By Luciana Harrington
D.C. bar scene not feeding your soul? Don’t worry- all is not lost! Whether it’s an energy healing session, an evening of ecstatic dance, or weekend retreat – DC has got your soul covered!
Whether you are motivated by curiosity, community, fun, loss/devastation, desire for authentic relating or deliberately seeking to embark on an evolution of consciousness, there are many events, retreats and healers in the DC area offering their gifts to the city. Over the past 6 years I have experimented with several of them for all the above-mentioned reasons.
For healing, acupuncture, reiki sessions or holistic health counseling may be good ways to start or just drop in for a tune up. For an evening of fun and authentic relating, I’d suggest trying ecstatic dance or 5 rhythms dance as a way to connect within, meet likeminded folks and feel great afterwards! I find that fun is sometimes the best form of healing.
For a more in-depth experience, weekend, holiday and weeklong getaways are available at nearby ashrams. The closest to D.C. is Yogaville- a beautiful retreat center 40 minutes outside of Charlottesville, VA along the James river. This ashram hosts a signature silent retreat 3 times a year if you want to go Eat, Pray, Love style! About a 5 hour drive from D.C. is the Sivananda Yoga Ranch in the Catskills mountains in New York, offering weeklong beginner yoga vacation programs. Both have hiking trails and beautiful views!
Finally, the many festivals offered throughout the year are a nice happy medium covering all bases. Drop in for the day, the night, or stay the whole weekend. Festivals create a magical, celebratory environment outside of the daily grind, allowing you to get away, connect with the local tribe, expand your knowledge through workshops and most importantly- do what feeds your soul! I’d suggest looking at the many offerings at Interfusion Festival, FlowJam and East Coast Tantra Festival, to name a few.
I’ve listed specific details and recommendations below. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, just one filled with love and gratitude from personal experience. I hope it can help you on your own spiritual journey. May you find what you seek!
- Ashram – Spiritual retreat center in the mountains outside of Charlottesville only 2.5 hours outside of DC, also accessible by train and bus.
- Notes – Chill spiritual getaway, offering many workshops and spiritual retreats, including a silent retreat. Ashram located on a river with a lake and hiking trails.
- Sivananda Yoga Ranch
- Yoga Ranch in the Catskills mountains of New York. About 5 hour drive from DC, also accessible by bus.
- Notes- Recommend the yoga vacation programs. Also offers ASL yoga retreat and services. Ashram located in the mountains with shorter hiking trails, lake and sauna.
- Inner Journey
- Weekend getaway workshop with other participants for deep reflection, self-work and spiritual healing.
- Highly recommended by Inner Journey graduates and said to be life changing.
- Spa World
- Overall space to relax and rejuvenate. Korean Spa with various crystal, salt and clay saunas including nude bade pool (separate for men/women).
- Notes- Not spiritual per se, but good for rejuvenation and re-connecting with yourself.
- Transformational Acupuncture
- One-stop shop for healing as holistic health counseling will point you in the direction you need, whether its physical healing, mediations, workshops or books, this clinic will work with you one-on-one to determine an appropriate healing program for you. ACCEPTS INSURANCE!!
- Reiki Institute of Greater Washington
- Besides offering healing sessions, also offers trainings on reiki, crystal healing as well as drumming and moon mediations.
- Notes- Recommend basic reiki I and II trainings if you are interested in learning about energy healing.
- Bhava DC
- Cacao Ceremony, Ecstatic Dance, Sound Healing: Substance-free music + movement events to promote conscious and authentic connection.
- FlowJam Festival
- Music and yoga festival on a FARM!!! Happens every June for summer solstice in Blumont, VA.
- Notes- Fun, chill festival vibe in NATURE with like-minded people, spiritual healers and vendors. Tent camping festival.
- Interfusion Festival
- Yoga, dance and tantra festival in Alexandria. Happens 2x per year.
- Notes- Festival for many interests- dance includes all forms like salsa, zouk, bachata, belly dance and contact improv. Yoga includes acro-yoga as well as traditional yoga + meditation. Festival also has spiritual healers and vendors available at their booths the whole time.
- East Coast Tantra Festival
- Festival focused on the teachings, practices and philosophies of tantra. Happens once a year in West Virginia as a spiritual retreat.
- Notes- Retreat in nature with rustic cabins or tent camping available. Diverse workshops available all day.