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9 Transformative Silent Retreats Worldwide

9 Transformative Silent Retreats Worldwide

A silent retreat can bring profound results for any spiritual seeker looking to discover their most authentic self and experience true transformation. Silent retreats include daily meditation and sometimes yoga but involve taking a vow not to speak for the whole duration or part of the retreat. Restraining from speaking helps remove all external distractions and go inwards for deeper self-reflection and self-discovery. 

Unlike most yoga retreats, the purpose of a silent meditation retreat is not so much to relax and unwind. Instead, it is an opportunity to do some inner work and gain a clearer ​​perspective on things in a serene environment that you cannot find in your day-to-day life. So, if you are looking for answers or guidance, taking up silent meditation on a retreat can bring clarity and assurance. 

Best Silent Retreats Around the Globe

This selection of silent retreats offers something for everyone, from beginner-friendly introductions to intensive programs for experienced meditators.

Image by Marina Yoga

4 Day Silent Yoga, Meditation, and Healing Retreat in Krabi, Thailand

Starting from: $240

If you’ve never participated in a silent retreat before, we recommend starting with a short one, like this 4-say silent healing retreat in Krabi, Thailand. It’s suitable for all levels and includes daily guided meditations, including mindfulness, chakra, and heart-opening styles. You’ll also practice yoga every day, alternating between Yin, Hatha, Vinyasa, and Kundalini. 

Aside from yoga and meditation, this retreat by Marina Yoga has a healing modality, including a sound healing class, energetic bodywork (Reiki) class, and a mindful mandala art session to get your creative juices flowing. The days are very relaxed, with yoga and meditation in the morning, a healing session at midday, and a second yoga and meditation class in the late afternoon. Thus, you’ll have plenty of free time but are asked to maintain silence for the entire retreat. 

Image by Maitri Retreats

8 Day Silent Zen Meditation and Yin Yoga Retreat in Algarve, Portugal

Starting from: $872

This silent retreat in the peaceful Algarve in Portugal combines Zen meditation with the slow-paced mindful yin yoga style, creating the ideal ground for self-reflection and deep connection. Your days will consist of yin yoga, Zen and Vipassana meditation, Dharma talks, and meditative walks in the surrounding woods. 

The extensive sitting and walking meditations on this silent retreat will help you witness the projections of the mind and remain a present observer. You’ll learn how to sit with resistance and discomfort, which will allow you to access a more intimate version of yourself. You’ll be expected to keep the silence until the last day, where you’ll then be able to share your thoughts and feelings in a group meeting.

Image by Zen Buddhist & Yoga Retreat

3 Day Relaxing Meditation and Silent Retreat in Maleny, Queensland, Australia

Starting from: $326

This short meditation retreat in the Sunshine Coast, Australia, is suitable for all levels and accessible for beginners taking their first silence experience. You’ll spend the long weekend listening to the sounds of nature of the beautiful Hinterland of the Sunshine Coast and will have a private room at the secluded Zen Buddhist & Yoga Retreat Centre.

The program includes Hatha and yin yoga, Zen dharma talks, sound healing, yoga Nidra, and seated and walking meditations. The retreat kicks off at 4 pm on Friday with a grounding yoga session and finishes Sunday evening. What’s more, you’ll feast on delicious vegetarian and vegan meals full of Mediterranean and Indian flavours. 

Image by Riverheart Retreats

9 Day Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat in the Ardales National Park, Andalusia, Spain

Starting from: $703

A Vipassana silent retreat like this one in Andalusia, Spain, will give you profound insight into your mind’s conditioning and patterns and allow your most authentic self to be born. Vipassana retreats are not for the faint-hearted as they include long hours of sitting and walking meditations, with the days beginning at 4 am and ending at 10 pm. However, if you make it through the nine days, you are sure to experience a tremendous transformation and greater clarity on your values and life purpose. 

Most meditation sessions on this Vipassana program by Riverheart Retreats typically last 45 to 60 minutes, alternating between sitting and walking styles. You’ll also have a gentle yoga and chanting session each morning, plus you’ll have multiple one-to-one sessions with the instructor to share your experience and ask any burning questions. What’s more, if you’re familiar with Vipassana and looking for a longer than 10-day silent retreat, you can join Riverheart Retreats’ 12-day program here instead. 

