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What are the benefits of going on a wellness retreat?

If you’re looking at going on a wellness retreat but are wondering if it’s for you, this blog post tells you everything you need to know to decide. With a 30% increase in demand for wellness breaks between 2021 and 2022, there are more health and well-being retreats and holidays on offer than ever before. As a retreat host, let’s get into the different types of retreats, the benefits, and what to expect. 

Different types of wellness retreats 

There isn’t a set way to host a retreat, which means there’s one out there for you. As they come in different forms, there’s also a wide range of names. Each facilitator holds a different experience to the next, usually with a particular focus or speciality. The most common types of wellness retreats include: 

  • Spiritual retreats

Focusing on spiritual growth and emotional healing, these retreats might offer activities like energy healing, historical discussions, spiritual workshops, and ceremonies rooted in various traditions. Spiritual retreats can come with a specific focus on different religions such as Paganism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and more. During Illuminated Path retreats, finding spirituality in a way that suits you is a core focus. 

  • Nature and Eco-retreats

Set in natural, often remote settings, these retreats focus on connecting with nature. Activities might include wilderness excursions, wildlife watching, and eco-friendly practices. Studies show that 92% of people see health improvements from being in natural outdoor environments. All Illuminated Path retreats draw on our connection to nature in some way, depending on the theme. 

  • Yoga and Pilates retreats

With regular practice, 86% of people state yoga reduces stress. These retreats often include multiple daily yoga sessions, meditation, and workshops. They cater to all levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners. Illuminated Path retreats are not yoga or pilates-focused, but they may appear from time to time if we team up with a special guest teacher.  

  • Meditation retreats

Meditation has proven substantial health benefits. These retreats often include guided meditation sessions, teachings on meditation techniques, and sometimes silent retreats for deeper introspection. Meditation is often featured in Illuminated Path retreats, as a daily practice to help settle the mind. 


Other types of health and well-being retreats include; digital detox, fitness, ayurvedic, culinary and nutrition, couples, women’s and men’s wellness, and stress management retreats. There really is something for everyone… 

Illuminated Path Spiritual and Wellness Retreats

All Illuminated Path retreats have their own theme. For example, a previous retreat called ‘Winds of Change’ had a theme of building resilience to change. The different themes are explored through a variety of health and wellness activities, meditation practices, and crafting. Everything we include have clear health and well-being benefits, which are backed by science. Often paired with another facilitator, the collaboration forms a unique experience that’s different to the next.

Our upcoming retreat focuses on finding Love From Within to become your own Valentine. For this retreat, we are partnering with Natasha Morisawa to offer a wide range of natural and craft experiences alongside Elizabeth’s specialities (find out more about Elizabeth here).

Let’s go into what you do on a wellness retreat (more specifically, our retreats!).

How to Draw Classical Labyrinths

This 2-hour workshop that will discuss the history of labyrinths and how specific designs developed over time, then show you how to draw your own labyrinth, which can be used as a contemplative practice in itself.

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Mist-covered Neidpath Castle in Scotland viewed from the nearby forest on a crisp winter morning.

Love from Within

Treat yourself like royalty and become your own Valentine at the ‘Love From Within’ wellness retreat, hosted in the historic Neidpath Castle in Scotland. Whether you’re single, coupled, or anything in between, it’s time to celebrate the most important person in your life – YOU.

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A woman standing in the middle of a field of long green grass with a mountain in the background.

Winds of Change

Do you want to learn how to make peace with recent changes in your life? Are you finding it hard …

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What do you do when you go on a retreat? 

On each retreat, depending on the specific theme, venue, and collaborators, there will be a mix of practices and activities everyone can benefit from. They are always focused on finding ways to use your wellness and spirituality for a happier life, such as: 

Labyrinth walks

Unlike a maze, a labyrinth only has one path to the centre. Rather than worrying about making decisions, physically walking on a single path can help your mind untangle things that have been puzzling you within. It allows you to trust you will go on the journey you’re meant to, avoiding the feeling of wrong turns.

Sound baths

The term sound bath refers to immersing yourself in curated sounds and their vibrations (not in a literal bath). You’ll be lying on blankets and listening to the mesmerising, soothing noise of the sound bowls and other percussion instruments. Proven to lower your resting heart rate, this is a great way to reach a state of deep relaxation. 

Creative activities 

Focusing on the natural world as our muse, the benefits of making and crafting are huge, yet many of us feel we don’t have the time to fit it into our busy schedules or worry too much about it being ‘good’. It will come with no pressure to create something beautiful – it’s to simply experience the art of creating as an act of love for yourself. 

Group circle discussions

To deliver the session content, we will get together in group circles. There will also be the opportunity for smaller, more intimate breakout groups to discuss your thoughts and learn from each other.


