Miraval Austin is located in the Texas Hill Country northwest of Austin, where ash, mesquite, and oak trees blanket the ground. Guests can set off on nature walks or group trail runs, or dig deeper with a guided, two-hour shinrin-yoku session, aka the Japanese-inspired practice of forest bathing. “It’s a calming walk that opens up your senses and hones intuition,” says Miraval Group wellness director Simon Marxer. “You’ll even learn about the compounds released by trees that help support immune function.”
Equine specialist Paula Basden’s horse programming is one of the most requested activities at Miraval. Guests can take trail rides, learn to strengthen existing equestrian skills while focusing on nonverbal communication with the horses, or even try meditation and self-restorative work with the animals. “Horses have been known to evoke emotional response, personal awareness, and positive change,” Marxer says. “We offer healing sessions that help people work through personal issues in a supported environment with their horse and a wellness counselor. You learn tools to gain emotional regulation and balance in your life.” An Instagram-worthy moment: the two-hour Unforgettable Canvas group class, where guests paint on the side of their horse (with nontoxic, animal-friendly paint, of course).