IWA Spa Blue Mountain is the Best Wellness Retreat You Could Want
Between yogis, let me just profess how much I love yoga. I love the heat, I love the mats, I love the stretches, I love the props, I love the meditation, I love the exercise, I love the stress-relief, and I love the satisfaction of accomplishing that deeper pose. As you can see there is no doubt at all that I love it all. When overseas, I had truly delved into the craft and never felt better. Since coming home, I have become a mere sedentary computer nerd and have let my practice lapse, leading to withdrawal and unwanted weight gain. (Yep, those sundaes and cupcakes are the devil!). But all that can change. Especially with an incredible studio that uses ancient healing volcanic rock in lieu of typical yoga studio floors to promote the practice, health, inner peace and everything wellness – IWA Spa, Blue Mountain Ontario.
IWA Spa is a fully functioning wellness extravaganza right in the heart of Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood Ontario. Just 2 hours North of Toronto, this beautiful mountain resort town brings thousands of visitors all year round to catch the slopes, vacation with family, indulge in quintessentially Canadian cuisine, and relax outside the daily grind. With such a variety of amenties to offer travellers, it it shouldn’t surprise you that IWA Spa fits into the mix perfectly.
Although IWA Spa offers a variety of services ranging from manicures, pedicures, massages, and more, our focus in our visit was to experience the revolutionary yoga studio and a class upon the incredible volcanic rock floors.
Volcanic Rock Important Details
So the IWA Spa has brought the health benefits of the ancient volcanic rock to patrons visiting the village, and even further globally as one of the only studios with this wellness-rich facility. Discovering this material that dates back 2.5 million years in Brazil, it was proven that with infrared rays infusing the sediment mixed with relaxing meditation, stretches, and yoga poses brings a peak of wellness benefits promoting a healthier lifestyle and rejuvenating body practice.
The Class Registration and Prep
Upon arrival to the studio, enjoy a quick browse around the beautiful and unique local products. There are teas, make up, clothing, and other wellness-promoting items that will tempt your wallet to jump from your purse. Once registered for the class (reservations are highly recommended!), head into the beautiful and spacious change rooms fully equipped with toiletries, and products ensuring a comfortable and seamless experience. I loved the stations for hair supplies, shampoo, shower caps, and everything you could want to make your experience all the more perfect.
Forget your yoga clothes? Fear not, IWA Spa offers a wide range of Jinbei robes specifically used for practice. Jinbeis are great loose-fitting 2-piece garments. They promote comfort, movement, and peace while getting a treatment, massage, yoga or otherwise, with a little cultural element to boot. The spa provides use of these robes to patrons with their compliments in small to XL sizes.
After you change, have your full bottle of water and are sporting your yoga gear, it is time to head into the studio. Another aspect I love about yoga here, is the absence of mats. They are not needed! You are given a towel for your head, blocks, other props, and a mini piece of yoga mat- that is all. Your body lies directly upon the heated volcanic rock for maximum results. You see, the class is performed in a temperature of approximately 30 degrees with healthy infrared rays heating the floors. Infrared rays have been proven to be some of the best sources of healing giving your muscles and joints the therapy they need.
After the class I felt refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to conquer the day. When participating in the various stretches and poses, the feelings of just how beneficial that practice was and how it could seriously improve my health by making it a pivotal aspect of my life came back to me. I remembered how good I felt every day having a routine and sweating out the toxins. I remembered how my body felt more range of movement and was actually improving in shape and emotional being. Since then, the nagging “I need to go back to yoga” sentence circles my head daily. And with the addition of infrared rays, ancient sediment, and a long list of wellness boosts, I just had to share my discovery with all of you.
After the class I had the privilege of speaking with one of the top yoga instructors, Brad Terrell at the studio for further insight on yoga and practicing it regularly on the volcanic rock over regular studios. The information was truly inspiring and positive for the future of health and well-being.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I have been practicing about 15-16 years. My dad showed it to me the first time. He showed me DVD’s with various poses. I was 12 when I started. In high school I played hockey and soccer and dislocated my knee cap roughly 10 times and the last time it popped out and I was out of sports for 6 months. Yoga helped with my recovery. Made me realize how much I was ignoring my body and it was a good time in my life to put my body first. At the end of that summer I never felt better in my life. I went to India and did my Teacher Training in Goa as well as visited many Ashrams.
What do you think of the volcanic rock vs. other studios
I was completely astonished when I first saw it. I had never heard of it before, but after spending a year on it, I can see the benefit. We are one of the only places worldwide that has a full class schedule within a volcanic rock space. The heat here vs. hot yoga is so different.
How is the volcanic rock for other practices like Flow or Bikram.
It works well, but the height can be the only obstacle with some practices. However here we try to keep it as low as we can in this space. I find being here as much as I have that the wall poses and Vinyasa have really been beneficial.
How many times do you recommend new people come to the rock for practice?
2-3 times for max benefit, but once a week to start. Just lying down on the rock is just as beneficial as the infrared heat is so good for your body.
A Little More about the Rock Composition and How it Came to Be:
The rock dates back millions of years ago washed up near Brazil and formed volcanic rocks from glaciers. Once the volcano erupted it formed up all this dried up lava. nobody realized anything at the time until locals saw monkeys lying on the rock and wondered why. They thought it had a mystical power Rock was naturally heated by hot springs and volcano which created infrared heat which is great for muscle tension and aches, inflammation, sore joints, and the negative ions (grounding sensation from the earth) is really great for the nervous system, blood circulation, respiratory system, and immune system. I have found it has really solidified my my immune system. You clear so much regularly. Different from hot yoga – you sweat so much including healthy oils.
Would it be safe for Prenatal Yoga?
Yes for sure- especially for restorative classes we offer. If they feel comfortable in the heat that long. Depends on the person. It can be very beneficial for pregnancy.
There is no question that while visiting Blue Mountain for any reason – for sport or otherwise, that adding restorative yoga at the IWA Spa will benefit your well-being and body in more ways that you can imagine. A spa that has won such awards as Best Luxury Spa and Best Hidden Gem to name a few, clearly demonstrates the quality and boost an experience here will have on your trip and more importantly on your life.
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We were a guest of IWA Spa while travelling through Blue Mountain. All opinions are our own and were not influenced in any way.