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Reboot with yoga & Ayurveda
Kelly DiNardo

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January 09, 2008

Family and cookies and cocktails, oh my! The holidays can be a blur of parties, food, shopping and end-of-year work deadlines.

"It's complete sensory overload," says Kathleen Cox, author of Space Matters. "You're drinking too much and overtaxing your digestive system. You eat too much and too late. At the end, the body shuts down. You just wear yourself out physically."

Bruce Littlefield, lifestyle expert and author of Merry Christmas America, says most people suffer from a severe case of the "overs."

"We over-ate, over-drank, over-spent and over-worked," says Littlefield. "And we've probably over-talked and over spent time with family."

After overdoing it so much, January becomes the perfect time to cleanse our bodies, clear our minds and reboot our entire system for the year ahead. To that end, we've come up with 10 healthy resorts that make getting your system back on track a luxurious experience.

"You want to calm down and bring it back to stillness," says Cox. "What you need to do after this kind of a binge is detox...  slow your mind down and get your body back into its natural healthy rhythm and recoup your strength."

What kind of hangover haven you're looking for likely depends on what type of hangover you're suffering from -- or which of the "overs" you really overdid.

"If you didn't take a party for yourself and spent too much time with family, I'd go to Canyon Ranch in South Beach (opening in 2008)," says Littlefield. "You can relax and be pampered during the day and let loose at night." The Ranch staffers will put together your own team of nutritionists, behaviorists and doctors who can get you on a healthy path whether you want to lose weight or stop smoking.

If you're looking to calm down and find some inner peace instead, Cox recommends the Rasayana Cove Ayurvedic Retreat, a small, exclusive getaway that takes only three people at a time. If you can get in, book the Panchakarma, an Ayurvedic massage treatment, meant to eliminate "ama" or unprocessed toxins in the body.

"You can be completely away from people and noise," says Cox. "You can do yoga and meditation and take Ayurvedic cooking classes, which help bring your body back to its natural, healthy balance. It's tailored to your special needs. If you've eaten the wrong foods then you do this for a few days and get yourself back on track."

If you want to readjust your body without total seclusion from people, Littlefield suggests the New Age Health Spa in Neversink, New York, a no-frills spa in the Catskills that helps you detox with several purifying treatments like colon hydrotherapy, aromatherapy massage and various body wraps. In Dallas, Texas, the Cooper Wellness Center is a unique high-end health resort that melds a medical clinic, spa and fitness center.

"The New Age Health Spa has everything from yoga to colonics to spa cuisine," says Littlefield. "In terms of letting the fat and the alcohol go this is where I would go. The Cooper Wellness Center is another center where they can help you detox. You basically have all the benefits of a Mediterranean spa and there's a medical doctor to supervise as well."

Getting out of your element might be the best way to get away from your vices. Choose a spa or wellness center in a far-flung part of India like the Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort in Kerala [Images], whose wildlife sanctuaries and picturesque lagoons may give you some perspective. Alternatively, you may know of the Mayan Riviera in terms of its party potential, so once you're done hitting the bars in Cancun, head to down-tempo Tulum and its Maya Tulum Wellness Retreat and Spa. The spa combines traditional Mayan cures with modern therapeutic know-how.

Of course, if one of your "overs" was to over-spend, a restricted budget doesn't mean you can't take some time to regroup.

"When I have no money I like to run a hot bath and make it my own spa," says Littlefield. "I get a great body scrub, body lotion, candles and music and escape to my own little world without spending very much money."

If you want to escape beyond your bathroom, here are 10 great places to get over your holiday hangover.


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