A History of Healing

Chablé Maroma’s celebrated spa director shares how ancient Mayan rituals can be applied to help us care for ourselves today.

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Photo Credit: Chablé Maroma
Photo Credit: Chablé Maroma

Chablé Maroma knows it rests on hallowed ground. Overseeing turquoise waters on the Riviera Maya, the wellness resort is near the only archaeological Mayan temple found directly on a beach and the second largest coral reef in the world. It is steeped in verdant jungle and rich Mayan history, giving guests a glimpse into history and a pathway into the natural world. Drawing upon this spirituality and culture, it is no wonder that the Chablé Maroma spa is one of the most renowned in the world. There, health is in harmony with nature, authentically paying homage to the Mayan culture and its history for holistic wellness.

Cinthya Alva Flores (Photo Credit: Chablé Maroma)

The spa is helmed by renowned expert Cinthya Alva Flores, wellness director and health and skin coach, who has over 16 years of experience working at luxury hotels. “My knowledge and experience are inspired by the ancient healing traditions and the new spa and wellness trends to create a balance and a sustainable beauty alternative,” she says. Cinthya shares the traditional practices she has learned that help her feel more vibrant and healthy, both inside and out.

Your love for wellness and sharing it with others is abundant. When did you first know you wanted to work in wellness?
When I was eight years old, I fell skating in the backyard. I had a big scratch on my leg, and my grandmother came right away and prepared a special remedy using healing herbs. I immediately felt how the plants helped me to heal. My grandmother told me that herbs and love are the best medicine for the body and soul.

From that day, learning about healing herbs became my passion, and giving well-being to others became the mission of my life.

Photo Credit: Chablé Maroma

You have helped develop various wellness initiatives at luxury resorts and now head a celebrated spa. How do you incorporate wellness practices into your own life?
Wellness is about living a life that centers on a philosophy of living better, more wholly and more truthfully, and having fun in the process! That is where true beauty springs forth: bubbling up from the inside and spilling over to the outside. It makes me feel healthier and happier, and I share that philosophy with everyone I interact with.

I believe we live in a world that moves quickly. We are constantly pulled in different directions. So many of us are carrying this stress — we don’t feel good because of it and when we don’t feel good on the inside, our external appearance follows suit. It’s time to slow down and get back in touch with life and ourselves. At Chablé Spa, we see examples of life ever changing, growing and adapting. Like the rhythmic spirals in the ocean or the growth of a seed into a majestic tree, there is promise of transformation and manifestation.

Photo Credit: Chablé Maroma

On the property, you have Ka’anche’s, traditional organic Mexican gardens. Can you explain the biodynamic farming methods you use?
Biodynamic farming is a holistic, ecological and ethical approach to gardening. At Chablé Spa, we develop a conscious and creative conversation with nature. By observing, sensing and listening to the land, we have intimate relationships with our unique Ka’anche’s. We grow healing herbs — including rosemary, epazote, lemongrass, oregano, basil and hoja santa — that expand our capacities for perception, reflection and imagination. Depending on the moon cycle, we harvest the plants and prepare our soul tea, a special infusion, and use it in different treatments and rituals. It also gives a special touch to the steam room.

What are some wellness philosophies that everyone should practice?
Remember that beauty with substance is an inside job. Embrace change because it is the only stable state in our life. Lastly, find your own sanctuary and design your inner life.

The Mayans have so many fascinating and beautiful beliefs and practices. What are some that resonated most with you, and what do they signify?
Our shaman has taught me some of my favorite ceremonies!

Kay Nikté Ceremony
This mystical ceremony takes place every 28 days; it involves copal, the light of a full moon, the water of the ocean, and the participation of a shaman. The Kay Nikté Maya Ceremony has the purpose of connecting people with the planet Earth and the cosmos in a spiritual way.

The first step of this beautiful ceremony is to make a circle of candles underneath the moonlight, preferably at the beach. Next, all of the participants should gather inside of the circle as the shaman pours sea cenote inside of a clay pot that represents Ixchel, goddess of fertility, love, medicine, water and the moon. Finally, the shaman will chant and pray, and that’s when all of the blessings will fall upon the participants.

Photo Credit: Chablé Maroma

Saka Ritual
Saka is a sacred Mayan beverage made from corn and sweetened with local honey. This is used as an offer for Chaac, god of rain, to give thanks or ask for a bountiful harvest. When participating in this cosmic ritual, you will accompany the shaman into the spa next to the Aluxe house where the Saka is placed, and, once it is over, you can try it yourself to receive the rain god’s blessings. A great way to prepare before an important project like starting a business!

What is your favorite quote?
“The soul needs love as urgently as the body needs air. In the warmth of love, the soul can be itself.” John O’ Donohue.

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