When it comes to my health and wellness routine I tend to be an all or nothing sort of gal. When I am happy, eating clean and on a regular exercise regime I am in 100%. However, when I am off my game, because of big life challenges or small slights, I can react by throwing all caution to the wind and create a hurricane of bad choices that quickly become bad habits. “Just this once, I’ll”… order the extra cheese, skip yoga, fall into an Instagram hole. One or two steps back and I am suddenly slipping down a double black diamond slope of lost hope. I call it the “Why Bother Being Good If I’ll Never Be Good Enough” syndrome. Unfortunately there is no instant gratification cure for this disease. Life takes faith, patience, discipline, self-love – things that I’m sometimes not great at practicing. Did I mention patience? I’m not a Positive Vibes/Love & Light person all the time and tend to need an extra nudge to get out of whatever dark hole I’ve dug myself. You would think in my 40’s I would have honed these basic life skills enough to give zero f*@#s when I don’t get what I want exactly when I want it, instead of throwing a tantrum like a baby. However, I often tend to over-care about little things and I would rather drown my feelings in special sauce than simply sit with them. Sometimes I forget to be grateful for the breath that I have and the roof over my head because I can’t get my brain to just shut-up already. I trust others can relate to falling on black days. The good news is: I actually enjoy finding my way back to the light after a dark spell. It’s my own E-Ticket ride, an emotional roller coaster of sorts, keeping the thrill of life alive. To stay on the rails I continue to seek out better myself adventures like The Pearl Laguna.
My new year, one day at a time health plan of more veggies, hikes and yoga, like most resolutions, lasted only a short while. I made the most of my COVID world down time, sporadically attending socially distanced outside workout classes, but then it got wet or cold. I was pretty pandemic-fatigued when yet another film project fell through. In an effort to do something productive, I decided to do a spring-cleaning and finally go through my late husband’s boxes in the garage, but that only opened old wounds, as I knew it would, which is why it had taken me so long to start. Once again my healthy habits were kicked to the curb as 2021 wasn’t developing as I had envisioned. In-N-Out Burger began calling. The next thing you know, I was at home alone for days binging Bridgerton… for the second time. This was not good. The new president’s first hundred days were behind us and the country seemed to be slowly stabilizing. Lockdowns began to lift but not enough to be business as usual for the entertainment industry. Events I was involved in were pushed and pushed again. Across the country the snow started to melt on a storm-ridden winter but the sun on the horizon seemed far out of reach. I could feel my black hole beckoning. However, instead getting sucked into the abyss, I made a couple inquires and secured a coveted spot at The Pearl Laguna. After all, if it was the winner of Travel+Leisure’s Worlds Best Awards 2020 for Best Domestic Destination Spa, it was the perfect place for me to re-re-re-reset just in time for the spring equinox.
Delicious, nutritious, low calorie meals are prepared using locally sourced, organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and gluten-free grains. Alkaline foods coupled with daily 3-hour hikes, yoga, infrared-saunas, massage, whirlpool, rest, and relaxation result in vibrant health and healing. Yes. Please. Sign me up!
Laguna Beach is a favorite spot of mine only about an hour drive from my L.A. home. I was coming in hot as a last minute decision not feeling like my best self, emotionally raw and nowhere near ready to take a grueling hike and rigorous yoga class. However, upon arrival, the gregarious staff were like sunshine in a bottle and, unlike most places, the founders were present and involved in teaching and hosting. Katresha, a former Australian super-model turned health and beauty goddess, and Geo, the wizard who wrote The Complete Idiots Guide to Power Yoga, were powerful forces leading the wellness charge. Within 36 hours I felt like a new and improved human. It’s amazing what a little fresh air, yoga, healthy food and high-vibration company can do.
I chose to opt out of the incoming weigh-in and measuring to focus on my mental health and spiritual self rather than the inches on my waist and hips. I needed a yoga and nature injection stat to tap into my gut instincts and reconnected with mother earth and myself.
Apparently, I came to the right place. Every morning, after Geo’s Signature Power Yoga class designed to energize and build strength and flexibility, and a nutritious breakfast, the 10 of us guests were guided on spectacular hikes in breathtaking coastal canyons. Each day complemented the next as we progressed through the program using our physical bodies to calm and focus our minds and spark our spirits. Restorative and slow flow yoga, along with qigong meditation in the evening, supported peaceful sleep. Breath-work, a chakra reading/healing session, picnic at the beach, and a sound bath were also included during the week. Compared to other health and fitness programs I have attended the yoga at The Pearl is the star attraction not just an add-on for stretching after working out.
The cuisine at The Pearl Laguna is organic and delicious. Each meal is beautifully prepared, vegetarian and designed for cleansing and optimal health. No alcohol, caffeine, processed food or refined sugars are used. The healing properties of food and herbs are discussed throughout the week. Katresha gave us a homemade almond milk demonstration while there and we left with her healing broth recipe. I was slightly hungry only occasionally which made simple things like a date or an orange as a snack during a hike all the more heavenly. It was well worth it to have looser fitting clothes, more energy and no cravings for cheesy doughy cheat foods. Besides meal times, my favorite part of the day was the Monday-Friday therapeutic healing massage.
The Pearl Laguna does a great job of getting all the little details just right from the elegant China sets and unique table settings to the words on the yoga room wall with the inspiration behind them. I could share Katresha’s recovery story from her near death experience and tell you Geo’s tale of “the man who breathed green” but the only way to translate the transformative power of the people and the place is to experience being here for yourself.
Though I started off sluggish, by the end of the week I was leading the pack on the hikes, full of energy, with a new trust in life. When the world fully opens up to international travel I will be ready for The Pearl’s special destination retreats to MALLORCA and PERU … and whatever the world throws my way.
To book your program visit: http://www.thepearllaguna.com