Guest Author - Chris McBeath
With its eco-ethos and design, Mision del Sol in Cuernavaca, Mexico has long been ahead of its time. More than other spa, this is one of my favorite retreats for the soul because it offers an innate understanding of ancient wisdoms, cultures and services in a very authentic way. That can’t be said for its more commercial neighbors despite what they purport. So, if you operate on an intuitive level, an appreciate the influences of energy, then you’re in for areal treat.
The spa experience here starts with understanding the purpose-built locale.
Design for Health
In creating Mision del Sol, the resort’s owners and architects aimed for a ‘space of light’ that would expand human awareness and restore balance and health. Consequently, everything at Mision del Sol has been designed and created to promote health and harmony through an understanding of the flow of energy from its architecture, garden features, spa services and cuisine. Guests are even encouraged to wear light-hued clothing of natural fibers so as o support this concept.
Much of the resort’s layout incorporates elements of Feng Shui. For example, its stunning architecture contain no corners, arches are everywhere, and streams and gravel paths wind their way throughout the seven-acre paradise. The earth-friendly adobe structures (accommodations are a mix of spacious rooms and villas, all named after the planets, signs of the zodiac and precious stones) contain magnets that are purported to neutralize negative ley lines; showers massage your feet via strategically placed pebbles; and its operational systems include wind and solar power as well as recycling programs that keep the entire resort self-sufficient. Even the gardens – a lush plethora of hibiscus, cacti, ornamental grasses and colorful blossoms, adhere to the principals of companion planting so chemical pesticides are never required.
The food, too, is geared towards optimum health. First, much of it is from Mision del Sol’s organic kitchen gardens where growth is encouraged by magnets that are aligned with the earth’s energetic grid patterns. Then, the garden bounty is transformed into sophisticated presentations designed to awaken the senses and detoxify the body, although how so many gourmet dishes can be so calorie wise, seem to defy culinary law.
Seen or not, the harmonious energy of Mision del Sol is palpable, making it a popular centre for workshops by enlightened leaders including Tibetan monks and Deepak Chopra. A local shaman leads daily practices in yoga, Tai Chi and meditation, and the resort also offers numerous activities from aerobics and tennis, to painting workshops and excursions to sacred pyramids. Trust me, climbing the steps to the top of a local pyramid-temple sure beats a stair-master any day!
Spa Services Push Esoteric Boundaries
Most people come to Mision del Sol for its spa services that are an unusual blend of ancient wisdom and modern technology. In addition to traditional therapies, four-hand massages, and reductive treatments, there’s energy balancing, crystal and floral remedies, a Kirlian camera reading, a Liminik lam which promotes cellular rejuvenation, Shiatsu, crystal therapy, floral remedies and Janzu, an aquatic technique that is best described as a meditative under-water massage that can be as profound as it is gentle. The practitioner speaks only pigeon English so for me, who speaks no Spanish, the relaxation aspect of the sessions is peppered with translating the gentle vocal instructions correctly lest I breath in at the very time I should be breathing out so as to not get water up my nose.
Mision del Sol’s piece de resistance is its Temazcal, an ancient, and much revered pre-hispanic sweat bath. It is led by Florencio, a third-generation shaman, who captures the imagination of spirit and well-being that crosses all language barriers. In its traditional form, the Temazcal combines the best elements of the Finnish sauna, the European steam bath, the Native Indian sweat lodge and the Arabian hammam, and was, to the Aztecs, an essential arm of medical and spiritual practice. The steam gets very, very hot and if you make it through the 45-minute session and into the cold showers afterward, you’ll look beet red for a while. Not recommended for anyone who is feint of heart – literally.
MY LAST WORD
Cuernavaca is known as Mexico’s ‘garden state’ so is among the prettiest and most historical regions in the country. I usually spend a week here and although most of my time is spent within the compound – journaling, reading, meditating, and spaaing, the surrounding countryside make excursions a real delight.