Last month, my friend Erin invited me to go with her to a health and wellness retreat presented by Boston Magazine‘s Hub Health. The event was advertised as a day of rejuvenation, relaxation, and integrated wellness for women, so of course I was very appreciative of the invite to something so up my alley. Plus, it gave us an excuse to have a girls day at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston!
Our day began with a fresh breakfast while we heard from Melissa Malamut, Boston Magazine’s Hub Health editor, and Carla Tardif, the executive director of Family Reach and our host for the day. After the opening remarks, the general manager of the LA Sports Club attached to the Ritz led us through some stretching to get our blood flowing for the day ahead.
After our stretch, it was time for our two morning seminars. Erin and I first went to a session called “Your Exercise Personality: Get Your Best Body and Best Life by Tapping Into the Power of Your Exercise Personality.” It was presented by Helena Collins of Life In Synergy, who I thought was funny and presented with a lot of energy. We spent a lot of time talking about how different personality types carry their stress in different areas. For example, as a “decorator,” I tend to be stuck in management, trapped in perfection, and I feel the best when valued (um, HELLO accurate). I learned that because of this I carry my stress in my shoulders, I need to work on posture to keep my shoulders back, and supermans are a great exercise to help strengthen my weak areas. While I really enjoyed learning the psychology aspect of this session and how certain key exercises can correct imbalances, I did not necessarily agree with Helena’s fitness outlook in general since she really knocked the gym, and well, I love the gym.
Breaks were held between each session where attendees could mingle, chat, and help themselves to the snacks and drinks set out for us. We could choose from Kind bars, cucumber water (my favorite!), Zico coconut water (not so much my favorite), and Dasani sparkling water.
For our second session, Erin and I went to Bianca De La Garza‘s seminar called “Sexy, Sleep Deprived, Superwomen.” This was one of my favorites of the day, as it was geared toward women who do so much that they run on empty and stretch themselves thin. Bianca shared her secrets to maintaining immunity, keeping productivity high, and removing negative energy from our lives. We talked a lot about saying goodbye to people who zap us, making mindful decisions about whether we are doing things out of obligation or out of joy, and realizing that we just can’t do it all sometimes. Something Bianca said during the session was to “never play for safety because it’s the most dangerous thing in the world.” This quote totally speaks to the power of getting out of your comfort zone to grow, so you guys definitely can see why this session resonated with me so much.
At this point it was time for lunch, so we headed back to the main ballroom where we were served a farm green salad with grilled chicken. There was also a mixed berries crème fraîche for dessert. Delicious!
As we ate, we heard from our keynote speaker, Janine Driver. She presented a session called “You Can’t Lie to Me: Advanced Body Language Techniques and 9 Dangerously Powerful Communication Strategies to Lead Your Best Life.” Her presentation was AMAZING. It was hilarious, informative, and emotional all at the same time. Oh, and interactive too. Check out Erin and I helping Janine right up front!
After lunch it was time for Rebecca Pacheco’s “Summer Detox Without the Diet” class. I was excited for this session because I really enjoyed Rebecca when she taught the yoga class at Fenway I went to last year. Aside from some of the different breathing exercises we went through, my favorite part about this seminar was that we did not talk about juice or diet detoxes at all. Instead, we talked about detoxing as an acronyn: Don’t buy the hype, Embody how you want to feel, Take time each day to move, breathe, listen inward, concentrate, study or learn, and honor your spirit, Observe your thoughts, and X out junky foods, self-talk, behaviors, and people who don’t nourish you. This is where I learned the phrase energy vampires that I wrote about in this post not too long ago.
Finally, the last class of the day was totally NOT up my alley at all. It was presented by Dr. Leonard Miller, the director of the Boston Center for Facial Rejuventation. I thought he droned on and on about skin and different facial procedures, and bleh. This session seemed so random amidst the rest of the day’s topics, but I guess I can’t love them all.
After the day’s seminars were over, everyone headed over to the LA Sports Club where we got to choose between a few different classes to take. Erin and I opted for a yoga class called “Sweat and Surrender,” and it was nice to just breathe, stretch, and lay in silence for a bit.
After class, Erin and I were hoping to sneak into one of the fifteen minute head/neck/shoulder massage slots, but all the times were booked. Instead, we explored the fitness center for a bit, including their roofdeck! We got some great pictures of the city from up there. It was gorgeous out!
Finally, the retreat concluded with a celebratory cocktail hour! We freshened up in the locker room and then enjoyed some hors d’oeuvres and wine. I love when days of wellness or fitness end with a good adult beverage.
After the cocktail hour wound down, Erin and I wanted to continue our night, so we headed down the street to Teatro, where we ordered a salad and a flatbread to share, and got another drink. I had such a wonderful time catching up with my friend after a day of being immersed in my passion. Thank you, Erin, for inviting me as your guest to the retreat! Hope we can go again next year. 😉
Have you ever been to a health and wellness retreat before? What was it like? Which session of the ones I described do you think you’d like the best?
Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start! Make sure your week ahead includes something for YOU.