My Local MA

Wellness in the Berkshires

Tune into Your Body & Spirit with a Customized Wellness Experience

Canyon Ranch

Photo: Canyon Ranch

The open green spaces of the Berkshires, the lure of lakes and rivers, and the sublime views of mountains engage our senses at every turn, extending an invitation to deepen our relationship to our own wellbeing. Rising to the top of cultural conversations about health and wellness is the collective assertion that self-care is essential—now more than ever—to cultivate and sustain long-term pathways to healing from stress and trauma, and to realize our full potential. The good news is that you can start at any level of engagement: a yoga class, a week-long stay at a resort, or just a cool dip in a lake.

Move Into The Flow

Start with the nutritious boost of a Sunrise Bowl of granola, fruit, and honey from the Craft Food Barn in North Adams. Next, try an outdoor yoga class on the gracious grounds of The Mount, or look into Kripalu’s Retreat & Renewal program, which has been redesigned to preserve balance and ease throughout the guest’s experience. Kripalu opens on August 19, so book now.

To cool down, glide peacefully through one of Berkshire County’s many swimming holes. The creek at Mount Hope Park in Williamstown has well-shaded areas upstream, making it a great choice for balmy summer days. For added excitement, feel the rush of cold water over your feet as you gaze upon the visual drama of the highest waterfall in Massachusetts, Bash Bish Falls!

Engage Your Senses

Engaging all your senses can expand your opportunities for self-awareness, creativity, and joy. The Soul Journey program at Canyon Ranch uses imagery and music to create a sacred space for healing. In Touch Day Spa in Williamstown offers a sea salt and essential oil scrub to release muscle tension. You can even book their private hot tub overlooking the river.

Miraval Berkshires offers many luxury spa services, but other sensory-focused experiences are available, too. Get your hands dirty with the Grounded & Grateful: Garden Care program, or ascend to the treetops for the Soul Flight Experience, which includes a 20-mph zipline through the forest canopy. The Appreciating Chocolate class lets you sample chocolates from all around the world and make your own truffles.

Feed Your Spirit

Take that renewed sense of ease and curiosity and tap into the simple joys of creativity. Try the Pop-Up Puppetry & Paper Engineering class at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires, or try Suzi Banks Baum’s Camp in a Care Package, which gives you an assortment of collage supplies, poetry prompts (and a tea recipe!) to gently guide you in the creation of three handmade books. Register now for the August program.

Fill your ears with music! Berkshire Music School in Pittsfield offers instruction for almost any instrument you fancy (from electric bass to ukulele) as well as in songwriting and voice. MASS MoCA’s Auditory After Hours is a self-guided (silent) stroll through the museum while you listen to music on headphones through your wifi device. These popular sessions sell out quickly—don’t wait to book.

Waterfall meditation with TOURISTS in North Adams.Tap Into The Power of Stillness

Turn down the “chatter” of your daily routine and tune into yourself. Tourists Hotel in North Adams has an inspired calendar of programs for their guests, including waterfall meditation hikes, forest bathing, and mindful birding. Create your own sanctuary by dedicating a space in your home (or hotel) just for reflection and quiet. Light an Antique Sandalwood candle from Soma’s Aromas and commence your own personal ritual. Art, color, carefully chosen objects, or even clearing your visual field can be powerful components that contribute to a sense of mental spaciousness. To end a busy Berkshire day with relaxation and improved sleep, brew yourself a cup of hot tea infused with the Nighttime CBN Plus Valerian & Chamomile formula from Your CBD Store in Pittsfield.

The Berkshires is the perfect playground to celebrate and honor your physical health, mental wellness, and sense of joy. What sounds like a fun place to start?

Written by Deirdre McKenna

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