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Healing holidays

Kim Wildman
Monday, January 16, 2012
Healing holidays (Photo: Getty Images)

Whether you're facing a life-changing decision or simply want to practice meditation or learn how to surf, the best way to break free of the past and kick start your life with a little travel therapy. To help you out we've rounded up seven of best healing holidays.

Life coaching in Thailand
If you're about to make some major changes in your life, there's no better place to contemplate your next step than Thailand's Chiang Mai. Located more than 700km northwest of Bangkok, the tranquil city has long been a haven for those seeking refuge and quiet contemplation. For anyone facing upheaval in their lives the Life Change People offer a week-long coaching program to help you find your way. Forget long, boring seminars, this is more like a luxe holiday with added life coaching and therapy thrown in for good measure.

The art of life in Greece
Stuck in a rut? Need a fresh way of approaching your life? Then join a Life Choices holiday at the Skyros Centre in Greece. The centre's holistic approach to living and learning combined with its sublime island location makes it the ideal destination to expand your mind and liberate your creative spirit. As well as in-depth courses and workshops, the two-week program also includes daily yoga classes. Skyros also offers courses in art, music, writing and salsa in Cuba, Thailand, Cambodia and the Isle of Wight.

Yoga in Morocco
If doing the downward facing dog pose in a mystical land while being massaged by a gentle sea breeze sounds like heaven, then a yoga tour through Morocco might just be just your thing. This week-long trip takes you on an all-sensory journey from the bustling city of Marrakech to the lusciously laid-back seaside town of Essaouira. As well as daily yoga instruction, you'll also have the opportunity to explore Marrakech's famous souq, try your hand at windsurfing, go camel riding or simply enjoy the solitude of one of Morocco's perfect sand-sculpted beaches.

Meditation in Nepal
One of the best places to go totally Zen is the Kopan Monastery in Nepal. Nestled in the shadows of the Himalayas, it has long been a spiritual haven for travellers the world over. Each year hundreds of followers flock to the monastery for a month of meditation and chanting. During the retreat, you'll experience a little of what life is like for the Buddhist monks, staying in shared lodgings and living off basic rations of simple food. For the less devoted there's also shorter seven- and 10-day retreats.

An ashram in India
Toss a stone anywhere in India and you're bound to hit an ashram. There's no better representation of ashram life, than the Sivananda Ashram, located on the edge of the flowing sacred Ganga River near the holy city of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. Shadowed by the Himalayas, this peaceful ashram is one of the most atmospheric places in India. Founded in 1932 by Swami Sivananda, it offers a myriad of activities for serious seekers of spiritual enlightenment including meditation, yoga and worship services. To stay at the ashram you'll need to make a request it in writing.

Surf in Australia
With almost 50,000kms of unspoilt coastline, Australia is one of the best destinations to learn to surf. As part of a five-12 day MojoSurf surfing camp, you'll stay in Creso Beach House; the ultimate purpose built beach house with a chilled surfer vibe in remote location south of Byron Bay, New South Wales. Each morning, you'll begin with a yoga session before taking to the beach for surf instruction with highly-trained teachers. While you may not be the next Layne Beachley, at least you can say you too have surfed on the shores of this amazing country.

Find your bliss in Costa Rica
With thick virgin rainforests, bubbling volcanoes and wave-lashed beaches, Costa Rica is the perfect location to rejuvenate and rediscover your inner bliss. On this retreat, you'll join well-known spiritual counsellor Leslie Blackburn on a transformational journey to explore deeper self awareness and open to the energies of life and love. Throughout the week-long retreat, held at the AmaTierra Resort and Wellness Centre, Leslie will guide you through an integrated series of empowering daily sessions including yoga, meditation, transformational music experiences and sacred sexuality teachings to connected with your inner power and discover your bliss. You'll even receive a private tarot reading.

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