What Happens at Retreat?



Unplug. Unwind. Eat well. Move well. Chill out


Nirvana Retreats hold the space for transformation to occur. We use the tools for healing, sanctuary, mindfulness/heartfulness, yoga, Ayurveda, nature, community and opportunities for conscious evolution to help you with the shifts you are ready for. You find yourself and love what you find.

At Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary you experience the ultimate peace of mind, and optimum health and rest immersion. Spending a week in this mountain sanctuary can help you cleanse your mind from heavy feelings held within for a long time, at the same time as you cleanse your body with plant based food, ayurvedic treatments, yoga and relaxation therapy practices.
You are invited to attend and embrace the art of healthy living. Here you end your sleepless nights, constipation, wind and bloating, as you move away from fast and processed food, short order chefs, alcohol and restlessness, and instead will have completely different sensory experiences filled from what is sacred, what is lasting, nature and spirituality. You will enjoy farm to table, plant based food (suitable for vegans) that is all made in our kitchen and delicious. Our delicious and wholesome menu has been designed to increase your energy and elevate your mood, not your waistline. 
To state the obvious, a retreat is not a conference or seminar - which can imply long hours of sitting and listening to long talks while shifting in your seat, days of breathing stale air without leaving the hotel, limp uninspired food in food warmers.
A retreat is also different to a resort or a motel, in that there are no maids making up your room and bed daily, and while Nirvana's facilities include the classical Queenslander with some extraordinary views, furniture and fittings, we purposely strip away distractions such as flat-screen televisions and telephones in every room, so that you can get back in touch with nature, and yourself, and go deeper into the holistic material that is being offered. 
Retreatants experience hands-on experiential unlearning, creative renewal and rejuvenation opportunities in one of Australia’s most spectacular environments. 
The moment you arrive, you have begun to receive the gift of being less busy and more available to your true self and inner peace. You don't have to wait for your retreat to begin. You can enjoy the peace that you have already connected with. The beauty and gentleness surrounding you are all a part of your retreat. You can choose to participate in as much or as little of the activities as you wish. There is plenty to undo…and do, which you chose, and at your own pace. Empirical and theoretical education is coupled with an optional, daily program of practice, to let go, rest and dissolve into the unknown. Nurtured by nature, and community, just being on the mountain is a healing experience in itself that changes your life. If you're looking for someone to change your life, look in the mirror. Your life is a sacred sanctuary. Take some time each day to nurture your heart and soul. The creative process blossoms when you tune out of the world and tune into your deeper self. 
We also offer optional extra services, such as consultations, rejuvenating massage, oil therapies, detox medicines, facials and skin care.
Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary is a perfect setting to embark on an inner journey. While we are sensitive to the wide range of feelings you may have, the aim is not to take participants back through their pain. You are encouraged to primarily take steps forward, honouring your life here as a gift worth living. Founded on not punishment, but nourishment and healing principles for creating authentic, meaningful interactions through rich, original and compelling content, we go beyond surface strategies and honour the important connection between the mind, body and presence. 
Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary is set against the backdrop of the scenic rim, the Beechmont mountain to ocean views, rain forest hiking trails, breath-taking, serene and artfully landscaped vistas. This inspiring and restorative setting allows communion with nature and furthers the experience of connection with your inner Self. Here, you can take a step back; immerse yourself in stillness and emerge feeling refreshed…mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The program is fluid 
Everything that happens at a residential retreat is programmed: the planned, the unplanned, the organised and unorganised, the tangible and intangible, measureable and unmeasurable, informal as well as formal. This is because all aspects of our inner and outer experiences (elements, forms, emotions, thoughts, sciences, arts, discourses, discussions etc.) are an expression of the interplay and potential of archetypical forces, and are different expressions of wisdom. Every aspect of a retreat at Nirvana is designed to help you connect with your highest Self while becoming more balanced and healthy in body, mind and spirit. Respected teachers offer experiential workshops and classes in Yoga philosophy, meditation, breathing practices and Yoga postures. The effects of your retreat don’t stop when the program ends. You’ll go forward with tools you can use to enjoy a more peaceful, more useful and happier life.
Begin to live again, renew your health and love your life
A retreat is beneficial to get away from it all, in order to get back to what really matters. Allow yourself to take a journey deep within, to a place where you can be quiet, still and calm, within the peace of your buddha nature, where you can unite your inner wisdom and heal your mind-body and its conenctions. Unlock your potential and joy by shedding layers of resistance through supported sessions where you are gently guided in calm breathing (pranayama), enriched and nourished by gentle yoga, stillness meditation and deep relaxation (yoga nidra), to calm and clear toxicity and clear resistance, together with meaningful conversations, laughter, spiritual movies and nature walks. If you are feeling depleated, adrenally burnt out, stressed, hormonally imbalanced, wanting to fall pregnant, lose weight, or living in the fast lane, then a retreat is for you.  Explore what it means to live, again. When you give yourself permission to feel good for no particular reason, the need to bury troubles in food, drink, or busy distractions melts away and you give yourself back your body, mind and soul…and good health.
To enhance the retreat experience for you, there is also free time for optional massage and Ayurvedic treatments, a facial or just sit back and relax in the infrared sauna, the choice is entirely yours.


