Every Sunday evening should be just like this… {The Still Point Spa Mini-Retreat}

Between work and training and trying to keep my house from looking like it belongs on an episode of Hoarders, life can get really stressful. Recently I had been thinking a lot about doing some kind of spa day to give myself a chance to unwind a little. Then it was like the universe read my mind and dropped this little invitation right into my email inbox.


Just in case you can’t read the fine print, it was an afternoon of mini treatments, treats, and my choice of a Yoga Wall or Barre Essence class. This event itself was hosted by the new Still Point Spa – just opened in December! – which has partnered with Haven on the Lake retreat  to bring you a one-of-a-kind relaxation and wellness experience.

This is a 30 minute drive from my house. It could have been three hours away and I still would have RSVP’ed “hell yeah”.

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Haven on the Lake is located on….wait for it…a LAKE in Columbia, Maryland. The view from outside was really quite beautiful.

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A running/fitness blog is not legit until you take pictures of your legs and feet. Mostly I took this just because my new Athleta pants rock.

I was so amped for this that I got there like 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I am habitually late but if I’m being promised a yoga class and a massage, you can be sure that I will be there early.

This place? Is GORGEOUS.

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The comfortable Haven lobby.

The Still Point is to the left when you walk in. They offer a wide variety of wellness services such as holistic skin care, acupuncture, massage, body treatments, and natural nails, but they also focus heavily on nutrition which is very different from any other spa I’ve visited. The Spa is immaculate, well appointed and smelled positively miraculous. They have their own signature scent that they developed and it is piped throughout. I wish my house smelled like it all the time.

The treatment rooms were all named after acupuncture points. I thought that was the most thoughtful little touch.

The treatment rooms were all named after acupuncture points. I thought that was the most thoughtful little touch.

Pedicure basins that can be fully sanitized after every use. They are VERY mindful of that sort of thing at The Still Point, which I can appreciate so much!

Pedicure basins that can be fully sanitized after every use. They are VERY mindful of that sort of thing at The Still Point, which I can appreciate so much!

As part of the mini-retreat I would get to choose from a menu of mini-services including ear seeds, chair massage, and a delicious sugar hand scrub. I still had some time before Yoga Wall – what with me getting there so early and everything – so I sat down for couple of these treatments before the class.

So…ear seeds .I had never heard of this before. It was being performed by a very friendly Still Point acupuncturist.  These very small seeds are from a Vaccaria plant. They are placed at acupuncture points on the ear and held in place with an adhesive tape. They can then be left in place for a number of days or until a small tree starts to grow out of your ear.

Obviously I’m kidding about that last part, but the acupuncturist did joke that one of the seeds was in a less visible place and not to miss it when I was removing them for that reason.


Don’t they look like creepy little bugs!? This was actually really cool. As soon as she started adhering the seeds to my ear I felt more relaxed and calm. I am a big believer in acupuncture and have had a lot of success with it in the past. While the seeds are attached, you can manipulate them to stimulate those pressure points on your ear, which is thought to bring about feelings of well-being.

After I had the seeds planted in my ears, I moved on to the sugar scrub. There were three scrubs to choose from.

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The one in the back was some kind of lavender. The one in the front was grapefruit. The one in the middle smelled like chocolate brownies and I requested a spoon so I could eat it. It smelled phenomenal and obviously that would be the one I chose. A very friendly (are you sensing a trend here?) woman did my sugar scrub and it was wonderful. My hands felt great! Just in time for Yoga Wall!


This was a little intimidating at first and difficult because my hands were still slippery from the sugar scrub (maybe I should have waited to do all that).

In some respects Yoga Wall is similar to aerial yoga that uses trapeze fabric in order to deepen certain stretches. We used these straps to assist us through postures such as Side Angle, Warrior 2, and Downward Dog, which also uses that strap you see on the floor next to the mats. There is a little ball at the end of the wall straps that allow them to be removed from their place on the wall and adjusted to different heights. Additionally the amount of slack you have on the loop in the strap can be adjusted allowing you to get deeper into a pose.

I was a little unsure and confused about it at first, but in the end I really liked it; especially when she told us we could invert. This was right up my alley! Leaning back against the large strap right about at sacrum level, we could walk up the wall and hang there with our feet in bound angle. It was wonderful. I love being upside down! I swear it makes me taller.

The class was abbreviated just to give us a taste of it, but I will most definitely be going back down to take a full class soon. I wish I had asked the instructor to take a picture.

Oh and also? Lauren from Breathe Deeply and Smile was in class with me, but I wasn’t sure if it was her or not and I’m so socially awkward that I didn’t say anything to her. Next time we see each other I promise to say hi! 🙂

Along with Yoga Wall, Haven on the Lake also offers yoga in about thirty additional forms from hot to restorative and even water yoga, a variety of barre classes (including WATER BARRE!? WHAT!?), reformer classes, fusion classes, and internal energy classes such as Tai Chi. I want to take them all.

My Still Point experience was rounded out with a chair massage:

They just about had to peel me off that chair.

They just about had to peel me off that chair. Soooo relaxed.

And an olive oil and vinegar tasting provided by a shop called Secolari.


I will be the first one to admit that I’ve never thought much about olive oil and vinegar and how many different kinds of both of those things that exist. Some of the vinegars were so good that I could have drank them straight.

They gave me some bread though so I wouldn’t have to do that. They also gave me a gift certificate that I’m very excited to use!

Some other details about The Still Point and Haven on the Lake that had me sold:

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I was trying not to be too creepy taking pictures around the pool. I could sit in there all stay looking out at the beautiful lake!

This gorgeous pool area with whirlpools, a therapy pool, saunas, a 5 foot cold water plunge pool:

The ultimate ice bath.

The ultimate ice bath.

They also have a Halotherapy room, aka: crystal salt therapy which is an alternative medicine used for common ailments (sinus issues, allergy, asthma) and skin conditions such as acne.

And perhaps one of the best parts for a mom like me? They have childcare. I could literally go for an entire afternoon of treatments and Betty could hang out for up to 5 hours. It’s not like your run of the mill gym daycare either; they create a fun, nurturing environment for your child as well so you can enjoy yourself without worry.

This place is truly perfection: beautiful and relaxing. Everyone there couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly!  I WILL be back to The Still Point and Haven on the Lake soon and I’ll be bringing friends!

If you are in the Columbia area or even willing to drive a bit,you HAVE to go by and check it out for yourself.

So are you ready to try a yoga wall class now? Have you ever gotten ear seeds? How delish does that sugar scrub look? Have you ever gotten in a cold plunge pool? (I really want to try it!)




56 thoughts on “Every Sunday evening should be just like this… {The Still Point Spa Mini-Retreat}

  1. Melissa (I Crashed the Web) says:

    Um, hello – how jealous am I right now?! This place looks incredible and sounds like the perfect end to a weekend. I always hate sunday afternoons and start to get stressed out as the evening approaches and i think about the busy week ahead but this sounds like the perfect fix!

  2. breathedeeplyandsmile says:

    I’m posting my recap later this week. I’m glad I’m not the only socially awkward one who wasn’t sure if it was you and then didn’t get the chance to awkwardly approach you! Next time! And I totally was wishing I had brought a bathing suit to sneak away and hang out in the hot tubs or pool haha!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Haha I’m so glad we are both awkward. That makes it a little less awkward. 🙂 It was great to almost-meet you!

      I felt like a total creeper taking pics in the pool area, but next time I definitely want to go back and hang out in there.

  3. Sweaty Mess says:

    Ear seeds sounds creepy, but if Salt says it works, then sign me up! And child care? OMG, I’m there! I love sugar scrubs…it’s like I’m living my childhood fantasy by playing in sugar.

    • runsaltrun says:

      They were totally creepy and looked even creepier, but I have decided that I’m a fan.
      We definitely need to plan a day down there! You will want to eat that sugar scrub. It smells like the best dessert ever.

  4. piratebobcat says:

    This looks amazing. Glad you got to enjoy it. Only problem is that the scrubs look like hummus to me and I would’ve probably ate it.
    Dang, I need to go take a pic of my legs/feet so I can be a legit blogger! 😉
    Sup, Salt? I thought of you in Key West – on the drive saw a sign that said something about Salt creek or something, but couldn’t get my phone out fast enough to take a pic.

    • runsaltrun says:

      You already have the awesome selfie angle covered so I think you’re very legit.
      Ahhh I wish you had gotten a picture. This is just a sign that I need to go to Key West. Like right now.

  5. Lauren @ ihadabiglunch says:

    I’ve never in a million years heard about anything as bizarre as ear seeds haha. When you said the thing about a tree growing out of your ear I almost fell out of my chair because I thought you were serious for 0.5 seconds. But how cool!! I would love to give unique medicinal stuff like that a try — I still have to try acupunture! And I want to try gua sha (although I’m pretty scared!) That chair massage looks heavenly right about now…

    • runsaltrun says:

      It was incredibly bizarre. I had no idea it was even a thing. I think it really worked though! (I no longer have my seeds in and I miss them.)
      I definitely recommend acupuncture. I’ve used it for all sorts of reasons and have always had positive results.

  6. Michelle says:

    I LOVE IT when a business pipes their own scent throughout. And the treatments and childcare sound awesome. I am going to check them out!

  7. sarahdudek80 says:

    This place sounds like heaven on earth! I wish I lived closer. I have had ear seeds before and loved them. I actually told my acupuncturist that I had been bitchy around my husband and she hooked me up 🙂

  8. kristenk says:

    This place sounds awesome! And chocolate sugar scrub sounds soooo good! Have you ever been to Hershey? They apparently do chocolate spa stuff there and I’ve always wanted to do it!

  9. Sun says:

    What a beautiful facility! Makes me want to hightail it to a spa ASAP 🙂

    I had never heard of ear seeds before this post – Lol – at first I thought it was related to ear candling which I’ve read about on some spa menus.

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