Have you noticed how many different types of retreats there are these days?
A shortlist includes:
- Meditation retreats
- Spa retreats
- Spiritual retreats
- Wellness retreats
- Adventure retreats
- Digital detox retreats
- Yoga retreats
I personally love wellness retreats. They offer so much more than your typical package holiday. I believe that a good holiday should restore your soul, give you a deep feeling of inner peace, and boost your wellbeing. Take me to the mountains and lead me in some meditation and yoga. That’s my style. And that’s precisely what wellness retreats offer.
Let’s take a look at the best types of retreats and what they offer. Of course, if you’re stuck at home, you could always just try some healthy hobbies instead.
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1. Meditation Retreats
Meditation retreats are my favourite way to cleanse the mind and restore inner peace. But then that’s no surprise because I’m an online meditation teacher.
They teach you how to meditate, and they offer you a badly needed opportunity to switch off.
If you’re like me you might sometimes find life a bit hectic, a bit too noisy, a bit loud. And what your soul really desires is some peace and quiet. They are the best way to get that peacefulness.
Sure, at a meditation camp, you will get to learn about meditation. But honestly, it is about so much more than that. When we meditate, we silence the mind. That means turning off all the things you’ve been stressed about, all the thoughts flowing through your mind, and the noise of life. It’s like stepping out of the busy world into a divine abode. And the health benefits are enormous. They range from reducing stress and anxiety to improving your overall physical health.
There are different types of meditation retreats:
- Ones that mix meditation and yoga
2. Yoga Retreat
If you’re looking for a wellness retreat that will exercise both your mind and your body, a yoga camp could be just what the doctor ordered.
Yoga, philosophically, is all about achieving liberation (moksha) and being one with the universe. So, if you have been feeling at odds with the world, or stuck in your life, this could be the perfect choice for you. Of course, you could just go for the beaches, the pools, the massages…
Make sure you book a yoga camp designed for your experience level. There are different types of yoga retreats, such as ones for beginners, Ashtanga ones, and ones for advanced yogis. Many yoga retreats also offer other experiences such as cultural trips, meditation, and Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga.
The best benefit of yoga retreats is that they offer total wellness for your mind and body. You will be exercising your body with the physical yoga classes. And you’ll be exercising your mind with meditation. Most yoga retreats also include turning off the tech, nutritional classes, and courses on the philosophy of yoga.
3. Spiritual retreats
There are many different types of spiritual retreats. There are Buddhist camps where you will learn the philosophy of Buddhism and also experience meditation lessons. There are Christian camps where you will be taught how to feel closer to God. And there are New Age camps where you get to experience all the different New Age philosophies and exercises. This is arguably the best type of retreat for opening your mind and experiencing a new way of living.
This type of retreat is all about expanding your spiritual horizons and developing your spiritual practice. Different types of spiritual rereats offer different benefits.
5. Nature Camp
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that nothing cleanses the soul like nature. Whether it’s swimming in a beautiful ocean with dolphins or going for a ten-mile hike through the forest, nature cleanses the soul.
One way to do this is with “Shinrin Yoku”, otherwise called Forest Bathing. And reararch shows that this does wonders for our health.
At this type of wellness retreat, you will indulge in nature. Accommodations are generally natural and beautiful, such as staying in a log cabin in the forest where you can hear birdsong all around you. You’ll want to turn your phone and any other devices off and simply enjoy the natural world.
Benefits of nature retreats
Nature camps are an opportunity to return to a purer life. They are all about turning off digital devices and connecting with the natural world. Science shows that time in nature helps to reduce stress levels and increases happiness. Add in some hiking and swimming for exercise.
6. Couples Retreats
Smart couples know that it is essential to put effort into a relationship. If you’re currently going through a rough patch in your relationship, a couple’s camp could be the solution. If all is presently great in your relationship, a couple’s camp can make things even better.
This type of retreat is all about doing things with your significant other. There are fun exercises to do together, and of course, the beds are custom-designed for another type of exercise. So, get busy!
Benefits of couple’s retreats
The main benefit of a couple’s retreat is to strengthen your relationship. This could be to help you through a rough patch, or it could just be to enjoy time together away from your regular lives. Either way, the experience is sure to make your love even stronger.
