the rhythm of the mist

Named for the soft morning mist that gently floats over the cottonwood trees and the Rio Grande, Tamaya Mist at the Hyatt Regency is a spa connected to the land. The Tamayame came to this part of the Southwest centuries ago, setting up villages throughout the region but always moving on – traveling from the north to the west, then south and then east. They were prosperous and peaceful wherever they settled and never forgot the instructions given to them: move on. They stopped only to regain strength by nourishment and as soon as their energy was renewed, the traveling continued. My own nourishing journey of well-being this afternoon is a truly original offering: Ancient Drumming; a treatment which begins with an application of mud from the neighboring Jemez Mountains, infused with detoxifying local red chiles. As the heat penetrates into the skin my therapist gently thrums away the stresses of a delayed cross-country flight with flax seed-filled muslin bags that have been dipped in an oil scented with pinon, the nut of the native pine tree. The repetitive percussive technique seems rather anodyne at first – not the deep tissue my body seems to crave –  yet the gentle rhythm and steady pressure slowly but surely lulls me into a relaxing trance. Afterwards I am drenched in warm oil and lightly exfoliated using an aromatic scrub of pinon resin. I feel clean and smooth but more to the point, I am hydrated against the desiccation which comes from the inhospitable environment of both planes and deserts. I’m ready – almost – to being an adventure in New Mexico.

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