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Retreats Around the Corner

Why schlep to the mountains or the islands when you can have a wellness weekend right in the city?

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Photographs Courtesy of the Retreats.  

For the Mantra Illiterate
VAJRADHARA MEDITATION CENTER
380 Adelphi St., at Greene Ave., second fl., Ft. Greene; 718-496-5514
Game Plan: One-to-three-day meditation retreats, with days broken into four 90-minute meditation sessions. The center, based in a Fort Greene brownstone, practices a brand of Tibetan Buddhism that’s taught in English—perfect for beginners.
The Catch: Semi-cryptic teachings require patience. Example: “The body, like a water bubble, decays and dies so very quickly.” Discuss.
Next Up: A tantra retreat, January 19.
The Cost: $20 per day.


For the Zen Seeker on a Budget
CHOGYE INTERNATIONAL ZEN CENTER
400 E. 14th St., at First Ave., Ste. 2D; 212-353-0461
Game Plan: Arrive at 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday or Friday for orientation. The center provides a veggie dinner and a place to lay out your sleeping bag. The next day’s 4:30 a.m. wake-up bell begins an obstacle course of chanting, sitting meditation, and walking meditation.
The Catch: Roving Zen masters are intensely unintense. Can be hard for New Yorkers to relate.
Next Up: A daylong retreat on February 2. Intro to Zen classes held every Sunday, 6 to 8 p.m.
The Cost: $40 per day.


For the All-Inclusive Addict
CLAY
25 W. 14th St., nr. Fifth Av.; 212-206-9200
Game Plan: A week’s worth of workouts, spa treatments, holistic healing, and massages crammed into one glorious (or exhausting, depending on your stamina) eight-hour day. In between sessions, guests can do their own thing—lounging in the sauna, napping on the deck, and flirting in the gym.
The Catch: Unless you bring a friend, it’s a solo retreat.
Next Up: The Clay Retreat, a one-day intensive course of Pilates, yoga, lunch, facial, collagen treatment, massage, Reiki, and a smoothie.
The Cost: $645.


For the Chopra-Holic
CHOPRA CENTER AND SPA
1710 Broadway, nr. 54th St.; 212-246-7600
Game Plan: Two self-help retreats, inspired by the Buddhist-lite teachings of Deepak Chopra, are held each month at the spa of the Dream Hotel. Participants spend a couple of days in group meditation, discussions, nutrition instruction, and relationship-communication seminars.
The Catch: Deepak Chopra. Not everyone’s cup of green tea.
Next Up: The Perfect Health Rasayana retreat, January 24 through 26.
The Cost: $1,775.


For the Canyon Ranch–Goer
EXHALE SPA
980 Madison Ave., nr. 76th St.; 212-249-3000
Game Plan: The six-week program includes unlimited exercise classes each day, plus visits with a dietitian, a yoga instructor, and spa professionals, all scheduled around your other commitments.
The Catch: You’re surrounded by Über-fit ladies who don’t seem to lunch. Ever.
Next Up: Seven-Day Restoration Retreat, with unlimited classes, one facial and massage, and an optional “herbal cleanse”—yeah, it’s an enema.
The Cost: $2,000 for six weeks, or $400 for a week.


For the Pampering Obsessed
MANDARIN ORIENTAL
80 Columbus Cir., nr. 60th St.; 212-805-8800
Game Plan: Forty-eight hours locked inside a hotel tower with multimillion-dollar views of Central Park. Room time is interrupted only by two-hour exfoliation and massage treatments, trips to the pool and spa, and knocks on the door from room service.
The Catch: At about $3,600 a day per couple, you might actually save money by leaving town.
Next Up: Healthy Cleansing Weekend for Two, with a detox diet designed by chef Jill Pettijohn.
The Cost: $7,200 for two.


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