Mind, Body, Sold! 8 Life-Improving Weekend Getaways



page1Photo: Via Shambala Mountain


Beach vacations are heavenly — don't get us wrong — but if you're looking for true rejuvenation, it might take more than a few hours with your toes in the sand and a cocktail with a tiny umbrella. And since this summer didn't really feel like summer, what with the relentless pace of New York City, we've decided to plan ahead for a little R and R — reboot and renewal, that is.

Yes, we've done the digging to put together the best pre-planned weekend retreats that will actually improve the way you operate. We're thinking of short getaways that kick you into gear — physically, emotionally, spiritually, or creatively. From a collage weekend for the art-savvy to an aerobic bootcamp for the athlete at any level — these sweet city reprieves are sure to liven, awaken, and inspire.

esalenfarmPhotos via: Esalen, Farm of Peace


Menla Center For Health and Happiness: The Accessible Unwind
A go-to of New York City's estimable Open Center for inclusive whole body and mind care, this upstate facility offers tailored programs for a range of interests.
Editor's pick program:
Buddha and The Martial Arts: Combating the Enemy Within (October 11 -13)
Open to all levels of experience, this three-day program will train both mind and body with self defense classes, as well as lead meditations for finding inner peace. $300 tuition, $210 - $495 accommodations.
Menla Center For Health and Happiness, 375 Pantherkill Road, Phoenicia, New York; 845-688-6897.


Esalen: The Experts' Expense
This expensive-but-worth-it Cali retreat hub is home to some of the most innovative programs around, including couples' retreats, classes on spontaneity, and healing.
Editor's pick program:
I-You-Us: Pleasure, Intimacy, and the Search for Connectedness (October 13 - 18)
Led by Terry Hunt, a "psychologist, bioenergetic therapist, and long-time Esalen instructor" this class is about awakening pleasure both sexually and within ones self. Come alone or with a partner. $650 to $3,550 for tuition and accommodations.
Esalen, 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, California; 888-837-2536.  

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health: The Yogi Life (Even For Non-Yogis)
Kripalu's website may look like the brainchild of your crunchy college roommate, but don't be fooled: This Massachusetts hideaway brings the yoga lens to all aspects of health and healing and has everything from meditation to sex and intimacy retreats to programs on the disciplines of every day life.
Editor's pick program:
Deep Clean Detox (October 11-14)
A registered dietician and sports nutritionist will give your body the "wake up" it needs. Important note: "Participants should be able and willing to eat a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables and be capable of hiking on moderate to steep hills two to four hours per day." We're in! $350 tuition, $294 to $588 accommodations.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Interlaken Road (At Richmond Mountain Road), West Stockbridge, Massachusetts; 866-200-5203.

Shambhala Mountain Center: For The Too Connected
This spacious (we're talking 600-acre) valley is home to an extensive roster of programs (100 per year), ranging from beginner's meditation to that infamous weekend sans cell phones.
Editor's pick program:
Digital Detox (This weekend!)
What will you do without your phone? Without your computer? Without a clock even? We know it's last minute, but sign up and find out! $595 to $1,400 for tuition and accommodations.
Digital Detox at Shambhala Mountain Center, 151 Shambhala Way Red Feather Lakes, Colorado; 970-881-2184.

redrcokbellaPhotos: Courtesy of Red Rock and Bella Boot Camp


The Mabel Dodge Luhan House: The Creative Cream Of The Crop
This New Mexico hideaway, named after Mabel Gansen Evans Dodge Sterne Luhan, "salon hostess, art patroness, writer and self-appointed savior of humanity," boasts an intriguing tag line: "Offering supportive solitude for creative reflection." And honestly, we'd settle for any one of those things (support, solitude, creative time, or reflection). Head here for a unique weekend that combines arts with the craft of personal growth and development.
Editor's pick program:
The Collage Connection (October 12 - 16)
Trust in artist, bio-energetic analyst, and professional counselor Karen Stefano to lead you in a deep-dive of imagination as explored through tactile collaging with tissue paper. It will not only lead to somatic awareness, but also some Jungian pieces of art to reflect on the weekend at hand. $1,300 to $1,500 for tuition, accommodations, meals, and supplies.

For sign up, contact: Karen Stefano, 304-728-6757.
Mabel Dodge Luhan House, 240 Morada Lane, Taos, New Mexico; 575-751-9686.

Red Mountain Resort: The Hiker's Heaven
Staying in Utah's Red Rocks is retreat enough as is. Add to that deluxe spas, delicious (all-inclusive) meals, daily hikes (some with puppies!), and fitness and nutrition classes and you might never leave.
Editor's pick program:
Emotional Fitness II (October 16 - 20)
Eight meditation sessions, eight sunrise canyon hikes, two Kundalini yoga classes, three energy and healing lessons, and one full-moon ceremony make this expert-led program what it promises: emotional and physical. $1,400 tuition, accommodations, and meals.
Red Mountain Resort, 1275 E. Red Mountain Circle, Ivins, Utah; 877-246-4453. 

Vita Vie Retreat: For The Strong (And Strong Willed!)
So, it's a high-intensity weight loss and exercise program on the beach. You'll need to be ready for five hours of working out each day. But, hey, you'll get the results!
Editor's pick program:
Bella Boot Camp (October 21 and ongoing)
Get in gear with strength training, cardio training, training for training, and healthy meals. Prices range based on stay: three to seven nights.
Bella Boot Camp, 10 North Ocean Boulevard, Delray Beach, Florida, 561-274-3200.

Wildacres Retreat
This beautiful location boast 57 rooms, a pottery studio, and a 200-seat amphitheater — and is available for rent.
Editor's pick program:
Florida Society of Goldsmiths Modern Masters Workshop (October 11 - 13)
Five days of total immersion jewelry-making classes make this program perfect for those of us looking to delve into DIYs. From stone-cutting to etching, the program will afford you handmade jewelry you can really claim as your own. $725 tuition, not including room and board.
Wildacres Retreat, 1565 Wildacres Road, Little Switzerland, North Carolina; 828-756-4573.