How to Chill Out in Calgary

If the Dalai Lama’s visit to Calgary this week has you ready to pack up for Dharamsala, before you throw it all away, consider these suggestions for finding serenity a little closer to home.

Alberta Vipassana Foundation’s meditation retreats, focusing on the ancient Buddhist meditation technique of vipassana, are for serious seekers of enlightenment only: ten days of no speaking, reading, writing, food past midday or contact with the opposite sex. Those who’ve persevered swear by the results. Believe it or not, these fill up fast. Dec. 27 – Jan. 7, 2010. 8 Meadow Ridge Bay, Conrich, 403-283-1889.

On the outskirts of Cochrane, overlooking Big Hill Creek Valley, the verdant Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre welcomes all faiths to its silence retreats. Book an individual experience and crash in the Friar Paul Surette Hermitage, a spartan one-room log cabin with a wood stove. By donation. 403-932-2012.

Get your prana – life force – in order at the Yoga Lounge’s four-day Sacred Breath workshop in Canmore. Classes will be taught by Shri O.P. Tiwari, a master of the pranayama breathing technique. $275. Oct. 15 – 18. #200, 826 Main St., Canmore, 403-678-6687.

The Asian-inspired therapies at The Spa Ritual run from hot stone massage to tea ceremonies. Rejuvenate with the Men’s Purr Package – a 90-minute Sabai relaxation massage and a scalp massage ($295). The Spa Ritual, 106 Crowfoot Terrace N.W., 403-547-9558.

Take advantage of 6 a.m. Kria yoga classes at the Canadian Meditation Institute to find inner peace and tranquility – all before breakfast. Daytime and evening classes also available. Suggested donation, $20. 2039 26 Ave. S.W., 403-802-0852.

Image courtesy of lululemon athletica on Flickr.

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