By Serene Gunnison, Cynthia Sweeney and Savvy Janssen
The world can be a busy place, and sometimes we put off or forget to do even simple things to take care of ourselves. Luckily, Maui is blessed with an abundance of easily accessible healing products and modalities that empower mind, body and soul with wellness and rejuvenation. We have luxurious spas and skin care products, botanical gardens, water yoga, organic juices for increased energy or cleansing, even light, sound and color therapy to renew our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Take some time to put the focus on you, and be well, Maui-style.
Fresh Air Therapeutics
Garden of Eden | Hana
There is an irrefutable link between wellness and our connection with the natural world. Anecdotal evidence points to nature’s positive effect on mental health, but scientists studying shinrin-yoku, the Japanese practice of forest “bathing,” have found that prolonged time in nature can have measurable physiological benefits. Thus, a visit to Maui’s Garden of Eden Arboretum and Botanical Garden might be precisely what the doctor ordered.
Tucked along the sinuous road to Hana, this 26-acre botanical garden is home to a manicured mélange of exotic trees and native plants. Visitors can meander through a web of lush walking trails and bask in views of Keopuka Rock and Puohokamoa Falls.
Originally intended to house a recording studio, a series of divine providences led founder Alan Bradbury to develop his paradisiacal garden where visitors could reconnect with nature. And in a world full of screens and handheld devices, Bradbury’s garden is more medicinal than ever.
mauigardenofeden.com | (808) 572-9899
Farm to Bottle Elixir
r.i.p.e. juice market | Kahului
If we are what we eat, at r.i.p.e. juice market in Kahului, there’s a convenient, healthy fix – raw, cold-pressed juices and cleanses. Customers can grab-n-go fresh selections of popular blends, or customize their own juice made from fresh and local Maui-grown produce.
With anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help support the immune system, the health benefits of juices are potentially endless. r.i.p.e.’s Blue Hawai’i juice, their most popular, is a blend of pineapple, ginger, lemon, blue spirulina and cayenne pepper. Delicious and nutritious, this juice offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, immune and digestive support, and is great for exercise recovery.
As for cleanses, “This time of year, it seems like everybody wants to do a cleanse,” said Jean Marie Johnson, who owns r.i.p.e. along with her husband, Scott. The Johnsons formulate blends for beginners and those who are more experienced with cleanses. Preordering a few days ahead before coming into the store at 444 Hana Highway is highly recommended and can be done online or by phone.
ripejuicemaui.com | (808) 856-6722
Maui SUP Yoga | Lahaina
In the calm morning at Shark Pit Beach, before the cruel Lahaina sun reaches its zenith, a flotilla of yogis balance aboard bulky stand-up paddle boards, their hands reaching skyward as they hold Virabhadrasana, warrior one pose. This is Maui SUP Yoga, an aptly-named offering that hosts floating yoga classes on stand-up paddle boards. But according to owner Nichole Lee Sulimani, yoga is just a fragment of the experience.
“Maui SUP Yoga isn’t about doing headstands or crazy poses,” Sulimani said, “it’s really just about experiencing Maui and coming into this really balanced and calm place.”
Maui SUP Yoga classes commence with an overview of Maui’s history and culture, followed by a practice paddle and an alluring journey through shallow waters to the class site. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner paddler or a first-time yogi, Maui SUP Yoga offers a meditative antidote to busy minds and busy lives.
mauisupyoga.com | (808) 339-3689
Hoomana Spa | Makawao
At Ho‘omana Spa, innovative wellness means reviving time-honored healing techniques. Headed by Jeana Iwalani Naluai, a longtime practitioner of Lomi Lomi. Ho‘omana Spa breathes new life into traditional practices like lomilomi massage, giving guests a chance to experience authentic Hawaiian healing in a contemporary spa setting. During treatments, Naluai draws on her la‘au lapa‘au (plant medicine) expertise and the cleansing mana of prayer.
“At Ho‘omana, you hear chanting all day,” Naluai said. “It’s like a house of prayer.” Ho‘omana Spa’s menu features massages, herbal baths and refreshed takes on familial Hawaiian rituals.
La‘au lapa‘au is at the core of Ho‘omana’s operations, with over 40 treatment-ready native herbs growing on the spa’s sanctuary-like grounds. While most of Maui’s day spas are neatly tucked in strip malls or opulent beachside resorts, Ho‘omana sits on 2 acres on Pi‘iholo Road near Makawao Forest Reserve, inviting a tranquil experience and a deeper connection to the ‘aina.
