Celebrating 150 years of hospitality, New York’s historic Mohonk Mountain House has just introduced a new winter wellness program to help guests feel a bit better during the cold months. This three part program lets guests embrace all the good parts of winter, and focuses on spending time outside, meditating in front of a cozy fire, and learning to savor all things winter.
Forest bathing on winter trails: Derived from ancient Japanese healing techniques, “forest bathing” is a more conscious way of spending time in nature. Mohonk is housed on some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the Hudson Valley and the property has developed numerous forest bathing sessions that that bring guests outside to savor the crisp beauty of the colder months. Depending on the weather, you can hike, snowshoe or cross-country ski through stunning paths in the Shawangunk Mountains and get fully immersed in an outdoor adventure. If you don’t want to join an official tour, feel free to create your own. Your only task is to pay attention to the spectacular scenery.
Fireside meditation for better sleep: One of the most important and elusive parts of a healthy life is getting a restful night of sleep. Guests who want to sleep soundly can try one of the resort’s Fireside Meditation sessions. These can be done as a group activity or privately. Well known to calm the nervous system and improve sleep quality, a guided meditation session in front of a roaring fire adds a little something special to the usual meditation experience. This super relaxing session becomes almost spiritual. I tried the fireside meditation on a recent visit and loved using the sounds, heat, and color of the fire to help settle my over-active brain. And I did sleep quite well afterwards.
Beating the winter blues learning: As winter settles in, especially the recent bitter chill, it becomes harder and harder to resist those comfort foods, usually not the healthiest of choices. To guide those who want to embrace a better approach, Nina Smiley, Ph.D., the property’s director of mindfulness programming, has developed a new series of lectures that teaches guests how to practice mindfulness in order to nurture the mind, body and spirit. These lectures are given throughout the winter months.
And although it is not a part of the official program, a visit to the spa for a warm stone massage or a dip in the outdoor hot tub is another way to relax and embrace a healthier winter. Mohonk is a great place to spend time with friends and family in a largely tech-free environment (the rooms have no TVs). After a walk in the woods and some deep breathing, the colder months seem less like something to endure and more like something to embrace. (mohonk.com/spa/mindfulness).