This blog was originally published in April of 2017....
I am super excited to share with you my report from spending a week at Rancho la Puerta, the world famous spa and fitness resort in Baja California, Mexico. Since returning about 6 weeks ago, I can attest that what I've learned, the physical benefits, my mental clarity and emotional disposition have proven to be life-changing and lasting!
Last year I stayed only a half week. While it was a wonderful and I was sufficiently familiarized with the experience, I regretted not having a full week to fully absorb the potential of this magical place. Last year's highlights were hiking, yoga, dancing, great food, and amazing relaxing spa time!
This year I had a full week to savor the Ranch and partake in everything my little heart desired. Although I was escorting a group, the Ranch is well equipped to take care of individuals and my work is mostly done upon arrival. The benefits of traveling together as a group include an incredible 20% discount, complimentary massage, and a few special perks from me!
This year I hiked 17 miles in one week. Last year I hiked a couple of times but felt a little rushed and disappointed because I was the slowest of the group. They truly emphasize GO AT YOUR OWN PACE but being at the end of the group must have been a fluke because I didn't have that experience nearly as much this year. I pushed myself, worked hard and progressed over the week. Mentally I made huge progress in not comparing myself to the faster hikers in the group. Hiking, along with all of the all the other fitness classes I participated in seriously got my butt into gear! A couple of the classes my group and I particularly loved were the dancing and hydro-fit classes; which is conditioning in the pool! My endurance is now through the roof. Since the trip I am hiking 3-5 miles once a week, weather permitting, and its easier for me than it has been in years. My favorite thing about hiking is how rewarding and exhilarating it is! I even was having some knee issues that have since improved significantly. I am also doing the following 2-3x per week: yoga, a strength-training program I learned about at the Ranch, and zumba. I have lost over 20 lbs (update as of Dec 2020 - I don't really weigh myself but I lost approx. 30 lbs and have mostly kept it off)! This is really great progress for me. I gave up dieting many years ago because it made me crazy and have been on a mission, a journey, to get myself back into health and shape after packing on stress weight for many years. During this process I've committed to a holistic approach focusing on self-acceptance, spiritual wellness, stress management, physical health and more. I also took a nutrition class that blew me away. I will talk more about that in the future. And I will admit that I love to drink wine. It's a joy, a passion, and certainly a crutch too. But I digress.
On a spiritual and emotional level I am still feeling the effects as well. There are amazing guest speakers and presentations every week at the Ranch. I was elated to participate in an emotional intelligence (Ei) workshop. The speaker, Carolyn Stern was awesome! You can check her out website and what she has to offer HERE. I had taken an Ei based sales training with an exceptional facilitator here in Denver a couple of years ago and parts of the program along with an Ei assessment really resonated with me. The program was with Sales Leadership Inc with Colleen Stanely which you can find HERE. She is absolutely amazing as well but the Ei training was geared toward business; although can be applied to any facet of life. However, since the training I regret I hadn't kept the practices after being bogged down in starting my own business over the last 2 years. I was uber excited to pick up where I left off. Ei is basically a culmination of all the things I've studied and practiced over the years in a quest to be healthier, more successful and better manage stress. I've dabbled in so many helpful personal development practices like yoga, astrology, meditation, and acupuncture. I've read dozens of books about business, self-help, motivation, relationships, spiritual, and more. And of course I've tried every exercise program imaginable. I will say I really do love exercise and getting motivated to be physically active has never been a problem for me. However, Ei is a succinct and systematic concept which promotes well-being via the following competencies: self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, decision making and stress management. I seriously eat this stuff up! I have been digging deeper, reading more, and applying it to my every day life.