Learn, experience and enjoy a range of activities suitable for everyone, at all levels including total beginners. Participate in as much, or as little as you wish. The choice is entirely yours. Below is a list of optional activities you could experience at Nirvana Wellness retreat during your 10-day stay:
  • Stillness meditation, mindfulness and quiet time to reflect (suitable for total beginners. Chairs available)
  • Guided yoga breathing (pranayama). A long and subtle breath establishes a calm mind. A calm mind is the foundation for everything great.
  • Deep rest relaxation (divine sleep, yoga nidra). Enjoy a deliciously restful, fully guided relaxation session, where you feel wonderfully renewed.
  • Gentle, rejuvenating shanti yoga and deeply healing and rejuvenating yoga therapeutics
  • Chanting with music (kirtan) which is wonderfully freeing, uplifting, calming and joyful
  • Inspirational yogic philosophy. Topics include:  Health: Healthy mind, healthy body; Restoring balance and wholeness; Revitalising yourself; Self esteem, Self worth, Self love and Belief in yourself; Respectful, loving relationships; Reducing anxiety, restlessness and depression; Coping strategies for health and contentment in everyday life, Mindfulness, and much more.
  • Nature walks. Visiting the near-by forests and waterfalls is always a favourite activity with stunning views and exhilarating wildlife
  • Swimming in the refreshing, natural, rock pool under the waterfall - bring your togs.
  • Draw, paint, weave slow, creative art classes into the contemplative approach to being mindful.
  • Mandala (meditative) art, featuring complex circular designs that draw the eye inward towards their centre. 
  • Bollywood dancing; Zumba dancing
  • Free time to explore the peaceful surroundings
  • Enjoy camaraderie with retreat participants playing games such as scrabble, pictionary, chess, carrum
  • Relax in the hammock, read a novel or watch kangaroos graze
  • Make friends with the chickens, get in touch with the earth and garden
  • Treatment time: Free time to indulge in optional treatments, which include Ayurvedic and Thai massages, herbal treatments, medicines and purifying steam that brings new life to tired muscles, bones and tendons.
  • Personal time out: Personal time to sink into the rhythm of the rainforest and explore nature, read a book from the extensive library or relax in the hammock
  • Movies: Be entertained or informed with spiritual cinema.
On offer are three types of all inclusive packages at Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary, namely:
Yoga is the journey home, to who you are, and towards having a more fulfilling life. If you simply desire a more complete life, this restful, relaxing weekend getaway will change your perspectives on the world that surrounds you. Rejuvenate and recharge with an integration of gentle Yoga, guided relaxation, conscious breathing, meditation and easy bush walks, suitable for beginners. All meals are provided. In this weekend retreat package you will
rejuvenate your body with Shanti Yoga, which is a gentle style of yoga which is accessible to every body. Even if you have never meditated or practised yoga before, or if you've tried meditation and yoga but haven't successfully integrated them into you life as a regular practice, Nirvana Wellness Sanctury is the ideal place to establish some wonderful practices that will serve as powerful antidotes to release stress and tension, fear and anxiety, and have a significant positive impact on the quality of your well-being and your life.
deeply calm your mind and relax your body with a powerful relaxation practice known as Yoga Nidra
shed layers of accumulated stress and let go of other mental blocks such as resistance, anxiety, depression and worry with the practice of conscious breathing, known as pranayama
be empowered by the positive energy, humour and inspiring talk by Shantiji
nourish yourself with delicious, mouthwatering, Ayurvedic plant based meals
soak up the serene, healing beauty of Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary with an abundance of native birds, breathtaking views across valleys and mountains ranges to the ocean. Everywhere you look, beauty, peace and calmness prevails.
a perfect hideaway to rejuvenate, taking time out for yourself in twin-share or single accommodation for 3 days, 2 nights
return home with a sense of calmness, renewed energy, vitality, and peace, grounded in the truth that no matter what's going on in the world around you, you are connected with an infinite source of well-being.