7. Fitness retreats
Fitness retreats are perfect for two types of people: The super-fit person who simply wants to exercise somewhere beautiful. And people who need a little motivation to start working out (hey, I’ve bren there). Either way, one of the best ways to enjoy exercise is to book a fitness retreat. You’ll get to do everything from running to swimming to cycling and hiking.
Different fitness retreats offer different kinds of exercise. But expect yoga, kickboxing, pilates, hikes, and more. Your personal fitness instructor will help you find the best exercises for you.
Benefits of fitness retreats
You can only change your physical body so much at a fitness camp. After all, you will only be there for a limited time. That’s why it is more about attitude. The main benefit you will get is a sense of positivity and the motivation to keep exercising once you go back home.
8. Digital Detox Retreat
As a guy who runs a blog, it might seem a little ironic for me to recommend a digital detox. After all, how could you read THE DAILY MEDITATION if you’re not allowed to be online? And besides, who doesn’t want to take a selfie when you’re on a wellness retreat?
Then again, we’ve all heard about the negative effects of information overload. Sometimes, you need to switch off. And one of the best ways to do that is with a digital detox camp.
Here, you will turn off all your devices. You might even find that your retreat literally has no wifi (o’, the horror!). This forces you to get back to basics and experience nature.
A lot of people find that after one of these, they suddenly realise just how serious the effects of media are. Many even decide to chuck their phones away for good.
With a digital detox you will return back to basics. You’ll get in touch with your natural self. When you turn the digital devices off, you are more likely to experience nature, do healthy hobbies like art and hiking, and take relaxing walks out in the wilderness. They are great for families too, especially if your kids are online too much.
9. Weight Loss Retreat
If you’ve been trying to find the perfect way to lose weight, you might like to try a weight loss camp. It’s the ideal opportunity to start losing weight in a way that is enjoyable, relaxing, and stress-free.
You’ve probably seen those “fat-busting” TV shows where contestants are put through hellacious training regimes to lose weight. Actually, they are not like that. They are a relaxed, friendly, and supportive place to start to take control of your weigh. They teach you all about nutrition and the mental aspect of weight loss, and they give you exercises and fun ways to lose weight. Plus, the chefs are so good you will enjoy the food even while you’re dieting.
Obviously, the main advantage of weight loss retreats is that they help you to lose weight. But the best thing about weight loss retreats is that they change your attitude. They help you to learn what you’ve been doing wrong, and what to do right instead. When you leave, you will have a totally new perspective on weight loss.
10. Detox Retreat
Toxins in the body cause a lot of health problems. And that goes for both physical illnesses and mental health conditions like stress and anxiety. One of the best ways to remove toxins from the body is with a dedicated time of detoxing. And the best place to do that is at a detox retreat.
Different detox camps focus on different strategies. Most incorporate various kinds of diets with lots of delicious fruits and vegetables. And they will also include exercise classes like yoga and Pilates.
Benefits of a detox retreat
You will improve your health at a detox retreat because you will eliminate toxins. And you will learn a ton of valuable information about health and nutrition. You might even notice that by the time you leave you have better skin and hair.
11. Spa Retreat
Spa camps are the place to go if you want to feel ab’ fab. These are the type of retreat where you will be absolutely pampered. Between the massages and the facials, your stress will simply melt out of your body. Utterly divine!
Basic spa holidays offer various therapeutic treatments including facials and massages. You’ll also get to experience wonderful aromatherapy and of course some delicious, nutritious food.
Spas are usually a lot easier to attend than many other types of camps. Unlike yoga and meditation ones, where you actually have to put some effort in, at a spa you are pampered, and it is all so effortless.
The health benefits are significant too. Full body massages will improve your circulation, while steam rooms will help you to sweat out toxins from your body.
12. Adventure Retreat
Adventure camps are all about fun. At this type of wellness retreat, you’ll be doing all sorts of outdoor activities. Expect to go canoeing, hiking, rock climbing… you’ll definitely get some new experiences out of an adventure holiday.
You’ll get some great exercise for your mind and body at an adventure camp. Better than that, however, is the sense of exhilaration and liberation.
More different types of retreats
As well as the above wellness retreats, you might like to consider:
- Mindfulness retreats
- Awareness retreats
- Quit smoking retreats
- Quit drinking retreats
- Ayurveda retreat
And if you’re stuck at home, you can always book some private online meditation lessons with me.
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison