Aug14

Just Breathe

What happens when you take a handful of bloggers and invite them to sweat and spa at Exhale at the Loews? Well, it goes a little something like this:

Upon arriving at the hotel, I parked at the valet and was handed the most delicious strawberry smoothie. Then, I made my way to Exhale, which I had no idea lived inside the Loews. But it did, in April, a happy and very-close-to-my-house surprise. Once inside, we hit the workout room for a Core Fusion class. Core Fusion is a yoga, Pilates, cardio, barre hybrid. (Read: It’s killer—in a good way.) As someone who works out on the regular, I was shocked at how effective the class was (read: how out of shape I am.) I found myself trying to catch my breath more than a few times, and the next day, well, let’s just say I managed to find all the places my yoga and Pilates classes are not targeting.

After such an intense workout, custom-made desserts were beyond needed. Seriously, how cute is this? All the bloggers were greeted with their own design at Soak, the cabana lounge adjacent to the spa. Being a team player, I felt compelled to try all of them. Hey, what can I say, I like to support my blogger sisters. It’s all good, I just did 60 minutes of crazy cardio.

With bellies full, we hit the spa for highly anticipated massages. Let me just say, I love a spa robe. I know it makes me look like a 12-year-old playing dress up in a dad’s bathrobe, but it means good things are just around the corner.

And around the corner was my treatment, a 60-minute Fusion Massage. It’s a Swedish situation using aromatherapy oils for total relaxation. Monica, my therapist blew my mind within the first few minutes of the treatment. Upon looking at my back, she pointed to the middle and said, “Have you been sleeping well?” No, I haven’t, Monica. I’m an eternal insomniac. I sleep a few hours here and there and then bam, I’m up, only to nod back off right before my alarm goes off, always. And it turns out the night before my massage I had an incredibly rough night, tossing and turning because I coulnd’t get my brain to find the off switch. How she knew this by looking at my back was incredible. But, as Monica highlighted, the middle muscles of the back control your sleep pattern. Turns out mine were completely out of whack. Monica then had to use acupressure to release the tension in my back muscles so she could massage them. And it worked. After my treatment, I felt like a new human. A brand new human. If I needed anything, it was this.

Continuing on my YOLO factor, I joined the blogger brigade for a acupuncture session. Let’s have some real chat, shall we? I HATE needles. I’m terrified of them. I have no clue how I ever had a child because that whole nine month period is basically living life as a human pin cushion. Somehow I survived that and was determined to survive the day’s “let’s stick needles into Ginger” adventure, too. First, they asked us to lie on the mat. I did that. Then, I broke into a cold sweat. Mind you no one asked me to do that. Someone was going to stick needles in me. In me! And leave them there! And then it was my turn. I was instructed to sit still, so I did, like so still i’m pretty sure I stopped breathing. And then Dr. Holly told me to relax. Relax? We’re getting ready to puncture me with needles and I’m supposed to relax? OK, here goes nothing. I tried. And the next thing I knew, I had five needles in me: two in my hands, two in my feet, one in my forehead. Acupuncture is supposed to help the blood flow in all directions. While we felt the flow, we did a meditation. In the beginning, all I could concentrate on was the needle in my left hand, which had a weird tingly sensation. But it eventually faded away and I just felt relaxed. As relaxed as someone with a needle phobia with needles sticking in her could be. Actually (and don’t tell anyone I said this, it wasn’t as bad as I though it would be. In fact, I’d probably do it again).

Afterward, we had our needles removed and hit Lure for dinner. Pressing on in adventure mode, I tried vegetarian sushi (I have an inherent dislike for food from the continent of Asia. I don’t know why, I think it’s the spices). Turns out, it was pretty good. And the company was even better. Hanging out with my bloggers sisters and sharing so many adventures throughout the day, from sweating to stabbing (I kid!) to stuffing ourselves, made for not a bad day. Not a bad day at all.

Hanging with the always fabulous Kelly Saks. To check out more of our adventures, give the hashtag #exhaleatloews a go. To get in on the Miami Spa Month treatments still going on at Exhale at Loews now through August 31, log on here.