A Typical Yoga for Body, Mind and Spirit Retreat Day could look like

7:00 am         Optional morning constitutional. Lemon and ginger tea. Aloe vera pulp.

7:30-8:30am. Session 1MORNING PRACTICE.
                      This could include stillness meditation, introduction to pranayama (yoga breathing practice)
                      and Gentle Shanti Yoga long stretching and conscious connection to calm the nervous syste

 8:30am.         Nirvana Breakfast. + Personal time

10.30am         Session 2MID MORNING
                       Walk in Nature, or Mindful art or Gentle yoga or Touch the Earth or Personal time. 
12:30pm         Lunch. Leisurely Nirvana delicious, Ayurvedic, plant based lunch, the main meal of the day.
2-3:15pm        Session 3: AFTERNOON PRACTICE
                       Restorative Yoga Nidra. Inward time for deep, conscious, yoga relaxation and lucid dreaming.

3-6pm             Optional Treatments (pre-booking essential) or Mindful art or Personal time to chill.

6-7pm             Session 4EVENING PRACTICE
                       Yoga, or pranayama, or chanting, or music workshop
7pm                Supper
8-9pm             Session 5CANDLELIGHT PRACTICE. Sharing by candlelight OR
                       Starry night meditation, which can be outdoors. Please bring warm clothes. OR
                       We watch a Spiritual Movie together indoors, in the media room
These are the Yoga for Mind, Body, Spirit retreats scheduled in 2018-2019
Jan 1-8         Live, Love, Laugh and Last a lifetime (no detox medicines)
Feb 16-18     Believe in Yourself. Transform your Life
March 23-25  Meaning, Purpose, and the Pursuit of Happiness
May 11-14     Emotional Wellbeing: Spiritualising Anger & Cultivating Shakti 
June 15-17    Cook, Taste, Heal: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body. Cooking retreat
July 27-29      Cook, Taste, Heal: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body. Cooking retreat
Aug 17-19      Believe in Yourself. Transform your Life
Aug 10-12      The Gathering of the Tribe
Sept 7-9         Meaning, Purpose, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Oct 26-28      Emotional Wellbeing: Spiritualising Anger & Cultivating Shakti 
Jan11-13 2019  Uncovering the Path of Grace
Cooking is the best part of a meal. It is a beloved ritual, a rite of passage and a lifelong skill. Cooking a meal is a gesture of generosity and love that can be felt and tasted. 

There is so much cooking inspiration these days. The world's herbal traditions provide valuable tools for empowered, connected, and meaningful self-care. 

When we cook together in an atmosphere that is relaxed and casual, it is a pressure-less affair. In a family kitchen there are never too many cooks. Standing elbow-to-elbow, while each person peels, chops and dices their contribution to the meal, everyone is involved in a family ritual that brings us closer and creates lasting memories.

