DEC 2016

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Page 46 of 84

[ 44 ] • DAYSPA • december 2016 Hacienda El Carmen, Ahualulco de Mercado The Mexican state of Jalisco is the birthplace of mariachi bands, charrería horsemanship and tequila production. Hacienda culture is also alive and well in the rural communities near Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city. It's within this rustic, architecturally colorful, colonial setting that the historic Hacienda El Carmen ( is located. Set on the edge of a small village adjacent to fi elds, the Hacienda cultivates crops as it has done for four centuries, but today it also serves as a tranquil hotel and spa retreat that provides economical and traditional spa experiences to those seeking an authentic healing experience. In this only-in-Mexico spirit, I chose the Temazcalli Ritual (3 hrs./$25), a traditional Mexican American group purifi cation ceremony conducted in a temazcal or adobe sweat lodge. Hacienda's temazcal is built inside the ruins of an 18th-century aqueduct, and its rituals are led by Juan Lopez, the property's resident Huicol Indian shaman. Lopez heats volcanic rocks in an outdoor fi re pit to symbolically welcome the four classical elements—fi re, earth, water and wind—then moves them into the center of the temazcal. My group of eight guests entered through a low doorway, signifying a return to the womb (specifi cally that of one of the Aztec mother goddesses, curers of physical and spiritual ills). Seated on a fl oor mat surrounding Lopez, we were led through a multisensory "bath" of heat, steam, vapors, chants, feathers and herbs. Eucalyptus and pirul branches were used to "brush away" bad spirits. "Ever since ancient times, this powerful, curative ceremony has been performed to purify the body and soul, and free the mind," says Monica Baeza, CEO of Hacienda El Carmen. And indeed, although the dry, detoxifying heat was intense and profusely sweat- producing, the low light and Huicol chanting made the process mesmerizingly serene and surprisingly emotional. u COURTESY HACIENDA EL CARMEN A Literally meaning "house of heat," the temazcal or sweat lodge practice originated with pre-Hispanic peoples and is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity at spas around the world. spa hopping Temazcal Train and get certifi ed in the fastest growing career in the beauty industry conducted by Master microblading instructor Sandra Casanova. LEARN Microblading, Ombre Eyebrows and 3D Eyebrows from a Master Microblader! • Small class size insures individualized attention • Train on live models under the supervision of a certifi ed instructor • Start working on clients upon completion of course Enroll today and start enjoying the benefi ts of this lucrative career! Call 773.334.5303 to enroll. Limited space! HAVANA SPA CHICAGO DID YOU KNOW U W

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