By: Ian Stalker
Virginia is For Lovers of wellness and fitness.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation held a recent webinar showcasing five retreats in different parts of Virginia that cater to health and wellness enthusiasts, showcasing the likes of meditation opportunities, such outdoor activities as cycling and spa treatments, some of them high-tech.
“I feel relaxed just watching,” Brigitte Belanger-Warner of the tourism corporation said at the end of a webinar that at times had spa employees demonstrating relaxation exercises.
Among featured retreats was the aptly named Yogaville, which had staffer Rukmini Ando demonstrating yoga exercises for those watching the webinar.
Yogaville hosts over 6,000 guests a year and has the likes of a yoga academy that provides yoga instructor training and a vegetarian kitchen.
Guests can stay in tents, dorms or private rooms.
Ando said yoga classes cater to people with different levels of proficiency, including beginners. “We want to be as inclusive as possible here.”
Virginia Beach’s Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. in turn is named after a man often referred to as the “father of holistic medicine” and its A.R.E. Visitor Center offers the likes of meditation and holistic healing. An entire floor is dedicated to meditation and visitors will also find a meditation garden.
Viewers were told the resort’s kitchen serves “healthy Southern-style food.”
Sandy River Outdoor Adventures includes among accommodation options “six glamping tipis,” dwellings that have large beds, air conditioning, kitchenettes and Netflix and Internet.
The tipis can accommodate four to seven people.
Log cabins and a cottage are also available for guests.
Sandy River Outdoor Adventures also offers the likes of zip-lining, which host Candice Smith said can lead to a greater appreciation of nature. “You’ll become a tree-hugger by the end of the day.”
Also featured was the Eupepsia, the name of which translates to Good Digestion, a fitting name for a health-conscious retreat that serves vegetarian farm-to-table meals. It promises it can provide a “truly transformative experience” for those wanting to lose weight or de-stress or become fit.
High-tech equipment is on hand for spa visitors, and treatments include ultherapy, described as a “natural facelift” used by prominent dermatologists and the only “non-invasive FDA-cleared procedure for lifting and tightening the neck, chin and brow, and improving fine lines and wrinkles.”
The Eupepsia also offers meditation sessions and exercise options that include guided eco-hikes, which a spokesperson said enable participants to enjoy “some of the purest air in the nation.”
Doug Camp of the Salamander Resort & Spa said the founder of the property set out to create a retreat that would have visitors feel like they’re “walking into a personal home” when they arrive.
The property has 168 guest units.
Camp noted The Salamander caters to those interested in holistic treatments and spa treatments can be tailored to guest wishes.
Hiking trails and mountain biking are among activities available for guests. “We have an activity for everyone.”
An equine program can help develop leadership skills, he added.
The webinar saw the Salamander chef create a smoothie that included pineapple, mango and kiwi for viewers, the type of healthy offering that awaits guests.