Mindfulness Retreat: How to Choose the Right One for You
Going on a Mindfulness Retreat allows you to distance yourself from the daily stressors that can cause burnout. A mindfulness retreat provides a tranquil, supportive and spiritual environment in which you can step away, learn something new and deepen your meditation practice.
Not all meditation is the same and neither should a retreat be the same. Before deciding on which mindfulness retreat to choose, you’ll want to make sure your expectations align with what your chosen meditation retreat offers. It’s important to choose a retreat that makes you feel supported and comfortable whilst you’re on your wellness journey to find inner peace.
Mindfulness and Meditation Retreats
A Mindfulness Retreat is typically dedicated to the practice of meditation and self care, where we set aside our usual tasks and responsibilities and simply take some time for ourselves to be present. Mindfulness Retreats differ in what they provide which may include any of the following:
- guided group meditation sessions,
- 1:1 coaching,
- spiritual connection,
- educational talks,
- slow movement like Yoga,
- spa treatments
- silent meditation retreat,
- mindful practices such as silence, mindful eating, or mindful walking,
- adventurous excursions.
Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat offers many different programs that can give you the rejuvenation you need, with mindfulness being at the heart of all itineraries. This includes daily Yoga, meditation, coaching, guided hikes and spa treatments. Here are our top tips for how to choose the best meditation retreat for you-
Consider the Location for your Mindfulness Retreat
The location for a lot of people can be the most important aspect of their retreat. How far would you be willing to travel? Are you looking to stay local in the same country, fly a shorter distance or a longer distance? Mindfulness Holidays in Europe are plentiful and a growing industry with many different options available to suit your specific needs.
You don’t necessarily have to have a location in mind, but think about what you’d like your surroundings to be. Do you want to be close to nature, enjoy the sun more, or even have access to nearby conveniences such as hiking trails, beach, gardens or shops?
Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat is in a private location in the Andalucía hills of Spain, nestled in the midst of nature surrounding by the Sierra de las Nieves National Park. Being amongst nature in the wilderness brings a sense of peace and tranquility where you can remove your ‘social armour’ and simply be. At Shanti-Som a key highlight are the guided meditation walks and hikes in Spain which take place daily. Andalucía meets all the requirements and offers the best conditions for hiking.
The initial intention of Shanti-Som was to create a peaceful haven with ‘Bali-vibes’, away from the usual tourist jaunts, and to provide a slice of Asia that is easily accessible within Europe. The Retreat is located just 40 minutes’ drive from Malaga airport and 10 minutes from trendy Marbella shops, restaurants and the beach.
What is the best time for a Retreat?
Choosing what time of year to go on a retreat is also a very crucial factor which is typically dependent on the weather. You may find you’d prefer to go somewhere during spring rather than summer due to intense heat or tourist popularity. If you are in the UK, you are most likely wanting to escape rain and grey skies, so consider regions of Europe with warmer weather like southern Spain.
Another consideration are public holidays in the country you are and the place you are visiting. Will shops be closed? How are air fare prices affected during busier periods?
Marbella enjoys the best all year-round weather in Europe. During winter, temperatures reach highs of 18 degrees with sun and slight chances of rain throughout the months of December and January. Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat has an outdoor heated swimming pool which guests continue to enjoy in the cooler months, plus a log fire in the foyer for cosy lounging. During summer, temperatures soar and this is also peak tourist season. Luckily the Retreat is in a secluded private spot so you won’t have to struggle with crowds!
Should you travel alone to a Mindfulness Retreat?
Going on a wellness holiday together can have many great benefits including providing motivation for each other to push for those healthy goals, having someone to support during the day and making great memories. Taking a partner or friend to a retreat is more conducive to active wellness holidays such as Yoga, Pilates, Fitness or for couples such as relaxation retreats.
