As we said earlier, mindfulness retreats are as varied as we are, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you want something still and serene, dynamic and developmental, or want to combine mindfulness with other practices such as yoga, there’s sure to be a retreat for you.
Meditation retreats are the most common form mindfulness getaways, with the main focus being upon meditation practices such as Vipassana (seated ‘insight’ meditation), walking meditation, body scans, Loving Kindness practices and Pranayama (breathwork). These retreats allow you to fully connect with your mind, body and soul through the use of meditation, so that you become mindfully aware of your bodily sensations, your emotions, your beliefs and any other thoughts that may occur during dedicated meditation sessions.
Buddhist Mindfulness Retreats
Buddhist mindfulness retreats use the spiritual teachings of the Buddha as the heart of their programmes. These retreats help you become aware of your thoughts and feelings, dig into the root causes of these and understand the power you have in changing your circumstances. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the MBSR programme, mindfulness is “moment-to-moment, non-judgemental awareness”. Practicing mindfulness not only allows you to increase your awareness, but also practice gratitude, manage stress and release attachment to negativity.
Permaculture mindfulness retreats are a more dynamic style of retreat as they offer guests the chance to learn skills and partake in activities while also being mindful. These retreats are often set on a farm or rural country house and allow you to assist in growing herbs and vegetables, creating new garden displays and learning about the importance of caring for the natural world. Often, permaculture mindfulness retreats offer seated meditation practices as well as teaching you the skills you need to use mindfulness when walking to work, washing the dishes and doing the gardening.
Forest Bathing Retreats
Another wonderful form of mindfulness retreat is Forest Bathing. Forest Bathing is an immerse form of nature therapy in which you mindfully explore forests and other green spaces with no purpose other than presence and awareness. This Japanese art form, aka Shinrin-yoku, helps you connect with nature, reduce stress, calm your mind and improve your overall wellbeing.
Yoga-Based Mindfulness Retreats
All yoga practices are a form of mindfulness as the very nature of yoga asanas is that you become aware of your breath and movement and work through postures in a mindful manner. Most yoga-based mindfulness retreats include Hatha, Yin and Yoga Nidra classes as well as pranayama practices to help bring you into the present moment and create a strong mind-body awareness.
Lastly, corporate mindfulness retreats are now becoming popular as companies tap into the understanding that meditation and mindfulness are useful in helping to manage stress and anxiety and improve employee wellbeing. Corporate mindfulness and wellbeing retreats place an emphasis on your health and connections and allow you to step away from the stress and strain of the workplace. Instead of long hours, never-ending inbox messages and tense management meetings, corporate mindfulness retreats focus on boosting morale, rejuvenating yourself through nutritious meals and snacks and slowing down through exercises like Tai Chi, yoga and meditation.