Still your mind and connect to your highest self in 2023 by taking part in a meditation retreat. The practice’s origins can be traced back to India, where it still holds a strong importance today and, along with wider Asia, is home to many popular meditation centres offering residential retreats.
Whether you’re looking to combine guided meditation with yogic practices or simply want to learn more about cultural traditions, there’s a number of meditation retreats in Asia that fit the bill. Several offer one-to-one meditation sessions ideal for beginners, while seasoned veterans can join week-long group retreats alongside like-minded people.
Now, inhale, exhale – and check out the best meditation retreats in Asia below.
Unplug from the rest of the world and disappear onto Cambodia’s Song Saa Island , a private oasis that’s as luxurious as it is wellness-oriented. Personal meditation sessions are folded into its five - or seven-day spa retreat programmes, which promote stillness and embracing the world around you. When you’re not focusing on every breath, you’ll want to make the most of the amenities and services available, from facials and massages to your private pool villa – book to stay in the overwater villa and you’ll be situated right over the ocean.
South and Southeast Asia are renowned for meditation and yoga holidays, but how about Japan? Within the lushly forested hills of Ise-Shima, an area adored for its natural beauty, you’ll find this peaceful onsen sanctuary by Aman Resorts. The spa hotel’s individually tailored Wellness Immersions are built around Japanese meditation philosophies and treatments such as Sshiatsu and acupuncture to promote an enduring sense of inner peace. Amanemu Journeys day trips, such as accompanying a veteran ama diver as she hunts for seafood, as well as cycling courses through the peaks and shores of Ise-Shima, promise further groundedness and restoration.
This women-only Balinese retreat offers a selection of themed getaways, such as a meditation retreat for those searching for tranquillity. Here, you’ll be assigned your own personal meditation instructor for private sessions at sunset on the beach or in the resort’s tropical garden. You’ll also join experts in as many yoga sessions as your heart chakra desires and unwind with unlimited health and beauty treatments, spanning traditional Thai massages to mani-pedis.
Looking for companions on your quest for inner peace? Sen Wellness Sanctuary in Sri Lanka is known for annual nine-day retreats, which focus on both meditation and yoga across their itineraries and bring people together to form lasting bonds. With twice-daily group meditations led by a Buddhist monk, plus sound healing baths and yoga workshops, these retreats are perfect for the meditator who wants to connect with others and learn as much as possible – without compromising on creature comforts.
New to meditation? Kamalaya has earned a reputation as one of Thailand’s leading wellness resorts – ideal for guests who want to try different ways to rejuvenate. Embark on your healing journey at your own pace or join one of the tailored intimate group retreats guided by experts, from meditation mentors to fitness trainers to naturopaths. Although each programme is built around your goals, meditation lies at the heart of this resort, whose design encompasses an ancient cave used by Buddhist monks over the years to meditate – and guests are welcome to follow in their footsteps.
Head to the heights and bask in the remote stillness of the Himalayas, where you can start your mindfulness journey on an Ananda meditation retreat . Ranging from one to three weeks long, the Dhyana Meditation retreats revolve around the process of self-realisation with a programme rooted in Buddhist, Hindu and Jain traditions. A series of private meditation, yoga and pranayama sessions help you achieve dhyana, a meditative state in which you are fully aware of the world around you and which results in deep calm. (Though the included Ayurvedic therapies, gourmet cuisine and accessible hiking trails help too.)
For enhanced peace of mind, make sure your retreat and travel plans are covered by insurance protection. From now until 30 Jun 2023, enrol onto our Chubb Premier Travel Cover plan and earn HKD1=1. Find out more here.