13 Wellness-Focused Workouts, Sessions, and Treatments to Explore
You Don’t Want to Wake Up Too Sore to Ski
After a few hard days of mountain hopping, tender muscles crave TLC. Instead of hot-tubbing après-ski, surrender to no-nonsense David Berkson (970-315-2966, davidberkson.com), a ten-year sports medicine free agent who unlocks joints, unwinds tight tissue, and realigns energy meridians to music and aromatherapy in your home or hotel.
In the morning, grab an early gondola and limber up during a free yoga class at the Aspen Mountain Sundeck (Tue./Thu./Sat. at 9:30; lift ticket required). Yoga mats — and killer views of Highland Bowl — are complimentary. Once the lifts close, drink plenty of water, pop some Advil, and consider even more yoga: stretch deep during restorative poses of Yin Yoga at Arjuna (970-948-1165, arjunayoga.net), in a studio heated to a muscle-melting 102-plus degrees, or in Healthy Backs Yoga at O2 (970-925-4002, o2aspen.com), which will ensure your spine doesn’t stiffen to a steel pole tomorrow morning.
Finally, cozy up with a ninety-minute Winter Warming at Auberge Spa at Hotel Jerome (970-429-7619, hoteljerome.com). The detoxifying scrub of ginger oil, cinnamon, and orange revitalizes tired bods with finger and foot reflexology, while organic calendula and blue chamomile serums soothe wind-whipped visages. A scalp massage and shot of altitude-easing chloroxygen elixir finale will leave you smiling in your dreams about tomorrow’s powder.
Your Ideal Body is a Ballet Dancer’s
The Pure Barre craze (970-710-1501, purebarre.com) has swept the nation with a simple but effective fifty-five-minute workout that combines elements of Pilates and dance. Within the first few minutes, you’ll understand the hubbub: it’s all about the burn. You wonder how someone came up with so many ways to make it hurt so good with nothing but a mat, a rubber ball, a rubber band, and a ballet bar. What you do know is that — ouch! — it’s working. And that burn is the whole point: isometric movements to engage and exhaust the muscles using your own body weight. Tone and tighten those problem areas like abs, butt, and thighs, and, better yet, trade in that beer belly for a Barre belly.
You Crave Cutting-Edge European Technology Without Leaving 81611
At first, the idea of having three vials of your blood drawn for a skin treatment that uses your own plasma seems a little extreme, but then again, so are the results: years come off your face. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) facial rejuvenation therapy is just one of many treatments offered at Regen Aspen (970-925-4897, theghalycenter.com), where Drs. Fouad Ghaly and Gail King are bringing groundbreaking treatments to Aspen. Want increased VO2 capacity, decreased anxiety, and improved lymphatic circulation? Hop onto the Enhanced External CounterPulsation (EECP) therapy machine. It’s intense — pneumatic bands strapped to your calves, thighs, and midsection pump your blood through your body a second time for every heartbeat—but two days later you’ll set a personal record hiking Highland Bowl or just feel like a gazillion bucks. For something mellower, swing by for Dr. King’s IV Infusion, a goodie bag of cellular rejuvenation. Stem cell therapy? Check. Want some hormone replacement? Got that, too.
You Really Miss Your Bike
In Aspen, there are plenty of people who would sleep with their bikes if they could. Now all those cyclists are cruising around on packed snow thanks to Fat Bikes, named for the up to five-inch-wide tires that are inflated to only four or five pounds of pressure for traction, floatation, and suspension. (Compare to thirty-five pounds for a mountain bike.) That means the gates to Independence Pass, not to mention the Maroon Bells, Hunter Creek, and the Rio Grande Trail, are now open all year long. “At first fat bikes seemed to be a novelty, but now I ride mine almost every day,” says Brad Jasicki, who sells and rents fatties at his Replay Sports (970-925-2483). Not quite ready to jump into the saddle on your own? Erik Skarvan’s Sun Dog Athletics (970-925-1069, sundogathletics.com) is the first outfitter outside Alaska to offer instructional Fat Biking Adventures, including bike rental, helmet, and transportation.
