When you think of the Rocky Mountains, you probably think of hitting the slopes. But Spa Anjali at The Westin Riverfront Beaver Creek is drawing attention away from the mountain and into the yoga studio.
After dealing with years of lower back issues and overuse injuries, yogi Suzanne Oliver sat in bed doing restorative stretches and it dawned on her: Combine a yoga class and a stone hot massage. “The gut of my inspiration was how to rid myself of some of the stressful baggage I was holding.” The final result? The Hot Stone Restorative Journey, a 120-minute guided practice of poses while being massaged with eight heated river stones that costs $95 for non-members and $85 for members. Each posture follows the seven points of energy on the chakras system that focus on confidence, love, communication, focus, and spirituality.
If it sounds heavenly, that’s because it is. The last pose is a savasana with a bolster under your knees and a lavender infused pillow covering your eyes. “There’s a huge sense of rejuvenation even though it’s so relaxing,” Oliver says. “I have students coming back to me weeks later saying they’ve released so much stress.”
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The idea of combining massage and yoga isn’t new, though: In fact, the roots lie in Thai massage, which is performed on a yoga mat and marries deep-tissue pressure with various poses. And other yoga studios and spas are taking small steps to get back to the beginnings, too. At Yoga 216 in Manhattan, instructors use oil or lotion for aromatherapy treatments during savasana and also offer mini massage adjustments. SPAVital in Denver combines a private suspension yoga class with a craniosacral massage and aromatherapy.
We’re curious to see if this trend takes off. Would you be up for a yoga/spa treatment hybrid? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @Shape_Magazine.