Ayurveda at Home with Ananda in the Himalayas
Take a carbon-free trip to India and create a retreat with live video consultations and private classes led by the experts at this destination spa. Various wellbeing packages are available. The Ananda Starter includes an in-depth ayurvedic consultation with a doctor to review your mental, physical and emotional health and assess your body type (dosha) and current imbalances; a set of signature dosha-based recipes; an individual yoga consultation and assessment; and a private class (choose from hatha yoga or meditation) with tailored advice and adjustments.
• About £140, anandaspa.com
My Body is My Temple retreat with Yobaba Lounge
From 13-28 January, then available as a recording to dip in and out of, this yoga and meditation retreat will be live via Zoom from Yobaba Lounge’s yoga studio at a chateau in the south of France. Owner Gertrud Keazor will share her gently effective approach to yoga, which she calls embodied meditation, in live sessions every other day, with supportive written content, extra micro-practices, and three live group calls during the retreat for sharing, asking questions and feeling encouraged. There are lessons in breathing, mindfulness and visualisation techniques, and tools to help participants take better care of themselves in daily life.
• €150, yobabalounge.com
Plant-based reset plan with La Crisalida
Starting 15 January for a week, with later dates available, this virtual healthy-eating retreat from Spain via Zoom and Facebook will ease you in to following a plant-based diet and cleanse you, ready for the year ahead. You’ll get a menu plan, recipe pack and shopping list in advance, with the choice of a standard plan or a lower-calorie plan for those who want to lose weight. After two or four days of juices or smoothies, plus soups, you will learn to cook delicious plant-based meals and snacks in your own home. A daily live online meeting with La Crisalida’s co-owner and nutritionist Lisa Brant, daily inspirational emails and access to a closed Facebook group will guide and support you.
• €27, lacrisalidaretreats.com
Ultimate home detox, yoga and healing with Platinum Healing
Running monthly from 15 January, 12 February, 12 March and 16 April for between three and 28 days, these retreats offer a guided deep detox alongside live classes, educational talks, coaching workshops and fitness sessions – the latter are also recorded, so you can dip in and out of them. You’ll receive a home detox box at the start, with nutritional supplements, dry skin body brush, ayurvedic tongue cleanser and colon cleansing kit, and there is support and guidance via online Q&A sessions with nutritional therapists, counsellors, a hypnotherapist and a fitness trainer. Raw juice deliveries are on offer at an extra cost.
• From £499, platinum-healing.com
Virtual happiness retreat with Tuscan Getaway
This virtual weekend – 16 and 17 January, and available as a recording for six months after – combines yoga, journaling, life coaching and mindfulness with Tuscan recipes and cooking demos, and interviews with inspirational people. The course is filmed in and around the villa near Montefollonico, south-east of Siena, where Tuscan Getaways usually take place. Meditate under the olive trees, do yoga in the hills, learn to bake bread on an organic farm, and hear Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun, talking about making her home in Cortona, about what it’s like to follow your dreams. It is all presented by owner and retreat leader Debbie Travis.
• US$175, tuscangetaway.com
Meditation retreats at home with the Sharpham Trust
For three nights (21-24 January), this mindfulness meditation retreat will enable you to enjoy guided meditations, with optional weekly check-ins for two weeks after the end of the retreat. As well as live dharma talks and guided nature-connection practices with Sharpham’s teachers – who usually run Buddhist-focused retreats at the Barn on Sharpham’s estate in Devon – there are downloadable mindful movement routines and practices such as qigong and yoga, scheduled individual time and Q&A sessions.
• Suggested donation £145, sharphamtrust.org
Courage to Shine coaching retreat with Kate Emmerson
This private, tailored retreat (22–24 January, with other dates available on request) is for those about to make bold moves or decisions. It pivots on three private, live online coaching sessions of an hour each with lifestyle coach, author and speaker Kate Emmerson – one to strategise, the second to support, the third to help reflect on and integrate insights. Lighthearted and full of vigour, Emmerson helps you identify your next step. She will devise a schedule of bespoke exercises, processes, rituals and questions to ponder, and is on hand throughout the weekend for additional support.
• £495 for the weekend, kate-emmerson.com
Virtual weekend yoga and pilates retreat with Azulfit
Running 22–24 January and 5-7 February, these three-day virtual yoga and pilates retreats include five live sessions to help you relax and recharge, a menu of vegetarian meals you can make yourself at home following video cooking tutorials, and a retreat workbook with tools and tips to help create space and set your intentions for the year ahead. You’ll also get lifetime access to Azulfit’s on-demand yoga, meditation and pilates videos to keep up the good work at home with the same teachers who take the live sessions – all recorded on Azulfit’s outdoor yoga deck on Fuerteventura, to give you a dose of virtual sunshine.
