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What Are Spiritual Retreats All About?

by Alberto G. Güitrón

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Would you like to turn off time for a moment? As if you were in a science fiction movie and you could freeze everything around you and spend some time on your own.

The word spirituality is normally associated with the exploration of one’s inner space, the search of meaning, a sense of total peace and with the immaterial dimensions of life. But most importantly, it has gained popularity lately by becoming something that’s within everyone's reach —not just for religious people.

Nowadays, spirituality prioritizes the individual experience over the structures of religious organizations. You don’t need to follow a specific faith. Indeed, just by going on a spiritual retreat, you’re bound to live an experience beyond the ordinary.

Note: BookYogaRetreats offers a flexible cancellation policy. Should you not be able to travel as scheduled, we’d be happy to help you alter your booking with the same organizer or with a different organizer.

Want to know what actually happens on one of these retreats? Keep reading to learn all you need to know before going on a spiritual retreat.

But first, what does it mean to be spiritual?

sitting woman

Historically religion and spirituality have been linked and understood in the same way, as they overlap in some subjects. However, they’re actually two different things.

While religion refers to the organizational dimensions, spirituality is related to the well-being of the mind, body and spirit. It emphasizes the understanding of the interior life of the individual and his connection with the transcendent aspects of it.

That’s why a religious person can consider himself to be spiritual but not all spiritual people are religious.

Usually, people that call themselves spiritual are interested in their self-knowledge, they believe there’s something beyond the human sensory experience and they value virtues such as empathy, compassion and kindness.

Therefore, for many, being spiritual implies a search to become a person whose highest priority is to be loving to themselves and to all that is.

READ MORE: Turn Inward: Online Private Sessions for Health & Wellness.

What is a spiritual retreat?


In general terms, a spiritual retreat is a safe space where you can experience complete renewal and gain a high level of self-knowledge. For those who believe in God or in any other higher power, it’s also the perfect setting for a profound meeting with it.

During a spiritual retreat, you’ll be secluded in a distant place, usually surrounded by nature, away from noise and distraction. Everything’s planned out for you so that you only focus on your wellbeing.

Plus, you’ll have committed professionals or experienced practitioners that’ll guide you through unique spiritual practices to help you calm your mind and nourish your soul.

What does a spiritual retreat look like?

people praying


Spirituality doesn’t have any rules, which makes it totally fascinating and out of this world. Therefore, when it comes to spiritual retreats, you’re bound to have a mind-blowing experience.

Mostly all spiritual retreats include accommodation in wonderful locations, healthy and delicious meals and meditation practices, or mindful exercises during the day.

As mentioned above, some of them also add unique practices to help you accelerate your spiritual journey and make it more fun. Some of those can be:

  •       Ceremonies at powerful sacred sites
  •       Shamanic initiations under the sun and the stars
  •       Energy healing sessions
  •       Messages from your spirit guides
  •       Akasha reading sessions
  •       Creative art
  •       Workshops in spiritual subjects
  •       Chakra balancing
  •       Journaling
  •       Transformation coaching sessions
  •       Past life regressions
  •       Private mystic sessions with Shamans
  •       Reiki treatments
  •       Dancing ceremonies
  •       Spiritual counseling
  •       Ancient feminine rituals

Benefits of a Spiritual Retreat


Image credit: Rishikesh Yoga Association

There are many benefits you can get out of a spiritual retreat. You’ll feel more positive, compassionate and with an improved sense of self-worth after the retreat.

You’ll also find deep relaxation which leads to more productivity and motivation in your life. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with nature, which is a perfect remedy for stress, and it increases pleasant feelings.

As a consequence of the stimulation of these positive neurons in your brain, you’ll notice an improvement in your overall health.

Finally, you’ll have a great chance of meeting likeminded people which makes it easy to build strong, positive and lasting friendships.

READ MORE: Online Mindfulness Courses: What is it All About?

Who can go?


There’s no age, race, gender, special attributes, social class, or specific background required to participate in a spiritual retreat. Basically, anyone who wants to go can do it.

However, you may benefit more from the experience if you enjoy expanding your mind, you like to explore other dimensions of life, or if you consider yourself to be a curious person.

If you already are on the path of self-exploration, joining a spiritual retreat is a great way to accelerate your inner journey and fill the existing gaps.

Finally, anyone who’s looking for a way to achieve a lasting sense of peace, connect with the power of divinity or find their life's purpose, could benefit a lot from joining a spiritual retreat.

How to choose a spiritual retreat?

woman doing yoga

Image credit: Claudia Gallo Yoga​

Now that you’re considering going on a spiritual retreat, here are a few tips to assure you a pleasant experience.

First of all, it is key to identify your personal motivation for attending. It can be to unplug and relax, or that you have something specific to work through. Maybe you’re looking for clarity in your life or you just want to connect with yourself. Whatever your motivation is, make sure you know it.

Also, when choosing a retreat is important to consider the topic of the retreat, since all the activities and amenities provided will be geared towards it. So, you want to make sure this is something you’ll enjoy.  

Finally, choose a retreat that takes place somewhere you like. Normally, you can find videos, photos and descriptions about the location before booking a vacation like this.  

Last piece of advice

If you've heard people talk about their experiences of going on a spiritual retreat, you can tell how they’re all so different. So, you may wonder what to expect for yourself? Rest assured that whatever your experience is, you’ll feel happier after the retreat, calmer and more satisfied with yourself than ever!

*Cover image credit: Veronica Ruiz

In search of alternative ways to feel good? There are plenty of healing retreats to soothe your mind, body and soul.



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