This is where we talk about BookYogaRetreats.com and yoga travel. We like to share yoga destinations, events, yoga schools, yoga trends, and interesting articles from travelers and locals worldwide. The main language of the blog is English and we publish fresh articles every few days, so check back soon.
“The mind is the king of all senses and The breath is the king of the mind”
– Shri B.K.S. Iyengar
No one can deny the power of mind or the breath in doing competitive sports or excelling in any physical activity that requires endurance and concentration before one can achieve excellence.
It is no secret that Asia has cooked up some of the best food the world has to offer. Not only that, but it has got to be some of the best-travelled food, with takeaways and restaurants popping up the world over. In this piece, we will discuss some of the best ways to enjoy the best food cruelty-free - by taste testing the top vegan dishes in Asia! Surely you will join me, right? Let's go!
Yeah, yeah. You’ve been told many times that you should be drinking more water. Growing up, your mom would insist that you eat your vegetables and drink water. In school you learned about the food pyramid and how many glasses of water you should be drinking each day. Your doctor has instructed you to drink water on a regular basis.
It is very easy for anyone to say “I will eat right and work out more”. However, sticking to a healthy fitness plan is hard. If it were simple, we would all be in shape. The fact is that you are not lazy, and forming new habits can be challenging but not impossible, so you just have to suck it up and make it work.
Laughter itself keeps the heart alive and those who laugh more tend to stay happier. There is no doubt that it is no less than a medicine and when it is combined with yoga, it cures all the diseases of body and mind altogether. The more you laugh, the happier you are. It happens because of the chemicals that the brain releases which promote the health and happiness of a person.
With spring in full swing and summer just around the bend, yogis around the globe are rejoicing because the yoga festival season has officially begun! Though I would hardly call myself a yogi, this past March, I consider myself fortunate to have attended one of the world’s most anticipated annual yoga festivals – The Bali Spirit Festival.
Whether you’re looking to cut weight, build muscle, or improve your cardiovascular fitness, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is an effective way to reach your goal. This type of training is known for pushing you to constantly become stronger and healthier than you were before, testing you physically and mentally as it takes you to your personal limit and beyond.
With spring finally here and the warm months of summer quickly approaching, it only makes sense that you’d be thinking about ways to turn up the dial on your weight loss routine. Not only do you want to look fantastic in your spring attire, but you want to be fit enough to enjoy all your favorite warm weather activities as well.
Health and well-being are at the center of most conversations among people today, as individuals are increasingly willing to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Wellness has been incorporated into various aspects of people’s lives, including travel. As such, wellness travel - where people travel to improve their health and wellbeing - is becoming a popular way of traveling. In fact, it’s becoming the ‘it’ way to travel today.
When you’re busy working and living your busy, hectic life, it’s easy to neglect your sleep. It’s often only when our sleep pattern becomes seriously disrupted that we realize just how important a good night's sleep really is. For many of us, getting a consistent amount of sleep every night is a challenge at the best of times.
You are in your favorite yoga class. Your body movements are synchronized with your breath as you glow through sūrya namaskāra and other poses that you handle without any stress. There is no sign of worry, no distracting thoughts. After a most amazing Savaasana, you hear ‘Om shāntih shāntih shāntihi!’ As you roll your mat, you are relaxed, rejuvenated, an embodiment of peace and calm!
We all know how important it is to eat healthy, organic foods and how our diet choices affect our bodies. We are also much more aware about how using natural skin products and makeup is good for our skin. We are even starting to use more natural home products such as detergents, but have you thought about how important it is to also wear natural-fabric clothing?
When it comes to health and wellness, separating the fact from the fiction can sometimes be quite the challenge. How can you be sure something you want to try will really work the way you want it to? Is that hot new health trend everyone’s been talking about on social media something with real staying power or just another flash in the pan that’s better off ignored? Most importantly of all, is the option you want to try really right for you and your unique set of needs?
It’s no understatement to suggest that the modern world is at radical odds with human evolution. Social and technological revolutions have fundamentally changed the way we all work, communicate and go about our daily lives. While some advancements have undoubtedly been for the better, others have had a drastic effect on the health and wellbeing of individuals throughout the world.
