Holistic Living Articles

Finding a great Spiritual Retreat in the UK

By Brett Almond

People have become more open to the word “spiritual” over recent years. You can appreciate the term or be labelled as spiritual without this meaning that you are necessarily affiliated with a certain religion or belief system. Highlighting this fact, some online dating sites now allow individuals to classify themselves as “spiritual, but not religious”.

This means that, whereas they might have felt excluded from the possibility in years gone by, many people are now open to idea of enjoying spiritual retreats and holidays.

You can find a host of different spiritual retreats in the UK, including those that focus on meditation, yoga, healing or detoxing. There are also community-based, health-based, single sex, Buddhist and many more retreats on offer. All of these options have your personal wellbeing and spiritual enrichment at their heart. This article explores some of the options available to you.

Meditation retreats
Given the hectic pace of modern life, it’s not hard to see why meditation retreats are proving so popular. These breaks can offer you the perfect opportunity to slow down, reflect and recharge.

Many of these retreats are based on Buddhist ideas and before you book a holiday like this, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re looking for. Some of the breaks serve as introductions to or refreshers in Buddhist meditation. These retreats can be ideal if you want to learn Buddhist meditation and discover a little about Buddhism, and they can leave you with a whole new perspective on life.

If you’re already familiar with these practices, you may prefer to opt for a more advanced retreat. Check the itinerary carefully first though as some prior knowledge and experience can be expected on these holidays. Bear in mind that you may need to be comfortable with prolonged periods of sitting meditation and days spent in silence.

There are a number of meditation retreats on offer across the UK and to find out more, you can visit websites such as Going On Retreat.

Yoga retreats
Yoga retreats are another great option. In your everyday life, you might find it hard to squeeze yoga sessions into your routine. These breaks provide you with all the space and time you need to really get stuck into the discipline.

Of course, yoga techniques and rituals vary widely, and the selection of yoga retreats on offer reflects this fact. Some are physically testing, while others focus much more on the mental and meditative aspects of yoga. Don’t be put off if you’re a beginner. The important thing is that you’re eager to learn.

As a general rule, you can expect at least one and maybe two yoga sessions per day. Usually, these take place in the morning and during the afternoon.

When you’re choosing between the different types of holiday available, make sure you opt for a style of yoga that you’re comfortable with. This may be Ashtanga, Restorative, Yin or something else. Also, try to choose a teacher who you will feel comfortable with. Personal recommendations can come in handy for this purpose, or perhaps your own yoga teacher runs retreats. The fact is, instructors have the power to make or break yoga retreats. If you get on well with your teacher and admire his or her techniques, you will get much more out of the experience.

In addition, you should think about whether you want to incorporate other pursuits into your yoga break. For example, some retreats incorporate activities such as walks and excursions to places of interest in addition to yoga classes.

There are lots of UK yoga retreats on offer and you can take a look at your options by heading to websites like Adventure Yogi.

Healing retreats
From time to time, we all need a little help to cope with the physical and mental challenges that life throws at us. Healing retreats can be ideal for this purpose. Whether you’re suffering from health problems or you’re struggling with issues at home, in work or with your friends or family, one of these breaks may be just what you’re after.

It’s important to note that these retreats differ markedly depending on the type of healing they focus on. Some offer counselling sessions in addition to a host of relaxation treatments. For example, the Healing Waters Sanctuary in Somerset provides a range of sessions, including psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, shock and trauma therapy, Reiki and reflexology.

By choosing a retreat like this, you can put together your own package of treatments to ensure you make the very most of your time away from home.

Detox retreats
It’s all too easy to overindulge in unhealthy food and drink these days and if you feel as though your body is in need of some TLC, you might decide to book a detox retreat. There are various different types of break to choose from, including versions that focus on weight loss, boosting your immune system or rebalancing your body.

Many of these retreats incorporate exercises and meditation and you can also expect to be served healthy and nutritious drinks and meals throughout the day. Depending on the particular holiday you opt for, you might be offered colonic hydrotherapy too. This is intended to remove excess toxins from the bowel and to relieve feelings of sluggishness. However, if you don’t want to experience these sessions, you can skip them and focus on other activities and treatments. You may also get the chance to hear talks on nutrition that are intended to enhance your knowledge and to empower you to lead a healthier lifestyle.

One UK-based provider of detox retreats is Sura Detox in Devon.

Bear in mind that there is significant overlap between these different types of spiritual retreat. For example, meditation breaks often incorporate some yoga, and vice versa. Meanwhile, healing and detox retreats can include both meditation and yoga.

Other variables
It’s also important to be aware of the other variables that impact on these retreats. Some of the holidays are based on particular communities or religions, such as Buddhism, while others are eclectic in terms of their influences. In addition, certain retreats are designed for single sex groups while others are mixed. It’s also possible to choose between breaks that are intended for individuals and those that are set up to cater for groups.

If you’re to fully enjoy your retreats, you’ll need to ensure that you select versions that meet all of your needs and preferences. You’re spending your hard-earned money on these experiences, so it’s important that they’re just right.

More websites
Here are some more websites that could help you to find the ideal spiritual retreat:












© holisticshop 2015. All rights reserved

About the author / more information

Brett Almond is the founder and director of Holisticshop.co.uk. His main personal spiritual pursuits of choice are Tarot, community through how we treat each other and ceremony using fasting, dance and sound. He also runs a regular sweat lodge in Norfolk. He has a natural intrigue for personal development and all things spiritual.


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