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12 Truly Relaxing And Picturesque Hot Springs In The World

12 Truly Relaxing And Picturesque Hot Springs In The World

Rejuvenate in the world’s most relaxing hot springs. Mother Earth heats the water then gently infuses it with mineral rich nutrients. All you have to do is slip in.

There is nothing that makes you feel better, physically, mentally, or emotionally, than a long soak in hot mineral spring. Your aches and pains fade away along with your stress and cares. Your skin and hair look radiant and vibrant. Your spirit becomes more vital.

Are you ready to take part in the study of balneology? Oxford dictionary defines balneology as “The study of medicinal springs and the therapeutic effects of bathing in them”.

Here are 12 unique places to begin your relaxation:

1. Banff Upper Springs, Alberta, Canada

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    Set in the awe-inspiring peaks of Banff National Park, these spring fed pools sit under the majestic Mount Rundle. Discovered in 1884, these soothing waters are loaded with sulphate, calcium, magnesium, sodium and bicarbonate. After a day of skiing, snowboarding, hiking, or sightseeing you can relax and ease your sore muscles in the natural hot spring water.

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    2. Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/44048265@N00/4995883630

      At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site. Surrounding the ruins calcite-laden waters have created an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins given the name of Pamukkale. After exploring the sites you can float in the Sacred Pool gazing up at the cerulean Aegean sky or down at the 2,000-year-old Greek and Roman antiquities scattered on the pool’s floor.

      3. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone, USA

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/cumulus_humilis/9087683673

        Grand Prismatic Spring was first mentioned by geologists in 1871 who named them for their striking coloration. The vivid colors in the spring are the result of pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The bacteria produce colors ranging from green to red; the amount of color in the microbial mats depends on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids. In the summer, the mats tend to be orange and red, whereas in the winter the mats are usually dark green. The center of the pool is sterile due to extreme heat.  Although you are not able to soak in these hot springs, the sheer beauty of them is awe inspiring.

        4. Bains De Dorres, France

          Situated in the Pyrenees, close to the Spanish border, the baths date back to Roman times and offer visitors the chance to soak away their worries in water that is typically between 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.6 degrees Celsius) and 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) surrounded by stunning views of the valleys below from an altitude of 4,800 feet.  This little known hot spring is a must do for anyone wanting a relaxing soak without the crowds.

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          5. Myvatn Nature Baths, Iceland

          https://www.flickr.com/photos/skarpi/4990648690/

            Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is one of the country’s headlining attractions. However, the Myvatn Nature Baths, located in the more-remote northern part of this island nation, offer equally stunning landscapes and pools that are much less crowded than Reykjavik.  Laze in the temperate waters on a long summer’s day when the sun never sets, or under a delicate sprinkling of snow in the dark of winter when you may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Located in the heart of northeast Iceland, a mere 65 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Lake Myvatn was shaped through the years by repeated volcanic eruptions and seismic activity. At an altitude of more than 900 feet, the landscape around the lake is a panorama of lava, crater and cave formations, mountains, and sweeping wetlands.

            6. Puyuhuapi, Chile

            https://www.flickr.com/photos/wild-places/6964506606

              Puyuhuapi Hot Springs are located 213 kms northeast of Coyhaique. This is one of the most important springs in Chile, and also one of the southernmost. Puyuhuapi is located within Dorita Bay of the Glacier Inlet, in the middle of the Chilean Patagonia and surrounded by a thrilling wildlife scenery of native forest and enormous ferns. The name Puyuhuapi means “place of puyes”, which is a species of fish that is greatly sought after by fishing lovers. The waters of the inlet are source of underground springs of the Melimeyu volcano.

              7. Edipsos, Greece

              https://www.flickr.com/photos/81189848@N00/9555875577

                Edipsos has to be one of the most amazing resorts in the world when it comes to healing mineral baths. There are more than eighty individual springs with waters ranging from 28 to 86 degrees Celsius, which can be quite hot. There are also many privately owned spa facilities, baths and pools, some of which belong to the hotels. Nature has also chipped in for a rare combined experience where the warm water gushes from the sea bed, a rare phenomenon that is difficult to find anywhere else in the world.

                8. Strawberry Spring, Colorado, USA

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                https://www.flickr.com/photos/7430002@N06/3855908938

                  Steamboat is home to natural hot springs that are located throughout the area. Upon first hearing a chugging sound, early trappers believed that a steamboat was coming down the river. When the trappers saw that there was no steamboat, and that the sound was coming from a hot spring, they decided to name the spring Steamboat Springs. The area has two hot springs that are open to the public. The largest is at the Old Town Hot Springs, with multiple pools and two slides. Located in the hills a few miles out of town is Strawberry Park Hot Springs, with two pools and natural rock features. Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers excellent stargazing opportunities due to the lack of ambient light.

                  9. Takaragawa Onsen, Japan

                  https://www.flickr.com/photos/kcfoo24/2580180633

                    Takaragawa Onsen is located deep in the mountains of Minakami. The onsen is world famous and one of the most scenic hot springs in Japan. It sprawls along the banks of the Takara River which is home to wild boar, bear and river fish. The onsen had four outdoors of hot springs as well as two indoor bath and several smaller ones. One large open air bath faces a spectaular mountain stream. This bath also claims to have the best healing properties.  The traditional Japanese architecture and open air baths situated along the beautiful mountain stream all join in harmony to create a relaxing balanced experience.

                    10. Heviz, Hungary

                    https://www.flickr.com/photos/lajapuma/9513539915

                      The Heviz Lake is a geological curiosity, Europe’s largest thermal lake – a warm water lake situated in a peat-bed. The lake is surrounded by a nature conservation area which provides a tranquil setting within which to relax. Springs of different temperatures merge in a narrow cave and become a constant 38.5 degrees Celsius temperature when entering the lake. Beautiful water lilies, brought to Hungary at the end of the 19th century, dot the lake, supporting the eco-life. The lily leaves help to slow down evaporation and creepers protect the medicinal mud on the bottom of the lake.

                      11. Palia Kameni, Greece

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                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/chagiajose/10909213036

                        The turquoise springs on this volcanic island in the Santorini caldera are known for their therapeutic sulphuric mud. ‘Old Burnt’ in Greek, Palia Kameni is accessed by boat from Santorini – visitors are required to swim from a moored vessel to reach the main seaside spring. These healing waters consist of large amounts of iron and manganese. If you are looking for a different hot spring experience this one is for you.

                        12. Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria, Australia

                        https://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkgeoenergy/6435577915

                          Peninsula Hot Springs is the only natural thermal mineral springs bathing and day spa facility in Australia. It has two main facilities providing relaxation and recreational spa experiences. One facility caters to adults and the other to families. Relaxation, rejuvenation and fun can be found in the 20 plus bathing experiences including a cave pool, reflexology walk, hydrotherapy pool, thermal stream gully, sauna, hilltop pool offering stunning 360 degree views, massaging thermal showers, family pools and many more.

                          Where will your next hot spring experience take you?

                          Featured photo credit: Saturnia/aurelio candido via flickr.com

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                          Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                          7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                          7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                          Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                          Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                          This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                          One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                          Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                          Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                          1. Gratitude

                          Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                          The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                          Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                          So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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                            2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                            This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                            For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                            What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                            Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                            3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                            This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                            Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                            An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                            Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                            write down goals

                              4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                              According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                              There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                              5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                              Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                              Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                              6. Rise Earlier

                              The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                              For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                              So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                              Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                              7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                              Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                              Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                              It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                              Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                              More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                              Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                              Reference

                              [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                              [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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