Posted: Jul 22, 2014 8:00 AM
Writing retreats promise to help you find inspiration and yoga retreats tempt with enlightenment. Discover if a retreat is right for you or if you should save your vacation money for a more traditional getaway.
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Yoga retreat

Yoga at Kalani

Take your practice to the next level with a yoga retreat. A yoga practice looks different in the mind of every practitioner. Some women use their weekly yoga class to lengthen their muscles and center their thoughts for an hour before catching up with friends. Other yoga enthusiasts feel unbalanced if they miss their daily practice, starting or ending each day with their mindful routine.

Yoga at Kalani, Hawaii's largest retreat center, offers daily yoga practice in one of the most beautiful and powerful locations in the world. Within five miles of the lava fields of Kilauea Volcano, Kalani offers access to stunning beaches and the energy of one of the world's most active erupting volcanoes.

traditional vacation instead^ Save your money for a traditional Hawaiian vacation if you'd like to spend your time island hopping, hiking and snorkeling. A yoga retreat is designed for both teachers and students of yoga to deepen their understanding of their practice. While Kalani offers other activities, yoga is the focus of your time on the island.

Writers' retreat

Yaddo, Write: Doe Bay and the Erma Bombeck writers' workshop

An artist retreat can help you finish your novel. Writers' retreats give creative writers the time and opportunity to delve into their work. Many retreats require artists — writers are not always the sole focus at residential artist retreats — to stay at least two weeks, in order to truly make breakthroughs in their projects. Residential retreats, like the esteemed Yaddo, provide lodging and meals and — most importantly — massive blocks of time for solitary writing time. Retreats are focused on the individual process for writers or artists, any networking done at this type of retreat is a pleasant bonus but not an expected benefit.

If you're looking for inspiration, a community writers' workshop might be a better fit for your time away from home. Workshops like Write: Doe Bay are designed to foster a community of creativity and inspiration, giving writers a burst of energy for the writing they'll continue at home.

Writing conferences are a beneficial choice for writers with a completed manuscript or dreams of finding more professional writing opportunities. Conferences will provide some time for writing, but the main focus is on learning more about the craft and the publishing world. At the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, writers will have the chance to network with other writers and publishing professionals, including agents and editors.

Spiritual retreat

Shambhala Mountain Center

Find enlightenment with a spiritual retreat. Women at a crossroads in their lives may find a spiritual path to mindful living at the contemplative Shambhala Mountain Center. The Colorado retreat focuses on both personal spiritual wellness and societal transformation. Attendees at the Shambhala retreat have to change to find better balance and enlightenment in their life during weekend or week-long retreats. Contemplation isn't only mental, and body awareness practices are part of the retreat experience. Accommodations are as varied as the individuals attending, from natural and rustic to modern and convenient.

Traditional vacation instead^ Spiritual retreats focus on inner contemplation. If you're looking for a weekend to focus on a creative project or active social change, look elsewhere for inspiration.

Wellness retreat

Women's quest

Kick up your fitness with a wellness retreat. Combining fitness, adventure and inspiring company are a few of the benefits of the Women's Quest retreats. From horseback riding adventures to cycling through wine country, these adventure retreats are designed to be physically challenging and mentally rejuvenating. Gather girlfriends for a weekend or a week, or travel on your own and find like-minded women becoming more fit and more inspired.

traditional vacation instead^ Wellness retreats aren't solely about physical fitness, but it's a huge component of the adventure trip. If you and your best friends are looking forward to massages and long chats with your wine tasting, consider a wine tour instead.

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