What to Expect at a Yoga and Meditation Retreat

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You know you need to take a break when you can’t even remember the last time you took a vacation. You’re interested in going on a retreat, but not sure when you’ll find the time go, which retreat to try, or what to expect.

There are dozens of different types of retreats out there, from power yoga vacations and Vino and Vinyasa getaways, to Vipassana silent retreats and mindfulness meditation weekends. A retreat is meant to be relaxing, it shouldn’t be overwhelming to choose one that fits your needs.

Let’s break down what you can expect at a Chopra Center meditation retreat, so you can find the best one to meet your needs and expectations.

 Read more: 10 Myths Busted: What Really Happens at a Yoga and Meditation Retreat

What to Expect at a Chopra Center Retreat

People often ask me, “what kind of people come to this sort of thing?” and the answer truly is that people with all experience levels come to the Chopra Center from all over the world, with many different reasons for being there. From the first-time meditator living the busy corporate life who thinks he “can’t meditate,” to the suburban mother of four who has been meditating for 20 years. The one thing they all have in common is their common goal: learning more.

Expect your heart to open, your mind to clear, and tension to slip away in the hands of our experienced staff. Our teachings are rooted in the Vedic philosophy of Vedanta and our staff is experienced and personally committed to the core teachings of meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda.

All of our retreats have a different sprinkling of these three elements: yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda. Some retreats focus more on meditation and spirituality while others focus more on physical health and the body. Regardless of which you choose to experience first, all paths lead to the same intention of mind-body balance.

Here’s a breakdown of our most popular retreats and workshops, and what to expect at each to make sure you choose the best one for you.

What to Expect at Seduction of Spirit

Complete transformation. Expect complete and total transformation.

This is our signature meditation and yoga retreat. No previous experience is required; we’ll teach you all you need to know during the retreat. But we always tell people that this is a complete immersion and to be open and ready for the exploration of meditation. That doesn't mean you’ll be meditating for five hours straight—while our schedule is full from sunrise to sunset, you will never meditate for more than 45 minutes at a time.

If you come to this event not knowing how to meditate, you will leave with an established practice and the tools to apply it to your daily life.

If you come to this event having never done yoga, no need to worry. Whatever your yoga experience is—whether it’s your very first time in a forward fold or you want to add a new dimension to your consistent Ashtanga practice—you will be able to practice with us. We have three different classes to choose from: chair yoga, yoga 1, and yoga 2.

Chair Yoga: Designed for people who aren’t as comfortable with regular mat yoga or the idea of getting up and down off the floor or just for someone who sits at a desk or on an airplane a lot and is curious about the different variations for yoga postures that can be done in a chair.

Yoga 1: Really, this is for everyone and everybody. Yoga 1 is a slower, restorative mat practice with a focus on the meditative and spiritual aspect of Hatha yoga.

Yoga 2: This is for you chaturanga lovers everywhere who aren’t afraid to sweat a little. Recommended for those who already have a regular yoga practice.

Don’t worry about finding full-lotus position while meditating, either. The lectures are comfortable and casual with provided seating to allow you to enjoy the experience up-close and personal.

There are twice-daily yoga classes, multiple meditations throughout the day, lectures, breaks, Ayurvedic vegetarian meals, and intimate sessions with Deepak. And while our schedule is full with activities, the week is meant to be relaxing, too and we don’t have any Chopra police if you skip a session. It’s important to honor yourself when you need to take breaks.

Watch the Video: What to expect at Seduction of Spirit. 

What to Expect at Journey Into Healing

Journey into Healing is a complete immersion into the science of Ayurveda. Dr. Deepak Chopra and our integrative medical doctors will guide you and 300 other like-minded people, into the practical application of this 5,000-year-old science. For people who love exploring the science and facts behind an idea, this course is for you.

In a workshop setting, Journey into Healing dives deeply into the vast pool of knowledge that is Ayurveda and how you can take its Eastern ancient wisdom and integrate it into your busy, Western lifestyle. You will explore the concept of your mind-body type or ‘dosha’, learn how to choose nourishing foods based on this constitution, and receive an education on a variety of Ayurvedic herbs that are easily accessible and integrated into your daily routine.

All this, combined with the instruction and practice of Primordial Sound Meditation, daily yoga classes, and Ayurvedic cuisine, you will experience the healing that Ayurveda can offer you.

For people looking to heal the body, Perfect Health and Journey into Healing are both good choices. The difference is that Journey into Healing is a four-day workshop that offers a deep informational and scientific look at the concept of mind-body-spirit wellness and Ayurveda, while Perfect Health is an experiential immersion into these same concepts.  The destination—the understanding of Ayurvedic principles and the integration of wholeness—is the same but we reach that place a little differently in these two courses.

Watch the Video: What to expect at Journey Into Healing.

What to Expect at Perfect Health

Perfect Health is the only course that is held within the Chopra Center itself and is capped at 28 people to allow a deeply personal and experiential immersion into the application of Ayurveda, meditation, and yoga. So if you enjoy small, intimate group settings, Perfect Health is for you.

Considered to be the most comprehensive experience we offer, this course is Deepak Chopra’s first course creation and has been going strong since the 1990’s. The Perfect Health program allows you the supportive group environment to experience mind-body-spirit healing.

You’ll be learning the principles of Ayurveda through the healing hands of our Ayurvedic massage therapists, one-on-one consultations with our Integrative MD’s, and classes with our master educators. Although you don’t need to have a specific physical issue or ailment in order to attend, this program is the best fit for people who find themselves at a crossroads with their health.

Watch the Video: What to expect at Perfect Health.

What to Expect at Meditation Weekend

Want to learn meditation but don’t have more than a few days? We created Meditation Weekend just for you. This course is perfect for people who are brand new to meditation, have trouble creating a consistent meditation practice, or want to learn more about yoga.

Over a Saturday and Sunday, learn Primordial Sound Meditation, receive your personal mantra, and perfect your practice with group meditations and follow-up classes. If you’re curious about the Chopra Center, meditation, or yoga and want to dip your toe in the pool, this is a great place to start.

Never been on a retreat? You're not alone. Check out our FAQs for Newbies and our Retreat Checklist for What to Pack with some specific info on logistic you may find helpful. 

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About the Author

Gabrielle Forleo

Vedic Educator
Gabrielle has worked at the Chopra Center since 2006 and is a certified Vedic Educator, having completed teacher trainings in Primordial Sound Meditation , Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga , and Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle . Although she has practiced many styles of yoga for more than a decade, she was first certified in the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga in 2008 and has been teaching yoga at the Chopra Center and...Read more