According to a survey by MHA (Mental Health America), 21% of adults grapple with instances of mental illness. Complementary findings from therapist surveys underscore the prevalence of prominent reasons for seeking therapy.
There is also definitely an increase in the number of people who are aware of mental health issues and are more open to discussing and seeking help.
A notable societal shift has emerged in response to these challenges—an increased awareness of mental health concerns, coupled with a growing willingness to engage in candid dialogues and actively seek solutions. Nonetheless, these challenges don’t exist in isolation; their effects ripple through our work life, relationships, and inner peace.
Our stressors are likely not going away anytime soon, but we can become better at managing them and helping ourselves. But what do retreats have to do with that?
For one, you probably need a getaway from your hectic schedule. Traveling is a great way to relax. If you add yoga, meditation, and more to your vacation schedule, you might slowly but surely bid goodbye to the accumulated stress. You experience new sights and perhaps gain a fresh perspective on life. So, pack your bags and explore some budget-friendly spiritual retreats compiled just for you.
The benefits of practicing yoga are many, including reduced stress & anxiety, improved flexibility, enhanced immunity, and better quality of sleep.
Retreat centers offer structured yoga classes, guided by seasoned instructors who not only lead the practice but also delve into the underlying philosophy. These sessions are thoughtfully designed to encompass a spectrum of subjects. In fact, certain retreats even feature specialized programs targeting specific concerns such as diabetes, chronic stress, and more.
Kripalu means compassion, beginning with yourself and expanding to others. What sets the center apart from traditional retreats is your freedom to do what you want with their day pass and overnight pass options. You can browse through their selection of classes and workshops and fill your day at a fixed rate. They have yoga, meditation, and mindfulness sessions. You can also pick activities like guided hiking, kayaking, and traditional archery. Enjoy a nature walk on its 100-acre campus, with access to hiking trails and a beach.
The center offers 3-4 days of meditation retreats, which include guided meditation sessions, journal explorations, and in-depth discussions on spirituality and meditation. Additionally, an effortless three-day mindfulness program is available, guided by an instructor who approaches the sessions with the core notion that the connection, liberation, and wakefulness we yearn for already reside within us. This concept is further cultivated through teachings in awareness yoga, spontaneous qigong, micro-meditations, and a range of other practices.
Interested in combining the holidays with a gentle workout? This retreat center has a program called Yoga Vacation Week just for you! It has classical yoga practice twice a day, guided meditations, and a yoga philosophy workshop. For those in search of more personalized wellness endeavors, the center provides holistic health retreats dedicated to managing diabetes or alleviating anxiety.
Should you desire a refreshing plunge, the Vrindavan pool awaits, and if community engagement aligns with your aspirations, you’re welcome to participate in their community service program throughout your stay. The accommodation options cater to diverse preferences: luxurious private cabins for those seeking comfort, or open spaces to pitch your tent, a wallet-friendly choice that doesn’t compromise on your experience.
Yoga Explorers organize retreats in Morocco, France, Thailand, and Goa, among other locations! Their upcoming 2023/2024 Morocco retreats include two yoga classes a day, for a week. You have ample time to lounge by the pool or check out the spa in between. Situated 20 min away from the center, you can visit Marrakesh to enjoy mountain hikes or explore hidden waterfalls in the city.
Known as the yoga capital of the world, what better way to experience its tranquil sights and get the benefits of yoga than join the spiritual retreat center at Rishikesh. Their introductory yoga retreat is for 3 days, and you get to learn a variety of yoga styles, indulge in an Ayurvedic massage, and engage in diverse in-house workshops. If you are looking for more focused programs, the center offers specialized Ayurveda detox and Ayurveda weight loss retreats.
Meditation has so many benefits, you probably know them by now, and you might have even experienced it before. Trying to calm your mind and focus seems like an uphill battle when stress and anxiety are at their peak.
Retreat centers offer you a comprehensive guide to meditation based on your pace. Many places discourage or limit the use of technology and the internet, ensuring you take that much-needed break from the outside world. Don’t worry if you are new to meditation. Beginning the practice with a group of meditators is an ideal way to start, as the energy of the group can naturally raise your vibration, thus improving the overall experience.
Vipassana means to see things as they are, where you simply observe your thoughts and emotions. The 10-day introductory course is free of cost. The center requires you to follow a strict moral code of conduct, refraining from doing and saying anything hurtful. You will be taught Anapana meditation (to calm the mind), then vipassana, and ending the course with loving-kindness meditation. Laptops and mobiles are not allowed, so there’s no worry of getting distracted, even if you get an itch to check your social media notifications.
