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Retreat! Retreat!

Some people need high-thread-count sheets to relax. Some don’t. There are destinations for both.

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Insight Meditation Society
Barre, Massachusetts
In 1976, a group of young Buddhist meditation teachers bought an old Colonial mansion and started hosting silent retreats. One of their claims to fame: When the Dalai Lama visited, he went bowling in the basement. Accommodations are clean, simple, and dormlike. Participants are asked not only to refrain from uttering a word to each other but also to part with their cell phones and forgo reading or writing of any kind. Days are filled with sitting and walking sessions of both loving-kindness (metta) and insight (vipassana) meditation. Beginners can start with a two-day retreat. At the neighboring Forest Refuge, some keep silent for several months. ($55 to $80 per day, scholarships are available; dharma.org.)


Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
Falls Village, Connecticut
You don’t have to be Jewish to attend the Elat Chayyim retreat program, although most (85 percent) are. The center looks like a lakeside summer camp and holds yoga and meditation retreats as well as appealingly unconventional options like a Jewish detox weekend, a Jewish “wilderness experience,” and spiritual parenting. Days start with an optional 6:30 a.m. meditation session in a yurt and end with yoga or “contemplative hiking” around the Appalachian trail. (Weekends are $300 and up; isabellafreedman.org.)


Ananda Ashram
Monroe, New York
Only an hour north of New York, this is where many of the city’s popular yoga teachers, such as Jivamukti’s Sharon Gannon and David Life, hold court. Dharma Mittra (the yogi known best for taking photos of himself doing every yoga pose) will host a chanting-yoga-meditation retreat with kirtan-celebrity Krishna Das in April. Retreat registrants can also sign up for music, dance, and Sanskrit classes when they are there or book an Ayurvedic facial and massage. Even though there’s a strict no-alcohol policy (sorry, no Sancerre after that shavasana), the vibe at Ananda is fairly mellow. Morning meditation doesn’t begin until nine, and coffee is served. (Weekends are $200 and up; anandaashram.org.)


Amansala
Tulum, Mexico
Guests at this part Fantasy Island–style resort and part sweat factory get to concentrate on bettering themselves during the day, then drink cocktails and belly dance at night. The string of thatched-roof cabanas and the two new Casa Magna villas, the former vacation home to Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, look like a West Elm catalogue come to life. The trademark “Bikini Boot Camp” sessions attract brides-to-be looking to drop weight fast. “Warrior Week” is a sea-kayaking, spearfishing ecoretreat for men. Serious yoga devotees follow their particular gurus, including Exhale’s Shiva Rea, Yoga Shanti’s Colleen Saidman and Jessica Bellofatto, and the Shala’s Barbara Verrochi and Kristin Leigh. Guests can bike to nearby Mayan ruins, go snorkeling in freshwater swimming holes, and book an oceanside massage. (Six nights of Bikini Boot Camp are $1,824, not including airfare; prices vary depending on retreat; amansala.com.)


CuisinArt Resort & Spa
Anguilla, British West Indies
The newest resort on the island has 93 rooms that range from a 900-square-foot ocean-view double to a 3,600-square-foot penthouse with a terrace as large as a hedge-funder’s Tribeca loft. Guests can sign up for specific retreat packages (Power Pilates’ Susan Moran-Perich is leading a week in April) or design their own. (A six-night retreat starts at $2,680.)


Como Shambhala Retreat at Parrot Cay
Turks and Caicos
Luxury is the theme. A golf cart takes you from the island’s marina (there are no cars) to the check-in area, which isn’t just a desk but a loungelike setting where cocktails are served. Russell Simmons and Donna Karan, who’s building her own villa on the property, come to practice with yogi Rodney Yee. The typical structure of a retreat day includes five intense hours of yoga on the beach and in a studio overlooking the water. But afterward, guests can recover with scrubs and Thai massage. (Six-night yoga retreats average $5,196 for single occupancy, not including airfare; parrotcay.como.bz.)


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