Did you know that anxiety, major depression, and chronic stress disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States? In fact, about 1 in 5 adults experience anxiety, approximately 46.6 million adults in a given year. Anxiety disorders are considered to be highly treatable, yet less than half of those suffering receive treatment. In addition, an estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States have experienced at least one major depressive episode. Furthermore, chronic stress is a national epidemic for all genders and ages, which can be both the cause and the effect of anxiety and depression.
Despite conventional medicine’s best efforts, the numbers of those affected by depression, anxiety, or chronic stress continue to rise. Unfortunately, conventional anxiety and depression medications often have harsh side effects, including weight loss or gain, sexual dysfunction, headaches, sleep problems, and drowsiness to name a few. The success of other treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy has shown that “therapist training is a strong predictor of treatment outcome, and many therapists offering CBT services are not sufficiently trained to deliver multiple manual-based interventions with adequate fidelity to the model.”
With such a challenging outlook for those with anxiety, depression, and chronic stress in our country, it’s clear we need a new approach.
Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old holistic wellness and health care system that provides a solid foundation for individuals seeking to regain a life without anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. Our authentic approach includes rejuvenation and detoxification to heal and restore the body to its optimal health, while various tools for stress reduction, exercise, cleansing, and lifestyle practices provide ongoing support in the reduction or elimination of anxiety and depression. It is possible to regain a life with happiness, clarity, and emotional stability with our anxiety, depression, and chronic stress retreat.
“A 380-acre sanctuary… a balancing act of rest and activities”
Our Holistic Approach to Addressing Anxiety, Depression, and Chronic Stress
Sometimes our autonomic nervous system gets stuck in “fight or flight” mode, which creates a sense of chronic stress. You’ll learn how to settle the nervous system and restore inner balance.
Our autonomic nervous system consists of two main divisions, the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) systems. The sympathetic (fight or flight) gets turned on when we are in immediate danger and need to make a decision fast for survival. Our parasympathetic system (rest and digest system) gets turned on when our bodies are in a relaxed state so that we can sleep, relax, and digest food. It’s not uncommon to see individuals sympathetic system get stuck “on” which puts an individual in a constant fight or flight mode. This has a major impact not only on our autonomic nervous system but our entire body, which can be felt as chronic stress and result in anxiety and depression.
How do you get your autonomic nervous system to function normally again?
Ayurveda. Effective for centuries, this authentic, transformative health care and wellness system helps individuals holistically manage health conditions. Stress reduction and the regulation of a balanced nervous system is a major component in the restoration of health. A highly-effective, powerful stress reduction tool is the cultivation of meditation practice.
- Are proven to reduce stress and anxiety
- Can be adjusted to your unique spiritual path
- Can be practiced daily to bring the body into alignment with the rhythms of nature
- Create a sense of stability within your body so that when life throws you a curveball, your body doesn’t take the blow
Special breathing techniques and meditations, such as Sudarshan Kriya® (SKY), will be taught during the program so you can find a deeper sense of balance and well-being. Our SKY technique has been scientifically-proven to reduce levels of stress and decrease the stress hormone, cortisol, by 50%.
Additionally, SKY also:
- Relieves anxiety and depression
- Supports the immune system
- Promotes feelings of well-being
- Improves physical, psychological, and social health
- Improves overall quality of life
Did you know that your digestion and diet can play a significant role in anxiety in depression? A healthy gut can significantly contribute to a more steady and calm mind and body state.
Did you know that your digestion and diet can play a significant role in anxiety and depression?
A healthy gut can significantly contribute to a more steady and calm mind and body state. In the health and wellness system of Ayurveda, it is recognized that each individual has a unique genetic makeup or constitution, and foods that are good for one individual may be bad for another. For example, certain types of food like spicy or fermented foods may be beneficial for some, while harmful to others. If you are not eating the right food for your unique body type, and your digestion is not functioning correctly, it can cause toxic build-up or inflammation in your body which can result in anxiety and depression and further imbalance.
This is just one of the reasons we take an individualized approach to health and well-being.
With our program, you will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with one of our world-class Ayurvedic practitioners and board-certified western medical doctor to determine a customized diet specifically for you.
Nourish your body, restore balance, detox, and experience deep relaxation with authentic Ayurvedic treatments.
Nourish your body, restore balance, detox, soothe the nervous system, and experience deep relaxation with authentic and therapeutic Ayurvedic treatments. Enjoy a blend of therapies to cleanse and rebuild the tissues within to restore your optimum health and vitality.
