Ojai, named after the the Chumash word for "Moon", is perfectly located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, not far from the big city but quickly feels like years away and it will forever be one of my favorite places. Surrounded by lush and fresh Mountain growth, rows of citrus trees and lavender farms, the moment you step into Ojai time starts to peacefully slow down. A mecca for wellness, there are rituals and unique experiences scattered throughout the valley that leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvinated, and inspired. Here, I share with you my favorite Ojai rituals experienced on a recent 48 hour solo getaway there.
Needless to say, I am already planning my next Ojai ritual adventure!
The Kuyam Treatment is one of the best kept secrets in Ojai and it happens to take place in one of Travel & Leisure's "Most Beautiful Resorts in California", the Ojai Valley Inn. "Kuyam" is a Chumash word that means "a place to rest together" and while inside of a beautiful and warm tile-lined room, you will enjoy a ritual that is not offered anywhere else in the United States. Throughout the treatment, your skin gets detoxed and rejuvenated with the full body self-application of 3 special clays, dry heat, the inhalation of carefully chosen herbs, and a guided meditation. On this trip my best friend drove up from Los Angeles just to experience the Kuyam, and we are ready to do it again.
Cost: $85/person for up to 8 men or women. $115/person for a private session.
Special tip: Book your treatment earlier in the day, the Ojai Valley Inn allows you to stay and use their incredible spa facility until closing. Booking a private with close friends or partner is really special. It is clothing optional.
EcoTopia Natural Hot Springs
5 miles up Matlijia Canyon you will find Ecoptia, natural hot springs that lie on sacred land and are said to have healing powers (and I believe it). In fact, when I was there, women were digging the mud/clay up from the bottom of the Springs and rubbing it all over their bodies, a ritual they perform weekly and swear it heals and rejuvenates their skin. Of course, I joined in and loved every second of it.
Special tips: Make sure to check before you go, rains and weather sometimes close Ecotopia. Night time and full moons at ecotopia are very special, a beautiful time to plan a visit. The Hot Springs are clothing optional, so be ready for a fun adventure.
Sleep in an Airstream Caravan at the Caravan Outpost
There is something so special (and romantic) about sleeping in an Airstream, especially when they are as well done and unique as the Airstreams at Caravan Outpost. The vibe at Caravan Outpost is friendly and relaxed with this underlying tone of adventure. At check-in, you are welcomed like a friend they are happy to see, and it quickly becomes clear why, they are excited for you! After a walk around the grounds, the attention to special detail becomes apparent. There are beach cruisers to cruise around town with, a s'mores pit for treats at night, games to play, and each "Caravan" has it's own decor and unique name. It is perfectly located, a short walk away from the main street of Ojai and the staff will help you plan any type of excursion from Wine Tasting to meditations and massages.
I include Caravan Outpost as an Ojai ritual because this is a place I will return to again and again.
Special Tips: Stay here solo or bring a group of friends and book many airstreams. You can also rent the entire Outpost for a larger private party.
Walk the Labyrinth
Located on the grounds of the Krotona Institute of Theospohy, the Labyrinth is a seven-circuit Cretan type that can be enjoyed individually or in a group. Take time to slowly walk to the center with a quiet mind or you may have a question to focus on. There is no right or wrong way to experience a labyrinth, but this one in particular is surrounded by so much beauty that just being in its essence feels magical. You can enjoy the Labryinth during daylight hours.
Special Tip: Visit the Bookshop for books on the Labyrinth and to shop other spiritual books.
The skin products Narayan creates and the faceology sessions she holds are truly exceptional and she creates a beautiful ritual experience. She pours her energy, her love, her knowledge into what she makes and the result is products that create a full-body sacred experience and will elevate your minds and your skin. On a personal note, Narayan changed my life through healing and her skin products are always kept on-hand.
Special Tips: When in Ojai on Sundays, visit her in persoan at the Farmer's Market She will guide you through the right products for your skin type and you may book a faceology session with her. Be ready to relax and heal.
As the sun goes down in Ojai, the sky and surrounding Topa Topa mountains reflect magical pink and lavender tones, it is incredible! It is a moment that has travelers coming back to Ojai time and time again and writers drooling over it. It is something that needs to be experienced in person, it just leaves you feeling so present and grateful.
More Ritual Experiences in travel destinations coming soon