Far from being a "new age" junket, yoga retreats are a way to reconnect with the simple process of being. When all goes as planned, you not only return home feeling on top of the world - as though you really have had a holiday - you will return with knowledge on how to maintain your newly centered feeling when back in the hustle and bustle of your everyday life.
Breathe slowly and deeply and relax into the thought of blissful peace and tranquility. Forget the mass market cruises, the theme parks and the mad rush of too much in too little time. A meditation retreat does not mean that you HAVE to go to India, or sit unmoving in a cold cave at the top of a remote mountain. Meditation, yoga, taiji, and similar mind/body experiences, encompassing anything from spiritual to philosophical, are available in almost every corner of the world from Buddhist retreats in Africa to yoga centers in Taiwan and Zendos in Switzerland. While this article focuses on yoga, many of the same opportunities exist for combining travel and other body/mind disciplines.
With a few structured searches and a visit to your travel professional, you will be able to plan a relaxing trip to the retreat of your choice and combine a wonderful vacation with the study of a relaxing, spiritual discipline - long before your incense stick has burned all the way down.
Diet and food are often very important aspects of a yoga retreat"s amenities. Again, inquire with regard to the dietary philosophies and food preparations during your planning stages. Most will provide a range of foods and diets, from vegan to full cuisine, from raw food diets and all manner of specialty culinary experiences in between. Make sure that your own goals match closely the dietary offerings of the center you will be visiting. Note too, most facilities on the more intensive side of the spectrum do not allow caffeine or alcohol and may restrict other substances as well. A week or more of a highly specialized diet can either be a blessing or a burden, so choose with care.
In providing your travel arrangements, travel professionals can access a large array of travel options and discounts not available to the public at large, as well as excellent pre- and post- visits. Travel advisors work with tour operators to package air travel, accommodations and land transportations at large discounts from the retail purchase of those same components.