Our mind, body, and spirit are so deeply interconnected that true restoration of health only happens when we treat the whole. Ayurveda is grounded in this principle. Effective for centuries, Ayurveda harnesses the natural intelligence of your body to bring deep rest and rejuvenation physically, mentally, and emotionally. After consultation with one of our Ayurvedic practitioners, our highly-trained Ayurvedic therapists work with your body and unique constitution to encourage healing, growth, and physical stress relief, bringing you into an open, blissful, and restored state.
There is evidence to show that chronic stress can cause the onset of anxiety and depression. Likewise, the daily management and impact of anxiety and depression can create stress, and so the cycle perpetuates. Stress heavily impacts the mind state, sleep, general daily functioning, and can cause physical symptoms such as headaches and tension in the body. The body and mind then struggle to manage the increase in stress hormones, which can trigger the body to shift into a permanent ‘fight, flight or freeze’ mode, distort perspective leading to negative thinking, and much more. The connection between stress, anxiety, and depression is clear, and the approach to the restoration of health must, therefore, encompass all elements.
Yoga is an effective holistic tool to manage physical, mental, and emotional well-being—daily and in the long-term.
It has been practiced for over 5,000 years and is one of the most natural movements to the body. Have you ever seen a baby or a dog waking up from a nap? Have you noticed how they naturally stretch and perform yoga poses intuitively?
Yoga consists of natural rhythmic exercise that are calming in nature and help boost the production of the happy hormone, serotonin, that have been shown to be lower in those with depression. In addition to helping in the production of serotonin, yoga can increase your heart rate variability (HRV), “an indicator of the body's ability to respond to stress more flexibly.”
Another aspect of yoga is breathwork, and this can restore present moment awareness to help stabilize the mind from oscillating between past regrets and future worries—a major factor that can trigger anxiety and depression. Awareness also positively enhances the mind-body connection and supports individuals’ ability to regulate breathing to rebalance in moments of stress and anxiety.
Toxic build-up in the body and mind can cause many underlying health issues. An Ayurvedic cleanse will deeply heal and restore your well-being and natural vitality.
In Ayurveda, toxic build-up can block channels in the body and be the underlying cause of many health issues, including anxiety and depression. There are various causative factors like the consumption of particular foods that are unsuited to your unique your body type, a too low or too high digestive capability that prevents the absorption of nutrients, and environmental toxins, just to name a few. Diet and exercise alone may not be successful in clearing out the toxic build-up.
During your treatment, we’ll focus on the elimination of toxins in the body, which can be a major contributing factor to the onset and ongoing nature of anxiety and depression. Through a specialized cleansing process unique to Ayurveda, you will work one-on-one with an Ayurvedic practitioner to determine which Ayurvedic cleansing techniques are best for you. Ayurvedic massages and a gentle detoxification process will be used to mobilize and eliminate toxins in the body.
These techniques have been shown to restore digestive power, energy flow in the body, inner balance, and vitality.
Support your health with the most natural, highly effective, remedy the planet has made available to us for thousands of years.
Support your health with the most natural, highly effective, remedy the planet has made available to us for thousands of years.
There will be many different combinations of herbs used throughout the program, and your dedicated Ayurvedic practitioner will recommend based on your genetic makeup or constitution. The herbal supplements will help balance the mind, cleanse the body, and restore overall well-being.
Lifestyle choices have a big impact on well-being. Learn how to balance your mental, physical, and emotional wellness through the life-enhancing power of Ayurveda.
Contemporary society is evolving at an ever-increasing rate, at a speed far greater than our minds and nervous system are capable of replicating—there is information and stimulation overload. The rise in anxiety and depression and stress-related disease is a natural consequence. Learning how to balance your mental, physical, and emotional wellness through various lifestyle changes is fundamental to living well.
The Ayurvedic routine is a powerful way to regulate the system and provide daily balance. The daily routines are based around the cycles of nature—when these routines are established, and we are in harmony with our natural rhythms, including the seasons, it provides a strong foundation for overall wellness. The practices are very simple and include oral and personal hygiene, meal times, sleep schedules, care for the senses (eyes, ears, mouth, and skin), bathing, exercise, and meditation practices, which all bring balance to an otherwise chaotic world. The practices are very simple, easy to integrate into even the busiest of lives, and all bring balance to an otherwise chaotic world.
During the 8-day retreat, we’ll empower you with healthy living seminars focused on diet and lifestyle choices for restored health, vitality, and lifelong well-being.
