February 24, 2016 by Joe Kukura

Personal Retreats Offer Breath of Fresh Air

A new year is always an excellent time to start down a new path of healthy decisions, spiritual enrichment and self-care. That path is waiting for you in Lake County, the northern part of California wine country that is virtually unspoiled—where beautiful mountains, fresh lakes and a strong spiritual ethic create a culture of calm that can enrich the mind, body and soul.

While some of Lake County’s spas and hot springs were tragically lost in the wake of the Valley fire of September 2015, the region remains a habitat for personal growth and enrichment, harnessing the power of northern California’s serene beauty to help you stimulate and invigorate your new self.

Hiking Mount Konocti 

The mythical and mystical Mount Konocti is a 4,300-foot mountain landmark whose majestic presence and unique geological qualities have made it the stuff of legend for centuries. Offering a spectacular lookout over Clear Lake, the oldest Lake in North America, and equipped with more than 1,500 acres of views and hiking trails, Mount Konocti is a calming site for a hike or nature retreat.

The mountain has long been considered to have sacred qualities by Lake County’s Pomo Indian tribe and has many shamanic legends associated with its past and present. Located just between Lakeport and Clearlake, Mount Konocti is a timeless source of spiritual rejuvenation with centuries-old oak trees and views that span for miles that will take your spirit to new heights.

The unspoiled waters of Blue Lakes

A placid and picturesque place for wildlife watching or enjoying the strikingly deep-blue waters, the Blue Lakes of Lake County are a pair of lakes that boast serenity and nature unlike anywhere in northern California. High-horsepower motorboats are not allowed on either Upper or Lower Blue Lake, ensuring the waters maintain their breathtaking clarity and vast ecosystem of birds, fish and wildlife. Visitors can dive in for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding and nonmotorized boating, or tune out on the pastoral mountain and lake scenery that clears the mind and recharges your batteries the natural way.

Both Blue Lakes offer fantastic places to stay right along the lakes’ serene shores. The Lodge at Blue Lakes offers lakeside rooms with Jacuzzis and watercraft rentals. The Narrows Lodge and Resort provides cabins and RV camping, Le Trianon Family Resort has cottages and boating docks, and Pine Acres Resort offers lakeshore camping, luxury cottages and paddleboat rentals.

Lake Yoga and Pilates

For dedicated yoga practice, Lake County offers some of northern California’s most distinguished yoga studios, with experienced practitioners and class schedules that aim to lift your spirit.

paddleboard pilates

Carve pilates on Clear Lake.

Lake Yoga in Lakeport offers classes for all levels and a curriculum suited to meet your physical needs and abilities, including chair yoga, slow yoga, restorative yoga and other practices. The Women’s Wisdom Series offers soul-nurturing, inner-and-outer awareness sessions taught by globally renowned personal healing and enrichment instructor Ancha Nitya, which run every Friday evening through April 15.

Or if you’re looking for more of a workout, give Carve Pilates a try. Also in Lakeport, Carve Pilates combines nonconventional Pilates with paddleboarding to create a highly effective technique called core boarding. The concept puts you on a paddleboard out on the lake rather than in a stuffy gym.

It’s no coincidence that the home of the cleanest air in the United States is such an ideal place to cleanse, purify and enrich the body and mind. Clear your path to a rejuvenated self with a Lake County retreat, with options for yoga, meditation, spa treatment and the all-important breath of fresh air.