Try out the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain to find your peace and light.
Even while floating in the infinity-edge pool at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona (minutes from Phoenix), you are aware of the area's history and sacred energy. Rising above you is the Praying Monk, a 1.5-billion-year-old reddish Precambrian granite rock formation that stands something like 10 stories high. This area was once considered sacred to the indigenous people of the land, and after a few days at the Sanctuary, you can see why. Just being in this atmosphere can renew your spirit.
And the spa treatments don't hurt, either. The Sanctuary on Camelback is an intimate, elegant resort; a luxury spa was added in 2002 and now courts visitors interested in enhancing their physical and emotional well-being with daily yoga, meditation, or tai chi classes and various therapeutic treatments.
Deborah Rogers teaches two of the yoga classes at the Sanctuary. A student of Iyengar Yoga since she was 12 and more recently of Ashtanga and Anusara, Rogers assists each guest according to his or her level of experience. "There are no beginners and no advanced practitioners, either," Rogers says of her approach to teaching multilevel classes. "You're either stepping onto the path or you're on the path. "Depending on the day, you may learn the basics of Iyengar Yoga or the Ashtanga primary series in classes designed for newcomers; more experienced yogis are encouraged to modify the practice to suit their needs.
The Sanctuary's therapeutic treatments include acupuncture, Reiki, and Watsu, which is conducted in a private pool. You can even have a personal consultation with a numerologist. One of the spa's trademark treatments, though, shouldn't be missed. It is the Mandi Susu, a traditional Indonesian cleansing ritual. (One of the Sanctuary's "In Room Ceremonies," it's conducted in your casita.) The treatment begins with a body scrub of bamboo and lemongrass to refresh the skin, continues with a full body massage, and ends with a soothing milk bath in your casita's tub.
Those who'd rather head for the hills can explore Camelback Mountain and the hiking and biking trails in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve; the Saturday Hike and Bike is a popular endeavor. Participants first cycle to the nearby Echo Canyon trailhead, then hike to the summit of Camelback Mountain on a path that rises 1,300 feet in just a little more than a mile.
For more information, visit www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com.