During the 8-day retreat we’ll empower you with healthy living seminars focused on diet and lifestyle choices for restored health, vitality, and lifelong well-being. You’ll learn simple, sustainable strategies to live a healthier, happier life.
Seminars—a sample of what to expect:
- Anxiety, Depression, & Chronic -Stress 101
- Introduction to Mind-Body Tools
- Diet & Lifestyle for Renewed Health
- Food Habits
- Introduction to Ayurvedic Health Care & Understanding Your Unique Body Type
- Health Care & Understanding
- Your Unique Body Type
- Ayurvedic Daily Routine
- Diet & Exercise
Shankara: Authentic Ayurveda
Experience our award-winning Ayurveda health facility at Shankara Ayurveda Spa located deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We combine ancient Ayurveda with contemporary wellness to bring you the ultimate therapeutic experience.
Our team of Ayurvedic practitioners, highly-trained therapists, and esteemed board-certified western medical doctor are dedicated to providing excellence in Ayurvedic health and well-being. Together, we specialize in individualized holistic care to the whole mind-body complex and the management of health conditions.
Relax and rejuvenate in the deeply healing and restful setting of Shankara Ayurveda Spa, and enjoy a blend of facilities to support your well-being, including a relaxation room, steam room, movement studio, dedicated dining area, and a cooking demonstration kitchen.
Your journey to health and vitality begins here.
We take an integrated, holistic approach to health and well-being and have a board-certified western medical doctor and an Ayurvedic practitioner on-site during treatments.
- We take an integrated, holistic approach and have a board-certified western medical doctor and an Ayurvedic practitioner on-site for the duration of the retreat.
- We only accept 12 guests at a time so that we are able to maintain a high quality of individualized service, attention, and care.
- Art of Living faculty comprises world-renowned Ayurvedic practitioner from our Sri Sri College of Ayurvedic Science and Research Hospital in Bangalore, India.
- The Art of Living has a dedicated university for individuals practicing to become Ayurvedic doctors.
To ensure the highest success during your stay, you will receive an initial consultation with our board-certified western medical doctor, an at-home 7-day pre-cleanse before the retreat, and 7-day post-cleanse for after the retreat.
The program includes an 8-day residential retreat at our award-winning Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center, Boone, NC.
The program includes an 8-day residential retreat at our award-winning specialist Ayurvedic facility, Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center, Boone, NC.
During your residential retreat, hotel and retreat style room lodgings at the Shankara Ayurveda Spa will be provided with the program. Rooms include either a king bed or two full beds, a flat screen TV, a refrigerator, private bath, and complimentary wifi.
- Steam Room
- Movement Studio
- Relaxation Room
- Dedicated Dining Area & Demonstration Kitchen
Your all-inclusive package for the 8-day retreat features:
- Daily freshly prepared, nutritious, and tasty specialized meals
- Hotel or retreat room lodging
- Gentle yoga classes
- Meditation & mindfulness sessions
- Access to herbal supplements
- Stress management coaching
- One-on-one coaching
- Ayurvedic spa treatments, including an authentic customized Ayurvedic cleanse
After the immersive cleansing experience, clients often report feeling revitalized, lighter both mentally and physically and energized from the inside out, ready to manage their well-being.
This Retreat Will Change Your Life
Boost your immune system
Remove toxic build-up
Manage stress effectively
Experience a calm mind
Feel more relaxed
Enhance your quality of life
Experience mental clarity & vitality
Deepen your connection to what matters most
Establish practices to support mind, body, & soul
Be part of a supportive community
Experience greater contentment
Gain new & enjoyable approaches to living well
Establish healthy eating patterns
Understand how food affects the mind & body
Improve your relationship with food
This is a specialized program for the treatment and management of anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. The program is suitable if you experience any of these health concerns or if you have a personal history or family members that have anxiety and depression, as this can be used as a preventative measure.
However, we are unable to accept:
- Anyone who has a medical history of Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenic, and/or Schizoaffective Disorder.
- Anyone that has had recent hospitalization for depression or anxiety in last year.
During your initial consultation with a board-certified western medical doctor please inform them of any current prescription medication you are taking and medical history.
Once you register for the program, you will receive an initial consultation with the board-certified western medical doctor to determine whether the program is suitable for you. To ensure you receive the maximum program benefits, it is essential at that stage we are informed of any current prescription medication you are taking and medical history.
Cancellations less than two weeks, prior to the program, will be charged 50% of the full program fee.
