What to Expect from a Wellness Retreat
A wellness retreat offers a unique blend of relaxation and education. You learn to understand healthy living better while you live a satisfying healthy lifestyle for the time of the retreat. You have a chance to learn, with classes in healthy topics like meditation, yoga, nutrition or cooking as well as heal, with therapeutic and relaxing treatments like massage and Ayurvedic treatments and more. Wellness retreats are designed to leave you feeling better than when you started, not exhausted like many traditional vacations tend to do.
17 Reasons to Choose to a Wellness Resort
1. Get away and break routines.
A retreat, by definition, is a departure, an escape from the norm, a chance to leave behind some things in your life. You will get away, physically of course, from your home and everyday schedule, and you will get away as well from the call of schedules, meetings, emails and voice messages, and you will get a chance to learn new skills, develop new habits, and study new ideas on your wellness retreat.
2. Get educated in some healthy ideas.
Retreats typically offer a blend of classes and seminars during all or part of most days during the session, allowing you to learn more about healthy habits of life, exercise, nutrition, and much more. Led by seasoned experts in the field, they help you reflect on your life, think of different ways to do things, and get inspired to try to keep improving, with lessons that you can take home and use in your day to day life from then on.
3. Enjoy well-structured leisure.
A wellness retreat is a combination of doing and not doing; activity and inactivity; stimulation and relaxation. The schedule is designed to give you flexibility and maximum opportunity to enjoy and learn on your pace and at your time. You may choose a class in the morning after a vigorous workout, or a stimulating walk through nature followed by time to write and reflect. The opportunities are built in so that you just choose what matters most to you without any stress about how to fill your days as you may have on a standard vacation of sightseeing and travelling.
4. Benefit from focused practice.
You have time to work on what matters most to you on a wellness retreat. If yoga feels good (regardless of how much or little you know or have practised it before you came on the retreat), then enjoy it twice a day and feel the benefits in your body with increased flexibility and improved focus of mind. If you find joy and purpose in writing, reading, or reflecting, take the time to pursue your passion with time to meditate, journal, and savour nature on your own or with a group. The purpose of a retreat is to give you time to pursue what feels right to you, and to find renewed energy and vitality as you focus for the time of the retreat on your favourite pursuits and healing efforts.
5. Benefit from proximity to experts and teachers.
The teachers, guides, and yogi who lead the classes and sessions at wellness retreat programs are unique and gifted individuals full of knowledge and training in areas of your life that you can improve in. On your wellness retreat you are often in small classes or even solo experiences with these helpful professionals, and you are likely to learn more in a shorter time with individualised attention to your issues and questions that come up in the sessions.
6. Location, location, location.
Just as the old saying in the real estate business goes, three of the most important things about the power and pleasures of a wellness retreat are: location, location, location. On a wellness retreat you really do retreat, to a warm and sunny and pleasant place that is very unlike your home environment, often on a beach or other lush warm and enjoyable surroundings so that you can relax your body and mind fully. Away from the usual environment of your home and community, you find that your mind works a bit differently, and as you focus your attention and gentle efforts on finding changes that can benefit your life and overall health wellness, it is easier in many ways to fit these new habits and patterns into your life, in this faraway and exotic location where you go for your wellness retreat. And that is part of the power of the experience.
7. You are what you eat.
The diet you eat on your wellness retreat may be somewhat different than what you are used to at home. There is a bit of a pattern developing here, of course: the climate is different than what you are accustomed to at home, the routine is different, and so of course the food you eat reflects the focus on overall body and spiritual health that is central to every good wellness retreat. The cuisine of a wellness retreat is usually plant-based, or heavily leaning that way, as most experts agree that the body does best on a clean diet rich with grains and nuts, fruits, vegetables, and juices. Typically the chef who prepares the food for a wellness retreat is trained in nutrition and healthy living so as to contribute a rich, satisfying, and fully healthy menu of local specialities from the area where you are at for the retreat. You may even find classes and education in food, cooking, and nutrition including everything from planning menus and selecting foods to eat to preparing and serving healthy delicious new recipes, so you just might take home some inspirations and ideas that may last a long time after your retreat.
8. Body moving.
Exercise is usually a central part of every good wellness retreat, not as a chore to accomplish, like many people tend to view it in everyday life, but rather as a joyful opportunity to relax, move your body in healthy ways, and feel good with your heart rate elevated and your blood pumping. Whether it is in yoga classes, hikes or beach walks, stretching and gentle movement with Tai Chi or even dance classes, there are many ways to feel good and get your body moving while having fun on your wellness retreat. Like many of the new skills and habits you practice on your retreat, you may well find that new exercise routines and ideas stay with you when you get home, extending the value and the health improvements of your retreat back into your everyday life for some time to come.