Enjoying meals communally bring us together. They are a time to leave the stress behind. More than just where, how or what you eat, they elevate a meal to talk, catch up, make plans, tell and listen to stories, create memories, celebrate and connect with what truly matters.

Relax. Each of us has a unique way of doing things, and relaxing is no different. Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary is where relaxation takes place. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all, no rules, just principles. At Nirvana, we've created the space, with all the right ingredients for you - one that fits your special brand of relaxing and recharging.  

Greenery for the soul. Nature creates a soothing environment that helps us de-stress. Being in nature reboots the soul. It brings us back to a place of calmness, where the pressures of the outside world fade away. But they do more than that, they help purify the air around us, by removing some of the chemicals, carbon monoxide and much more. 

Dress code. Leave the corporate world with its expectations, schedules, and dress codes behind. A soft and serene space, with sweatpants as the hero... Your dress code can be whatever you want it to be. 

Home is where your mind is at ease, where you're comfortable, not worried. Home is where you can socialise as a family, and yet everybody has a chance to do their own thing. Home is where the heart is at peace. Come home to Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary.

Enjoy a weekend of relaxation, cooking, yoga, rainforest walks and good company in the most spectacular natural environment, Beechmont Queensland.  

In this accessible introductory program, deepen your connection with nature and yourself as you

  • Learn the health benefits of Ayurvedic cooking
  • Explore culinary edibles, a handful of herbs and spices and learn simple techniques for preparing and using them through demonstrations and hands-on activities
  • Integrate mindful practices into cooking and eating
  • Come outside to explore earth and sky in Nirvana's gardens, and forage for edibles
  • Connect consciously with nature
  • Weave nature and Ayurvedic wisdom into your diet and lifestyle and return home with recipes to bring your own Ayurvedic kitchen to life to enjoy a home cooked meal shared with favourite people.

Weekend Retreat timetable. Timings are approximate.

Day of Arrival
5.00pm onwards Arrive. Register. Settle in.
                                       Come up to the kitchen and be part of the loving ritual
                                       of preparing and sharing food together.
                                       When everyone feels involved, it's a real family meal.
6.30pm Dinner
8.00pm Induction, Mindfulness Meditation and Breathing (pranayama)
Optional stroll/jog to view the property or exercise
6.30am Karma Yoga for course students
7.00am Dawn water with lemon, ginger and a sliver of aloe vera available in dining area.
7.30am Gentle Yoga  ASIA
8.30am Communal Breakfast and Personal Time
10.00am Students set up for cooking demonstration
10.30am Lectures and Cooking demonstration 
1.00pm Communal Lunch and Personal Time
2.30pm Deep, conscious relaxation (yoga nidra)
6.00pm Pranayama and Mindful Movement Gentle Yoga
7.00pm Supper
8.00pm Movie
Optional stroll/jog to view the property or exercise
6.30am Karma Yoga for course students
7.00am Dawn water with lemon, ginger and a sliver of aloe-vera available in dining area.
7.30am Gentle Yoga
8.30am Communal breakfast and personal time
10.00am Students set up for cooking demonstration
11:00 am  Lecture and Cooking demonstration
1.00pm Communal lunch
2.30pm Pack up and Karma Yoga (for course students)
Leave the mountain.
15-17 June 2018
27-29 July 2018
21-23 Sept 2018
4-6 Jan 2019

Ayurveda is the healing system that has been used in India for over 5,000 years. It is known as the 'mother of all cures' from which have emerged many systems of health care. 

The basic principle of Ayurveda is that each person has an individual mind-body constitition, known as Prakruti, which arises from the combination of their unique mix of bio-markers, or doshas. Each individual is unique and needs to follow dietary routines, physical exercises (yoga), detoxification and rejuvenation treatments that are specific to their body and lifestyle for exceptional wellbeing. At Nirvana Detox Retreats, we highly respect your unique individuality.

