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Your Ultimate Self: Befriending Winter Water Shou Sugi Ban House

Bring in the new year with the invigorating, transformative power of winter water and the natural world at Shou Sugi Ban House

How you end things is just as important as how you begin them. This advice came to me via my teacher Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. We were talking about relationships, but I’ve found this so true of everything in life.

A sanctuary of natural elements and wellness. Shou Sugi Ban House, Water Mill, NY.
There is something so magical about winter water. Patricia Garcia-Gomez, winter water practice, North Fork, Long Island.

Begin Again With Beauty, Constantly

Close with beauty, begin again with beauty. This is the entirety of my new year’s resolution. And also why I am so excited about Befriending Winter Water at Shou Sugi Ban House this winter.

Private, individual guided sessions introducing people to winter water (aka Cold Water Therapy), a practice that has changed my life, connected me with nature and a steady stream of new, resilient versions of myself, and surrounded me with a community of incredible humans. When you meet in the water, you have a kind of pre-friendship. When you meet in winter water, the friendship goes primal. You know you are meeting someone who has incredible reserves of adaptability and curiosity.

People are seeking new experiences that connect to nature and themselves, bring them out of their over-zealous mental minds into something more sensory and life-affirming, and establish rituals that add meaning to the everyday. A winter water immersion practice can bring all of these things.

“Only by venturing into places we’ve never been, can we discover parts of ourselves we’ve never known,” says one student. An introduction to winter water, by Patricia Garcia-Gomez.
Fireside chats and warming. Image Fredrika Stjärne for Shou Sugi Ban House.

The Transformative Power of Winter Water

What makes the Befriending Winter Water at Shou Sugi Ban House so special is that it brings together two entities deeply committed to the healing power of water. The plunge gets elevated into an experience that is nourishing, healing, and privately-guided, in 90-minute sessions that include rituals of presence, and sensory awareness. And it’s the sea, not a pool or tub.

Inspired by Japanese principles of openness and exploration, Shou Sugi Ban House, a thirteen-room sanctuary located only 90-minutes from New York City, is beautifully rooted in its connection to the natural world, offering rituals that draw from the curing properties of nature including the ocean, natural flora and herbs. You feel this the minute you step into the property. It’s like entering a secret garden or temple. Once you are in, the noise stops; an exquisite, luxurious quiet begins. Add to this, access to the best in global wellness practices, and all your creature comforts being luxuriously taken care of.

I am guided by the belief that introducing someone to water is introducing them to a relationship. With sea, ceremony, and self.

In my RewildRestore water practice, I am guided by the belief that introducing someone to water is introducing them to a relationship. With sea, ceremony, self. Winter water will not only call you to your senses but, if you are open to it, and you go slowly, it will introduce you to a whole new world of subtlety and wonderment. Plus, there’s so much science behind the health benefits of cold exposure, including a boost to cardiovascular health, better sleep, training your nervous system to become more adaptable and resilient, and stimulating a sense of wonder and aliveness (and happiness hormones) that can become addicting. It’s all in the approach.

Cozy winter sanctuary. Image Fredrika Stjärne for Shou Sugi Ban House
The wellness tea and elixir bar. Image Fredrika Stjärne for Shou Sugi Ban House
Patricia Garcia-Gomez, An every day no matter what water practice. Image ©PatriciaGarciaGomez

The Ultimate in Winter Water Magic

“At Shou Sugi Ban House we believe deeply in the healing power of water, which is reflected in our choice of location, hydrotherapy facilities including a Watsu pool and the use of structured water throughout the property. We are very excited to welcome Patricia as a Visiting Practitioner to explore the healing relationship between water and the body, in her 90-minute Befriending Winter Water sessions,” says Jodie Weber, creative director, head of Healing Arts, SSBH.

“At Shou Sugi Ban House we believe deeply in the healing power of water. We are very excited to welcome Patricia as a Visiting Practitioner to explore the healing relationship between water and the body.”

I believe anyone can become friends with winter water. While the entirety of a practice cannot fit into just one session, ninety minutes can be invigorating, life-changing, and the start of teaching the body something new. Cold water can conjure deep, primal, impossible-feeling fear, but on the other side of it awaits joy in equal measure. I have witnessed people move from total gripping to total exuberance, almost as if they are meeting themselves for the first time.

A getaway rooted in a connection to the natural elements, only 90 minutes from NYC. Image Fredrika Stjärne for Shou Sugi Ban House.
A culinary program designed in collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Mads Refslund, co-founder of Noma.Image Fredrika Stjärne for Shou Sugi Ban House.
Nature, ritual and magical places, Patricia Garcia-Gomez. Image courtesy Shou Sugi Ban House.

Ninety minutes can be life-changing, and the start of teaching the body something new

To create your own luxurious mini-retreat steeped in the healing power of water, surround your cold water therapy experience with other wellness rituals from SSBH. The Shou Sugi Ban House mini-retreat I dream of: morning winter water ritual, paired with heat-generating movement, beautiful nutrient-rich meals (Shou Sugi Ban House’s culinary program was designed in collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Mads Refslund, co-founder of Noma), an infrared sauna, a Pressotherapy massage, a contrast hydrotherapy session (three contrast saltwater pools composed of structured water to recreate the natural effects of the ocean and thermal springs), and lots of quiet me time to take in the beauty of it all.

Image Fredrika Stjärne for Shou Sugi Ban House
Ice fun on the North Fork of Long Island, Patricia Garcia-Gomez.

Follow Patricia and her Polar and Cycladic water practices

The Intel

Join Patricia at the exquisite Shou Sugi Ban House for the ultimate in cold water therapy. Bring in the new year with beauty, ritual, and discovery.

The experience Befriending Winter Water, cold water therapy. Private 90-minute experience and introduction to winter water as a daily practice of sensing, knowing, connecting, and listening. Expect beauty, ritual, discovery, and a huge boost of aliveness. 

Dates Winter 2023, by appointment.

The setting Shou Sugi Ban House, a thirteen-room sanctuary and luxury spa that embodies global wellness practices and is one of the highest-rated wellness centers in the country. Surrounded by evergreen trees, lush grasses, and the nearby sea. Watermill, New York.

Why it’s so special The plunge gets elevated into a nourishing, healing, and privately-guided experience, with access to the best in global wellbeing practices. The experience starts with a one-on-one tea & connection with Patricia, and includes a private walking-in sea-immersion ritual. Go for a day, or create a mini-wellness retreat.

Who it’s for Anyone curious about cold water immersion and yet to take the plunge — do it with expert guidance and ritual. Those who plunge already and would like to elevate it into a practice. Anyone seeking to boost wellbeing, connect to nature and self.

How to book
Call Shou Sugi Ban House guest reservations at 631.500.9049, or send a note to guest services.

Where else you can experience Patricia’s transformative work with water: Join Patricia in Greece this spring for a luxurious and deeply renewing retreat rooted in the healing power of the Aegean Sea.

 

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Patricia Garcia-Gomez
Patricia Garcia-Gomez is a writer and artist working with visual media and sound. She is the editor of Travel by Ageist and a contributor to the Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and The Private Journal (Europe). Her work is also part of the permanent archives of the Tate Modern, the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, the Buhl Collection, and The Harwood Museum in New Mexico.

 

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