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How a Health Retreat Can Help

As we greet the sun at around 5am, it rises above the sea in a blaze of red and gold. So begins our first day of retreat. We have chosen a retreat for the same reasons that many others do: to give our minds, bodies and souls a chance to recharge and regain their balance. Health retreats have become almost a necessity in modern-day life, as the pressures of work and family life increase along with the pace of life.

Whether we are climbing the corporate ladder, running a family with varying commitments — to children, partners, parents — or, in many cases doing both at the same time, everyone needs time for themselves. Sometimes, just simply “getting away from it all” is enough. Many people choose to go to a retreat alone for this very reason.

It’s easy, with the many demands of a busy lifestyle, to lose sight of personal priorities and needs. Retreats help us to take a more holistic approach to wellness and wellbeing, including diet, activity, rest and relaxation.

We choose retreats from a plethora of places that are springing up catering to a hunger for pampering, detoxification and increased fitness. Check oıut the latest Bunnings Catalogue.

A take-home message

Most retreats — whether in an Australian bushland setting or perhaps in more exotic climes such as an Asian temple — follow a similar pattern, designed to teach its participants better ways of living. Australian retreats usually offer programs for anything from a weekend escape to a month or more, depending on your needs. Retreats are dedicated to caring for guests’ health and wellbeing, helping them leave daily stress behind and promoting good health. Some offer intensive detox programs, while others just the chance to regroup, revitalise and re-energise; a place to slow down, enjoy healthy food, fresh air and lots of rest and relaxation.

The retreat experience

After easing in to the new surroundings, days start early — although thankfully not always at sunrise. Usually, there’s a form of gentle exercise to start the day, perhaps a tai chi, yoga or Pilates session on the lawn or somewhere you’ll feel close to nature.

After breakfast, there might be a gentle bushwalk scheduled or some other activity. The natural surroundings in which most retreats are located add to the sense of peace and harmony that will be built during your stay.

In the afternoon, most retreats allow quiet time for resting, relaxing with a book or indulging in massage or other pampering treatments. Others offer workshops on wellness, healthy lifestyle choices and other aspects of a balanced life.

Meditation is often a key part of a retreat, whether it’s done alone, in small groups or guided by an experienced teacher who can impart breathing and centring techniques to help manage stress. For those who want to challenge themselves, some retreats offer more active adventures such as abseiling, mountain biking and rock climbing. If health is your focus, choose a resort that offers one-on-one consultations to enable you to learn to look after yourself better and teach you the skills to do so.

A moment to reflect

Making changes to lifestyle habits can be challenging, but a retreat — with help and new techniques to address those changes — can be a major factor in kick-starting a new, motivated regime when you get home and help you to make healthy lifestyle choices an enjoyable and integral part of your life.

 

Taking stock of your diet, the principles of balanced nutrition and learning how to adapt your diet to your lifestyle and family situation can also be a key part of a retreat, especially for those who are keen to improve physical fitness, strength, flexibility or lose weight.

At a good retreat, you’ll be encouraged to slow down, eat well, relax, recuperate and surrender to some much-needed pampering. It gives you time to reflect on life and how you see yourself. The key aim of your retreat experience is to go home rested, rejuvenated and inspired.

Your retreat menu

The kinds of experiences to choose from at your retreat will include:

  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Bush walks
  • Meditation
  • Dietary counselling
  • Detoxification programs
  • Massage
  • Health practitioner consultations

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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