As a science policy consultant, as well as a frequent attendee of Sat Nam Fest for the past seven years, my work colleagues have become accustomed to me heading out of town and off the grid for a few days, a few times per year. I know that these trips are crucial to my well-being, but sometimes my colleagues wonder, “You’re going off to do your yoga — again?” And my response is typically some variety of, “Why yes, yes I am, and it will be awesome as always.”

Now, I have some scientific confirmation that yoga retreats are good for my body and mind, which is helpful in my explanation to my scientist work colleagues. A summary of research was recently published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine entitled Do Wellness Tourists Get Well? An Observational Study of Multiple Dimensions of Health and Well-Being After a Week-Long Retreat.

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Researchers examined the impact of a holistic, one week, residential, retreat experience on 17 individuals. The week included many educational, therapeutic, and leisure activities, as well as an organic, mostly plant-based diet. (Sounds like Sat Nam Fest to me!)

The results showed statistically significant improvements in many of the variables it measured, including blood pressure, weight, and abdominal girth measurement, as well as psychological and health symptom measures, including pesticide concentration. The variables were measured on arrival, on departure, and six weeks after the retreat. Some of the psychological and health measures included anxiety, depression and stress, mood, cognitive function, sleep and insomnia, and overall wellness.

Not only did the one-week retreats lead to improved health measures, but those improvements lasted for six weeks after the one-week retreat.

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Are these results a surprise to me? No, not at all. My well-being grows significantly every time I attend Sat Nam Fest, in multiple different locations over the years. And I agree that the results continue for at least six weeks, which is about equivalent to 40 days. Through work exchange over the years, I have met so many Sat Nam Fest volunteers and have seen their Sat Nam Fest experience bring them peace, joy, and profound shifts in their lives.

While there is a need for further research to confirm these results, especially looking more closely at economic status, I would encourage those researchers to attend Sat Nam Fest Mexico in November. Not only will there be Kundalini Yoga, live music, and delicious whole foods, there will be a beautiful environment on beach overlooking the ocean, a perfect place to rejuvenate!

I also think the timing of Sat Nam Fest Mexico is optimal, just before the holiday season, bringing some needed peace before what can be one of the most stressful times of the year. So, embrace science, enhance your well-being, and register today for Sat Nam Fest Mexico!


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Haridev Kaur  has attended eight Sat Nam Fests and now serves as the work exchange coordinator, where she answers questions, receives applications and helps place volunteers into jobs.