What I Learned on a Miraval Wellness Retreat

Recently, I was fortunate to get to go on a sibling wellness retreat with my brothers, Andrew and Ryan, and my sister, Carey. Inspired by Andrew’s cancer diagnosis and flawlessly executed by Carey, we spent 3 days at Miraval, a wellness spa in Tucson, AZ. Here’s what I took from the experience.


I love my siblings. I’m grateful for the gift of siblings. The bond we have is unique. We share the same core values, the same origin and similar memories, but we are different individuals. With distance and years between us, it’s not always easy to connect, but when we do, I realize that no one gets me in the same way or understands my formative years like they do.


You can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s hard for me to get away. I feel a deep level of responsibility to my family and Alkalign. As hard as it is to leave, it is so important to reset and recharge. I always say “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” and I’m learning to take my own advice.


Cardio counts. I am a recovering cardio addict. I started running competitively in 7th grade and continued for nearly 2 decades until I realized my body was broken. Now I get my heart rate up with the low-impact cardio interval class I developed at Alkalign. Even though I take Cardio Align (or Cardio+Recharge) only one to two times a week, an exercise physiologist at Miraval measured my VO2 max at 90%. VO2 max is a measure of how well you use oxygen during intense exercise. It is linked to aerobic endurance, and many athletes use it to determine their overall fitness. I did a 45-minute trail run with my siblings at altitude in the blazing Arizona sun and faired OK. I’m not quite as quick as they are (or as I was in my marathon days), but I felt good about it and nothing hurt the next day. I’m willing to sacrifice the 10% in VO2 max for what I gain in joint longevity.


I am aligned. I saw a practitioner for Thai massage, acupuncture and craniosacral work. She assessed my bones, muscles, energy, meridians and more and said I’m one of the most balanced people she has worked on. She told me: “You’re doing something right. Keep doing it.” Thank you, Alkalign.


I am balancing. I took a yoga class with a guru whose style and cues really resonated with me. At one point, he said, “This is a balancing pose. ‘Balance’ doesn’t exist. There is no one point of ‘balance’ where everything is in line and is never going to change again. Balance is dynamic.” Sound familiar? No wonder I liked him! ; )


Savasana is my favorite part of yoga. Honestly, the “corpse pose” at the end is the part I used to dread the most. I didn’t have time to lie there and do nothing! What I’ve realized throughout my wellness transformation is that sometimes the thing you avoid the most is the thing you need the most. This realization is the inspiration behind more mindful final stretches as well as the Recharge format. We all need more down-regulation in our day — more time without our phones buzzing and our brains whirring. It’s a learned skill and a practice just like increasing your VO2 max. Now I crave the final stretch and welcome the opportunity to just be still.


Alkalign prepares me for everything. Trail running, Beachbody PiYo (a Pilates–yoga format), aerial yoga, step aerobics, mountain biking, a 35-foot high ropes course, cardio drumming and swimming laps in the pool. Nothing intimidates me anymore. I did it all and in good form despite not getting much guidance from the instructors. Alkalign gives me the physical strength and confidence to conquer anything.


There’s no place like home. I love to travel and experience new things. But no matter how far I roam, Alkalign is always home. No workout makes me feel as good. No instructors hold me as accountable. No community makes me feel as supported. I am so grateful for my life and everyone in it.


The world needs Alkalign. Mindful movement matters. Alignment matters. There is a huge opportunity to teach more people to move better so that they can avoid the pain and inconvenience of injuries. There is a need for dynamic balance in mind, body and soul.