A Mini Yoga Retreat at the Lake!Posted on March 8th, 2013 No comments
As soon as I learned that Mill Falls at the Lake would be adding a yoga studio to its amenities, I knew I had to make the trip from the seacoast of NH to check it out! Being a yoga student myself, I am well acquainted with the many calming and healing benefits this wonderful practice can bring, and I realized that Mill Falls is the perfect spot for a yoga center—it’s perched on Meredith Bay overlooking the tranquil waters of Lake Winnipesaukee, the outstanding service and top-notch ambiance at the Inns facilitate a peaceful getaway experience, and the full menu of offerings at Cascade Spa go hand-in-hand with a nourishing yoga retreat—a trinity of relaxation treasures!
My husband, Rick, and I arrived at Church Landing on Sunday afternoon and were greeted by a very friendly and helpful receptionist at the front desk. Every time I have been to Mill Falls, everyone on the staff has been warm and welcoming, and this was no exception. We felt at home right away and enjoyed our little chat with our host as we checked in. She then provided us with clear directions to our room in Boathouse Lodge, just a short stroll away at the end of the covered cedar walkway along the outside of Church Landing.
Boathouse Lodge and Birch Lodge opened last June and feature deluxe accommodations right on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Our room on the upper floor had unparalleled views of the lake and gracefully balanced a cozy and comfortable Adirondack décor with modern, luxurious highlights, including a fieldstone fireplace, balcony, reading nook, wet bar, tiled shower, and whirlpool tub (with its own lakeside window). The room alone would have made an amazing retreat! However, we had places to go and people to see…
Some friends of ours, Bob and Jerilyn, met us for dinner at Lakehouse Grille, and we enjoyed a fireside glass of wine in the lounge before being seated at a window table in the spacious dining room. Lakehouse Grille is situated within Church Landing, and therefore offers more spectacular views of the lake. Even on a winter night when the sky is dark, one can still see pinpoints of light shining on the opposite shore of Meredith Bay, and the vast presence of the lake can be felt, becoming a welcome dinner guest. We seamlessly transferred our wine to our dinner check and admired the relaxed yet attentive service we received in both the lounge and the dining room. I had called ahead to ask about vegan options that evening, and the entire staff was very accommodating. They brought out an appetizer of bruschetta—Italian bread brushed with olive oil and toasted with locally grown gourmet mushrooms. Delicious! I then had the Winter Harvest Salad for a starter, and the chef offered a special vegan version of the Pad Thai, which is normally served with the Tuna Steak, with some steamed, fresh bok choy added in. Bob and I delighted in that, while Rick and Jerilyn savored the haddock and scallop dishes, respectively. Everything was well prepared, fresh, and tasty!
The next morning, I attended the 10:30 all-levels yoga class led by Christina Alexa, the founder and director of Sacred Waters Yoga and Healing Center at Mill Falls. The class was held in the main studio on the first floor, a spacious and light-filled room with warm, wood floors and large windows overlooking the lake. Small statues of the Buddha and the Virgin Mary, along with other images of peaceful icons, tastefully and unobtrusively adorn the edges of the space, creating a sense of sanctuary upon entering through the French doors. Christina led the group in a series of postures that were both challenging and uncomplicated, and flowed easily from one to another. Her instruction was very clear and helpful, and her approach respectful of each person in the room and our differences in experience. By her example and intuitive guidance, she inspired each of us to tune in to our body’s wisdom and connect with our inner selves. As I held the pose of Warrior Two gazing out over the water, I felt very powerful indeed! The scent of gentle incense during Savasana was a wonderful touch. At the end of the session, I was relaxed and refreshed, invigorated and calm, grounded and ready to meet the day!
I was also very grateful for the option of a late-morning yoga session, as I am not an early riser. However, for those who like to be awake as the sun comes up over Meredith Bay, Sacred Waters offers some fantastic early classes! In fact, there’s a great variety of yoga and dance classes, nutrition consultations and healing sessions, and children’s programs throughout each day. I would have liked more time to sample some of the other offerings! After my class, Christina gave me a tour of Sacred Waters. We walked through the airy lobby with its community kitchen, then up the stairs to the loft studio, where the Sacred Waters instructors are teaching hot yoga and aerial yoga. The upper level also features comfortable consultation rooms and a little lounging nook—a beautiful place to read or meditate after a class.
I was so captivated by the beauty of Mill Falls and all the people there, I inadvertently left my yoga mat behind when we headed home. I was worried when I first realized my mistake, but a phone call to Church Landing soon brought me peace of mind. The receptionist assured me she would look in our room as well as Sacred Waters and get back to me. Within five minutes, she called saying she had found my mat at the studio and offered to arrange shipping to my home. Her attention to customer service was a breath of fresh air, and I very much appreciated her above-and-beyond assistance. This is an example of what sets Mill Falls apart, and why the addition of a yoga studio is a natural extension of the Inns’ commitment to offering guests a truly relaxing getaway.
Mill Falls at the Lake is poised to become a destination for weekend and extended yoga retreats, for groups as well as individuals. Even in a short visit, I was able to experience the peaceful and healing energy of this unique place, and I look forward to refreshing myself here again. I encourage anyone interested in relaxation and rejuvenation to give Mill Falls a try. With off-season rates and a quiet Meredith Village, March is the perfect time to escape to the lake.
The Mill Falls Blogging TeamLocal Events, Meredith, Mill Falls Muses Church Landing, Lake Winnipesaukee, Lakehouse Grille, Meredith, Mill Falls, Sacred Waters Yoga
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