By Visit Loudoun

Fifteen years ago, Dallas native Brooks Brinson was looking for ways to recover from his PTSD when he read about a strange method for stress reduction called Floatation Therapy or REST: Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy. It required lying on one’s back in a dark 10-inch deep tank of warm saltwater and floating, Dead Sea-style, for 90 minutes. Brinson purchased a tank and discovered the weightlessness induced a calming meditative state that eased his anxiety. He’s used one ever since. 

            Fast forward to 2016 and Brinson and his wife Amy, now living in Northern Virginia, opened Om Float, a five-tank floatation therapy center in Ashburn that offers people a chance to rest, rejuvenate and reconnect. 

            With the holidays over, it is the perfect time to focus on a Loudoun “wellness” staycation to ease some anxiety. Om Float is a good place to start, but there are multiple other options, too.

            Take modish ARIA MediSpa in Sterling. Opened in 2013 by Russian-born cosmetologist Valeria Gunkova and specializing in technology-driven body shaping, weight loss and anti-aging treatments, it expanded in 2018 to include a 15,000-square-foot yoga studio and wellness center, the latter with a five-room hotel or ‘sleep lab’ within it. Guests can recalibrate body, mind and diet during one, three or seven-day stays, cared for by doctors, dieticians, estheticians, massage therapists and yoga and Pilates instructors.

            Everyone joins a gym in January, but sleek LifeTime Athletic in Ashburn is a cut above. It has all the fitness options (gym, cardio, Pilates, swimming) but also a nutritional, weight loss and medical element, with teams of experts to advise you. All this, and multiple staff-led sports options for kids.

            Of course, yoga is arguably the simplest way to rejuvenate body and mind, and Loudoun has multiple downward dog options. Try Flow Yoga, the chic, intimate Lansdowne space of dynamic duo Lauren Christian and Colure Caulfield where instructors from other studios show off their moves. For something more holistic, visit Five Stones Healing Arts & Wellness Center in Leesburg, centered around the “Five Stones” of optimal health. Come for the massage but leave with a life-changing diet or a cure for chronic pain. 

            Of course, we’re not saying to completely forego all the fun parts of the holidays. Loudoun’s breweries and wineries offer exercise options too. Check out breweries like Twinpanzee for “Plank and a Pint” and keep an eye out for the dates of Bluemont Vineyard’s “Vineyasa” yoga program.

            Who needs a retreat in New Mexico when you can get well on a Loudoun staycation?