Detoxification is a natural body process that is compromised when the mind-body system becomes overloaded. Cleansing is not about magic pills, sitting on the toilet for days or starving yourself. Detoxification according to Ayurveda needs to be according to your mind-body type (prakruti) and your imbalances (vikruti) for it to be effective and sustainable. Medicine, elimination and diet must work together with education to safely eliminate the toxins we all have stored in our body’s tissues and memories. To be effective and sustainable, detoxification according to Ayurveda needs to address your unique mind-body type (prakruti) and your imbalances (vikruti). Nirvana Detox Retreats are highly specialised, customised, and tailored in-house, acccording to your current state of health and constitution, to enable you achieve the most benefits from the program

Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary is a place of great beauty. The elemental agencies of space, wind, sun, water, earth, yoga, meditation, community and an abundance of life force (prana) will create a space for you to heal and discover yourself. The energy here will vitalise and inspire the best in you, awakening a heartfelt connection and compassionate consciousness for humanity.

Detox medicines and treatments: To further enhance your benefits of detoxification, we use highly specialised oils and treatments unique to your mind-body type and specific to your imbalance. Herbs, decoctions, oils, teas, dietary additions and other detox medicine supplies are used in the program. We also provide you with pure, natural herbal cleansing supplies to use during your stay. These can all be taken home with you at the end of the program.

If you've tried juicing for weight loss, the 24hr detox, 3-day detox, 5-day detox or even the 7-day detox diets you may not have given your body enough time to cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate the bodies tissues. Nirvana's 10-day, fully supervised, residential detox retreat is the only mind-body program that combines western and eastern healing modalities, designed to remove your physical and emotional roadblocks. It is totally unique, absolutely transformative, with proven results that actually work.

This is the best detox cleanse you will ever come across. It’s based on solid nutritional and behavioural sciences, about whole foods, changing habits, moderation, understanding yourself and being a better you! You will be glad you did, because it is not about a quick fix. It’s about building health and wellbeing for the rest of your life. You will feel your stress and tension melt away as our team helps you restore your balance and address your personal health and life concerns. Join Nirvana's outstanding program to explore the truth behind the illusions, and experience an integrated approach to rejuvenating the body, mind and spirit. We can help you start s positive and energetic lifestyle by de-stressing and de-toxing through customised Ayurvedic and yoga therapy. Nirvana Wellness Retreat is a physically, spiritually and mentally rejuvenating and regenerating experience, which will return you healthy and totally renewed. The detoxification program needs a minimum stay of 10 days.
A Typical Ayurvedic Detox Day could look like

7:00 am         Lemon and ginger tea. Aloe vera pulp.

7:30-8:30am. Meditation. Followed by morning discourse or the Themes of the day 

 8:30am.        Nirvana Breakfast. + Personal time

10am -1pm    Ayurvedic Lectures
                      1. Ayurveda, the art of Being and Foundations of Ayurvedic Medicine
                      2. Know your Body
                      3. Principles of Ayurvedic Digestive Health
                      4. Cook, Taste, Heal - practicum
                      5. Ayurvedic concept of Health and understanding of disease
                      6. Relax, Rejuvenate and Restore: Stress Management, Ayurveda and the Mind
                      7. A Better Life: Self Care for Healthy Living applied to your unique constitution
1:00pm         Leisurely Nirvana delicious, Ayurvedic, plant based Lunch
                     The main meal of the day.
2-3:15pm       Restorative Yoga Nidra. Inward time for deep relaxation.

3-6pm             Optional Treatments. Touch the Earth. Personal time.