9. A wellness retreat equals the un-vacation.
Unlike on a typical vacation, on your retreat your days aren't packed with stressful activities like standing in line to tour a museum or gallery or other attraction, and you don't have decisions to make every day about which places to visit or how to fit more sightseeing or shopping into the trip. On a wellness retreat, you relax in place, enjoying the calm environment of the resort and the beauty surrounding you. You learn new skills or interests with part of every day. You benefit from healthy treatments like massage, and simply enjoy your time to reflect and relax throughout your stay. The wellness in the retreat comes mostly by way of your focus on yourself and your needs, as opposed to the typical pursuits of a vacation that involve moving about a city or country, waiting for things to happen and then walking to see more things somewhere else.
10. Expand your network.
At a wellness retreat you are likely to be surrounded by like-minded people who share similar interests with you, people who may have intriguing ideas or who may know things that may be helpful to you in some way. Among the lasting benefits of a wellness retreat include a potential range of fellow travellers you meet on the retreat, people whom you may add to your circle of friends and associates that you may stay connected with in some way after the retreat is over.
11. Coaching and guidance designed for you.
Take the time on your wellness retreat to sign up for some classes and sessions in areas of interest and you may learn some ideas that stay with you long after the retreat is done. Many of the best retreats will work with you to help you know your body and its needs, to become more aware of your nutrition and exercise patterns and how to acquire new and more effective habits in your life. Working closely with experts and professionals in yoga, nutrition, exercise, and meditation, you can progress quickly in a short time in understanding how to apply the lessons you learn to the needs of your individual life's circumstances.
12. Let the decisions go.
Once you've selected your wellness retreat and made a few basic choices of what you prefer to do and learn while there, the decisions are done and you can relax and go with the flow of your time on retreat to enjoy growth and healing. While you have options of sessions to attend and pursuits to follow with your day, the big things are taken care of and you can focus on you, and begin to become the best you that you know how to be, day by day, so that by the final day of your retreat you are ready to return home, refreshed, renewed, and recharged for whatever life has in store for you next.
Time is on your side on your wellness retreat. Your days are carefully structured to get maximum benefit out of the day, with plenty of time for reflection and thought as you go about the pleasant activities of the day, following up a refreshing hike with a relaxing massage and moving on to time to write and reflect about your experiences along the way. Take time to think. Time to dream. Time to learn new ideas. Time to stretch and breathe and practice yoga with expert guidance. Enjoy time to read and write and savour time to watch a sunset explode into primary colours and fade into a night of stars to watch on your own time.
14. Take the benefits home with you.
Your wellness retreat is likely to leave you with some side effects, like greater peace of mind, improved habits of exercise, better sleep, and maybe even more energy when you return home from the retreat. Habits and lessons learned throughout your time on your wellness retreat are likely to remain as a powerful force in your life for a few reasons: they are learned at a time when your mind and body are relaxed and open to new experiences, while on the retreat; and they are likely to have been taught well by professionals in the field so that the lessons of life and health tend to remain in mind more vividly and become a part of your life for some time to come.
15. Healing and growth are part of the experience.
Unlike on a regular vacation, where the idea is to see things and do things, on a wellness retreat a big part of the purpose and focus of the entire venture is to improve, to grow, and to heal in ways that haven't happened naturally in your life in some time. Lessons learned on your retreat, combined with the time and space to reflect on them and develop positive new habits, contribute to overall improvements in wellness in your life that can generate exponential growth potential. As you get a chance to focus you get help from pros in shedding light on areas that can use improvement in your health and wellness activities.
16. See new clarity in your life.
The wellness retreat is designed to help you focus on you. It is an ideal time and place to get clear on what really matters to you most, and to see a deeper connection to your intentions for life. The peaceful yet exotic environment is comfortably unsettling, changing your way of thinking in subtle ways as you learn new lessons and look back on experiences in a new light. Old patterns are open for change as you learn new wellness techniques of diet and exercise that can become a part of the new you that you are becoming through the experience of your wellness retreat and its focus on health, self-care and awareness, and personal growth.
17. Science agrees: wellness retreats are healthy.
In one of the first published scientific study on the topic of the benefits and improvements of wellness retreats, researchers studied a group of visitors on a wellness retreat that included healthy nutrition, calming but healthful activities like yoga and nature hikes, and education sessions on meditation and other wellness subjects. The benefits were noticeable, as study participants on average lost an inch or so of girth around their midsection, shed a few pounds, and reported feeling better and thinking more clearly and positively than they had done before the retreat. Even better, some of the results tended to show that the health benefits of the wellness retreat persisted in the lives of the visitors to the retreat, even weeks after the retreat was over.
While more studies remain to be done on how wellness retreats provide positive health benefits and in what degree, it is clear that a set time of a week or more that is used to focus on healthy habits of nutrition, sleep, breathing, exercise, and thinking is likely to result in clear positive health benefits that can last in your life.
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