Around the world, diverse cultures have embraced physical and spiritual cleansing through the practice of sweat lodge ceremonies. In Alberta, outfitters are offering innovative wellness programs designed to help guests get in touch with both the natural world and themselves through traditional spiritual practices and interactions with the environment.
At Wild Horse Camp in Nordegg, you can embark on a guided Vortex Hike along the Vision Quest trail, traversing paths that lead to energy vortex centers in the wilderness. Afterwards, participate in a sweat lodge healing therapy, and in the evening, relax by a fire pit while your hosts share stories and legends about the people native to this area. Bookings are by request, and lodging includes rustic cabins, dome tents, and tipis. A half-hour east of Edmonton and fifteen minutes east of Fort Saskatchewan, Eagle Spirit Cultural Programs Inc. provides opportunities to learn about, and experience firsthand, Aboriginal culture and heritage with experiential programs that include a full- and half-day Aboriginal Experience, Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training, Medicine Wheel Journey, Drum Making Retreat, and a variety of youth and school programs. During the half-day Aboriginal Experience, you'll erect a tipi, take part in both a smudging ritual and sweat lodge ceremony, and learn about the history and use of local botanical medicines. The full-day experience includes all of this, plus discovering your personal animal spirit, drumming, chanting, and the chance to learn how the spiritual aspects of Aboriginal cultures relate to modern life. For more information visit www.wildhorsecamp.com or www.eagle-spirit.ca