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DIY Spa Getaway

There's no need to travel hundreds of miles to a high-dollar spa to rejuvenate your body and spirit. Try it in your own home or backyard.

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Convert your home into a health spa for a weekend and treat your guests to great food, yoga sessions, poetry readings, or even a pedicure.

To plan your weekend getaway, try these tips:

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  • Create spa concoctions. Many books and Web sites offer recipes for facials and other treatments that you can make with ingredients found at any health food store or supermarket.
  • Make a thoughtful gift for your guests: fragranced eye pillows. Sew 8 x 4-inch sacks out of a dark satin fabric. For each pillow, mix 1 cup flax seed with 10 drops lavender essential oil. Fill sacks half-full with the mixture and sew them up. The pillow blocks light and the scent calms the spirit.
  • Lead a class. Let friends who practice yoga, healthful cooking, massage, or some other healing art share with the group. No gurus invited? Pick up a few videos.
  • Light it up. Candles not only smell wonderful, they provide soft, relaxing light -- something we don't get enough of in this fluorescent-bulb society. For a group meditation exercise, set a single candle in the middle of a dark room, sit in a circle around it, and focus on the flame while breathing deeply. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes before other activities such as yoga or tai chi.
  • Partner up. If your friends are comfortable with each other, have them swap back massages, manicures, or pedicures.
  • Tune in your senses. Set up your CD player with a variety of relaxing background music. Try Enya, Yanni, or nature sounds such as the ocean or waterfalls, and keep them playing throughout the whole weekend.
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