The Three R's of Kaua'i: Rebalance, Replenish and Revive
Deborah Stone | May 25, 2015, 6 a.m.
Though it’s definitely an adrenaline junkie’s haven, Kaua’i is also a destination where you can get away from it all and find some much-needed peace. The island allows many opportunities to slow down and smell the plumeria. It’s a place that encourages folks to focus on themselves by carving out “me time.” And in our crazed on-the-go culture, everyone needs to occasionally press the pause button and focus on rebalancing, replenishing and reviving mind, body and spirit. Whether it’s strolling on the beach, watching a spectacular sunset, having a relaxing spa treatment or enjoying a nature walk, the point is to give yourself the chance to work on establishing a bit of inner harmony.
Several resorts and hotels on the island actually promote personal wellness via dedicated programs in this vein. At the St. Regis Princeville, for example, meditation and wellness retreats are offered at specific times of the year. They include guided restorative yoga, meditation and pranayama sessions, spa treatments, visits to sacred sites and botanical gardens, farm-to-table communal dinners and more. The property even has its own on-site Hawaiian guide to cultural wellness, Puna Kalama Dawson, who invites guests to join her in the age-old morning ritual of greeting the sun as it rises from the ocean. Dawson advocates visitors to be in the moment, be mindful and to take the time to appreciate what we have and to share it with others. She emphasizes the indigenous tradition of using breath or “ha” to quiet the mind, which helps direct us into an awareness of our inner spaces. She also encourages people to be kind to themselves and others, while exercising patience and humility. Wise words that we all can take to heart.
Wellness is also practiced at the Westin Princeville where a “Well-being Movement” is promoted via a selection of “Move Well” activities ranging from yoga and aqua aerobics classes to fitness runs and nature walks. The property’s “Eat Well” program helps to complement these activities. Its restaurants offer Superfoods, those that are both high in antioxidants and nutrient rich, which are denoted in color on the menus. There’s even a “Kids Eat Well Program” to assist children with making healthy food choices. The hotel advocates using locally sourced products whenever possible and works with island farmers and growers to obtain the freshest, in-season, ingredients.
At the Grand Hyatt Resort, you’ll find a state-of-the-art gym, personal trainers, an abundance of fitness classes, sunrise walks and the largest spa on the island. Anara Spa is Edenesque in design, with lush gardens, waterfalls and peaceful pools. Practitioners pride themselves on weaving traditional healing customs with island-fresh botanical essences to inspire “lokahi” – balance or harmony of body and spirit. In addition, the Grand Hyatt boasts an “Enrich Program,” which provides opportunities for guests to enhance their vacation through local volunteering. It’s a chance to give back to the island community in a meaningful way and maybe learn a new skill or two in the process. You can spend a day working with plants at the National Tropical Botanical Garden for example, or do hands-on forest restoration projects at Koke’e State Park. With the Surfrider Foundation, you’ll help clean up the beaches and at the Kaua’i Humane Society, you can cuddle cats or take a dog on a hike.