By Becca Hensley
The task before me appears simple. But, it also seems like my life depends on it.
I am hypnotized by a wall festooned with 102 identical flacons, each filled with a scintillating, colored liquid. “Squint your eyes,” says Bhakta Ruttiger, an Aura-soma practitioner at Mii Amo, a destination spa in Sedona, Arizona. I feel her urge me forward – and, suddenly driven, I grab a bottle filled with emerald green liquid. Bhakta, whom I first met 15 years ago on my first visit to Mii Amo, and now reconvene with, nods knowingly.
“Next bottle,” she gently orders. I seize another container, this one a bold violet. Increasingly confident, I choose two more, almost carelessly – or so I think. Then, I follow Bhakta into an austere treatment room. Here, she explains the results of my choices, the nuances of something as seemingly simple – and telling – as color.
She first reminds me about the provenance of this energy therapy, devised by Englishwoman Vicky Wall, a blind pharmacist and herbalist who didn’t need to see colors to feel their vibrations. Wall based her healing modality on botanical hues, created from the garden. The theory of Aura-soma is that each color and the order they are chosen can tell your fortune – that is, interpret aspects of your existence, solve issues, ground your soul, and tweak your journey. It can affirm your potential and clarify your path.
Bhakta explains the colors I chose, and what they may mean to me at this point in my life. Her assessment of my current situation (and my past) is stunningly accurate, and mirrors the reading I had with her 15 years ago, though I have made some progress. Flummoxed and awed, I stumble from the spa, feeling empowered and transformed, giddy with the ponderous mysterious of life.
The goal of most people who check into the 16-room hotel-within-a-hotel on Enchantment Resort’s red rock-mottled, sun-shimmered, pine forest-speckled expanse is to experience some sort of shift or transformation. Offering four- or seven-night stays, dubbed “journeys,” Mii Amo provides more than 50 distinctive treatments, from classic massages to past life regression sessions. Abundant fitness classes, speeches, blessings, and gatherings occur daily. Wine, cocktails, and beer are available—but also a tempting juice bar. A stay is all-inclusive, with meals taken in the spa’s gourmet, clean-food, southwestern-style café. All itineraries are customized and designed to achieve a goal, whether it’s detox, spiritual illumination, or simple, well-deserved relaxation.
The spa embraces the healing presence of the mountains in its persona, thanks to its location on the borders of the Coconino National Forest. Explore more than 100 nearby hiking trails, many leading to Sedona’s famous vortexes, locations thought to emit a palpable, healing energy. I enjoyed the Red Rock Inspiration treatment, a personalized guided meditation that draws gravitas from Boynton Canyon’s craggy, paprika-hued rocks.
Another trail winds to Kachina Woman, a steeple of rock considered sacred by native people. Many visitors feel a curative hum within, a cool wave of utter peace – something tangible, yet unexplainable. According to local legend, Kachina Woman gave birth to the human race right here. This vibe of rebirth makes it a preferred spot to meditate with the sunrise, scribble in a journal, or have a long chat with friends.
On my recent stay, I immersed myself deeply in a metaphysical, otherworldly journey. Before I arrived, a staff member prepared my personalized itinerary based on what I hoped to experience. Though one can change plans upon arrival, having this timetable keeps you moving (or lounging – if that’s what you choose). There is a freedom knowing you can experiment (I had my aura photographed, for example), and believing that you can do as much or as little as you wish. Some people live in their bathrobes, others lounge poolside. I rarely took off my hiking boots, unless I was being slathered with clay or pampered in a facial. At Mii Amo, you hear the truth from highly skilled, intuitive staff – all gifted healers drawn here as a calling. But you only have to go as far as you want. The spa acts as a threshold; a portal to your better self. You don’t have to pass through, but the door’s open for you. It beckons. The quest is up to you.
Virtuoso travelers receive a $100 resort credit (or $200 resort credit for stays of seven nights or more).
All photos courtesy of Mii Amo.