29 Oct Wellness Travel Resort Review: YO1 Hotel and Spa Catskills
An honest, experiencial review from my stay at YO1 Wellness Resort and Spa in the Catskills New York. Experience holistic, homeopathic and Ayurvedic healing. While this review was in exchange for stay, all content is from personal experience and opinion.
“You look radiant” were the first words out of my husband’s mouth when I returned back home. From a man’s mouth…YO1 Wellness Resort & Spa has that affect. And, yes, my husband is quite a stand-out guy.
Based on the practices of Ayurvedic and Homeopathic medicine, offering a variety of natural, non-invasive remedies, YO1 Wellness aims to alleviate and work out just about any stressor in your life, bio-individually analyzing your needs with their wellness program.
Ayurveda is a 5,000 year-old system of holistic medicine, roughly translating to “Knowledge of Life” (Ayu meaning life, and veda meaning knowledge). So, Ayurveda isn’t just a fad or a trend. It’s been around for longer than any other modern day medicine. And clearly, it works.
Your mind, body and spirit get that deep inner cleanse. Here’s why YO1 Wellness Resort & Spa in the Catskills is the perfect long weekend getaway, or even day stay, to reset, restore and renew so you can get that “You look radiant” too.
Arrival & Getting There
Located deep within the woods of the Catskills, New York, you are immersed in nature with the full blossom of trees, lake view, and fresh mountain air. If you’re never heard of, or been to, the Catskills before, it is nothing like the New York City you have seen photos of or visited.
My family’s based in Connecticut, the neighboring state. I flew into Bradley Airport (BDL), stayed a night visiting the family, and then my Mom and I were off for a quick two-hour drive to the Catskills — girls’ trip!
I honestly think we picked the best time of year to go. Given the timing of the fall foliage, it makes the drive a breeze and actually enjoyable to see the leaves changing in all those colors. Especially for this Miamian who only sees one season these days — hot, hotter, and hottest.
A spacious entryway with an overhang, the lobby is clean, welcoming and warmed perfectly from the 20 foot (or so) glass fire place. Already feeling calmer, compared to the buzz of city life.
Rooms & Accommodations
You know those hotel beds that you just want to jump on and sink into the plush, fluffy bedding and never leave?
Yep, YO1 Wellness has those kind of beds. Complete with an incredible lake view!
Peace and quiet was the name of the game there. While I’m not always a fan of carpets in rooms, it was a pleasant welcome to have silence from any neighbors. It was just me, and nature, nothing more.
That kind of silence can drive a city gal nuts! Until I realized it’s that inner quiet and peace I was seeking all along to calm the anxiety and built up noise.
With 131 guest rooms and suites, we were one of the lucky ones to experience Room #607, one of the suites. Complete with a very large shower, heated/massaging/air-dry toilet (this was over the top bum care!), a private massage room, large living space, mini fridge, selected teas, fresh, filtered water and a private master bedroom. The toiletries smelled so good, even my Mom had to ask “Where can I buy this?”
As part of my personalized Wellness Plan, I first needed to get an initial assessment of my current lifestyle, habits and goals.
No, you don’t have to be vegan, give up coffee (completely) or quit your job working in the city to find a peaceful life of well-being and balance! However, minimizing some of the stressors, poor eating habits, sleeping better, and being physically mobile can certainly help.
Naveen, the Naturopathy Counselor, asked me inquisitive questions geared towards my mental and physical health, such as:
- “How long have you been vegan?”
- “Have you visited a wellness center before?”
- “What do you know about Ayurveda and Naturopathy?”
- “So, what are you looking for being here?”
Based on our discussion, he offered a wellness plan that detailed my schedule for the next few days. All treatments were/are included in the stay, and he had a full line-up ready for me to heal, restore and balance, renewing ME!
I do share more details on the treatments in the upcoming paragraphs.
Rest assured, it’s all optional. You can opt out, or change, anything planned, if you’d like.
However, going along for the experience, I said “OK” to pretty much all, doing what I could with the time given.
Maybe one of the most interesting, fascinating and educational portions of my experience — especially on Day 1 — was my meeting with Vidya, the Dosha specialist and Ayurvedic Counselor. I’ve done the online dosha tests before. I’ve even studied a bit on Ayurvedic healing in my online health coaching training, and have taken a handful of workshops and the power of knowing (and balancing) your Pitta, Vata and Kapha doshas.
Vidya was the real deal, reading my inner wrists on both arms, feeling, intuiting and connecting.
(Paraphrasing her words): “You are mainly Pitta; however, rare, you have a combination of all three doshas within you. This is very rare, most individuals has a dominant, then secondary dosha, needing to balance the third with external help. You, having all three, can self-regulate and heal your own self.”
I knew I was weird, but this proves being weird can be incredible, once again!
Jokes aside, a Pitta is the fire and water element (makes sense for this fiery warrior who discovers peace and calm near the ocean). Determined, goal-oriented and very organized (check, check and check), balance is restored with a healthy combination of Vata (air and space) and Kapha (earth and water).
