We all know how difficult it can be to maintain motivation and focus regarding our health and fitness goals. Often vacations or other trips can make matters even worse with overindulgence or extra stress. Instead of letting that happen, why not try a getaway that keeps the ideas of health and happiness front-and-center? Here to help is a roundup of some of the most affordable wellness programs for keeping you on track with your health and wellness goals -- even if your willpower and focus have started to flag.
KRIPALU CENTER, MASSACHUSETTS
One of the most renowned wellness centers in the country, Kripalu in Stockbridge, offers more than 700 programs a year focused on yoga, dieting, health, fitness, and wellness. There is a variety of weekend workshops, such as a two-night Partner Yoga for Couples retreat in August costing $240 per person. Accommodations and meals are additional.
PURA VIDA RETREAT & SPA, COSTA RICA
How does an uplifting Central American getaway sound? Pura Vida offers a variety of health-oriented packages, the most affordable being a three-night Mind, Body + Spirit Package. It includes four yoga sessions, two one-hour massages, three meals daily, airport transfer, and nightly accommodations starting at $703 (double occupancy). The five-night version adds a hike and full-day and half-day eco-adventures starting at $1,072 with double occupancy -- about $214 a night.
CASA SAN CARLOS RETREAT CENTER, FLORIDA
If you're looking for a budget-friendly yoga retreat, consider one of the three retreats offered every year by West Broward Mindfulness Sangha at the Casa San Carlos Retreat Center in Delray Beach, Florida. Meals, snacks and shared accommodations for the two-day event, which include yoga and meditation sessions, are just $283 per person.
MINNESOTA ZEN MEDITATION CENTER, MINNESOTA
The Minnesota Zen Meditation Center puts on Beginner's Mind Retreats that are just a few hours long ($35 for non-members), full-day retreats ($65), and monthly weekend retreats ($130) designed to provide deep immersion in meditation. The center also offers daily dharma talks, one-on-one meetings with teachers, and vegetarian buffets.
SHAMBHALA MOUNTAIN CENTER, COLORADO
In the Rocky Mountains about two hours from Denver, the Shambhala Mountain Center is home to scores of meditation, yoga, and wellness programs, and numerous lodging options. The center’s Retreat & Renewal programs are offered multiple times each year, and activities include meditation, yoga, and hiking. A three-day version of the program with dorm lodging will cost $503, which includes the $125 tuition fee.
THE INN AT VAUCLUSE SPRING, VIRGINIA
Want to decrease stress? Or add more meaning to life? There's a workshop for that. The Inn at Vaucluse Spring offers mini mindfulness retreats led by Tiffany Niide, a medical doctor and Ph.D. with a background in personal mindfulness practice. Workshops are scheduled for June 1-3 and June 13-15. The cost of the inn's Introduction to Mindfulness weekend workshop is $240 for guests at the inn. Accommodations are additional and include gourmet, three-course breakfasts.
JEKYLL ISLAND YOGA RETREAT, GEORGIA
At the Jekyll Island Club Hotel's Yoga & Meditation Retreat, mornings are spent watching the sunrise and meditating on a beach, followed by gentle yoga classes, healthy cooking demonstrations, and more. During downtime, guests can explore island scenery, wander Driftwood Beach, paddleboard, or kayak through winding marshes. Costs start at $579 (single) and $759 (double occupancy), which includes two nights' accommodation, breakfasts, one dinner, yoga and meditation sessions, and a cooking demonstration with lunch on Saturday.
ART OF LIVING RETREAT CENTER, NORTH CAROLINA
Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains about two hours from Charlotte, the center hosts numerous meditation retreats throughout the year. Participants can work with experienced meditation teachers in three-day retreats that start at $595, which includes room, meals, and tuition. The center is also home to an award-winning Ayurvedic (holistic) spa.
SUN VALLEY WELLNESS FESTIVAL, IDAHO
This four-day festival starting in late June has health-oriented speakers and overflows with movement and yoga classes. Attendees can also indulge in massages, reflexology, and intuitive readings. Festival passes start at $250, or festival-goers can see individual speakers for $45 a ticket. There's a special festival lodging rate of $139 at the Sun Valley Inn that can be obtained by calling the hotel.
SIVANANDA ASHRAM YOGA RANCH, NEW YORK
Cycling and yoga are as one in weekend retreats at Sivananda Ashram in upstate New York. The retreats feature morning and afternoon hatha yoga classes, vegetarian meals, and cycling in the Catskill Mountains. Lodging prices vary. Folks willing to camp can enjoy these retreats for as little as $150. Shared double rooms cost $220.