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It’s a beautiful time to be alive. We live in an age where questions can be asked and answers in seconds. Where people can share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences with the entire world by simply clicking a button. Where, if we have the desire to learn, we can. The constant flood of information has accelerated the pace of life for people all over the globe. This speed of life, while exhilarating in many ways, has left some people feeling overwhelmed, and, despite the ability to connect with the world, disconnected with themselves. Some feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete tasks or stay up to date on all their different devices, profiles, and blogs. Some may find themselves reacting painfully towards what someone posted on social media. Some may be spending so much time trying to create an external presence that they are not putting energy into their internal selves. For individuals in Western North Carolina, the Art of Living Retreat Center seeks to help people reclaim the peace that living in this digital world may have disrupted.

Looking for peace in the search bar
The struggles of our digital lives have made words like “mindfulness” and “wellness” prevalent in recent years. Individuals want to help themselves and others slow down and be present as we ride the rapids of our daily lives. It’s easy to jump on a computer and type “mindfulness” into a search bar and be presented with hundreds of entries about the steps that can be taken to achieve mindfulness. What’s not easy is putting those tips into action. It’s not easy to discipline yourself to change the way you think, feel, and live without an experience to show you how to do it or people to encourage you along the way. This is why places like the Art of Living Retreat Center have become so important.

The Art of Living Retreat Center, tucked away in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina, strives to provide a reprieve from the rapids of a digital life and offers individuals seeking balance an environment to reconnect with themselves. It is a place dedicated to providing people with the knowledge, atmosphere, and support necessary to cultivate experiences which bring individuals closer to realignment and understanding within themselves and their world.

In an age when we’re constantly thinking about what’s next rather than what’s now, the Art of Living center is an invaluable resource in helping people slow down and regain balance in their hectic day-to-day lives. Here are a few ways that The Art of Living Retreat Center can help you disconnect from your devices, and reconnect with yourself.

Yoga Classes and Retreats
The Art of Living Retreat Center offers a variety of classes and retreats centered around yoga. The 2016 Yoga in America Study, conducted by the Yoga Alliance and the Yoga Journal, states that the number of yoga practitioners in the U.S. has increased to over 36 million individuals, up significantly from 2012 study which recorded only 20.4 million practitioners.

Why take up yoga?
With such a tremendous increase in practitioners, there are must be benefits that go along with the practice. Below are a few reasons why people are engaging in the ancient practice of yoga.
• Presence – Yoga encourages us to be present in the moment. It cultivates self-awareness, improved concentration, memory, and reaction time.
• Inner Peace – The meditative qualities of yoga help to calm the mind and promote inner peace and balance.
• Stress Relief – Regularly practicing yoga will reduce the physical effects that stress has on the body.
Silent Retreats
Silent retreats are another way The Art of Living Retreat Center seeks to encourage people to slow down and listen. By choosing to experience life in silence, even for just a few days, people are given the chance to learn about themselves, and their world, at a deeper level.

How can silence can help correct inner-imbalances?
These days we are bombarded with external stimuli at every corner. Whether it is emails, phone notifications, television, or radio, it is rare that we experience more than 10 minutes without some sort of message fighting for our attention. Participating in an Art of Living silent retreat serves as a digital detox designed to help people get back to what is truly important to them. Below are a few ways that participating in a silent retreat can offer a reprieve from stress of modern-day living.
• Rest – Participating in silence provides the mind a chance to relax and avoid the multitudes of digital distractions we experience every day.
• Experience Nature – Through engaging in silence, people are permitted to experience nature in a new and profound way. Silence creates awareness and allows us to listen to the awe-inspiring symphony of the natural world.
• Self-discovery – Silence is a powerful tool in the process of self-discovery. It allows you to communicate with yourself in ways that typically get overlooked in today’s bustling world.
• Insight about personal relationships and the world – Silence brings you closer to yourself, and in turn, it helps people to better understand their role in interpersonal relationships. It enhances a person’s ability to listen and respond, rather than react, to situations in their lives.
It’s not always easy to admit when we need help handling the stresses of life, especially when social media platforms display a constant stream of people who appear to be excelling while you feel like you’re drowning. It is important to remember that we all walk unique paths and that we’re all equipped to handle things differently. While yoga and silent retreats may not be for everyone, for those wishing to slow down, engage with nature, and connect with themselves in a transformative way, the Art of Living Retreat Center is waiting with open arms.

For more information on the Art of Living Retreat Center, visit their website.

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