Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News National Edition
and meditation retreats are costly, but their focus on wellness
can be applied to even a typical family vacation, according
months ago, Gabriel Schirm and his wife, Amy, were in Costa
Rica, welcoming the sunrise with yoga on the beach and indulging
in delicious local foods.
was a dream vacation, and yet it wasn't the one that initially
captured the couple's imagination.
a very popular yoga retreat in Montezuma, Costa Rica, but
we couldn't afford the cost," said Schirm, a travel writer
and author of "Sunrises to Santiago: Searching for Purpose
on the Camino de Santiago."
Shirms, like many Americans, had been priced out of the market
for yoga and meditation retreats as the trips catch on among
the world's richest travellers. Top hotel chains like Wyndham
and Westin now offer concierge wellness services, capitalizing
on a crowd willing to pay hundreds of dollars a night for
extra incentives to be fit, as Business Insider reported in
wellness retreats vary widely, they generally focus on equipping
participants with the tools to relax and recharge.
teachers offer yoga and meditation classes, chefs prepare
nutritious meals and, because retreat centers are often in
rustic locations, cellphone reception and Internet access
are limited. Some retreat centers even require participants
to turn over their devices upon arrival.
trips are a valuable way to strengthen your mind, body and
soul, Schirm said. But the yoga retreats he researched cost
around $1,500 per person.
Schirms' solution was to be creative, planning a wellness-centered
trip that suited their needs without breaking their budget.
"We made it to the location, but we did the yoga on
our own," Schirm said.
a strategy that could serve many Americans well, according
to vacation experts.
DeGroot, founder and president of ThirdPath Institute, an
organization built around helping people live more balanced
lives, encourages all travellers to be innovative with their
vacation plans, finding ways to relax and refocus without
a high price tag.
meditation, yoga "this is all stuff people can
learn to do on their own," DeGroot said. "We don't
have to work extra hours to afford having someone take our
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reported
in February that 9.5 percent of U.S. adults practiced yoga
in 2012, up from 6.1 percent five years before. Meditation
was only slightly less popular, cited by 8 percent of respondents
as part of their wellness routine.
interest in practices like yoga and meditation can likely
be linked to the rise of technology, DeGroot noted. These
wellness activities allow people to escape, if only for 10
or 15 minutes, from lives made busier by devices that allow
office responsibilities to invade every part of the day.
like the one the Schirms hoped to take in Costa Rica take
these short respites from a buzzing phone or boring meeting
to a much larger scale, encouraging participants to unplug
from daily life by limiting access to WiFi and nurturing a
culture where introspection is valued over outward achievement.
types of physical activity take us away from technology and
send us back into a present state of mind," DeGroot said.
"It's a great remedy for the constant barrage" of
texts, tweets and emails.
Pullicino, manager of external communications at the Omega
Institute for Holistic Studies, said the wellness retreat
industry's growth has been exponential.
founded in 1977, used to welcome a few hundred people each
year. Today, around 23,000 people visit the Rhinebeck, New
York, campus annually for programs built around visiting scholars,
family therapy, or, Pullicino's personal favorite, juice cleanses.
to take a wellness retreat for lesss