Ski Boots Crunched Your Feet
Don’t be dissuaded by the chintzy knickknacks, brusque “welcome” in broken English, and Mission Impossible playing on the flat screen: A1 Oriental Foot Massage (970-925-9755) offers the fastest path to foot bliss. Lay back, bite your tongue, and accept tough-love encouragement—“No pain, no gain!” these Chinese say—to endure some serious circulation-revving, show-no-mercy reflexology. Too intense for sissies, it’s a cheap ($30/30 min., $50/hour) fix for tired feet, capped with a knuckle-slapping, heel-punching, leg-swinging climax. Don’t dare fall asleep and snore—you will be mocked. We’ve seen it happen, but we’ll be back nonetheless.
For a small town, Aspen has more limb-bending, mind-opening,
chakra-aligning yoga classes than downtown has brand-name
Offering: Bikram, Vinyasa, and Yin
Best for: Sweating your butt off, like, literally. This immaculate studio is heated to at least 102 degrees, so get ready for the floodgates to open. The heat allows for increased flexibility, serious detox, and, let’s be honest, it makes for one hell of a workout. Best of all, if you want to know where all the hottest chicks and dudes in Aspen are, your search is over.
Know Before You Go: Get there early to secure your spot, as this popular studio is often packed.
What to Wear: As little as possible—hot shorts by Onzie or Heidi Hat or anything nylon.
Mat Mantra: “It’s not hot; you’re hot.”
Offering: Vinyasa Flow
Best for: Finding your groove, both in your body and to the beat of Aaron King’s popular music playlists. The red lighting, psychedelic beat, and chill vibe will take you right back to Woodstock, only on a yoga high.
Know Before You Go: The studio is located three miles outside downtown Aspen in the Aspen Airport Business Center.
What to Wear: Doesn’t matter—there are no mirrors here.
Mat Mantra: “Sunshine daydream, walking in the tall trees” or any other Grateful Dead/Widespread Panic/Phish lyric that becomes even more profound mid-trikanasana.
The Aspen Club & Spa
*Currently CLOSED until 2018
Offering: Ten different styles of yoga, from gym-inspired varieties like Yoga Sculpt and Kick Asana to more traditional practices including Iyengar and Kundalini. This one-stop-shop gym/fitness center means you can simultaneously tighten and stretch under one roof.
Best for: Squeezing some yoga into your workout routine. If you like lifting weights before, after, or even while you do yoga, this is your spot.
Know Before You Go: The studio isn’t particularly warm, so dress accordingly.
What to Wear: The latest yoga pants from Hard Tail or Splits 59 from the boutique upstairs.
Mat Mantra: “I don’t really go for any specific type of yoga; I like to freestyle.”
Offering: Vinyasa, restorative, meditation, and more
Best for: The yogi who cares about the mind/spirit part of the equation but still manages to acquire a killer body along the way. Housed in a quaint blue Victorian on Main Street, this West End studio also has a high-end clothing boutique and spa, so it’s a one-stop shop for treating yourself right.
Know Before You Go: Classes vary from mellow to super hardcore, so make sure you understand what you’re signing up for.
What to Wear: Sports bras and Lulu crops
Mat Mantra: Forget Aspen real estate; your mat in the West End is now your most valuable piece of property.
Yesterday’s Après-Ski Went Until Last Call and Your Face Needs 911
You can blame the altitude, but that won’t make those puffy eyes and blotchy skin disappear. The good news is that the Intraceutical Oxygen Facial Treatment at Heaven on Earth (970-925-2278, heavenonearthaspen.com) can do the trick. Longtime local Pila Xian waves her magic wand over your face (OK, it also applies cooling oxygen under the skin’s surface) and voilà: the imperfections disappear. Forget painful peels and excruciating extractions. All you feel is a pleasant cool dampness on the skin — no burning, no peeling, none of that “Is this really worth the pain?” anxiety. This clinical facial is also part of a luxurious seventy-five-minute spa treatment with plenty of yummy indulgences like massage, paraffin wax, and aromatherapy. Best of all, the results are immediate, so you’ll walk out and be ready to go. Just in time for cocktail hour.
