Some people learn to meditate to relax, others need to relax so they can meditate.

Some people embrace meditation as their tool for self discovery and spirituality, others as a means to better health. When you look at it closely enough you inevitably will see that there is an inner focusing momentum within all of us, an urge to intraspection, an in built mode to contemplate, percieve and understand. That no matter what we do this' inner tide' or 'urge to retreat' will place demands on us and the ways in which we relate to others and stay focused on the routines of our life.

This urge is possibly as necessary to the human spirit as oxygen is to the human body. Whatever your motivation and need and whatever you call it, whether prayer, visualisation, mental focus or even art, the practice of meditation will in some way influence your life. It will find you with its own uniqueness in the spaces you allow it to manifest. You may be sitting on the toilet, waiting for a bus or quietly gazing out a window, beneath these often unconscious actions, the inner urge takes hold of you and you dream and reflect.

To learn traditional meditation and to continue the practices regulary will give you benefits beyond anything you can imagine. It increases concentration, teaches you how to relax, connects you with an inner centre and allows for increased creativity and emotional freedom.

Modern living is often filled with excesses and the demands of these eat up much of our free time. These ever increasing excesses compound the stress that builds up in our body, our thoughts and feelings and often takes us beyond normal tolerances. As excessive stress becomes our friend, our personal health, happiness and physical freedom begin to diminish. Illness and dis - ease may then start to affect our ability to function and the energy we have.  The natural inner urge that sustains becomes camoflaged by exhaustion, anxiety and fatigue. When we try and meditate we fall sleep, when we try and focus on any important issues and demands in our life we become somewhat unconscious, and potentially apathetic to the necessary solutions. In greater and greater degress we essentially start switching off to the related thoughts and feelings that lay beneath the surface of our awareness of our life,  we find ourselves living unconsciously and possibly without meaning.

Health retreats are fantastic in the way they can help us renew, unwind and relax again. They offer an opportunity to create some healthy routines, that if practiced regularly and integrated into our life can grow to create healthy momentums rather than unhealthy habits. Many health retreats offer some type of meditational practice which if adopted can then become a platform for a regular meditative practice in your daily life. The retreat experience with a meditation focus can become the foundation for  new psychological scaffolding of thoughts, feelings and personal values. You may use the time away as an opportunity to reflect on how you having been living and to consider how to change negative habits and actions that are not serving you and possibly causing you problems. A health retreat experience could well be the catalyst for change that you need right now.