The Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa hosted a wellness event on January 15-17.  America’s first wellness spa and hotel, located at the heart of Saratoga Spa State Park, provides a perfect setting for nature’s inspiration to be the best version of oneself.

This year’s retreat “Empower a Healthier You” was designed to immerse participants in physical and spiritual wellness activities, workshops, and meals to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit.  The packaged included:

  • Two night accommodations at The Gideon Putnam
  • One Mineral Bath each day
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Two Lunches (includes one cooking demonstration)
  • One Dinner
  • Activities and Workshops
  • Gift Journal

The Gideon’s very own Jared Taisey, Spa Director and Chris Dore, Sous Chef teamed up with various partners to create a special wellness experience.

Wellness Activities and Programs

Bach Flowers to the Rescue, Nini Gridley
Bach Flower Remedies is a simple system of emotional healing developed in England by Dr. Edward Bach over eighty years ago. Popular now in 66 countries around the world, participants learn how these vibrational remedies were discovered and the ways they are made from natural substances. Handouts and discussion highlighted the “indications” for each of the 38 remedies and how they are categorized for ease of selection.  Participants were invited to experience the gentle healing effects of Rescue Remedy®, the Bach Flower formula for stress. This unique blend of 5 essences was an example of the method Dr. Bach used to create combination remedies that restore emotional health, balance and harmony that are safe for the whole family, inexpensive and simple to use. 

Opening to Who We Really Are: An exploration of our multidimensional nature, Shari Parslow 
This activity was an invitation to embrace and embody our experience of life beyond limitation, we access this through our uniqueness and by opening to the experience of who we are as multidimensional Beings. This can open an expansiveness of life that helps us to move beyond fear– a life created with grace, ease, and joy.  This program explored: Who we really are, as we release what we are not. Our ancient selves hold an inner landscape that is wild and compassionate at once. In stillness, beyond time, we can embrace this present moment. Past trauma can be transformed as healing transcends through our bodies and our consciousness; this invites who we are as luminous evolutionaries to emerge. It is a natural yet extraordinary experience that can be opened up with gentle allowance and to learn about who we are becoming. 


What is Ayurveda? Bridgette Shea
Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical systems still in use today. Its wisdom is as pertinent to us now as it was to people thousands of years ago. Ayurveda sees the individual as a whole being: body, mind, and soul. It teaches that each of us is a unique part of nature, each with our own physical constitution and mental tendencies. Knowing what our constitution is enables us to make better choices to keep ourselves balanced. These choices can be lifestyle related, such as what time to sleep or wake, or what foods to eat. They can also be mental, such as knowing what emotional states we are prone to and how not to get stuck in them. Ayurveda also stresses the importance of the interconnectedness of all things, and our relationship to the environment and to ourselves. Through the timeless wisdom of Ayurveda we can better understand ourselves and the world we live in. In this Introduction to Ayurveda, participants learned foundational principles allowing them to better understand themselves, family members, and the world. Current constitutional tendencies, the environmental factors influencing those tendencies, and tips to keep oneself balanced were explored. Ayurveda is a vast subject that takes a lifetime to master, but participants dipped their toes in and came away with nuggets of profound information that can be used in everyday life. 

Yoga and Meditation, Nini Gridely
This 90 minute session provides an opportunity to deepen an experience of yoga and enjoy the heartfelt benefits of yoga. A gentle practice of Kripalu opened and energized participants. Beginners were welcome to slowly warm up in this practice that focuses on developing the six directions of the spine to promote flexibility within an individual’s limits. The practice moves through accessible yoga asanas including standing balances, pranayama (breathing techniques) and concludes with the deep relaxation of shavasana before several minutes of closing meditation.

Intro to Shamanic Journey, Shari Parslow
An experiential introduction to the ancient art of shamanic journey provided a safe and sacred space, in a circle of community, to learn this journey with the heartbeat of the drum beyond ordinary reality, to the unseen world, where participants can access compassionate guides and power animals. They come to help open our unique gifts and to offer guidance and wisdom in every area of people’s lives. Through this practice of sacred dreaming we can consciously, lovingly, dream our lives and our world into being!

Dharma of Breathing, Bridgette Shea
Licensed acupuncturist Bridgette Shea provided an in-depth look at what constitutes an optimal, healthy breath. Many people suffer from abnormal breathing patterns that underlie the conscious breathing we usually focus on in yoga class. Second only to meditation, breathing well naturally, without trying, is the best thing we can do to preserve and cultivate good mental, emotional, and physical health. In this 90 minute workshop, participants discovered personal breathing imbalances to transform them into a healthful breathing pattern. Bridgette discussed what a natural, healthy breath is from the traditional standpoints of yoga, Ayurveda, western science, and Chinese medicine at both the subtle energy and physical body levels. Using this information and establishing a few minutes of regular breath awareness an individual can create profound shifts in bodily comfort, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

Published January 2016