You Want to Be Pampered Beyond Imagination
Second in terms of decadence only to a foot-warming fireplace stoked with $100 bills, the Remède Spa at St. Regis Aspen Resort (970-920-3300, stregisaspen.com)—the no. 6 hotel spa in the world, according to Travel+Leisure—exclusively offers Natura Bissé’s beyond-luxurious Diamond Experience ($400). The ninety-minute, skin-plumping, wrinkle-eradicating series (therapists train for five days with a ten-page protocol) begins with exfoliation by ground volcanic stone, whisked from the body via magnets in a rain dance of satisfying clicks. A cryo-lifting masque, four types of massage, and slathering of cream infused with crushed diamond particles — yes, diamond dust is rubbed over your body — leave skin tingling and senses aflutter.
“The body glow that many spas throw around lightly? That actually happens in this treatment,” says spa manager Julie Oliff, who credits unseen chakra-balancing molecules for the light-as-a-feather post-treatment float. “I’ve been in the business fifteen years and I’ve never, never felt anything quite like it.”
At the luxe Spa at Viceroy Snowmass (970-923-8000, viceroysnowmass.com), the spotlight is on the new Brightening Body Treatment ($265; 90 min.), Kerstin Florian’s ultra-exfoliating ritual that’s touted as “a facial for your whole body.” After a steamy dip in the swirling “punchbowl” and powwow in the Ute Indian-inspired relaxation room, dead cells are destroyed with a bamboo scrub, dry buffing, and multi-acid enzyme peel to reveal baby-fresh skin. A décolleté masque, warm-towel wrap, and languid massage with multivitamin firming cream leaves signs of aging glowing, glowing, gone.
All together now! Circuit training’s appeal is obvious: it’s like getting a personal trainer at a fraction of the cost. Plus, the group dynamic pushes participants to go harder and longer than they otherwise might.
The Skinny: If you’ve always wanted to get into boot camp shape without actually having to join the military, then you’re going to love the old-school approach and camaraderie of this core strength and conditioning program. Routine is the enemy in this battle, so workouts (also known as the “Workouts of the Day” or WOD) change daily and combine the basics of weight lifting, gymnastics, and high-intensity cardio.
Trademark Move: Burpees and pull-ups (yes, they’re harder than they were in high school.)
Your Ideal Body is: Ripped like Mark Wahlberg
The Vibe: G.I. Jane meets Aspen Extreme
*Currently CLOSED until 2018
The Skinny: Time flies as you cruise from station to station doing exercises you’ve probably never done with all this wild equipment you’ve probably never seen, but one thing you do know is it’s kicking your butt. That’s the point of the Aspen Club & Spa’s High Intensity Interval Training: to keep your body guessing for optimal balance and strength. Developed for the Aspen Club by Dirk Schultz, the focus is on “3-D full body functional movement” and a careful eye on form.
Trademark Move: Anything on a Bosu ball
Your Ideal Body is: Buff all over to balance out those skier’s quads.
The Vibe: Kill yourself, but not so hard that you can’t ski the next day
Bernadette’s Circuit Training Class
The Skinny: There aren’t many classes named for the person who teaches it, but that’s a testament to Bernadette Lofton’s “you can do anything for sixty seconds” legacy. Her torture-with-a-smile circuit training class was born at Jean Robert’s Gym long before the concept became a trend. This whole-body workout utilizes everything from all the crazy-cool state-of-the-art equipment at her disposal to free weights—and a dance club playlist that has you daydreaming about how hot you’re gonna look on your next big night out.
Trademark Move: Long-hold planks and lots of lunges
Your Ideal Body is: Two dress sizes smaller.
The Vibe: Hip-hop dance party meets power hour workout
You’re Already Worried About Bikini Season
Skiing may have turned your quads to steel, but it’s your midriff that will get attention on the playa in April. Speed it into svelteness with noninvasive Zerona cold laser therapy, which liquefies fat and clingy toxins from pesky problem areas. “We call it the Sure Thing,” says Lisa Kistner of the Kistner Institute (970-309-4156, kistnerinstitute.com). “There’s no discomfort, no recovery, no cell death. It feels like champagne bubbles—effervescence.” Kistner combines Zerona with French Endermologie—a body roller that uses moderate suction to ramp up circulation and lymphatic function—for foolproof body contouring.
