Retreats Revive Mind, Body, and Spirit
From taking a spiritual retreat to unplugging at home, escaping from everyday distractions can help restore balance to your life.
The center offers more than 700 experiential programs. But regardless of the
specific program, the results are similar: rest, reflection, and
“Our mission is to help people produce more balance in their lives, to feel
more alive from the foundation of a yoga practice,” Shamir tells WebMD. “A
retreat is a chance for people to get away from everything, to refresh
spiritually and physically and re-evaluate their lives. Afterward, they are
more relaxed, happy and balanced, and their relationships are better.”
(How will you find
balance in your life this summer? Talk about it on WebMD's
Health Cafe board.)
Communing With Nature
As we’ve become more stressed, a lucrative industry -- ranging from deluxe
spa-based getaways and meditation retreats to yoga vacations and tools for mini
at-home breaks -- has sprung up to show us how to slow down and take stock.
But one of the simplest, most effective, and free ways to revitalize mind
and body is to rediscover the great outdoors.
Spending countless hours in our offices, cars, and houses, many of us have
lost touch with nature, and consequently, ourselves. Simply being outside,
inspired by the scenery, fosters contemplation and changes perspective. Fresh
air, trees, and bird songs are all deeply restorative; no wonder retreat
centers are situated in beautiful natural mountain, forest, or ocean settings.
But it’s not always possible to get away from it all. Fortunately, most big
cities have escapes -- botanical gardens, nature preserves, and parks -- that
offer a respite from hectic lives.
Parks is especially fond of the silent retreats she has taken at Kanuga, an
Episcopal retreat center in North Carolina, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit,
and Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta. She also carves out
regular time for mini-nature retreats at Stone Mountain Park and the
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, both in the metro-Atlanta area.
The attraction? Reconnecting with nature.
“Whether I’m strolling the grounds at Kanuga or walking the trails at the
Chattahoochee, communing with nature in silence and stillness is restorative. I
live amidst this [environment] and it’s just as valid as going somewhere
exotic. I give myself over to what’s exotic in my own neighborhood.”