Restore in One (Long) Weekend
Anyone who has kicked a habit probably knows that three days can be your first major detox hurdle, which isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds at Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, ON. In a renovated 1858 fieldstone castle atop 400 acres of rolling farmers’ fields (with sheep!), Ste. Anne’s offers three-day retreats of yoga, yoga and more yoga. “The poses and breath work in themselves bring about cleansing throughout the body and mind,” says Francesca Bonta, Ste. Anne’s yoga retreat coordinator. “Each pose has an effect on the chakras, which are the energy centres of the body, so we’re able to clear out blockages and promote cleansing.”
But nearly three hours of daily yoga requires lots of energy, so there’s good news on the food front: Your appetite will swell and you get to eat – a lot. There’s no mention of fat content or calories, and the always-changing menu offers many vegan and veggie options, all made with locally sourced, organic and sustainable ingredients. The abundance of options may encourage you toward clean eating and vegetarianism, which I sometimes embraced (try the Quinoa Bowl breakfast, with almond milk and hemp hearts) but often did not (I also enjoyed a burger with bacon and brie).
A Typical Day
When you’re not relaxing in downward dog, plenty of activities are offered to reinforce healthy new habits. In a raw cooking class offered during the retreat, we learned how to make a surprisingly tasty Creamy Curry Broccoli Soup.
Artists can try a painting lesson instead, and wannabe farmers can join the stable caretaker, herding horses and helping with barn chores. Or, if that feels like too much, know that doing almost nothing is highly recommended at Ste. Anne’s.
Explore the meditative lavender labyrinth aimlessly or visit the spa for a toxin-ridding eucalyptus body wrap. Then just lie still, breathe deeply and enjoy clean living at its best.