Kistner also suggests a detoxing sweat session in an infrared TheraSauna at Dr. James “Lee” Beymer’s Radiant Health Center (970-925-9148). Here, unlike in traditional saunas, stress-busting infrared rays penetrate inches below the skin’s surface to deep-clean tissue.
You (and Your Kids) Have Workout ADD
Workout burnout doesn’t stand a chance at the Aspen Recreation Center (970-544-4100, aspenrecreation.com). At the landmark three-story facility on Maroon Creek Road, you can swim laps with the Masters team, perfect your kayak roll, or slip into a weekly water polo match. Not the aquatic type? Learn to skate ($3 rentals) or practice slap shots on the indoor ice rink; take spinning, step, and yoga classes; or pump iron and pummel a heavy bag into submission in the intimate workout rooms. (Batting cages and tennis courts reopen outdoors come spring.)
A climbing tower, figure skating, tournament youth ice hockey, and karate instruction are popular with kids, but the indoor heated family poo l— adjacent to a competition training pool — is playtime paradise. The miniature water park boasts a two-story waterslide, diving board, and waterfall features. Want the ultimate chill-out activity for kids and adults? Let the current of the slow-moving, five-to six-foot-wide, heated lazy river take you for a leisurely evening float. Then dip into the hot tub, sauna, and recently rebuilt steam room, where multicolored LED lights dazzle after dark.
“We’ve grown up,” says operations manager Erin Hutchings of the $20 million facility linked to Aspen’s trails and parks system. “I’d put us as one of the best in the country. You can [cross-country] ski right to our door, have a hot tub, go ice skating, then go into town.”
You Feel Like Your Body is in Rigor Mortis
How open to anything is Dr. Dave Jensen? Open enough that he was profiled on the National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers program. But don’t think him a conspiracy-theory wacko. Jensen will deal with a societal upheaval — not with an AK47 — but by brewing his own Chinese medicines and living more harmoniously with nature. Meanwhile, at his WIN Health Institute in Aspen, Basalt, and Glenwood Springs (970-279-4099, winhealthinstitute.com), he focuses his boyish, boundless energy on using everything at his disposal to fix what ails you. “I look at the whole body from many different angles and use a balanced approach to health,” he says. That could range from quick solutions like a chiropractic session and an analysis of your diet to something slightly more involved, like acupuncture and deep tissue therapy. Jensen can also incorporate high-tech contraptions. He says his Spine Force Machine, which looks somewhat intimidatingly like a Terminator, strengthens and treats spinal musculature, while the Spine Decompression Machine offers one of the most effective ways to treat the spinal compressions that create disk bulges and ruptures. Whatever happens, this guy’s definitely got your back.
Nothing Else Seems to Work
It’s difficult to talk about what Rob Wergin does without sounding like a starry-eyed cult convert, and no one understands that more than Wergin himself. The master healer and spiritual teacher (robwergin.com) exudes a casual, down-to-earth demeanor, totally unaffected, yet he can help people with all sorts of ailments with the touch of his hands. Whether words like “blessings” and “angels” and “god” make you a little squirmy is irrelevant. Whatever you want to call it, it’s working for a lot of people. The list goes on and on: Cancer! Chronic pain! Heart disease! Blown knees! Infertility! Wergin’s clients fly in from all over the world for healing sessions that appear to be nothing more than a gentle touch here, a rub there, then twenty or so minutes in the John of God Crystal Bed. Patients report a wide variety of experiences; many are mystified by the results, especially for conditions that were deemed fatal, untreatable, or even exacerbated by Western medicine.
Wergin is clear about how he feels about his work. “I wake up every day and feel like I have the best job in the world. I get to see miracles all day long.” When it comes to trying to explain it, that’s another story. “It’s something that comes through me, but it’s not me,” he says. “I’m just a regular guy.”