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An Urban Escape

Calla In Motion

An Urban Escape

Lindsey Calla

Travel is one of the things I love most in life.  It energizes me, provides a different perspective on my own life, opens me up to meeting new people, and as I travel more and more I begin to crave being away.  One of the things I love to do is learn from the people of other countries and be inspired by the healthy things they've discovered in their town or what get's them excited to get out of bed in the morning.  I read tons of books on cultural anthropology, archeology, art history and architecture (seriously, read any book by Wade Davis and tell me you're not fascinated!) and nothing makes me more excited than to experience a new place and be a sponge.  Since yoga found me it's opened my travel experiences up to a whole different perspective.  The community is everywhere.  It crosses borders and unites a tribe of people who may not be able to communicate but ultimately speak the same language through movement.  

The idea of the active escape is everywhere.  In our on-demand lives we now look for a way to escape to recharge our batteries because in our every day lives our brains have reached bandwidth anxiety.  One such escape I found through the awesome team at W Hotels who invited me along on a retreat to Mexico City to experience their program with Tara Stiles called FIT.  They are doing a series of retreats in urban cities this year (Hong Kong, Barcelona, Miami, etc) that offer workouts with Tara and customized activities depending on the location.  My W Insider, who leads the local activity portion, was one of the most incredible people I've met on my travels.  Full of this vibrant energy, she spoke with so much love about Mexico City that the feeling was infectious.  Between yoga classes I used the rush of energy to explore the city going to the local market (La Ciudadela) where I picked up a hand-painted piece of art.  We also dined at the most amazing restaurant, Purveyor 46, which is an old colonial mansion that has several different restaurants in each wing of the casa.  The one we experienced was called Dulcinea and there was a giant magnificent tree coming out of the middle of the restaurant and through the glass ceiling.  I splurged on sipping Mezcal traditionally with orange slices and 'warm salt' (salt with chili). Mexico City blew me away with its charm and cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is definitely becoming internationally recognized as a fashionable city and I never once felt unsafe. 

The city is incredibly tuned into the wellness scene with fresh bottled juices and people biking and running through their version of central park.  The W hotel also offers cocktails with a wellness twist.  One came with a shot of pear, celery, cucumber, pineapple and basil into hibiscus beer.

In my few spare free moments, I woke up early to try the ancient Mayan steam bath ritual called Temascal.  It engages your body and mind in purification while connecting with air, water, fire and earth.  I spent 25 glorious, sweat inducing minutes inside this stone hut where they poured a mixture of chamomile, rosemary, basil and lemon on volcanic rocks.  The actual ceremony involves a shaman and can be over 2 hours (!) and next time I'm in Mexico I will make it a point to try the full ritual. 

Between the temascal and Tara's energetic style of yoga and movement, I was completely realigned spiritually, culturally, mentally and physically.  I wasn't able to catch any of the pyramids so I stopped at the museum of Anthropology on my way out to get some mental imprints of the incredible pre-hispanic artifacts.  In my buzzing about I noticed a number of acrobatic figures and realized that the idea of transformation has been around for centuries.  There's fantastic energy in this city and travel should never drain you.  It should awaken a fire inside you, to make you receptive and send you home with a new energy.   Thanks for coming along on these travels with me. You can follow more on instagram (@lindseycalla) and snapchat: lcinmotion

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