Art of Living Retreat Center: Where Health Meets Happiness

Deep in the heart of the North Carolina mountains, in pristine wilderness, lies the Art of Living Retreat Center. Here, in a tranquil and serene setting, surrounded by ancient forest and under crisp clear skies, guests find rejuvenation, inspiration, and nourishment.

It is here, too, that guests have the opportunity to reconnect with their bodies and their minds, freeing themselves of daily stress, nagging thoughts, and anxious feelings.

The Art of Living Retreat Center, located two hours northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been rated as America’s number one Ayurvedic spa retreat by Organic Spa. A combination of authentic thought leaders, expert therapists, guest presenters, and talented chefs work to create relaxing itineraries for guests of all ages and strengths.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a holistic method of medicine with its origins deep in the Indian subcontinent, in the Vedic culture. Tibetan medicine, Chinese medicine, and even early Greek medicine stem from this ancient practice. Ayurveda (ayur means “life” and veda means “knowledge”) is the science of life. Rather than being a one-size-fits-all outlook on health, Ayurveda is an individual practice determined by a person’s health, energy, diet, lifestyle, and more.

Ayurveda is “based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease,” according to WebMD. However, Ayurvedic treatments can be used to treat various health problems, and some treatments are geared toward a specific problem. Ayurveda differs from Western medicine because it understands that each person is unique, and there is no one treatment or lifestyle for everyone.

In Ayurveda, a person has three doshas, or life energies. Not all doshas are equal in a person, and when one life energy is out of whack, the whole body is. Lifestyle and diet are among the most important regimes in Ayurveda. Treatment revolves around balancing one’s life, maintaining emotional health, and preventing illness.

Each experience at the Art of Living Retreat Center has a different suggested Ayurvedic therapy. Because this is so personal to the guest, an expert therapist will guide guests through the selections and help choose the one that is right.

The Experience at the Art of Living Retreat Center

Guest experience begins well before they arrive. The center’s website invites guests to browse preferred itineraries and activities, in order to select the one they are drawn to the most.

There are plenty of itineraries to choose from, like happiness retreats, meditation or silent retreats, wellness retreats, or yoga teacher training. Guests can select a guided experience or a personal stay. Guided experiences are group experiences, while a personal R&R stay is completely up to the guest. Daily activities like pottery classes, hikes, rock climbing, kayaking, morning yoga sessions, and more are available for each guest to truly personalize their experience at the Art of Living Retreat Center.

The daily schedule highlights activities; guests are free to participate in as many or as few of them as they like. While there is a separate cost for each individual activity, bundled retreat packages that include various classes and meals are also offered.

Guests also have a choice on accommodation, whether they wish to experience a true retreat and share accommodation, or have a hotel-style room to themselves. The accommodation lies on the ridge, overlooking the peaks and valleys of the Blue Mountains or the dark, gentle forest in which the retreat lies. Each room is simply furnished with beds, a private ensuite bathroom, and a small writing desk. For stays of 8 days or longer, guests can choose a loft-style apartment, which can sleep up to four.

Upon arrival, guests are led to their accommodation and allowed to settle in. If guests arrive before check in time (3pm), they are invited to explore the grounds, experience the labyrinth, or visit the spa. Guided experiences begin at a certain time and place while personal stays are up to the guest. At mealtimes, the chefs tantalize palates with a selection of vegetarian dishes with an international flair. Hot tea, water, and fruit are always available; the retreat is an alcohol- and meat-free facility although guests may enjoy these in their private rooms. The center has its own garden, where the chefs, staff, volunteers, and guests lovingly grow herbs, produce, and fruit. Inspiration comes not just from the North Carolina mountains, but also from India, and from destinations like the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and more. Each meal is served buffet style and guests find a variety of choices.

Ayurveda can elevate the mind, body, and spirit, reawakening true human values of compassion and love. This traditional medicine, and the healing power of nature compels us forward, always seeking balance and strength. At The Art of Living Retreat Center, you can practice that.

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