Another important part of my wellness focus has been relaxation and rest based practices. These are as important, if not more so than pushing yourself to excel. When you relax and do the things that you love, you become recharged and rejuvenated which then results in the ability to contribute exponentially to the world around you. A few relaxation experiences at the Ranch that support balance and recharging include: yoga, meditation, and SPA! Our group participated in restorative yoga twice because it was so absolutely heavenly after so much activity. The Ranch is not near the ocean or any hot springs unfortunately but the spa services are PHENOMENAL and more than make up for it. There are not one but TWO spa houses for women in different locations with showers, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and a mind-boggling array of treatments! The men's health center is also equipped with the same amenities. I had a massage, a facial and a deluxe 90 minute pedicure with massage which was FANTASTIC! My manicure esthetician this year was coincidentally the same woman I had last year. She was such a gem and both times it was hands down the best pedicure I've ever had. It was her birthday and I sang happy birthday to her in Spanish. She literally gave me a hug at the end of the treatment. I can't wait to see her again next year! One of my guests indulged in a treatment almost every day. Someone said “I'm not sure I could afford that”. Her response: “how can you afford NOT to?!” Exactly, that is a poignant message. You can't afford to not pamper and take great care of yourself. It's true. You ARE worth it and you do deserve it. If you don't believe that, well then the concept of worthiness that is something to ponder...
Another noteworthy guest speaker and class offered this year was the MELT method which was FANTASTIC! Simply put it is kind of like self massage for the connective tissues with rollers and little balls. So awesome. Ok, I haven't kept up on this one but writing this is a good reminder as it made me feel incredible.
Lastly I would like to mention that the accommodations are incredibly beautiful, spacious and extraordinarily comfortable. And then there is the food. Oh my gosh the food! Check out last years blog HERE to hear more about the culinary delights. And the staff!? OUTSTANDING. They are wonderful, gracious and genuine caretakers.
This is a vacation but not in the traditional sense. This getaway should be something you do above and beyond your usual trip to Mexico or Europe. It is a COMPLETELY different experience than most vacations you've taken. It could be considered a 'retreat' but this place is really special and vastly unique, I'm telling you. And even if you're more interested in the physical activities and not so much the yoga and the 'spiritual stuff' – really, give it a try. Here is a quote from one of my guests: “ Rancho La Puerta is like Summer Camp for adults…but one big difference! The food is spectacular. There is so much active stuff to do and try. I really liked the hiking, the pool classes, and the aerobic classes. But you have to work in some relaxation time too. I will be going back every year.”
Before you've been, the vibe of the Ranch comes across as a women's retreat but it really is not. There are a plethora of options and interesting things for couples and men. Even though there are a lot of group activities, there are plenty of opportunities for privacy and solitude. The grounds are spatial and the accommodations are very private and romantic. Men enjoy a lot of the classes offered but in particular gravitate towards hiking, weight lifting, ropes course, and the water program. There are also sports: tennis, pickle ball, volleyball and basketball! And of course men have their man cave: the men's health center!
Honestly, anyone who is interested in or committed to life-long learning, self-improvement and empowerment, this place is for you! Or, if you are simply feeling physically unwell or sluggish and need a swift kick in the rear plus some cathartic relaxation, this place is absolutely perfect! There is truly something life-changing offered at every corner! This experience lends to all ages, all walks of life, all genders, and all physical abilities. Every single person who believes they deserve to grow will find at least one thing inspirational here, but more likely dozens. I will also say that there is a perception out there that retreats are hokey, contrived and ridiculous. Trust me on this one, I guarantee the opposite is true at Rancho.
We had an absolute incredible week at Rancho La Puerta. Someone I met last year said something that I found very interesting: “Every time you go, it is a completely different experience.” Boy, so true! And I am already counting down the days until next year.
I am planning to put together a new group in 2021, stay tuned for more info. Please consider joining! Do it for you. Do it for the loved ones in your life. This is a powerful method of taking extraordinary care of yourself so that you are better equipped to give your special gifts to the world. Your family, friends, colleagues and even the lady at the grocery store all totally deserve it. The love and positive actions ripple out into the universe. I guarantee it!
FOR MY CLIENTS, 2021 bookings receive special perks:
Contact me for more info!
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