On the contrary, if you choose to travel alone, this could prove to be a profound experience for you. You can get to know yourself better, push yourself and learn what you can achieve on your own merits. With the freedom to truly be yourself, you’ll be able to meet new friends, from all over the world with all sorts of amazing stories to tell. Particularly for a Mindfulness Retreat, going alone would be ideal so you can focus on your own schedule and needs rather than catering to someone else.
At Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat, many return guests choose to come alone as it is their private sanctuary away. A ‘second home’ if you will where they are well taken care of by the staff, who also feel like ‘family.’ You may feel uneasy at first, but the staff and calm environment will quickly make you at ease. The restaurant has a ‘shared community table’ for any guests who would like to dine with others. A lot of people end up finding new connections and friendships during their stay, and return together for their next retreat.
What is the Retreat Mission Statement
Because of the huge range of meditation and mindfulness retreats available, you need to be sure you align with their main philosophy. Read the About Us pages and look for values that resonate with you. If you’re skeptical of religion and wary of spiritual talk, for example, look for retreats that are more about mindfulness and self care. Read the blog posts and follow them on social media to see if they speak about mindfulness in a way that makes sense to you.
Will this retreat give the right vibe and energy you need? Some retreats are high energy with a lot of people, whilst others are more relaxed and intimate. This depends largely on your personality and what makes you feel comfortable.
Look at the core itinerary of the retreat itself. Is there flexibility in the program and balance in the retreat itself or is it more rigorous with specific expectations of you and a rigid program? Can you customise days to your needs and desires, or do you have to follow a set path? Send them an email with any questions. Can you see yourself being able to relax there and ultimately undergo the transformation that you seek.
Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat is built on the premise of flexibility, warmth, and cosiness. Rather than building a large flashy complex, the owner wanted to create an intimate setting. This is it ensure guests won’t feel self-conscious or intimidated in any way during their stay. With this in mind, the property was built with just 15 guest rooms. Shanti-Som understands your journey is unique so the programs are fully flexible and have no start date. Come when you are ready and our team of experts will ensure the most peaceful and relaxing experience. We offer programs from 3-14 nights, or our team is happy to create a bespoke program catered to your needs.
Consider The Food at a Wellness Retreat
Given a Retreat is all about wellness and healthy lifestyle, you will generally find nutritious meal plans with options for vegan, vegetarian and food allergies. Depending on the philosophy, the menu may be restrictive to align with fitness and weight loss goals.
At Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat we believe food is the nourishment for our bodies, souls and hearts. We have designed a menu with robust depths of flavour and wholesome hearty meals inspired by Asian cuisine. Guests are pleasantly surprised by the heartiness of meals, as a Wellness Retreat is often synonymous with simple salads and vegetables. We encourage guests to take a balanced approach to their diet, which also includes having things that bring joy such as wine and dessert! Shanti-Som believes everything is okay in moderation, and with knowledge we can make the right decisions for our body.
Read Some Reviews on Mindfulness Retreats
Before you book, read all the reviews you can. Take time to see what previous guests have said about the retreat, and take note of what they liked and disliked about the experience. More than the retreat descriptions, reviews will give you great insight into what you can expect at a retreat from an unbiased opinion.
How to Choose the Right Mindfulness Retreat
Traveling for a mindfulness and meditation retreat is the perfect way to mix adventure and self care. There are endless types of meditation retreats out there, and picking the best one for you requires a little soul searching.
Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat offers a cosy place where you will finally be able to disconnect from your day to day hustle and unplug from unwanted duties whilst becoming part of a like minded society. It will simply be the beginning of your wellness journey as you become equipped with knowledge and a community of warmth and experience to bring out the best version of you. This is a great option for a Wellness Retreat in Europe as it is easily accessible from Malaga airport whilst also being in a secluded location with the option to visit bustling Marbella for activities. Beyond the beautiful scenery, what makes our little spot in Spain truly special is the team. They are the ones who create an authentic and truly transformative experience.
Trust your gut! If you sense a valuable connection to a wellness retreat, go for it! Choosing the right retreat is a big decision. At the end of the day, it’s your time and money and you want to feel the benefits of your investment.