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7 ways to get the best out of a health retreat


If you’re here, chances are you’re thinking of going on a health retreat in the near future. Retreats are in essence, health-conscious vacations that restore, relax and reinvigorate. Science agrees that they’re good for us and these days, more and more of us are going on them.


For first-timers, it can be daunting knowing what a retreat entails, how to prepare and what you’ll get out of it. Here’s our guide to getting the best out of your wellness adventure.


Do your homework

The perception that retreats are one endless drum circle of chanting, vegan food and 8 PM curfews is far from reality. There are retreats for everything from dancing to fitness and even art-making combined wth vinyasa yoga – Nava Haus is hosting one such retreat in a luxury Cape Town villa this Valentine’s Day (book here).


The more research you do, the greater the chance you’ll find a retreat that perfectly matches your desires. It also helps to do adequate research well in advance of when you’d like to go as you can snag the best deals that way - retreat hosts often offer early bird discounts.


Among the factors to look into? The people running the program. During a retreat you’re essentially surrendering your energy to a group of individuals for a given period of time so it’s important to make sure they’re the right ones for you.


Also consider the things you’ll need to pack. If you’re going to be in a shared room, will you require earplugs and an eye mask to sleep through the night? Is there a dress code? Do you need bikinis or boxing gloves?


Any feelings of uncertainty you have are best allayed by researching the heck out any getaways you’re considering. If you have any questions you should be able to reach out to your retreat host – they’re there to help you before, during and after the program.


Don’t stray too far from your comfort zone

You don’t have to be a wellness warrior to thrive at a health retreat and it’s ok if you aren’t training for a Spartan Race. It’s all well and good to seek a challenge but you’ll be miserable on a skiing retreat if snow and cold don’t set your heart on fire. Similarly, don’t join a retreat where you’ll be camping outdoors when what you really fancy is a touch of luxury.

Know what your intention is

Be very intentional about you