5 PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF RETREATS
Spirituality & Health|Mar/Apr 2021
The rustic, historic property once offered hot mineral soaks in private rooms with big clawfoot tubs and one of the best and largest wood-burning saunas in the States. Days frolicking between the steaming hot mineral baths, a cold creek, and the sauna—and nights spent without phone or wifi in a simple cabin in the woods. Hot tea, a warm fire, and a cool stack of magazines: My kind of bliss.
MARY BEMIS


Alas, my retreat was not to be. A quick visit to its website informed me in boldfaced capital letters that the “BATHHOUSE IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED. No sauna, no bathtubs and no massages are available.”

Given the times we live in, the closure wasn’t a surprise. But the word “permanent” floored me. It turns out that the property, like so many other businesses, has changed direction. Overburdened by debt, the mineral springs property has partnered with Pneuma Institute to launch Pneuma Breathwork, “a new and beautiful activity.” And that brings me to my first prediction for the future of retreats.

1 THE BATHS WILL BE BACK

I have little doubt that Pneuma Breathing is a beautiful activity, but I know for sure that breathing goes in and out—and you can take it with you, anywhere. Meanwhile, those super hot, slippery mineral springs have been flowing—and drawing people to this remote place—since the beginning of time. The baths will be back! More generally: Every retreat must have some sort of a people magnet. Desperate times may require desperate measures, but changing the markings on your compass does not change the magnet. It gets pilgrims lost.

2 RETREATS, LIKE NATURE, WILL GROW MORE EXTREME

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