A Day at Osmosis Spa: A Northern California Paradise

Last Friday, I spent the day at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Occidental. It’s a destination day spa paradise located in the wine country of Sonoma County. My beloved client-turned-friend named Jeannie invited me to Osmosis for my birthday. Never mind I turned 35 last month — sometimes friends must plan far in advance to be able to spend an entire day together.

We arrived at this 5-acre retreat with bellies full from scone-tasting at Wildflower Bakery. We were very ready for the day, carrying nothing inside the spa’s paper doors other than our purses. After changing into our robe kimonos, we were escorted into a small tea room with a quaint view of a Japanese meditation garden while the bath attendant gave us a rundown on how the Enzyme Cedar Bath works.

I was new to this spa, and I absolutely love new experiences. So, I happily stripped down and took a seat in the only cedar enzyme bath in the United States. It’s a giant metal tub full of shredded cedar that naturally ferments and holds a consistent temperature around 130 degrees fahrenheit. Our lovely spa attendant came into the room every 5-8 minutes to put a cold compress on our heads and feed us water through a straw.

By the 20-minute mark, I was hot as hell. That’s exactly when we were gently asked to sit up and exit the bath. I took this time to ask our attendant what the benefits of the cedar bath are. She mentioned joint pain relief, detoxification and improved circulation and mobility. I felt a deep sense of peace as we showered off and walked down the forest path to experience our next treatment: a relaxation massage in the Pagoda.

relaxation massage in the Pagoda

That experience was pure heaven for 75 minutes with my massage therapist, Michael. That’s all I can say.

In my blissed-out state, I met up with Jeannie and we walked to the main Japanese meditation gardens. We each sat down on a pillow and closed our eyes. Usually I meditate with my eyes closed, but on this day I decided to meditate watching my environment.

Japanese meditation

Red and blue dragonflies darted around the surface of the water. I continued breathing, and noticed the bees buzzing and large, graceful birds circling in the air. A gentle breeze touched my face and I looked down from the sky and noticed the water. Orange and white koi fish swam and ate. Beautiful flowers and shrubs graced the edges of the manicured gardens. I felt quiet within as the surroundings were quiet all around.

In this moment I remembered that everything truly is simple and harmonious in nature. As humans, this is our natural state. However, in our busy lives we get caught up and often forget these truths. There is nothing like a day at the spa to help us remember and reconnect with the quiet peace and calm within.

I am grateful to have spent a memorable day like this with a wonderful friend.


With this short, simple (and free!) guided meditation.