There are a ton of meditation & yoga retreat centers in the US. However, not all of them are true meditation retreat centers or the largely known wellness centers. Or they are a mix. Also, not all of us are the same, and so not all of us need the same type of retreat. We’re going to list the best meditation and yoga centers but also and a sprinkle (#3) of centers that offer you something different. But as far as I know, if you’ve had any sort of stress or trauma in your life, you need a retreat more than you need a vacation.
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What is a Meditation Retreat Center?
A meditation, yoga or wellness retreat is a travel destination that offers a variety of classes, workshops, activities, both physiological and psychological with the intent of balancing you and bringing you back to a state of health. They retreats are time and space bound – making you leave (mentally and physically) your current state of affairs and take time to heal by connecting you to source – such as nature, your true self, and your spirit.
How much do Meditation Retreats Cost?
Depending on what meditation retreat center you go to, the cost is variable. You can find some that are upwards of $5000 for a 3 day retreat, while others cost less than $200 a day. Some on this list charge as low as $20 for a session too. It all really depends but the good news is that whatever your budget, there is a meditation retreat center for you.
What do People do at a Meditation Retreat Center?
Depending on which meditation retreat center you choose, you have options such as classes, workshops, teachings, lectures and more. All of these apply to activities such as yoga, meditation, spiritual lessons, relationship healing, stress or trauma healing and even more.
What are the Best Wellness Retreats?
These 6 retreat centers are all focused on very specific programs and offerings. The only similarly is that each one of them is focused on centering you and bringing back your mental, physical and emotional health.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
1. Shambala Mountain Center
Shambala Mountain Center pretty much encompasses all of the yogic and meditative offerings that all centers have combined. The center is in Colorado, and is blanketed by the Rockies. The center caters to all types of retreats including meditation and yoga retreats, couples retreats for relationship healing, mindfulness and wellness, work, family and so much more. If you’re a beginner in your meditation journey, then this is the meditation retreat center for you.
The center has experienced healers and teachers from all walks of life that supplement the program offerings. So you know you are getting the best value for your money. You can choose between online or in-person retreats. Also choose how long you want to stay based on what program you choose.
They offer lodges, tents, and dorm that include 3 meals a day. Pricing differs depending on what program or retreat you are looking for.
Location: Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
2. The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa
If you know about Ayurveda (a practice dear to my heart and one I am being certified in), then you know that The Raj is THE meditation retreat center for you. If you are not aware of Ayurveda, you can learn more here and how Ayurveda is a preventative health and wellness lifestyle. It incorporates all aspect of life with a larger emphasis on the intake of food and herbs, and 5 sense therapies to bring balance to your life. The Raj brings together all aspects of Ayurveda and offers you meditation practices and lessons, yoga sessions, Abhyanga massages, herbs and nutrition, and more.
The caveat about The Raj is that you need to take time off to get the full experience. They are serious about mind and body health and need you to make the effort to provide time for healing. If you are able to do this, you will not be disappointed.
They also only accept a few guests at a time (15), so plan and book in advance as they get booked up fast.
The Raj is also specialized to help treat patients with existing conditions by using the panchakarma practice for healing and health. Using panchakarma, Ayurveda aims to reduce “fat-soluble toxins, such as DDT, PCBs and dioxins —the most dangerous class of environmental toxins” – as stated by The Raj.
Location: Fairfield, Iowa
3. Miraval Resort and Spa
Miraval Resort and Spa! Ah if you have researched meditation retreat centers before, I’m sure you’ve come across Miraval. This also happens to be a celebrity favorite for retreat and spa centers. This meditation and yoga retreat center has a wide variety of options for those who are looking to bring balance back into their lives.
They offer a variety of programs including, one-on-one private sessions if you’re looking to get some counseling. This can be counseling for anything from health to grief. They also have programs to bring spirit and soul connections with spirit healers and specialists from many ancient traditions. They provide yoga and fitness classes and programs during your stay. And if you want the more lighter stuff, take a horse ride or hit some balls on the golf course. They also offer workshops on mindful eating and other culinary adventures using produce grown locally to the center.
The resort is on the pricier side, so if you are looking for more affordable options, the others on the list may bode well.
Location: Tucson, Arizona | Lenox, Massachusetts | Austin, Texas
4. Kadampa Meditation Center
Kadampa Meditation Center is located in the Catskills of New York. This is a Buddhist meditation retreat center for people from all walks of life. While the teachings and the meditations are focused on Buddhism, the center welcomes all people who need some self care and love. The meditations and practices are flexible for those on a tight budget and tight on time. You can take hour-long courses or weekend long courses. I do recommend taking a weekend trip so you can experience and feel the love and energy that this place exudes.
The center also offers educational programs and courses to initiate you into the practice of meditation. It also has teacher training programs if you want to advance your career in helping others through meditation and meditative practices.
This has to be the most cost-friendly retreat out there. Check on the prices to see what fits your budget. And while the center does have online programs as well, if you have the opportunity to visit and stay a while, do the latter.
Location: Glen Spey, New York
5. Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Spirit Rock Meditation Center is another great meditation and yogic center for guided meditations and learning. They are focused on sessions to heal and balance you mentally and physically. And although no one can claim that, that is the intention of all meditative practices – to connect you back to whom you truly are, which is Soul.
The center is balanced around two types of meditative practices – Insight Meditation or Vipassana meditation and loving-kindness meditation or metta. If you are familiar with Vipasana meditation, then you’ll want to dive deeper into the offerings at Spirit Rock. They are also a Buddhist center, but never push or demand the practice from anyone. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned meditation practitioner, this meditation center is right for you.
The center offers sitting meditations, to eating meditations, dharma talks, and more. And this is a great option for those who want to do a daily retreat and go back home/hotel at night to be with family or kids. Definitely a meditation center that caters to people with busy lives. They also offer online classes if in-person is not an option for you. And in terms of cost efficiency, this is a GREAT option.
Location: Woodacre, California
6. Alaska Stillpoint Lodge
Located inside the Kachemak Bay and Wilderness Park, Alaska Stillpoint Lodge caters to the more adventurous kind of person. If that’s you, read on. Commune with nature to ground yourself and bring you back to what matters in life.
The best part of this meditation retreat center is that it offers more than just that. The wellness retreat offers you a few days of the best part of the lodge. This includes yoga and guided mediation, a labyrinth walk, and bear viewing and fishing. The lodge offers additional activities catered to kids, whale watching, bird watching, cruises and tide pooling. If you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks and nature is your thing, this is the spot for you.
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska
If you have the time and money (mostly just time) it is important to experience a meditation retreat center at least once in your life. As with anything, if you don’t experience it, you don’t know what you are missing. The great thing about retreats over vacations is that you don’t have to plan anything. Everything is planned for you and all you have to do is show up. And while you get exhausted (but possibly happy – coz even happiness is not a given) after a vacation, you will definitely feel more blissful after a meditative retreat.
So, which meditation retreat center will you be heading to? Let me know below!!
Featured photo courtesy of unsplash.com
Article last updated on September 28th, 2021