Do you feel like you need to take time out of your busy schedule in order to relax and unwind? Are you feeling stressed or worried? If you answered yes to either of these questions then you may like to consider going on a retreat. A retreat is a period of time spent away from the demands of the modern world. You will be able to turn off your phone and stay away from social media thereby giving yourself time to focus on yourself. You are likely to meet interesting, like minded people and may even make lifelong friendships. This article will look at the different types of retreats available, allowing you to make an informed choice about what type of retreat you would like to attend.
Different Types of Retreats
There are many different types of retreats to choose from, making it easy to find one which meets your needs as well as your budget. It’s best to do your research before signing up to a retreat to find out exactly what is on offer. Compare a few different retreats before making a final decision.
Retreats offer classes and practices which range from yoga, meditation and healthy eating or a combination of all of these. They will often promote healthy eating and wellness. During a retreat you will be encouraged to calm and clear the mind using meditation or yoga techniques.
The bible tells us that Jesus often went on retreat, where he spent time in prayer. Buddha also spent time in retreat, especially spending time in nature and eventually achieved a state of spiritual wakefulness by sitting under a tree. Whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, there are a number of benefits from spending time in a retreat. These include slowing down your breathing as well as your thoughts which will ultimately lead to less stress in your life. If you choose a retreat which has a spiritual theme then you may learn meditation techniques which you can integrate into your everyday life. This might be combined with health vegetarian meals and yoga as well as taking inspiration from the bible or other spiritual sources such as Buddhist texts. Spiritual retreats are likely to use silence and meditations to allow participants to focus inwards, gaining greater clarity and insight.
A wellness retreat is likely to focus on health and well-being with classes that take a more in-depth look at healthy eating as well as mindfulness. These types of retreats will help you to see that your whole system is interconnected. The health of your mind, body and soul all depend on one another. Yoga and meditation are likely to be practiced at a wellness retreat in order to calm your system and promote greater flexibility. Wellness retreats will look at topics such as detoxing, fasting, juicing and different types of diets such as raw food or vegetarian diets. They promote eating a balanced healthy diet in order to have more energy and alertness.
A meditation retreat will promote mindfulness using a variety of meditation techniques. If you find it hard to focus during meditation then a retreat will help you to discipline and calm the mind, giving you hints and tips about how to do this. Vipasana is a ten day meditation retreat where participants are encouraged to get over emotional blocks be focusing on the breath. People who have attended meditation retreats have left feeling a greater sense of wellbeing, with more mental clarity and feeling an overall sense of calm and peace. Meditation is a great skill to learn and is something that can be easily incorporated into daily life. By including just ten minutes of meditation a day you could improve your mental and physical health. Meditation helps to lower blood pressure and improve mood.
Have you ever heard of the healing power of nature? Spending time outside can do wonders for your mind as well as your body. In a natural retreat you are likely to spend time in contemplation in the natural world. Everything will be as natural as possible, from the food you eat to the products you wash with. You may learn more about growing your own food, natural remedies such as using herbs to heal and how to prepare food which is healthy and vibrant. Spending time in nature can also help to develop intuition which will help you to feel more in flow with life and can help you to make better decisions.
A yoga retreat will allow you to deepen and develop your regular yoga practice. You may be able to try different types of yoga which you have never done before or the retreat may be devoted to a single type of yoga. The yoga instructors will be able to give you more in-depth technical information about what each pose does for your body and you could also discuss how to heal aches and pains using yoga. A yoga retreat will also be combined with a bit of meditation to calm your mind and get you in the mood for your yoga practice. Throughout the retreat healthy eating will be promoted.
What are the benefits of going on a retreat?
- Meet new, like minded people
- Learn new skills such as healthy eating, vegetarian cooking, yoga, meditation.
- Spend time outside in nature
- Time to spend in reflection
- Get away from the demands of modern life
- An opportunity to focus on yourself and your wants, needs and desires
- Gain skills which can be implemented into your everyday life to reduce stress and increase motivation
- A more positive outlook on life
Practical retreat Tips for the beginner
If you have never been on a retreat before it is best to approach it with an open mind. You may be asked to try new things which could be slightly out of your comfort zone, such as new foods, meditation practices or yoga positions. To get the most from your retreat you should participate in all the planned activities, as well as having some alone time to contemplate life. In order to have the space and time to focus on your emotions, how your body feels and also on your dreams and goals, it is best to limit time spent on social media, the internet or contacting friends and family. This is because a retreat will give you the time to focus solely on yourself, something which most people don’t have enough time to do in the modern world.