Artist Retreats

Artist Retreats – Explore Your Creative Side

By Paige Reist
January 23, 2017

Artist RetreatsCreativity is a muscle, and like other muscles, it needs to be exercised. The challenge for those with artistic souls is finding a way to exercise that muscle when so much time is spent on work, home stresses, and more.

While practicing your preferred craft is a great way to start working out your creative muscles, there are times when you need something more – a chance to reconnect with your artistic self, and a muse that you can use to inspire your creative works for the future.


Benefits of Artist Retreats

Since our founding, we’ve offered several different types of retreats, including Ayurveda retreats, spa healing retreats, and more. These retreats attract people from all walks of life. But we have found that some of our visitors that seem to best enjoy their experience are artists.

This is because artists, perhaps more than any other group, benefit the most from reconnecting with both nature and themselves. Spiritual and healing centers have many benefits that make them ideal as an artist retreat, including:

  • Cleared Mind – Healing retreats help to slow the world down. They are relaxing, and able to calm your mind from the stresses of the day. This allows the analytical side of your mind to rest, and the creative/artistic side to start to take over.
  • Fresh Air and Nature – Any artist retreat would be incomplete without a chance to spend time with nature, and these types of healing retreats provide just that. At all times you are surrounded by beauty, which stimulates your creative juices and clears up the busyness of the city.
  • Better Sense of Self – Creativity comes from inside you. Artist retreats give you the chance to tune out all of the outside influences that you receive in your life from work, TV – even friends and family, so that you can bring out your own artistic ideas.

Retreats are also energizing, and many people leave these getaways feeling like they are ready and motivated to take on anything that they had envisioned.


Types of Artist Retreats at the Art of Living Retreat Center

Each retreat has its own unique strategies and perspectives, so choosing between them is really about addressing yourself: what is it you feel like you could benefit from most for both your personal side and your creative side.


Upcoming retreats include:
Storytelling For Change with JAC Patrissi

The Art of Bewilderment with Nick Flynn

The Art of Letting Go with Heather Allen Hietala

Deep Writing Workshop with Dr. Eric Maisel

Yoga & Writing with Karen Kenney


Every artist deserves a chance to explore their own creative soul. Let our retreats help inspire you, and provide new energy to put into your chosen craft.

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , artist , creativity , Retreats , wellness

Ayurvedic Detox (Part 3): Panchakarma

By Dr. Harrison Graves, MD
July 22, 2016



Ayurveda, the holistic medicine from India, has given us the ultimate way to detoxify the body-mind: Panchakarma.

Panchakarma, or the “five actions,” is a time-tested cleansing process that releases stored toxins and restores the body’s innate healing ability. It is a series of therapies that helps remove deep rooted stress while balancing the body-mind types – vata, pitta, kapha.

Panchakarma was developed thousands of years ago by the physician-yogis of India. Its five actions refer to the five cleansing and rejuvenating procedures described in Ayurvedic textbooks. Panchakarma in the West mainly uses three of these five Ayurvedic methods for removing toxins, each prescribed based on one’s body-mind type.

Scientific studies have proven that the natural purification treatments of Panchakarma can successfully eliminate environmental toxins such as PCB’s and pesticides from the body.

A Panchakarma program is only effective if special detoxification diet is consumed along with the treatments. The staff at the Shankara Ayurveda Spa are keenly aware of this and every individual undergoing Panchakarma receives a special diet which is monitored by the doctor.

The Process

Think of Panchakarma as a three step process: mobilization of toxins, elimination of toxins, and body-mind rejuvenation.

Step 1: Mobilizing Toxins
Panchakarma begins with oleation — the application and ingestion of oils and ghee to loosen and mobilize toxins from the stomach and intestines. Deep soothing massages are given, using warm oils like coconut and sesame, that have been infused with healing herbs.

Step 2: Elimination and Release
After oleation, comes Swedana, or sweating therapy, in the sauna or steam room. Sweating allows toxins to be eliminated through the skin while improving circulation and releasing tension. In addition, the toxins mobilized in Step 1 are released using a series of daily basti’s, or therapeutic enemas. Basti is much more than an enema, however. It refers to a special type of colon cleanse that uses herb infused oils to remove fat-soluble toxins from the intestinal tract.

Step 3: Body-Mind Rejuvenation
Once the toxins have been released, the time is ripe to nourish the body with natural foods, with meditation and gentle yoga.

The Shankara Ayurvedic Spa Experience

Panchakarma Retreat for wellness at the Ayurveda Spa.

A Panchakarma Detox Retreat at the Art of Living Retreat Center Spa is pampering and de-stressing experience, customized just for you. It includes:

  • Initial Ayurvedic consultation with pulse assessment followed by daily check ups with an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner so that you experience the best treatments for you
  • About 2 1/2 hours of daily Ayurvedic treatments, customized to your personal wellness program
  • Abhyanga (warm oil massage): One of the world’s oldest massage therapy techniques, herb-infused oils are massaged into the body, loosening toxins, relaxing the nervous system and providing rest, nourishment and rejuvenation.
  • Swedna (steam room therapy)
  • Combinations of several different treatments, such as shirodhara, karna purna, nasya, marma, kati basti, netra tarpana as recommended for you
  • Therapeutic, organic diet designed to optimize your experience in treatments
  • And much more, like Ayurvedic cooking classes and daily satsang/kirtan

* * *

Releasing Emotional Toxins

Emotional toxins can be just as damaging as physical toxins – for example, the suffering caused by a toxic relationship at home or undue criticism at work. It’s important to remember that your mind and heart are continually digesting energy and information as well as foods.

The inability to clear these toxic emotions like anger, jealousy or grievances can lead to stress related illnesses, from ulcers to hypertension to stroke. If your emotional agni, your inner fire, is strong, you will be able to reinforce the positive emotions that nourish you – like happiness, contentment, joy and gratitude – and eliminate the negative emotions that no longer serve you.

Cleansing the Mind: Mantra and Pranayama

Both Ayurveda and Yoga recommend mantric chanting and conscious breathing as an important part of holistic healing. Some mantras, like Aum and OM Shanti, are soothing to the nervous system. Other mantras, like the Gayatri, a mantra for higher consciousness, are chanted for wisdom and illumination.

In addition, pranayama, breathing exercises like nadi shodhana, can rapidly relieve anxiety and soothe the worries and hurries of the mind.

According to Ayurveda, good health depends upon our ability to fully assimilate all aspects of life, taking in that which nourishes us and eliminating the rest. If we don’t completely digest our food, experiences and emotions, toxins will accumulate in our body and mind, creating imbalance and, ultimately, disease.

Learn more about Panchakarma

If you’d like to find out more about Panchakarma and how it can help improve your quality of life, especially in relation to the aging process, you can check out the ebook:

ayurveda guide download

Interested in learning more about how Ayurveda can improve your health? To find out more, schedule a free consultation with our Ayurveda specialist.


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living retreat center , art of living Shankara spa , Ayurveda , ayurveda cleanse , cleanse , Detox , harrison graves md , Panchakarma , Retreats , Swedana