Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Time Out for Self-Care: Omega Institute Offers Programs for Physical and Mental Renewal

Pictures Courtesy of Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Rhinebeck, NY,


Many of us spend years promising ourselves that we’ll take a break and dedicate some quality time to our own health, healing and happiness, but somehow we never get around to it. While we might spend a good portion of our energy taking care of others, we rarely make space for our own renewal. Spring is the perfect time to keep this commitment to ourselves by setting time for it on our calendars. Natural Awakenings sat down with Chrissa Pullicino, a spokesperson for the world-renowned Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, to learn more about retreats being offered there in 2016.


The Omega Institute has been named one of 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die. Tell us a bit about your organization and what makes it special.

For nearly 40 years, Omega has been a vibrant learning community with a solid track record in health and wellness. As a nonprofit, we are committed to offering an integrated approach to personal growth and social change, which is modeled by the food we serve, the courses we offer and how we use our purchasing power. Our 250-acre campus is located in Dutchess County, 90 miles north of Manhattan. Each year, approximately 23,000 visitors come to Omega for reasons big and small—from rest and rejuvenation to professional training to processing a life change.


What do people do at Omega?

They attend a wide variety of workshops and retreats with leading teachers from across the nation, like Eckhart Tolle, Olympia Dukakis, Bobby McFerrin and Pema Chödrön. Additionally, guests at Omega have access to a wide array of campus amenities, including a library, sauna, sanctuary, lake, tennis courts, basketball court, woodland trails and gardens. They can participate in daily open classes in yoga, meditation and tai chi, as well as tours of the award-winning Omega Center for Sustainable Living. The Omega Wellness Center offers services like massage, facials, acupuncture and life coaching.


What types of retreats are being offered in 2016, and how do you choose the right one?

Selecting the right retreat is a personal choice. It comes down to what you want to focus on and whether or not you’d like the time to be structured or more flexible.

For those who would like to continue the process of lifelong learning with a focus on health, we have a fantastic weekend program in July called Secrets to a Vibrant Life. It will be led by three women’s health experts: gastroenterologist and digestive wellness expert Robynne Chutkan, naturopathic physician and anti-aging expert Kellyann Petrucci and celebrity nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin.

For people who want to get back into their bodies, I often recommend trying a yoga retreat. This year, Omega is launching 11 programs in the growing field of yoga therapy, which adapts the practice of yoga to the unique needs of individuals who are dealing with specific health issues—including injuries, illnesses and temporary or chronic health conditions.

For couples who would like to go on retreat together and give their relationship some TLC, I would recommend a June workshop called Getting the Love You Want. It’s led by Harville Hendrix and his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, cocreators of Imago Relationship Therapy and the concept of the “conscious partnership.” My partner and I took this last year, and we felt a profound shift in our relationship when we put into practice the communication tools we learned.

If you’d rather go inward, you may find a silent retreat appealing. Sharon Landrith is guiding a 5-Day Silent Retreat at Omega in May. While the idea of extended silence can feel intimidating, there are ways to prepare for the experience by practicing small moments of silence.

For people who would prefer to completely unplug, unwind and be on their own schedule, I would recommend Omega’s R&R Getaway Retreats. Throughout May, we’ll be waiving the daily R&R fee, which means that guests only need to pay for the all-inclusive accommodations package that month. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with our campus and amenities.

I could go on and on, as Omega is hosting more than 350 programs in 2016—we truly offer something for everyone!

Omega’s Rhinebeck, NY, campus is open annually from May through October. Online learning opportunities and live-stream talks are available year round at Scholarships and tiered pricing options are available for many programs. For more information, visit or call 800.944.1001.