Make Your Own Retreat
July 19, 2012 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Help me plan a self-made relaxation / meditation retreat for one week in San Diego

I will be in San Diego by myself for 7 days in August. I have no obligations to anyone on how to spend my time, and I will be there alone. I'll be staying in Mira Mesa, but will have a car and can go anywhere in the area.

I'd like to spend my time meditating and possible doing gentle forms of yoga (no yoga kickboxing fusion). I have been following Jon Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness meditation program (45 minute body scan with his CDs as often as I can, usually 3-4 times a week) for a few weeks, so it is possible for me to meditate by myself, but I would really prefer to participate in classes, guided meditations, or group meditations of some kind. Ditto for yoga - I'm interested in group classes for relaxing and spiritual yoga (not workout yoga). I'd also love to hear suggestions on beautiful / inspiring places to walk in and sit quietly. All of these can be anywhere in the SD metro area (North City down to Chula Vista on the N-S axis, the ocean to 15 on the E-W axis). As a bonus, any suggestions (high or low prices) for relaxing massage / spa treatments in the area?

So I'm interested in:

Meditation classes
Yoga classes
Peaceful places

in San Diego. Woo or not woo places alike are appreciated.

posted by sockpuppetofexistentialconfusion to Travel & Transportation around San Diego, CA (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My coworker highly recommended the Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens in Encinitas (20 minutes or so north of Mira Mesa).
posted by rhythm and booze at 11:28 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Perhaps a little north of where you want to be (but it is right off the 15) Glen Ivy Hot Springs is terrific. They offer many different types of yoga classes, tai chi, massage. I love their mud baths and, of course, the hot springs.
posted by agatha_magatha at 3:14 PM on July 19, 2012

I'm not familiar with SD but I'd suggest to try cutting out/reducing use of technology, which would add to a more retreat-like atmosphere. The most striking thing about a retreat I took at an ashram was feeling what it was like to go without checking email and calling people on the phone (well, that and giving up meat!). I realize this is difficult since you'll be driving around and such, but just a thought!
posted by ArgyleMarionette at 6:29 PM on July 19, 2012

I haven't been but there's Deer Park Monastary in Escondido--affiliated with Thich Nhat Hanh.
posted by biscuits at 8:12 PM on July 19, 2012

The Self-Realization Fellowship is lovely, but high woo-factor. Glen Ivy Hot Springs is in freakin' Corona, which is nowhere near the same county as SD let alone the same metro area! Escondido is also too far--a good hour drive at least from the metro area.

Mira Mesa is too far inland to be blessed with the types of places you are talking about; I would suggest looking coastal and/or SD proper, both because that's the vibe and because there are some lovely places in La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and the like that I would recommend (also, I'd recommend just taking a blanket and an iPod and heading out to Torrey Pines, but that's maybe less directed than you're looking for).

The best match I've found so far is by looking more for meditation centers and less for yoga and it's called Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga and seems to make space not just for meditation but also for different forms of yoga; plus it's actually located in San Diego proper.

There's also the Dharma Center in Ocean Beach, though it's setting off my woo meters a wee bit.

If you'd like to stick inland, there's Siddha Yoga Meditation Center in Sorrento Valley, though they have a more limited schedule and god knows there's nothing much to look at in Sorrento Valley besides office buildings.

Looks like there is a Zen Center of San Diego in Pacific Beach. Don't know how they'd take drop-ins.

Your best bet, as I said, is to look coastal or metro. Otherwise, you'll be in for a bit of a drive and that's not exactly restful (I'm not sure how familiar you are with SD traffic, but the 15 is nasty from 7-9ish and 3-6ish).
posted by librarylis at 8:45 PM on July 19, 2012

For peaceful places in San Diego, I like the Embarcadero Marina Park before 10am. You might find parts of Balboa park are also peaceful, especially early in the day before there are crowds.

I also like walking The Gaslamp Quarter when it isn't too busy. The freeway traffic may be nightmarish but the street traffic is surprisingly under control most of the time. Foot and street traffic is usually not bad early mornings or most weekdays. Things can be annoyingly crowded and hectic on Friday night, Saturday night or when there is some event going on. This also varies somewhat by the part of the downtown area. A Padres game makes some sections crowded but not others. A big event at the convention center makes a difeferent area crowded. And so on.

I like nice architecture. The Gaslamp Quarter has some nice architecture combined with reasonable amounts of greenery. It is more pleasant than other big cities I have been in.
posted by Michele in California at 1:57 PM on July 22, 2012

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