Do Tapped Into Hot Mineral Springs
Like the geothermal waters that rise from the earth of Calistoga’s crust, I arrived at Spa Solage bubbling over with the hope of detoxification. I’d spent half the day tasting Napa Valley wines and was primed for a wellness reboot. What lured me to the bathhouse après spa hours was the concept of purification in restorative waters during a floating meditation under the star-lit sky.
A singular instruction contains the power to swing the pendulum from a stressed-out state of mind to one of pure solace. “Be in the moment” counseled our Deepak Chopra-trained meditation leader. After shedding my terrycloth robe and pool slippers in a bathhouse cabana, I joined a trio of intrepid floaters. As if on cue, we simultaneously stepped into the hot springs mineral pool for Starlight at the Bathhouse.
We gradually progressed from seated and chanting to standing and chanting “gong fu” (at the moment…in the moment…in the moment) before swimming across the pool to climb atop one of three comfy, body-length floats. I slithered on top of my float easier than I’d anticipated; my limber muscles could only be credited to the pool’s warm temperature. Or so I thought. Could there be more to these mineral waters?
I had read about the benefits of a soak in sulfur hot springs pools, which ranges in concentrations of keratin, of which a body needs to make collagen, and in turn preserves skin elasticity and a youthful appearance. Also in these healing waters is boron, another component that assists in building muscle mass, increasing brain activity, and strengthening of bones. The magnesium in the water converts blood sugar to energy, while potassium helps to normalize heart rhythms, reduce high blood pressure, and eliminate body toxins. And then there’s sodium, which helps alleviate arthritic symptoms and stimulate the body’s lymphatic system. Now at the moment, I understood every health-soaked element of my rejuvenation was accredited to these waters, but I also gave thanks to the watchful stars overhead. A deep breath came easily while I imbibed the euphoric caresses of nature all at once.
This combination of mineral springs properties and heat was well received by each of us, and one by one, as we floated on our platforms, our meditation leader covered us with two white cotton towels that naturally molded to our bodies upon absorption of the geothermal waters. At this moment, I felt ready to surrender my mind and body to the hot mineral springs below. In the comfort of this warm water, the sensation replicated what I could only imagine it was like to be in a womb or cocoon. It was a rebirth of sorts, and I was in sync with the universe in a state impossible to determine where the water ended and where my body began. My meditative state was unforced, genuine and soothing, even as a light rain tapped overhead in intervals. Nature outside of this pool reminded me that I am but a spec in the universe.
As the breeze swayed and we drifted ever-so-slightly on our floats, we connected in gentle bumps against each other, seemingly harnessing our singular energies in unison. This is when our meditation leader took the experience to the next level. He serenaded us into an even deeper state of relaxation with a symphony of sounds he created by swirling and submerging quartz “singing bowls” into the pool. We were educated on the color of each bowl and its melody in correspondence with various chakra colors. This final act left us communally mesmerized amid the nurturing power of nature.
By the time we slipped on our robes and exited our oasis, the effects of my mind could best be described as a state of distinctly heightened sensory awareness, much like coming out of hypnosis. I was unable to decide if I’d been asleep or simply in a dream state.
The practice of hydrotherapy in hot springs mineral water may have been around for centuries, but at this moment, I was in a Solage state of mind, grateful for the remarkable pleasure of immersion in Calistoga wellness.