But the journey to self-awareness and self actualisation has taken a back seat in this modern society, as the rat race of careers and mounting societal pressures consume us daily.
Taking a break to reconnect with yourself or with your family has become a luxury many can ill afford, but desperately need.
However, a growing number of people, often depleted by the all-consuming stresses of life or just in need of a break, are finding welcome respite at spiritual and holistic retreats.
Set in picturesque, serene environments where the idea is to get as off-the-grid as possible,spiritual retreats are gaining in popularity.
“Our retreats have become increasingly popular, especially over the past three years. A great cross-section of people, all races, ages and spiritual beliefs, attend our country spiritual retreats,” said Angela Craig, director of High Hopes of Greyton.
According to the retreat’s offering, their team “gently guide you in the direction of aligning with stillness and vitality”, through individual therapy programmes of varying lengths, combining aromatherapy massage, reflexology, kinesiology, meditation, relaxation counselling, yoga, good nutrition, walking, horse-riding and cycling.
Craig explained: “Depending on the retreat itself and the values and principles it is aligned with, one can experience a more directed programme or a more self-directed retreat. So, at High Hopes, for example, people have come more for programmes created for the individual, based on where they are at, their health and wellness needs, and their own journey.”
A common misconception is that spiritual retreats are all based on religion or belief systems.
However, Craig said: “Nobody and no religion or belief system has copyright on retreats. Retreating and communing with the universe and nature are timeless and available to all. These are both ancient and modern practices.”