This post was originally posted on my lifestyle page, Young Black MRS.
After two and a half years of constant work work work work work a la Rihanna, it's important to slow down. I stumbled upon Civana Wellness Resort and Spa located in Carefree, AZ because of someone I followed on social media. To this day, I can't find that particular influencer, but thank you girl! The resort gives wellness trip vibes and that is why I, quite accurately, kept calling it my wellness retreat.
Civana, for me, had everything I needed right at the resort. From the plant-forward food to the luxury room, fitness center and classes, full-service spa, gorgeous pools, and hydration station (because I was in the desert!). I honestly can't wait to come back! So, you might be thinking, "Okay, what is this place?" The best way I can describe it is a place to reconnect and recharge with yourself, especially after the past few years we have had as a country and a society. I convinced three girlfriends to go with me, but I think this would also be great for couples.
What can you expect? Firstly, the grounds are just breath-takingly beautiful. It is a serene area where you can truly relax. After the first night, even the front desk said I looked more relaxed (which I chose to take as a compliment.) When we arrived on the grounds, we quickly learned how important it was to stay hydrated. At the resort, there were several hydration stations and you were provided a Civana water bottle to keep hydrated in the desert heat. One of the bellhops gave us a full tour of the resort and led us to our room.
We were also given a notebook (with our key) and were encouraged to reflect daily on our time at the resort. Each day the resort highly encourages participating in their daily intention and nightly gratitude ceremonies. This spoke volumes as to what to expect from the resort.
Before arriving, you can select two classes per day. Classes include all different types of yoga, mediation, sound therapy, and other fitness style classes.
Here are the courses I took:
Only one course was truly a fitness class, in my opinion...you guessed it, Yoga Sculpt. The instructor kicked my butt with the intense workout. The combination of weights, cardio, and frankly, HIIT, made this one of my favorite classes. The aerial yoga class was a bit scary for me but I didn't give up. I was the last person to flip upside down but I enjoyed the relaxed cocoon-like mediation at the end. I was so moved by the Myofascial Release that I spent $17 on some workout equipment to use at home.
The power of breathing and sound amazed me during the mediation courses. The sound of the gong and even other sounds in the Sunset Sound Healing really offered relaxation and calmingness to my rapid mind. Forty-five minutes of breathing and stretching truly put my mind at ease.
Bar setup for Mindful Mixology
After a few days at the resort, I understood the focus on mindfulness. This might sound like a "hippie-dippie" concept but to me, it meant being present, intentional, and thoughtful about your actions and overall behavior. This was reflected in the Mindful Mixology class. I did a last-minute switch to this class because I didn't want to spend 90 minutes of my time on a nice Saturday. Alone, I joined the class to learn how to make cocktails but soon learned that the bar should be thoughtful too. The bar basically only had locally sourced, ethically produced spirits. And there were no added sugars to the drinks! SCORE! Three drinks in with a little hummus to help me out, I thoroughly knew what mindfulness was.
The final course I took was the humanbeing workshop. The course was exactly what I needed to tie everything up into a pretty little wrapped gift. We focused on the disease of being busy. This felt way too relatable, and I lowkey felt personally attacked because I always pride myself on keeping busy before I pass out on the couch at night. But the wellness trip as a whole allowed me to reset, recharge and reconnect.
With two dining options at the resort, I thought I might get tired of the food options. As a vegan, there are usually only one or two options available. But ya girl was pleasantly wrong. The plant-forward menu from both Seed (their grab & go market for smoothies and coffee) and Terras (the main restaurant) were amazing! I enjoyed the Happiness Hour too with zero-proof drinks and appetizers. During my trip, I tried the Mushroom-Lentil Pate, tacos, and roasted cauliflower with lentils and rice.
I could probably live in the spa. Between the steam room, the aquatic therapy circuit, and the saltwater pool, plus of course the spa amenities themselves, it was wonderful. I went in for a facial called a Essential Marine Oxygen Facial. It was part facial part mediation part massage. I even purchased some some spa items to take the experience home.
Recommendations for your visit to Civana Wellness Resort & Spa
When I return, it will be during a little cooler time, as the middle of June was not the move. Without the humidity you don't really sweat. I was completely spoiled by the amenities and the people. My favorite amenity was the tea and clearly the hydration station was amazing.
From my experience, I reset. I was able to truly pause. I walked the grounds just for fun. I would definitely return to Civana Wellness Resort & Spa. I would love to take my husband with me.