“Communities and countries and ultimately the world are only as strong as the health of their women,” said former US First Lady Michelle Obama during a session of TED Talks on her ‘plea for education.’ A woman’s health and wellbeing is not only important for her but for society, too. For this, it is important for both men and women to take some time off their busy everyday life and detox themselves for better health. And for women, what is better than women-only retreats, which not only offer recreational activities but various healing treatments by experts too.
Health retreats and their benefits
As per National Library of Medicine, “Health retreats have emerged from a history of travel to foreign destinations such as spas, hot springs, sacred sites, and pilgrimage locations that have been used as places of rest and rejuvenation for countless generations.”
While battling stress at various levels, be it work or at the personal front, juggling between meetings and children, files and dinner menus, the ‘superwomen’ need an occasional rejuvenation. Either with their girl-gang or solo, a visit to a women-only wellness retreat not only helps getting the much-needed peace but also aids in bringing out a change within, holistically.
From surfing activities and spa treatments to yoga classes, healing and meditation sessions, combined with a delectable array of traditional cuisines, these retreats in Asia offer various packages to help them unwind and feel invigorated.
Additionally, they get to meet other women with similar thought-processes from various walks of life, who open a window to an entirely new world. According to an article by Psychology Today, author of a book titled Shameless, Pamela Madsen says, “Retreats are about going deeper, and creates an opportunity for us to explore new ways of being and to consider changes we might want to bring into our lives. When women go on retreat they are often seeking a new perspective.”
Thus, a visit to a retreat definitely does the magic. While Bali is a hub for women-only retreats, there are few others in Asia, especially Thailand, that are equally amazing. Additionally, there are others around the world that make up for some of the well-known meditation or spa retreats as well as a serene spiritual retreat, but the ones that focus on holistic wellness are the best.
So, next time you plan a wellness journey for yourself, ditch the usual travel getaways and set out on a journey to rejuvenate yourself at one such peaceful destination.
(Main and Featured Image Courtesy: Escape Haven)
The best women-only retreats in Asia:
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If you want to get pampered and feel fully rejuvenated, then Escape Haven is your place to be. From various wellness packages, including Ayurveda healing, detox and Pilates, to adventure activities such as surfing, you can choose your kind of indulgence.
Additionally, the retreat also offers luxury packages like Bucket List and Luxury Yacht. While the former features interesting activities like boat trips, snorkelling and kayaking for adventure enthusiasts along with regular sight-seeing and other luxury inclusions, the latter’s most special feature includes sailing around one of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage sites, Komodo National Park. The splendid islands houses Komodo Dragons, which can be seen under a local guide’s supervision.
One of the most-loved female wellness retreats, Escape Haven speaks of the passion with which it has been created by Janine Hall. The founder is quoted as saying on its official website, “14 years ago I launched my dream of creating a luxury Bali yoga retreat. Since then over 10,000 women have chosen to stay with us.”
Holidaying at the ornately decorated private retreat villas, which includes VIP accommodations that come with a personal jacuzzi, Escape Heaven’s luxury stay options are ample and class apart.
You can also opt for their Breathwork Training or Yin Yoga Teacher Training programmes, by the end of which you will be confident enough to practise the techniques on your own.
Image Courtesy: Escape Haven
As the name suggests, this luxury women-only retreat is neither for couples nor for kids. However, it is a perfect getaway for your next solo or all-girl detox trip. You can relax, unwind, learn and practise yoga, as well as meet like-minded women at this blissful retreat.
As per their website, Bliss Sanctuary is not just a traditional health retreat, which offers a healing and wellness holiday. It also provides luxurious experiences through its amazing itineraries. With around sixteen different packages ranging from Self Empowerment to Humanitarian, fun packages for thrill-seekers, foodies and culture lovers, the options are plenty.
Additionally, you not only get to taste authentic Balinese delicacies but also visit various restaurants to understand the food culture as part of their Fab Foodie Retreat Package.
Finally, relax to their extraordinary spa treatments, which features an exquisite bath menu.
Image Courtesy: Bliss Sanctuary
Known for its holistic approach to your mind, body and soul. The retreat offers a lot more than just yoga and other wellness treatments. Take for instance traditional Balinese healing and reiki, which helps realign your body’s energies, keeping negativity at bay.
While one of their special features is the ‘Freedive Program,’ another beautiful way to relax your mind is experiencing marine life up close and that is what ‘Freedive’ is all about.
Also, with a special focus on nutrition, a healthy and balanced meal is a part of all the packages and helps promote ‘clean eating.’
Regarding their intriguing programmes, they say, “It’s a journey between two breaths, a journey into the very limits of human possibility, it’s a journey into the unknown, and above all it’s an inner journey.”
Image Courtesy: Ocean Soul Retreat
Located at the North East side of Koh Samui, which is also known as the ‘Island of Healing,’ is this award-winning women-only retreat. A part of a popular health and fitness brand Absolute You, in Thailand, Absolute Sanctuary is one of the best fitness and wellness retreats in Asia.
They have rightfully named their food section The Love Kitchen, and it will make you fall in love with its nutritious but low calorie dishes, made with superfoods and organic ingredients. Without any chemicals or trans fat, it offers healthy and wholesome meals, which are equally scrumptious.
As per their website, they “take a holistic approach to wellness that centers around your needs” by including programmes that “seek to address individual goals be it to Detox, pamper, de-stress, manage your weight, change your lifestyle, indulge in either yoga or Pilates to simply enjoy a meaningful holiday.”
They offer over twenty programmes spread across fifteen categories, which gives you an array of options to choose from and help you bring about a change in yourself from within.
Image Courtesy: Absolute Sanctuary
A slightly different take on the concept of women-only retreats is GI Jane, one of the best fitness retreats that offers military training for women in breathtaking locations of Koh Samui. Training at these classes by some of the best in the world of health and fitness amid dense jungles and sun-kissed beaches is surely a way to detox that is worth trying.
Add to it a well-balanced diet comprising nutritious Thai delicacies to make you feel light. Their website affirms, “This life-changing experience at this tropical location is sure to leave you feeling body-confident and headstrong.”
What’s more? They provide a massage session after a day full of activities and training to relax your mind and body.
Image Courtesy: GI Jane
Described as “born from global award winning, Escape Haven Retreats,” by its official website, The Palm Tree House, celebrates everything that constitutes Bali. They offer five different packages — Women Only, Pop-up Couples Retreat, Pop-up Mums and Bubs Retreat, Group Bookings and Adventure Yacht Retreats.
With five retreat villas having a capacity of around seven guests each, their women-only package offers various options that you can customise as per your comfort.
Additionally, a dose of traditional Balinese culture will enhance your laid-back holiday, which is all things luxe. The villas are tastefully decorated keeping the Balinese theme in mind and are surrounded by Moroccan-style tropical gardens. They also come with a ‘sparkling’ pool, as they call it.
It has six different retreats under one umbrella — Surf and Yoga, Fitness, Healing, Yoga and Spa, Detox and Pilates — for you to choose from. With a warm and amiable team of professionals waiting to welcome you into ‘a home away from home,’ this paradise should be on your must-visit list if you are planning a detox getaway alone or with your female besties.
Image Courtesy: The Palm Tree House