6-7pm             Session 4: Pranayama and Gentle Shanti Yoga long stretching 

7pm                Supper + Detox herbal medicines

8:30pm           Session 5: Optional Spiritual or Health Movie 
These are the Ayurvedic detox retreats scheduled for 2018-2019:
29 March - 8 April     Ayurvedic detox package 
5-15 July                   Exceptional Wellbeing: Where Science meets consciousness
21-30 Sept                Exceptional Wellbeing: Where science meets the healing arts
27 Dec - 3 Jan 2019 The Calling of Joy: How to live, love, laugh and last a lifetime
3-10 Jan 2019           The Balanced Life Wellness Retreat
Find out more about Ayurvedic detox retreats here:
The Art of Simply being and Peak Mystical Experiences
Meditation is a powerful antidote to feelings of anxiety, powerlessness, uncertainity, anger and other debilating feelings people feel. It helps you feel calmer, more connected and more deeply empowered. 
Whether you are new to meditation or an experienced practitioner, a full retreat of meditation practice in a dedicated retreat sanctuary, which provides an atmosphere infused with meditation qualities, does wonders for your practice. If you can find a way to be a part of Nirvana Meditation Retreats, your mind will thank you.
Each day consists of periods of sitting and walking meditation, body-mind relaxation (nidra), contemplation, study, occassionally an evocative spiritual movie, and a short, optional session in the garden.
Spiritual talks and guidance is offered to those new to meditation and the practice of silence receives comprehensive individual instruction and support. Participants also have the opportunity to seek additional guidance or clarification by asking questions, or in writing, or requesting one-to-one mentoring. 
Contemplation, study and discussion is done within the context of the Vedic and Buddhist view of an evolutionary, enlightened society. Experienced retreatants can move even more deeply within.
Optional massage and treatments are available during the retreat. 
Three, delicious, Ayurvedic, plant-based meals are eaten a day, around the dining table, in noble silence.
A Typical Mindfulness Meditation Day at retreat could look like

7:00 am         Lemon and ginger tea. Aloe vera pulp.

7:30-8:35am. Walking, Open eye gazing, Sitting and Lying down Meditation

 8:35am.         Nirvana Breakfast. + Personal time

10am -12:30pm  Morning dedicated to practice: Walking, Standing, Sitting, Walking, Standing, Sitting
12:30pm         Leisurely Nirvana delicious, Ayurvedic, plant based Lunch
                      The main meal of the day.
2-3:15pm        Restorative Yoga Nidra. Inward practice for deep, conscious relaxation.

3-6pm             Optional Treatments. Mindful Art. Touch the Earth. Personal time.

6-7pm             Guided Sitting Meditation

7pm                Evening meal - a light and fresh soup made with veggies from our garden

8-9pm            Meditation under the stars or by candlelight.
These are the Silent Meditation retreats scheduled for 2018-2019
- Feb 2-4        Calm abiding 
- March 29 - 8 April     Mindful Living, Mindful Being (Detox medicines available)
                      - March 29-2 April    Intensive Peace    
                      - April 2-6                 The original conversations with God: The yogas of the Bhagavad Gita 
                      - April 6-8                 The Seven Spiritual laws of Healing
- June 1-3     Cultivating Mindfulness
- Aug 3-5       Training the Mind in relational Intelligence: Lojong.
- Oct 12-14   The Heart of Understanding. Prajnaparamita Hrdaya, The Heart Sutra
- Dec 7-9       Peace in Every Breath 
- Jan 1, 2019 The Breathing Space
Find out more about Meditation Retreats here:

For your enjoyment

  • Retreat is capped to a maximum of 14 guests to ensure maximum personal attention.
  • Dedicated yoga and meditation space
  • Media room with hundreds of dvd’s in a variety of genres including documentaries, spiritual, entertaining and foreign films.
  • Gym equipment: Treadmill, exercise bike, vibrogear, whole body vibration massage therapy exercise machine, stepper with twister
  • Timber and glass dining area with panoramic views of the hinterland and ocean
  • Library with an abundance of genres from spiritual to cooking, gardening, Agatha Christie… and much more
  • Indoor activities, such as mandala art, chess, scrabble, carom board
  • Treatments to aid in relaxation and detoxification
  • Gardens and scenic walks
  • Natural rock pool
  • Nirvana sunrise lookout - walking distance from the central accommodation
  • Nirvana outdoor starlight meditation - rug up.
A retreat is
• Not a conference, seminar, resort, or hotel
• Not superficial 
• Not cathartic 
• Not rushed or jam packed with activities
• Not boot camp
Return home refreshed, rejuvenated, empowered and relaxed.



About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

India-Nepal Tour

Travel with Shanti & Peter Gowans this November for a trip of a lifetime. 

india tour taj mahal