Whether small rituals by yourself or large organised community rituals, there are things in our daily life we can apply ritual techniques to. Rituals form a great way to connect with ourselves for healing, love, gratitude, and many other purposes. Learn how to create rituals in a way that suits you. 

Japanese Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing)

Explore the Ecotherapy practice of nature bathing, which is based on Japanese Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing). Exploring your senses outside strengthens your relationship with yourself. It also has many health advantages such as lowering stress, improving human immunity, and improving your mood.

What’s happening at the Love From Within retreat?

For the upcoming Love From Within retreat hosted at Neidpath Castle in Scotland, there is a variation of the following ‒

  • Labyrinth walks 
  • Sound baths 
  • Forest bathing 
  • Craft activities
  • Group circles 
  • Guided castle tour 

Alongside these retreat activities tailored to self-love, you’ll be pampered with fine dining catered lunches in the romantic Nedipath Castle, which will be your beautiful fortress for self-reflection. Together, we can bring warmth, light, and love into your life during the dark depths of winter. 

Find out more about the Love From Within retreat here. 

What are the benefits of these wellness retreat activities?

Alongside feeling what’s right for you to connect your mind, body, and soul, going on a wellness retreat allows you to work on loving yourself, in any form you take. Throughout, you will experience a range of things to support this journey, including: 

  • Connection to yourself: Get time dedicated to yourself but in the presence of others, so you can see yourself from a different perspective. Learn to love who you are without exceptions, feeling pampered and looked after. 
  • Gratitude and love: This retreat will give you a new approach to feeling grateful for life and its joy, as love comes in many forms. Explore what love means to you.
  • Reflection and emotions: Reflect on the past, on where you are today, and tune into your emotions. When you’re aware of your emotions, you can start to understand how to be kinder to yourself in the future. 
  • Spirituality your way: The retreat emphasises your spiritual journey without pushing a specific agenda or belief. The focus is to discover what works best for you to love yourself from within. 
  • Immerse yourself in nature: Scotland and its rich history serve as a backdrop, tying into themes of ancestry, folklore, and nature. We’ll be exploring the natural world through practical, hands-on scenarios to unleash your creative free spirit. 
  • Learning and growth: From understanding the nature of your emotions to embracing practices to enjoy the present, the retreat is focused on taking you on a journey of personal growth and enlightenment. Finally, learn to love yourself as you are. 

The Love From Within retreat tickets are available now. Treat yourself like Royalty – focus on all of these aspects and more in a dedicated weekend in a Scottish castle. Learn how to buy tickets for the Love From Within retreat in February 2024

Is it worth going on a retreat? 

If you turn up with an open mind and allow the experience to take shape, you’ll benefit from going on a wellness retreat. Look at this testimonial from a previous retreat attendee – 

“Not having done anything like this before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I turned up to the Winds of Change retreat with an open mind. Everything from the labyrinth walks to the sound baths was a new experience for me. Although I’d heard about the benefits from others, it’s not until you try them for yourself do you know what it’s really like. 

My favourite thing about the retreat was I finally had time to reflect – away from both home distractions and work. Feeling a bit frazzled from a hectic couple of months, it was exactly what I needed. Thank you, Elizabeth and Lisa, for an excellent retreat I’ll never forget. I came away feeling calm, grateful, and lighter.” – Meghan Downs

Who are spiritual and wellness retreats good for? 

To help you decide whether going on a spiritual or wellness retreat is right for you, here’s a list of things you should relate to: 

  • You want some guilt-free time to work on yourself (without day-to-day distractions)
  • You’re seeking a better version of yourself so you move forward in life
  • You currently feel stuck but are ready to make positive changes 
  • You are open-minded about spirituality and alternative therapies
  • You are wondering who you really are as a person 

If you relate to any of the statements above, then having dedicated time on a retreat can help you to find the answers you’re looking for. 

But it’s not advised you go on a wellness retreat if you have an issue you’re looking to overcome that you want personalised, 121 support and you’re not going to be open to work in a group. You should instead seek a coach, therapist, or another person who will work with you directly. 

What do I need to take to a retreat?

We send you a full list of things you may want to bring along for all Illuminated Path retreats. This generally includes weather-proof clothing (as our retreats are hosted in Scotland!), a journal, and you may want extra blankets and a yoga mat. Basically, dress comfortably and with plenty of layers, not forgetting good shoes and a rain jacket! 

Ready to retreat and work on yourself? 

Booking a retreat should be an exciting decision – you’re finally giving yourself time to work on YOU! If you’re ready to sign up for a wellness and spiritual retreat hosted in Scotland, head over to the events page to see what’s coming up.

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