earth. Doshas are the elements that form metabolic types and it’s believed that it determines what’s best for your diet, lifestyle, and exercise routine. Mine are Vata (air and space) and Pitta (fire and water). Every evening, there’s a lecture in the theater if you feel like nerding out to everything wellness. After attending on the first night, I was shocked by the effects of poor sleeping habits, which can lead to moodiness, hunger, memory loss, and more. It definitely put my perspective in focus and try to get in more shut-eye.
According to my doshas, my Ayurvedic and Naturopathy counselors recommended I try treatments including:
Hydrotherapy Underwater Massage
This was like a relaxing bath 2.0. Using a water jet with different pressures, the massage increased my overall circulation. I wrapped my hair in a towel, sat back, relaxed, as my sore muscles were brought back to life. It was wonderful and a gentle start to the rest of the treatments.
I practiced yoga twice a day (morning and night), which helped me meditate and get my dose of exercise in. We had Anastasia as our instructor who was a pro and kindly guided us through each yoga posture that is meant to calm the mind and awaken our spirits. There are several practices offered and my favorite was Yoga Nidra, a practice that can lower stress levels, reduce chronic pain, and improve sleep. I finally had a chance to wear my yoga clothes. A good outfit always makes a wellness session more fun! What’s more, is the yoga room is a breathtaking space. With wide open windows overlooking the view of the pine tree-filled backdrop and crisp lakes, it felt impossible to be stressed out.
This ancient Chinese therapy fascinated me for its wide range of benefits. Although the thought of inserting fine needles into the skin may be scary, it was totally worth it to me. I was surprised by the fact that there is nothing in the needle itself—it is pure sterling silver and when placed on specific points in the body, it can open blockages that lead to pain, increase energy, and reduce bloating. The acupuncturist also inserted a few needles into my left hand as she mentioned it correlates to the pain I was feeling in my left leg. After a couple of acupuncture treatments, it helped me so much—I feel less pain and can even sit for 20 minutes straight, something I was unable to do right before the trip! Throughout the past five years, I have been dealing with hip and back pain. The discomfort is so bad that it often prevents me from getting a good night’s sleep. Of course, everyone may feel different results depending on your body.
Yummy Food and Juices
If you know me, you know that I’m a total foodie. In the city, I’m constantly trying out the hottest restaurants to cover on my food account @epicure.nyc. So when it came to food at YO1, I was interested to learn the types of healthy dishes made fresh from their kitchen. Starting off, each meal included honey water and hibiscus juice, in which Courtney recommended to mix for a refreshing drink. A variety of vegetable soup was always served first in each three-course meal, and each consisted of a different vegetable flavor. Next up was salad followed up the entrée. I particularly loved the bibimbap and mezze platter with hummus, quinoa, and my favorites: plantains and cheese. Oh and upon arrival, the front desk gave us a tote bag with a SOMA water bottle to encourage us to stay hydrated at all times. More H20 is a must!
Plus, I can’t forget about the amazing juice bar! It was recommended to fast once in a while in order to detox properly. I now have the mantra in mind to drink lots of water, coconut water, and green juices to replenish, cleanse, and get energized. See below for a few of my favorite recipes!
Hot Pink Beauty
-Knob of Ginger
-Knob of Ginger
I spent free time in the jacuzzi to unwind from each day and appreciate all the positive energy that was around me. Reflecting back, the YO1 wellness retreat really made me realize the importance of health. While I detoxed, a lot of impurities came out—good thing I packed some of my most trusted vitamins from Doctors Best and body essentials from This Works to relax my muscles, senses and mind for a restful sleep!
Overall, being a mother of two, I need to take care of myself in order to have the energy and strength to take care of my family. Honestly, it’s not the easiest or most convenient to live a healthy lifestyle but I’m going to take it step by step! That means trying my best to meditate and stretch every morning, eating more nutritious meals, and exercising on the regular. What are a few of your go-to wellness tips? Let me know and wishing you all a blissful week. Namaste!