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Lifestyle : Rest and Relaxation
www.solarsprings.com.au Give the gift of relaxation & rejuvenation this Valentines Day from $185 1800 044 944 remedial sports relaxation pregnancy hot stone Enjoy Pure Wellbeing with $25 off your first 60minute massage at our Woollahra clinic Health fund rebates available Book now 9362 5886 or visit www.purewellbeing.com.au non transferable or redeemable for cash or available on Gift Voucher purchases. Woollahra clinic only. New customers only. A BEAUTIFUL SKIN FOR A LIFETIME ADVANCED VITAMIN SKIN THERAPY Breaking scientific boundaries AVST aims to protect, restore and assist the skin to repair and maintain itself. Specially formulated for our harsh Australian climate. For all skin types including sensitive skin. Contains natural anti-oxidants for vibrant healthy glowing skin. 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If you are looking for a facial that combines the world of yoga, the best in pampering and skin diagnostics; this treatment is for you. Special 2 For The Price of 1 Offer! (Available till Feb 19 --2011) www.humannurture.com.au • 9337 4533 TAKE A SIP OF SUNSHINE bondiwheatgrass.com.au BONDI WHEATGRASS JUICE 02 9694 1100 0410 327 077 DETOX RENEW AG3582747AA-060211 THE SUN-HERALD SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2011 41 Take the mountains with you A spiritual getaway is the perfect way to clear your mind of city stresses, writes Carolyn Boyd. Body and soul . . . retreats can offer a rare chance to take a different look at life. Photo: iStock WHETHER it's to explore who you are or just learn some relaxation techniques, spiritual weekends promise the chance to wind down and take a different look at life. In the Blue Mountains, the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre is nestled in 53 hectares of bushland near Leura. Among the creeks and bushwalking tracks is a heritage stone cottage that most weekends of the year is the setting for meditation and yoga classes for up to 60 people. ''A lot of people come from Sydney who are tired and exhausted and want to get away from all the noise and want to clear their minds,'' says the co-ordinator of the Leura centre, Sally Segal. ''Their minds are racing, racing, racing. ''Just to come to the Blue Mountains is heaven for them. They really feel like it's another world. And then the meditation on top of that is very good because when they go back they can keep practising [and] can take the Blue Mountains with them in their mind.'' Weekend participants usually arrive on Friday night and begin with a meditation session followed by dinner and a group discussion about what participants hope to get from the weekend. There is a focus on the individual. ''A retreat really means to go inward, so it's best, if they possibly can, to really spend time with themselves not so much socially with others but really to get to know themselves, because it's more help to them to take away,'' Segal says. Brahma Kumaris has a variety of retreats. Some are aimed at couples, mothers and their daughters, or students learning advanced meditation. Segal says the accommodation is twin-share and people often attend with a partner or friend. The food on offer is vegetarian and the retreat includes several bushwalks among the colourful birds and bush wallabies. There is no set fee for the retreat, as payment is by donation. But Segal says it costs the voluntary organisation $160 a person to provide each retreat. Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre also has a retreat in Wilton, south of Sydney. See www.bkwsu.org/au or call (02) 4784 2500. Around the state there are several Buddhist centres offering retreats, including the Dhammakaya International Society of Australia, which has a meditation centre at Berowra Waters. The centre has been open since 2003 and resident teacher Satit says a maximum of 12 people can attend on any weekend. Most of the participants are non- Buddhist, he says. ''Meditation will help them to have a better ability in controlling themselves, they will be more confident and more healthy,'' Satit says. ''They will reduce their stress in their working environment.'' There is no charge for the classes but $250 is requested to cover food and accommodation. See dhammakaya.org.au or call (02) 9655 1128. In the Southern Highlands, the Sunnataram Forest Monastery offers retreats. See sunnataram.org. Another getaway option is Vipassana Meditation, which has 10-day programs in Blackheath and Mullumbimby. See www.dhamma.org.au. Rest and relaxation SPECIAL REPORT