919 | UPFRONT | SPOTLIGHT
Body + Mind + A Unique Place Where It All Comes Together in Harmony
High above the treetops overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone, NC, is a holistic oasis situated on 380 acres filled with majestic Carolina pines and a lush, dense forest. As my SUV continued to climb the twisting and turning roads, I soon realized I’m far from the 919 and ready to embrace the change. My arrival is fresh and relaxing with no hustle and bustle of a typical resort check-in. I venture into the gift shop and find a treasure trove of stocked healthy snacks, books and butter-soft resort wear, candles and other relaxing items that I immediately scoop up. The rooms are dorm style and clean, private and free of any clutter. Most are with a view of the mountains and offer tranquility that only Western North Carolina can provide. This is the Art of Living Well Retreat Center, and the name matches the overall experience. Whether you are with a group or flying solo, this place will take you on a journey
that can help visitors reconnect with themselves and perhaps rediscover their joy and inner peace. Originally established back in the 1990s as a transcendental meditation community, it fell into turmoil and disrepair – eventually becoming abandoned for several years. Then in 2012, under the guidance of spiritual leader and humanitarian – Sri Sri Ravi Shakar, who is also the founder of the Art of Living Foundation – The Art of Living Well retreat center was born. And this once forgotten property has morphed into a world-class destination for peace seekers from all parts of the globe.
The center offers first-class programs with four ways to have your own experience: • Ayurveda Health Immersions: Ayruveda means the “science of life”. These programs are two-to-eight days in length and designed after a oneon-one consultation with your Ayurveda Consultant. • Transformative Retreats: Programs that help you gain skills needed to live your best life now – and geared towards establishing or improving a daily practice and creating a sense of renewed confidence. The center offers both signature retreats and programs led by visiting presenters. • Create Your Own Experience: Plan a vacation on your terms and schedule. Choose daily how much or little you do. Go with your own flow. You’ll find many activities, classes and spa treatments available. In addition, there is plenty of exploring the great outdoors with trails, waterfalls and scenic beauty. • Advanced Education: The Center offers an array of training classes and certifications for those who wish to expand their personal yoga practice or gain more knowledge to share with others.