• $147 (about £108), azulfit.com
Evolving women retreat with Fiona Arrigo
Psychotherapist and biodynamic psychologist Fiona Arrigo leads this online holistic retreat for women. Taking place from 12-14 February, it is a nourishing group programme of live sessions to help empower women to find inner strength and guidance in difficult times. From 6pm–9pm on Friday, and then 10am–5pm on both Saturday and Sunday, the interactive programme will include meditation, breath work, movement, nurturing group sessions and time to reflect, with the aim of working out how to live an empowered rather than an exhausted life.
• £238, aplacetoheal.co.uk
Two-day home retreats in aid of NHS workers
Proceeds from these by-donation, pre-recorded virtual retreats go to Reclaim Yourself’s free retreat for exhausted NHS frontline Covid workers. Designed to help find some stillness and navigate the year ahead, they comprise a day of “rest and refuge”, with positive affirmations, a restorative yoga class, meditations, a podcast list and a sound healing, and a second day of “clarity”, to help you reflect and set intentions for the year ahead, with yoga classes led by yoginis Emma Henry and Jean Hall, vision boarding and a guided facial. You’ll get a weekend menu with recipes and shopping lists from healthy-eating outfit Bettina’s Kitchen.
• Minimum donation £25, reclaimyourself.co.uk
DIY home retreats with Adventure Yogi
These half- and whole-day at-home virtual retreat packages are designed to be booked whenever you want, and themed by the feeling you want to achieve: calm, empowered or strong. Pick a day to suit your needs and go for a short taster experience or a full-on immersion. Schedules include a mix of wake-up and bedtime routines, healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes, workshops on your chosen theme, audio meditations, poems to read, yoga nidras, live yoga classes with Adventure Yogi teachers in different styles, and pre-recorded evening yin yoga classes.
• From £9.99 to £34.99, adventureyogi.com
Go wild for your health online with the Department of Wellbeing
Available from this month (January) to spend a whole weekend on, or dip in and out of at your leisure until June 2021, this retreat experience mixes sessions of meditation, sound healing, personal training, hatha yoga, yoga nidra, plant-based recipes, fireside nutritional talks and a podcast for a guided walking exercise in nature – all pre-recorded at Tilton House in East Sussex, where the team usually holds its actual retreats. Hostess Polly Moore introduces the retreat and offers a simple grounding meditation to get you started, and there’s a closed Facebook group so you can ask the experts questions and connect in real time.
• £130, departmentofwellbeing.co.uk
Short online writing sessions with Urban Writers’ Retreat
Mini-retreats are being offered on Mondays (10am-12pm and 1-3pm) and Saturday full-day retreats (10am-4pm) for anyone who wants to devote time and energy to their writing, be it nonfiction or fiction, professional or for pleasure. Run through a Facebook group, the retreats offer the same motivation and guidance from Charlie Haynes that she offers on her actual one-day writing retreats in London and residential retreats near Newton Abbot in Devon. Haynes has been running retreats since 2008 and is skilled at helping procrastinators understand and overcome their blocks. For anyone with any writing project, large or small.
• By donation, urbanwritersretreat.co.uk
Emotional therapy with Château de Mouillac
For anyone looking for significant life change, these two- to five-day private retreats via Zoom enable you to tap into the expertise usually offered at this retreat in France run by Desri Goodwin, an experienced strategic intervention coach, and her partner, Robin, a master neurolinguistic programming practitioner, hypnotherapist and energy healer. They use various emotional therapy techniques to tap into your unconscious, help you change your perspective on past events, free you of negativity and resolve the issues that limit your potential. The tailored retreats feature over four hours of one-to-one time each day, plus an energy healing session.
• £950 for two days, chateaudemouillac.com
Bespoke virtual healing retreats with Lynn Jackson
Running from two to seven days, these fully supported private home retreats pivot on live online sessions of energy work, counselling and meditation with energy healer Lynn Jackson, and are for people who need help with stress, anxiety, relationship issues, life re-direction and more. A pre-retreat consultation establishes your needs and helps get you ready with the tools and space required. You’re advised to digitally detox and avoid all stimulants, and Jackson will offer guidance on nutrition, additional online classes, books to read, music to dance to and nurturing activities from forest bathing to bath soaks.
• From £247, including three 60-minute online sessions over two days or more, bespoke-retreats.co.uk
Guardian readers can get a 10% discount on this online retreat with Château de Mouillac, plus a complimentary follow-up call/session (value £150 and lasting approximately an hour) a week after the retreat, subject to availability. Quote “Guardian Reader Offer” when booking
Caroline Sylger Jones is the founder of Queen of Retreats