In the past few years as yoga and meditation have become fashionable, luxury resorts have picked up on the trend and started offering what are now called “wellness retreats.” It sure does sound good to go get “well” doesn’t it? But what the heck is a wellness retreat?
What Is Wellness?
Wellness is a state of good health, both physically and mentally.
According to the recent U.N. Special Report on Happiness, one of the greatest sources of misery is mental illness.
“In every country physical health is of course also important, but in no country is it more important than mental health.”
As technology takes over most aspects of our lives and leaves us constantly connected wirelessly and yet disconnected socially, it is more important than ever to take responsibility for our own physical and mental wellness. Daily attention to our physical health and state of mind are key to maintaining wellness.
Why Attend A Wellness Retreat?
When life gets hectic, it’s easy to fall into bad habits as we try to maintain a sense of ground. But often this has the opposite effect: we get stressed so may drink too much coffee, or binge on sugar in an attempt to self-soothe, which makes our mind more agitated. The universe responds to a calm state of mind more readily that it does to an eager, frantic one. So sometimes in order to step out of a negative cycle, we need to retreat and get back on track with what we know is good for us.
Here’s the big lesson I’ve learned in 25 years of practicing yoga and meditation: Relaxing is the key to doing anything well. The reason? When you are relaxed, you become fully present. Being fully present is the key to manifesting whatever you choose. When you take time out for a retreat, you learn practices that train you to relax deeply.
Wellness Retreat, Yoga Retreat or Meditation Retreat: What Is The Difference?
Contemplative practices such as yoga and sitting meditation help settle body, steady the breath and calm mind to establish harmony and a ground of sanity. When you attend a yoga or meditation retreat, you sign up to learn specific practices or techniques, but you may not get a context for how to apply these practices to your daily life. You may not get any insights into how these practices fit into your life, or how they can help you grow as an individual.
A good wellness retreat addresses the whole human package: body, speech and mind. Emphasis is on going deeper into the whole being–including the psychological process–which gives clarity when making life choices. You will learn to access inner wisdom through mindfulness and awareness. A quality wellness program will give you tools and daily practices to facilitate dialogue with this deeper wisdom current so that it becomes part of your daily life.
Best Meditation Retreat Centers Around The World
Find out where to do meditation retreat, anywhere in the world. This list is updated as I discover new centers.
Here Are A Few Benefits Of A Wellness Retreat:
- Taking time to listen to your body and hear its messages
- Learn mindfulness practices to settle the mind in a state of peace
- Process emotional or psychological issues that feel unfinished or that need a decision
- Talk through what’s bothering you and work through a dilemma through using creative process or group dialogue
- Be a part of a supportive community and new friends
- Take time away from daily life to view things from a new perspective
- Spend time in nature
- Healing, rest and relaxation
Who Should Attend A Wellness Program?
- Seasoned meditators who want a more embodied practice and daily yoga routine to support meditation
- Yoga teachers and practitioners who want tools for their classes, inspiration for their students and refinement for their own practice
- Creatives who need community and inspiration; who want to incorporate a meditation practice into their creative process
- Anyone who needs support going through life transition or help making a major decision or wants help creating a new life path
A wellness retreat is simply a program or package that includes various practices, teachings and services, designed to help you get well. You don’t necessarily need to be unwell to attend one– you will increase your wellness, no matter where you start off. Within the context of nurturing community, a wellness retreat will give you the tools you need to thrive.
Ready to embark on your own journey and participate in a wellness retreat? Join us at the incomparable Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies this fall. Click here or on the photo for details and booking.