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Beyond Fitness

Cal-a-Vie Picture Tour

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There's more to it than exercise and the spa. What about the brain?

Cal-a-Vie Labyrinth and Chapel

© 2007 Betsy Malloy Photography
Beyond the fitness and spa programs, a wide array of other activities are offered to nourish and exercise the mind and soul. They're so interesting that a morning trek to the scheduling office to clear the calendar becomes a ritual. If the Cal-a-Vie staff have a mantra, it must be "no problem," and in just a minute, it's taken care of, rescheduling massages and other treatments to make way for an African drumming class, labyrinth walking and a meditation class in the chapel.

In the foreground above is the Cal-a-Vie Labyrinth. It's made in Cretan Labyrinth style, a pattern dating back more than 4,000 years, says Rich, who teaches the labyrinth-walking class. He explains the concentric-circle walking path's history and describes its threefold purpose: quiet the mind while walking in, stay in the center until you're satisfied and return to the world on the way out. It's a beautiful afternoon, and I found it a calming and thoughtful process.

The chapel building shown in the distance was originally part of a Carmelite convent in Dijon, France, built in 1615. Cal-a-Vie owners John and Terry Havens bought the building, had it meticulously taken apart and reconstructed here in 2006. It's a beautiful little place, with late afternoon sun streaming through the windows, site for the meditation class and perfect for a small wedding or other event. As Cal-a-Vie grows, imported buildings like this pop up all over the landscape, looking like they've always been here, at home in the southern California landscape.

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