They also have classes for teens, children, and business executives. The slots fill up fast, so keep an eye out on their website.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, this simple retreat center is dedicated to the teachings of Buddhism, of the Mahayana tradition from Tibet. An introduction course for 10 days would consist of teachings of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and guided meditations. Topics will include karma, rebirth, love, compassion, etc. Their meals are simple and strictly vegetarian, and silence must be followed during the stay, with dormitory-style accommodation. It’s a budget-friendly place to disconnect from the busy city life and connect to your inner calm!
Looking to learn some surfing along with your cat cow poses? This resort is the place to go. It’s located in the Sintra National Park and close to the beach. Their various retreats have activities like forest therapy, sound baths, guided nature walks, and healing treatments like ayurveda, zen shiatsu, watsu, and others that focus on holistic well-being. It lasts from 5 – 6 days, depending on what you pick. Their meditation retreat has guided meditation classes and general yoga.
Their unique Inner Engineering course, spanning 2 to 7 days, delves into the realm of inner well-being through the lens of yoga science. This comprehensive offering includes guided meditation and the 21-minute Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya—an amalgamation of meditation and profound breathing exercises. If you want to look outside the foundation, their residential courses include guided nature walks and visits to holy places. They have centers around the world, so you can pick the one nearest to you or just attend an online session from your living room
Wellness is about being physically, mentally, and socially happy. It surpasses the mere absence of illness, embracing a life enriched with happiness and fulfillment while minimizing ongoing distress.
Wellness consists of many aspects like nutrition, exercise, sleep, being social, mindfulness, etc.
So how do wellness retreats help? For one, most of the wellness aspects are taken care of during your stay. Exercise classes, meditation, outdoor events like hiking, surfing, etc., and ample time for being social are given in these retreats. But let’s go a little deeper. Need a cozy spot to sleep your worries away? Done! How about healthy and delicious meals? Centers pay special attention to what’s on the menu, serving you healthy and fresh food. Struggling to relax? Most centers offer massages as part of their package, which will make it challenging to think about work.
Picturesque beaches, simple but comfortable villas, and a taste of Balinese culture, you get it all! Their yoga and wellness retreat goes on for a week and comprises yoga sessions twice a day and a variety of classes, including cooking, herbal drink making, dancing, etc. How about making coconut oil? Yep, you get to learn that too! During your downtime, you can check out the beach or even make a trip to Ubud, a town known for traditional arts and crafts.
This Mexican beach resort city is not just your place for a yoga retreat but is also known for its beautiful pathways, nightlife, and restaurants. You get yoga classes twice daily and a 50-minute relaxing massage at the spa for a week. There are also wellness workshops on chakras, pranayama, etc. All this is accompanied by sound bath therapy and waterfall hikes. You also have a guided snorkeling session that’s included in the package.
This cozy resort offers beautiful views on a budget and pumped-up cardio workouts mixed with relaxing yoga and meditation sessions. They have Muay Thai boxing, swimming, beach HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) as well as regular yoga, meditation, and breathwork sessions in 8 and 15 days packages. And as a cherry on the cake, there’s a massage session waiting for you at the end of the sweaty day.
Need to save your calm and cash?
Check for scholarships or discounts and their eligibility criteria on the retreat websites. For instance, the Kripalu Center offers such information.
Look for shared accommodation, they are on the budget-friendly side.
Some centers offer free, donation-based, or minimum price-focused programs like the Ontario Vipassana meditation center. You just have to take care of travel expenses.
Look for a place within your budget and then choose a retreat. Check local centers first.
Look for volunteer opportunities as a photographer, videographer, or service staff. They usually get discounted rates.
Shravya P. is a content writer and loves to read in her free time. She is also invested in making wellness accessible and encouraging mindfulness. Through her writing, she aims to help people slow down, take care of their mental health, and appreciate the world around them a little bit more. At work and at home.
In the past, she has written on a variety of topics like meditation, relationships, mental health, nutrition, and even finance. Her aim is to make it easier for everyone to live a healthy and happy life.
SoulsMesh was launched by a group of passionate and grounded spiritual seekers, sharing experiences and wisdom of their spiritual exploration, and implementing the learnings in everyday life challenges. Through our writings, we aim to demystify spiritual journey and empower you with the right tools and knowledge to make a more positive impact in your life. We hope to celebrate a more grateful, empathetic, loving and happy reader base, everyday.