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The Berkshires have become known for holistic retreats that send you home with the ultimate souvenir: a new-and-improved you, with a refreshed spirit, revitalized body, and healthier habits. Here are two places you might like to try.
Canyon Ranch. The Berkshires' outpost of Canyon Ranch couldn't be more elegantly old-fashioned; the famous spa is set in Bellefontaine Mansion, an 1897 replica of Le Petit Trianon in Versailles. Looks can be deceiving, though. This holistic spa is home to a state-of-the-art fitness center, with the latest classes and the best equipment—perfect for gym junkies. Choose from more than 40 fitness classes per day, plus lifestyle-management workshops and private consultations with wellness experts in the fields of medicine, nutrition, behavior, and physiology, while trying new fitness techniques, eating great food (even chocolate sauce, craftily made from white grape juice and cocoa), and enjoying the Berkshires countryside on hikes and paddling excursions. 165 Kemble St., 9 miles south of Pittsfield, Lenox, MA, 01240. 800/742–9000 or 413/637–4400 Ext. 5525. www.canyonranch.com.
Kripalu Center. You'll see many people sitting peacefully on the grounds as you search for a parking place at this health and yoga retreat in Stockbridge. Kripalu means grace, and there is even a hatha yoga method named after the institution. Meals always include a gluten-free buffet, in addition to more standard fare. 57 Interlaken Rd., Stockbridge, MA, 01262. 866/200–5203 or 800/741–7353. www.kripalu.org.
The Option Institute. Here, it's all about learning to make emotional choices that enhance your life experience. Founded in 1983 by author Barry Neil Kaufman (Happiness Is a Choice) and Samahria Lyte Kaufman, the Option Institute offers personal growth workshops. "Energizing" and "empowering" are words used by happy fans to describe their experience. Participants stay in rustic guesthouses and eat veggie meals served family-style. 2080 S. Undermountain Rd., Sheffield, MA, 01257. 800/714–2779. www.option.org.Updated: 08-2013
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