Image by Hridaya Yoga France

5 Day Silent Meditation Retreat: Experience the Peace of the Heart in Saint-Just-d’Avray, Rhône, France

Starting from: $331

Find answers to life’s deepest questions on this 5-day silent retreat in Rhône, France. The 5-day program includes twice-daily meditation, Hatha yoga, and dharma talks. Silence is observed from 7 am on day 1 and finishes at 9 pm the day before departure. It also follows the strict rules of Vipassana silent retreats, such as no smoking, alcohol, or use of electronics or the internet.

This retreat by Hridaya Yoga includes shared accommodation at Château de Longeval and three wholesome meals each day (vegan and vegetarian). The Chateau is situated in the peaceful village of Saint-Just-d’Avray, surrounded by nature yet only 1 hour from Lyon. For those looking for an extended and more profound retreat, Hridaya Yoga also runs a 12-day silent retreat program in Rhône.

Image by Zsuzsa Kohan

9 Day ‘Reset Your Life’ Retreat with Yoga, Meditation, Temazcal, Ceremonies in Malinalco, Mexico

Starting from: $1,200

The ‘Reset Your Life’ retreat in Mexico is a “semi-silent” retreat, meaning you will chant, sing and join discussions in the sessions but are encouraged to follow noble silence in between classes to conserve your energy and keep the mental chatter minimal. This style makes it a suitable quiet retreat for first-timers or those looking for a more comfortable experience. 

The program features various workshops and ceremonies, including Temazcal ceremonies to detoxify the body. Another huge plus of this retreat is that you will stay at the luxurious Pequeño Gran Hotel Las Cúpulas in Malinalco. Here you will have a private suite with an ensuite bathroom and access to the hotel’s outdoor pool and gardens.

Image by Om & Flow Yoga

5 Day Silent Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Retreat in Hiiumaa, Estonia

Starting from: $464

The tranquil Estonian island of Hiiumaa makes for an idyllic place for reconnecting to nature and yourself in total tranquillity. The quiet retreat by Om & Flow Yoga includes twice daily yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and sound healing sessions. Silence begins after orientation on the first evening and ends late morning on the last day. After you break the vow, you’ll be able to spend one final meal as a group where you can share your experiences of the previous 5 days. 

Each morning you will practice Hatha yoga, and in the evenings, you will join a restorative yoga and yoga Nidra session. In addition, you’ll spend between 3 to 4 hours meditating each day, so it’s best suited to those with some previous experience. However, it is open to beginners, and the instructors try to tailor the training to each participant. 

Image by Art of Living Retreat Center

5 Day The Art of Living Stepping into Silence Yoga and Meditation Retreat in North Carolina

Starting from: $1,235

The Art Of Living’s 5-day silent yoga retreat includes daily Hatha yoga along with stillness and guided meditations to help you switch off from the noise and stress of everyday life and switch on to what is going on inside of you. These five days of silence in a natural setting will allow you to calm your “monkey mind” and access a deeper level of consciousness. 

The guided meditations, mindful yoga, and advanced breathing techniques will assist you on your inner journey, and the Q&A sessions with your instructor will offer you the guidance and support needed. What’s more, you’ll explore the healing process of talk therapy on day one before entering into silence on the eve of day two. You can choose to stay at the retreat centre or nearby hotel, and you’ll receive three nourishing meals a day. 

Image by SANCYA

2 Day Silent, Vegan Fasting Yoga Retreat near Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu, India

Starting from: $55

If you’re planning to do a fast, why not do it in silence on this 2-day silent fasting retreat in India. The program is run by Sri Ananthi Nature Cure at SANCYA, a renowned yoga and naturopathy hospital in Tamil Nadu. This is one of the best budget silent retreats worldwide and includes daily yoga (beginner level), meditation, and pranayama. You’ll also learn yoga Nidra and yogic cleansing techniques to assist your fast. 

A fruit fasting diet is included, along with herbal drinks. Furthermore, you’ll stay in a simple but private room at the ashram and can enjoy the peaceful green surroundings in between classes.

Discover more worldwide yoga retreats

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