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What is a Spiritual Retreat?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Feb 18, 2024
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A spiritual retreat is a calming break from one's regular environment. It's designed to give a person a chance to slow down and get in touch spiritually with him or herself to create inner peace. Group retreats usually offer group activities as well as opportunities for solitude. There are many different types of spiritual retreats. It's important to note that although there are retreats that are focused on religious faith, a spiritual retreat does not necessarily have to have anything to do with religion, but rather one's inner spirit.

Although most spiritual retreats take place in beautiful nature-filled settings with at least a small group of people, an individual may also create his or her own spiritual retreat at home. For example, a person could take one room or an outdoor area of his or her home and add candles and soft pillows to create a relaxing, spiritual healing retreat for relaxation and contemplation. A spiritual retreat can be held for any length of time — even a few hours.

Many spiritual retreats are held in quiet woods or mountain areas, as these natural environments can feel healing to those who don't get to experience nature that often. Just viewing natural sights such as mountains and oceans can be calming to many people. These destination spiritual retreats can be stress-relieving and provide peace and quiet away from the stress of one’s job or other responsibilities.

A group may rent accommodation in a lodge or hotel in the mountains or near a quiet beach. People involved in the spiritual retreat could then experience the natural surroundings alone as well as participate in activities with the group. Accommodation with spa facilities such as relaxing pools, hot tubs, massage and treatments such as aromatherapy are popular places for spiritual retreats.

A women’s spiritual retreat could involve a group involved in women’s issues. A yoga spiritual retreat may include people interested in different types of yoga. The stretches and deep breathing exercises done in yoga can be very calming, relaxing and meditative. A writers or quilters retreat could also be considered spiritual if it’s meant to be a relaxing getaway. In group spiritual retreats, members usually share activities and meals together while still allowing ample time for individuals to enjoy time alone to relax and meditate.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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