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Retreats make for better vacations

13 Jun 2018   Shanti Gowans


Retreats make for better vacations

You can withdraw from a frenetic lifestyle for a week or two to rest, rejuvenate, and recoup in a beautiful, secluded exotic retreat, at Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary in S. E. Queensland.

However, after a year's hard work when the time comes to pick the perfect holiday option, we often find people bolting off to their favorite travel destinations without realising that they will probably still be on 24/7 holiday management duty during this time off.

Such vacations undermine the fundamental purpose of a holiday, namely, to relax and recharge. However, as opposed to a vacation, which is quite simply a time off from everyday routine, retreats are purposeful getaways that are aimed at rescuing you from an undesired or unpleasant situation and whisking you off to an exotic location to heal in that particular respect.

Retreats at Nirvana offer everything including spiritual healing, body-mind-spirit wellness through meditation and Shanti yoga, family or marriage life skills and relationship wellbeing counselling, and much more. Outlined below are several reasons for you to opt for a retreat over a regular vacation.

Retreats have long-term benefits

In addition to offering you an escape from a wearying routine, retreats set themselves apart from mere vacations because of the specific intent behind them. This intent can be an issue that you wish to focus on but don't get time for, a recent experience that you want to reflect on or talk about with people who understand what you're going through, the quest for some distance from your current situation to think clearly and bring things into perspective, or simply quality time with yourself and nature so you can rejuvenate.

To quote the words of Jiddu Krishnamurti, a famous spiritual leader, "I think it is essential sometimes to go into retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating like machines whether you believe or don’t believe. You would let fresh air into your minds."

Moreover, all aspects of a retreat, which include location, accommodation, food, facilities, professional consultation, tutorials and activities are all in line with what you are seeking to achieve, which is why the benefits of a retreat is so much more impactful and long-lasting as opposed to vacations where you are more apt to binge, gossip, and probably still spend time finishing work.

According to a research study published in Translational Psychiatry (Nature), "simple vacations only bring about short-term improvements in well-being; however, a week's meditation can improve metabolism for the long-run". Couple this with detox, and you are on a home run.

Moreover, the yoga and pranayama (yoga breathing and mindfulness) component at retreat are known to provide relief to patients of respiratory problems, anxiety, bone thinning, high blood pressure, arthritis, incontinence, and rheumatism, along with several other ailments.

Peace away from the daily grind

Retreats are aimed at providing you the solitude you need. This can be complete solitude as with individual and silent retreats, with your spouse or partner as with marriage retreats, or in the form of groups as with yoga and Ayurvedic retreats. 

Wellness retreats are usually situated in secluded and serene locations that present the perfect platform for you to forget about the hustle and bustle of life and let your nerves relax. However, regular vacations can be taken anywhere that need not necessarily be in a quiet and calm locality. Moreover, retreats also offer a plethora of restful and healing activities that quench your thirst for meaning and finding yourself.

Nature lets you unwind, providing greenery for your soul

Nature creates a soothing environment that helps us de-stress. Being in nature reboots the soul. It brings us back to a place of calmness, where the pressures of the outside world fade away. But they do more than that, they help purify the air around us, by removing some of the chemicals, carbon monoxide and much more.

One of the biggest advantages of going on a retreat is that it offers you proximity to nature and its healing touch, which can’t be matched by a simple vacation. Being close to nature has shown to reduce the production of cortisol, which is our primary stress hormone. Moreover, clean air, calm surroundings, and the greenery allows you to unwind and be thoroughly rejuvenated so that you can have a fresh start to your life upon your return.

Like-minded community

Retreats attract people with similar concerns or interests and, hence, offer you the opportunity to spend memorable moments with like-minded people who are looking to achieve the same goals as you. These people act as your support system as you work toward your goals and also act as a mirror to help you identify issues that you could not have on your own. Most importantly, they let you realise that you are not alone.

Cooking can be a great part of a meal. It is a beloved ritual, a rite of passage and a lifelong skill. Cooking a meal is a gesture of generosity and love that can be felt and tasted. ere is so much cooking inspiration these days. The world’s herbal traditions provide valuable tools for empowered, connected, and meaningful self-care. When we cook together in an atmosphere that is relaxed and casual, it is a pressure-less affair. In a family kitchen there are never too many cooks. Standing elbow-to-elbow, while each person peels, chops and dices their contribution to the meal, everyone is involved in a family ritual that brings us closer and creates lasting memories.

Enjoying meals communally bring us together. They are a time to leave the stress behind. More than just where, how or what you eat, they elevate a meal to talk, catch up, make plans, tell and listen to stories, create memories, celebrate and connect with what truly matters.

Retreats provide you the opportunity to make friends that you can remain in touch with even after you return home. This gathering of similar people is not characteristic to regular vacations.

Professional guidance

Retreats include trainings, exercises, and siritual counselling sessions by experts who allow you to see your own shortcomings and help you improve your spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. These sessions, which are in accordance with your needs, enable you to not only improve your well-being while at retreat, but also equip you with information and practices that you can use after the retreat is over.

You don’t have to worry about planning

One thing that skyrockets the efficacy of retreats in facilitating rest and relaxation as compared to ordinary vacations is that your service provider manages them. This means you don't have to worry about things such as scheduling, reservations, commutes, waiting in lines, finding locations, and so on. Even though you may handle such mundane tasks in your daily life, these tasks become particularly stressful when you are in a new and unfamiliar location. Retreats allow you to focus solely on your own well-being and truly offer you some stress free time-off.

Wellbeing, peace of mind and health education  

When retreats are pre-planned and include exclusive features such as professional consultation and training in addition to all the facilities of a simple vacation, this makes them more financially feasible and reliable. So, for your next holiday, pick a retreat that will let you unwind and resolve any pending concerns empowering you to regain control of enjoy your life.


Each of us has a unique way of doing things, and relaxing is no different. Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary is where relaxation takes place. There is no such thing as one-size- fits-all, no rules…just principles. At Nirvana, we’ve created the space, with all the right ingredients for you - one that ts your special brand of relaxing and recharging.


Home is where your mind is at ease, where you’re comfortable, not worried. Home is where you can socialise as a family, and yet everybody has a chance to do their own thing. Enjoy your retreat of relaxation, breathing, gentle yoga, rainforest walks, ayurvedic nutrition and metabolic education and good company in the most spectacular natural environment in the world.

Home is where the heart is at peace. Come home to Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary.


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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