Taking a break and getting away from it all is an important part of self care. Thankfully, Vancouver is a veritable playground for maintaining physical, mental and nutritional health. Nurture your inside and outside with a weekend itinerary of wellness. From spas to yoga and beyond, feed your soul with these activities and come away rested and rejuvenated.
The Juice Truck
Set out on the right foot bright and early with a quick stop at The Juice Truck. With both café and food truck options dotted throughout the city, grabbing a juice or smoothie is hassle-free. The Juice Truck was Vancouver’s first cold-pressed juice company and offers green juices filled with healthy vegetables, to those with turmeric or aloe vera. The Juice Truck also serves smoothies and heartier fare like nutrient-rich bowls and bars. If you can’t make it as far as one of their locations, you can still grab a bottle of the good stuff at Elysian Coffee, just off The Burrard’s lobby.
Forest Bathing at Stanley Park
Developed in Japan in the 1980s, forest bathing is based on the notion that simply being in a forest and taking in the atmosphere has healing properties, improving physical and mental health. Walking helps people practice mindfulness through sensory awareness. When people start slowing down, they can take note of what’s happening around them. Stanley Park is the perfect place to forest bathe because although located adjacent downtown, once inside the 1,000-acre park and amongst its roughly 500,000 old growth trees, the silence is noticeable. Breathe in the fresh air and the scent of western red cedar and Douglas fir trees.
Burdock & Co.
There are many restaurants in the city that not only offer sustainably sourced foods, but also give back to the community, and one of our favourites is Mount Pleasant’s Burdock & Co. A culinary celebration of all things B.C., Burdock is a farm-to-table restaurant that works with local farmers, fishers and foragers to bring natural ingredients to the table. The restaurant was one of the city’s pioneers in the naturalist food and drink scene, meaning their food is sourced and processed in a way that has not been influenced by modern technology (example: free from pesticides and non-GMO). The restaurant is also one of many restaurants in the city that participate in the Ocean Wise seafood program, developed right here by the Vancouver Aquarium. The program ensures all seafood served at participating restaurants are sustainably caught and ocean-friendly for the surrounding ecosystem.
West Coast wellness is synonymous with yoga classes – and Vancouver has a studio for any new or experienced yogi. Start Day 2 with a class at Semperviva Yoga, specifically at their Sea Studio located on Granville Island. It’s just a quick Aquabus ride away but the views at this waterfront studio are especially stunning. The heritage building, complete with original hardwood beams, gives participants a 180-degree waterfront view of False Creek. Stretch, tone and relax at a hatha yoga class at this location. This style of yoga allows for deep relaxation amongst the classic yoga poses.
After yoga, mix and mingle through Granville Island and grab a snack of fresh fruit, vegetables or baked goods. There are a number of healthy restaurants and cafes that serve up locally and ethically-sourced fare.
After a quick refuel at Granville Island, head due west to Kitsilano and finish a weekend of wellness off with the pièce de résistance, a visit to the HÄLSA Spa. Named after the Swedish word for ‘health’, this spa features four floatation therapy rooms, two infrared saunas, and three massage rooms. But HÄLSA goes above and beyond floats and saunas. What sets this spa apart are services such as astrological readings and craniosacral therapy. Craniosacral therapy removes the chronic tension that can compromise the central nervous system through a hands-on, light touch treatment focusing on the areas around the brain and spinal cord, enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct.
Having a relaxing night sleep is another key ingredient to a healthy mind and body. Check out our booking page for a great rate and a good night’s sleep.
Feature Photo: Stanley Park by Alberto Cruz via Flickr
The Juice Truck: The Juice Truck Facebook page
Trees at Stanley Park: Tourism Vancouver/City Cycle Tours
Burdock & Co.: Burdock & Co. Facebook page
Semperviva Yoga Studio: photo by Do604.com
Float Pod at HÄLSA Spa: HÄLSA Spa Facebook page