Escapes From New York

Northern Retreats Offer a Little Karmic Healing and a Lot of Yoga

Located in Redding, Connecticut, GODSTOW—carrying the legacy of goodwill established by the estate's original owner, UNICEF founder Maurice Pate—is run solely on donations. "We didn't want people to be turned off to yoga and spiritual study by the fact that you'd have to pay," says James Connor, Godstow's president. Guests typically leave a $20-per-day contribution, and "heart yoga" teacher and Godstow devotee Erica Giovinazzo says the yummy meals are well worth that.

This retreat, 75 minutes away on Metro-North, testifies to the fact that Buddhists are increasingly turning to yoga, which is not itself a religion, as a tool for their own spiritual journeys. "I'd say half of Godstow's program is detailed Buddhist study in the tradition of the Dalai Lama, while the other half is yoga and general interest," says Connor.

Study Sanskrit, sleep, serve, or stare out the window: Ananda Ashram
photo: Manu/Ananda Ashram
Study Sanskrit, sleep, serve, or stare out the window: Ananda Ashram

Compared to Kripalu, it's no-frills, without massages or hot-oil treatments. Godstow's 99-acre meadow is its spa equivalent. On average, 16 people gather in the spartan accommodations of a country house to study specific tenets of Buddhism and yoga. One weekend might be devoted to a workshop called "The Stages of Meditation," another to "Heart Yoga." Last month they held a "Perfection of Patience" teaching, led by Geshe Michael Roche, an American monk who recently spent three years, three months, and three days in silent retreat in the deserts of Arizona. If anyone has something to teach New Yorkers, it's he.

13 Sapphire Road,
Monroe, NY 10950,

Rates: Two-day weekend stay, from $120 for dormitory to $150 for semi-private room (no bathroom). Weeknight stay, from $45 for dormitory to $60 for semi-private room. Campers welcome for 20 percent discount off dorm rate. Special rates for certain weekends or celebrations; call for information. Massage therapy: call for appointment.

March 12-14 Karma Yoga Weekend

March 19-21 Ayurveda in Daily Life: A Talk by Dr. Aparna Bapat

March 20-21 The Yoga of Voice: Traditional Singing Techniques of North India With Deepak Kumar

March 21-30 Navaratri: Celebration of Devi, Cosmic Energy

March 27 Durga Puja Workshop With Kirin Mishra

March 28 Classical Indian Music Class

March 30 Last Day of Navaratri: Rama Navami, Celebration of Lord Rama's Birthday

P.O. Box 1123,
Margaretville, NY 12455,
607-326-2812 (ask for Darnita),

Rates: Two-day weekend stay, $125 for trailers, $300 for main house (sleeps 6-8 people)

Yoga, meditation, steam room, sauna, massage therapy (call in advance), and hiking.

P.O. Box 793,
Lenox, MA 01240,

Call for a catalog.

Rates: Two-day weekend stay, from $240 for dormitory to $480 through $510 for private room and bath. Program tuitions additional.

March 11-14 Kundalini Yoga Weekend: The Yoga of Awareness

March 11-14 Rama Berch: Experiential Anatomy

March 12-14 Improve and Save your Sight Naturally

March 12-14 Transform Stress

March 12-14 Yoga for a Better Back

March 18-21 Three-Day Meditation Retreat

March 19-21 Mandala: A Healing Science and Yogic Art

March 21-26 Power of Mantra

March 25-28 Exploring Your Life Mission: Bringing Clarity to Your Life and Work

March 26-28 Taoist Meditation: The Way of the Mortals

March 26-28 Tara Brach: Radical Acceptance, Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

30 Putnam Park Road,
Redding, CT 06896,

Rates: By donation, $20 per day on average

Ongoing: Individual silent retreats, nature hikes, yoga. Call for schedule.

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