Please discuss your special dietary need or allergies with an Ayurveda specialist. Dietary requirements, such as gluten-free and vegan options are generally available.
No. If you have anxiety and/or depression, you will work with our team to help manage your health condition. We will have both an Ayurvedic practitioner and board-certified western medical doctor on staff to care for you during the process. However, it will be up to your primary care doctor to make the decision on whether you are in a place to adjust, reduce, or stop your medications.
No. If you have anxiety and/or depression, you will work with our team to help manage your health condition. We will have both an Ayurvedic practitioner and board-certified western medical doctor on staff to care for you during the process. However, it will be up to your primary care provider to make the decision. We encourage that you share all your herbal and non-herbal supplements with your primary care doctor.
A lot of participants feel more balanced, physically, mentally, and emotionally and empowered to create positive change in their daily life. However, results are completely dependent on how your body reacts to the treatments. It also depends on how closely the diet and lifestyle recommendations are followed.
During this specialized 8-day retreat, you’ll receive an individualized diet specific to your unique body type to rebuild your body and your digestion. A lot of the foods that will be prepared and recommended are based around a plant-based diet.
Aside from your personal effects (and any medication), we suggest you bring comfortable clothing and layers (mountain weather can be changeable) and anything that will make you feel more at home. We take care of everything else.
You may wish to also bring swimwear for use in the steam room.
Each studio space at the Center is equipped with yoga mats, blankets, and blocks.
Everyone has unique physical capabilities. All of the programs are adjusted to meet the attendee where they are at to help build up your strength and endurance.
During your pre-cleanse, cleanse and post-cleanse a plant-based diet is recommended. However, we will create a program which is sustainable for long-term success.
639 Whispering Hills Rd, Boone, NC 28607
Discover deep rest and rejuvenation in a pristine natural setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina. Set amidst 380 acres of pristine forest high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a tranquil sanctuary. The perfect place to begin your journey to wellness.
*NOTE* Please avoid using GPS. It will take you up a private road to a locked gate. Use directions provided on this site.
Distance from Nearest Airport: 2 hours by car without traffic
Absolutely, for an additional fee. You can create your own vacation with an R&R Retreat and spend some additional days relaxing at the Center. Choose from a variety of daily classes, activities, and spa treatments, as well as an abundance of nature trails and quiet spaces. Please discuss with an Ayurvedic specialist at our Shankara Ayurveda Spa for details.
You’ll receive an individualized diet plan specific to your unique body type to rebuild your body and your digestion. During the residential retreat, you’ll be served a plant-based diet to support the process.
No. If you have a personal history or family members that have anxiety or depression, this can be used as a preventative measure to help you avoid experiencing anxiety and depression in the future. The program can also be beneficial in managing chronic stress.
You will receive support throughout the program. Our team is dedicated to providing individualized holistic care to the whole mind-body complex.
Once you register for the program, you will receive an initial consultation with a board-certified western medical doctor to determine whether the program is suitable for you. To ensure you receive the maximum program benefits, it is essential at that stage we are informed of any current prescription medication you are taking and medical history.
Important Note: This program is not suitable if you are pregnant.
8-Day Residential Retreat + 7-Day Pre-Cleanse + 7-day Post-Cleanse (Starting at $ 3,665)
We support you every step of the way on your journey to renewed health.
The program is designed to yield the highest results pertaining to anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. It begins 5 days before your arrival to the 8-day residential retreat. The whole duration of the program includes treatments, diet guidance, and ongoing support—making it more cost-effective than traditional western treatments.
You begin with a simple, fully guided, 5-day at-home pre-cleanse, which continues more deeply at the Center during the 8-day retreat.
Please note, this schedule is subject to change and will vary based on the guests’ needs.
Day 1 (Friday)
Day 2 (Saturday)
Day 3 (Sunday)
Day 4 (Monday)
Day 5 (Tuesday)
Day 6 (Wednesday)
Day 7 (Thursday)
Day 8 (Friday)
Online Programs and Consultations
The Happiness Retreat
Ayurveda At-Home Seasonal Cleanse
Online Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultations
Get the Details About Anxiety, Depression, and Chronic Stress
Discover how the authentic approach of Ayurvedic medicine, diet, and lifestyle practices can help you regain a life with happiness, clarity, and emotional stability.
Discover deep rest and rejuvenation in a pristine natural setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina. Set amidst 380 acres of pristine forest high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a tranquil sanctuary.