To find balance amidst personal struggles and a chaotic life, the author recounts his transformative experience at a male-oriented wellness retreat. The three-night stay at Both Sides Retreats, an ecovillage in rural Wiltshire, offered activities including yin yoga, breathwork, jiu-jitsu, wild swimming, and wood carving, all aimed at facilitating a deeper connection to oneself and fostering mental health. The retreat also highlighted the importance of finding comfort in discomfort and breaking away from traditional male stereotypes.
- Both Sides Retreats, founded in 2020, is a wellness tourism business designed for men, aiming to “create a safe container for men” and allow them to connect with all elements of their masculinity, while providing them with tools to navigate modern-day life stressors.
- The retreat, taking place in the off-grid ecovillage Campwell woods in Wiltshire, offered various activities such as yin yoga, breathwork, wild swimming, jiu-jitsu, and wood carving, aiming to provide a holistic approach to mental and physical health.
- “Conscious connected breathing,” a method intended to explore an alternative state of consciousness through increased oxygen intake, which led to a profound and emotionally cathartic experience.
- Global wellness tourism has seen a significant rise, growing twice as fast as tourism overall from 2015 to 2017, and is projected to almost double in value by 2030.
- Interest in male-only detoxes and wellness retreats has increased by 200%, suggesting a growing concern for men’s mental health and a need for spaces to facilitate their wellbeing.