HoomanaSpaMaui.com | (808) 698-5465
Cold Plunge Power
Elevate | Ha’iku
Consciously facing your fight or flight reflexes isn’t something most people seek out, but at Elevate, previously known as Studio 303, the experience is welcomed. From its space in a former pineapple cannery in Ha’iku, Elevate offers several hot and cold therapies, but the most notable service is the cold plunge, where guests soak in 39-degree water for up to three minutes.
Owner Yasmine Anderson initially turned to cold plunges for pain relief, but she soon discovered something more significant. “The cold plunge has proven how mentally strong I am,” said Anderson, explaining the frigid waters trigger a fight or flight response. “Your body immediately wants to panic. To be able to suppress that is powerful.”
In addition to challenging physiological reactions and aiding in pain relief, cold plunges support muscle repair, reduce inflammation and improve mental health. Elevate also features collagen-boosting red-light therapies and infrared saunas, which guests often pair with cold plunges for contrast therapy.
The Energizer Egg
Mind and Body Harmonics Kihei
We humans are energized beings, and a new wellness approach focuses directly on energy by using an egg. That’s right, an egg. The Harmonic Egg is a space-age-looking chamber that uses light, color and frequency to activate the body’s natural ability to balance and restore itself. It combines the science of bio-resonance with the ancient wisdom of sacred geometry.
Mind and Body Harmonics owner Sandy Schneider had nearly instant healing in a Harmonic Egg in St. Louis and knew she had to bring one to Maui – the first in Hawaii. The holistic energy therapy helps the body heal from an array of health issues, including back pain, anxiety, “spiritual dissonance” and emotional issues, or, in Schneider’s case, eczema, she said.
During an initial coaching session, a combination of colored light and music (including by Maui’s own Hawaiian slack-key guitar musician George Kahumoku Jr.) is customized to promote your own healing intention. Then, the egg is programmed, and all you have to do is relax in a zero-gravity chair and let the chamber do the rest. Sessions at Mind and Body Harmonics, 95 E Lipoa St., last 90 minutes, 50 of which are spent in the egg.
mindandbodyharmonics.com | (808) 856-0054
Skincare By Nature
To Be Organics | Wailuku
Even a small act of taking care of yourself can be enough to boost your health and mood. Skin, our largest organ, loves some love with luxurious bath bars and rejuvenating aromatic sprays from To Be Organics. These self-care products are all about feeling good about yourself, how you look, and helping you give life your best every day.
As a licensed cosmetologist, esthetician, holistic practitioner and massage therapist for 25 years on Maui, owner Karli Rose saw a need for a different kind of skincare product. That’s why all ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, and products contain no synthetic fragrances, colors, dyes or palm oil, and are uniquely made without water. “So that way, we don’t have to use preservatives, which are the prime cause of allergies for sensitive skin,” Karli said.
Production, label design and eco-conscious packaging are all done onsite at To Be Organic’s storefront at 485 Waiale Rd. in Wailuku, where you can also chat with Rose about what’s right for you to look and feel beautiful about yourself every day.
tobeorganics.com | (808) 868-0288
Uplift Maui | Wailea
With views of the tranquil Pacific Ocean and gently swaying palm fronds, the Uplift Maui studio at Hotel Wailea breathes calm. Inside, colorful silks sway, suspended from the ceiling, supporting participants as they stretch and spiral through space, like Cirque du Soleil in slow motion.
While yoga in the air may seem anything but relaxing, the health and emotional benefits of aerial yoga are numerous: The silks aid deep stretching and body alignment, which regulates the nervous system, increases circulation and relieves pain.
It’s also playful, fun and “forces you to be present,” said Uplift Maui owner and Hotel Wailea Wellness Director Andre “Dre” Fors. While Fors touts the benefits of aerial yoga, she recognizes the obvious challenges of performing yoga while suspended in the air.
“You have to allow yourself to feel vulnerable and be scared,” she said. “In that process, you find support in a positive and uplifting environment, and can find healing.” Uplift Maui’s offerings extend beyond aerial yoga, including mat yoga, aerial dance, meditation, sound healing, trapeze and a different Mindful week event every Monday for hotel guests and kama’ina.
upliftmaui.com | (808) 495-7154