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Getting to know my Doshas in the 🍂 and how I’m doing without my afternoon coffee… 🥺First day visiting the @yo1wellness in the Catskills, NY. I’m taking in all of nature (scroll to see this view 🍂😍), homeopathic remedies and Ayurvedic teachings that I can possible. I’ve studied Ayurveda in the past, taken a few online quizzes to determine my constitution…but never have I experienced a true reading like I did earlier today. Do you know about doshas? Here’s some info I learned:
Yes, they have coffee! Although it’s not encouraged (especially for this fiery Pitta), it’s available and delicious. I chose coffee in the mornings and opted for teas and a juice in the afternoon. Balance!
There was a breakfast, which we had on the last day prior to leaving. However, the remainder of the days, it was intermittent fasting until 11:30a, or lunchtime. This wasn’t a big deal for me, because it’s very similar to the schedule I follow for meals back at home, eating midday through 9p.
The foods were incredibly fresh, warmly cooked and artfully prepared. We even had the visit of the chefs on multiple occasions, welcoming us in, and inviting us to enjoy our meals. Drew, our main server, was a bit camera shy, but a rockstar in service.
Mainly, the dishes were vegan. Daily, we had a prepared set course of soup, a salad, followed by a main dish. Dinners followed with a vegan dessert. Not being much of a desert fan, I passed on desserts, after filling up heartily on the soups and double servings of the soups and dinners. However, my Mom had the right attitude (and appetite) to say, “Why not try it if we’re here!”
Part of the wellness agenda did have me on juices throughout the day. I did pass on most of the them, however. That was a personal choice, as I’m not much of a juice fan.
There are a variety of holistic and natural therapies based on the following four categories: Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy and Acupuncture.
While I didn’t get a chance to experience every therapy offered at YO1 Wellness, I did have the opportunity to experience the following:
Clay Mud Therapy — The initial therapy was a full body coating, messy, but my skin felt so soft and balanced after! The second was an eye and stomach therapy in the early morning to de-puff and remove toxins and inflammation that occur upon waking. Removing that Pitta heat!
Acupuncture — Very fine needles pressed into the skin at one of the many pressure points in your body (this isn’t as painful as it sounds, I promise!)
Massage (Swedish & Deep Tissue) — Day 1, I had a Swedish massage, and was a great way to ease and calm into the full experience. Day 2, PJ (self-titled the “neck specialist”, and rightfully so) worked deeper into my upper back and neck pains with a deep tissue massage. You can tell when a therapist really knows the body. PJ was a pro!
Yoga Daily — If I could recommend to YO1 any upgrade, it may be in this category. A few additional classes or variety of yoga would be beneficial. With two classes a day and the same teacher with similar style, I wasn’t too impressed, nor willing to go back for a second class. Instead, I did my own practices during these hours, filming up a few special sequences for you traveling yogis here on my YouTube LiveFreeTV channel.
Hydrotherapy — This one brought me the most laughs, and at the same time, some incredible relaxation. I’m a water baby, my nature (Pitta is a combination of fire AND water). A steam, then 360 degree shower (reminded me of the human car wash), directly followed by an ice bath for 2 minutes (eek!), and then infrared sauna. My favorite part was the whirlpool with epsom salts and essential oils at the end, soaking for a full 20 minutes. The little mermaid in me was overly joyed.
In addition to the above, I did have the following two therapies on my wellness plan that I opted out of. No specific reason other than I opted to sleep in on day 2, recouping the extras Zzz’s that I had been lacking from the previous few work weeks.
Kriyas — Cleansing techniques and purification practices held every morning. Jala Neti (Neti pot), Sutra Neti, Kapalabhati (skull shining breath) are two of the four practices offered that I actually practice already at home. Neti is one practice I would recommend to any traveler to do right after taking a flight to clear out your nose of any germs!
Meditation — Training awareness of yourself. Without overcomplicating it, you’re tracking where your mind goes, drawing it back to breathing or another single focus, and training your mind like any other muscle in your body. Again, another practice I do daily at home for 5-10 minutes, and highly recommend to incorporate into your healthy live free lifestyle. Check out the videos listed on this page here for some examples.
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You can tell when people really love their jobs, are treated well, and passionate for the knowledge and services they share. That is exactly the feeling and warm vibe I got from my experience at YO1 Wellness Resort & Spa.
The team is eager to share their knowledge, provide you top service, and offer you the hospitality and accommodations that leave you a little softer and more balanced going out than when you walked in.
In the weeks after leaving YO1, being back in my regular routine of content creation, speaking and travel, I, of course, have my stressful moments. When I need it most, I close my eyes and visualize that peaceful view overlooking the lake from room #607, embodying that warmth of those soups, and the healing hands of their therapists.
Peace and well-being can last far beyond a retreat, when given the right care and having the open mind to do so. Go for a week, a weekend or even a day pass. Surrounded by nature, enveloped in calm, I cannot wait to return next for in 2020 for a repeat experience.
Thank you, YO1 Wellness, for this collaborative experience.