If you spend a day watching 24-hour news channels and scrolling your social media feeds, you may notice that there is an incredible amount of attention spent on highlighting the differences among people. Differences of political ideologies, religious beliefs, income levels, family values, geography, haves and have nots... It's exhausting. But, as human beings, our similarities far outweigh our differences.
The true essence of yoga lies in connecting mind, body and soul by elevating the life force. It comprises a series of physical and mental techniques, which are vital for our health. These various exercises are also known as “asanas” and here you’ll understand why yoga poses for the abdominals are so important.
Amanda Fletcher is a yoga teacher who has always wanted to help people become better versions of themselves and embrace life as it is. She has been organizing yoga retreats for 11 years, and that’s how she realized that beyond touristic activities, a lot of people were looking to spend their vacations having a great relaxing time time with friends, wine and music. So, after hearing the advice of many of her retreat guests, she came up with a fantastic idea: a yoga festival!
Is yoga a practice closely related to religion? Is it just a bunch of exercises to gain flexibility? Or is it something in between? To be honest, when I was a teen and didn’t know much about yoga, I used to think of it as a stretching sequence that a lot of people (mostly women) did as an alternate to real workouts. Little did I know about the spirituality and philosophy behind it.
My heart is pounding as I’m fighting for the next move. I’m getting close to that difficult sequence I was unable to pull off the last time. Will I make it? Am I strong enough? These thoughts have no business being here, so I chase them away. I try to control my breath and focus on my position. It has to be perfect, otherwise it won’t work. I must clear my head. One move at a time, one more move…
Ever reached that point when everything around you is falling apart and you need a serious break? Most of us, especially in busy cities with equally busy lives, feel that way! I hit the wall a few times a year, when I know I need to unplug completely – from my surroundings, my phone and even people around me. When we get to that point, most of us would normally say that we need a “vacation.” But is a vacation enough?
“How far away is it?” and “How am I going to get there?” are normally two of the most crucial factors we consider when deciding where to go on a yoga retreat. And more often than not, with so many beautiful destinations all over the world, the answers to these questions are: “quite far” and “by airplane.”
The past decade has seen an incredible amount of focus placed on core development throughout fitness and wellness. But what exactly is the core? The core muscles are the muscles found in the trunk of the body. Take away the limbs along with the head and what is left over is the core. The major muscles of the core are in the abdominal and mid to lower back. They act as the foundation for all leg and arm postures right up to head standing.
Those first few minutes after we have awakened our bodies and minds are of the utmost importance. What we do, hear and see can truly affect the way we feel for the rest of our day. There are many ways we can begin our day on the right foot, so choose what works for you and discard what does not. My morning routines have changed dramatically over the years and will continue to do so as I develop.
For most of us, back pain is a natural occurrence in our lives, and a major contributor to this problem is improper posture. Unfortunately, we spend so much of our time sitting down – from sitting in the bus or train commuting to and from work to sitting at our work desk for long periods each day. For women, standing in impossibly high heels can also contribute to our ailing back health.
If you’re anything like me, then you probably have trouble staying in one place for too long and repeating the same patterns day after day. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine. As a yoga practitioner with itchy feet, I often find myself struggling to create a balance between the static and dynamic movements in my exercises as well as in my everyday life.
Thailand is an amazing country with much to offer for all sorts of travelers. Nature lovers rejoice in its beautiful beaches and astonishing landscapes; party animals won’t find a better nightlife than the one in Bangkok; foodies can treat their palates to the delicious Thai cuisine; backpackers find ease in their pockets with the affordable lifestyle of Thailand; and yogis are delighted with the deeply ingrained spiritual culture in this part of the world.
2017 is a new age for the world of work – the Age of the Personal Brand. Instead of the traditional model of spending your adult life with a soul-sucking nine-to-five job in a beige cubicle, we’re advancing with visionary, meaningful and deeply personal work. This exciting new frontier is filled with passion and purpose, but it’s not always easy.
Some things in life, such as work, stress and maintaining a sane family life, can leave us feeling deflated, to say the least. It is in times like these that we need somewhere to escape to, somewhere we get to kick back and catch up with our inner selves… Perhaps somewhere like India.
Yes! Cycling and yoga do go together! And it seems to be more than a passing trend. Even as the two exercises might seem at odds, they truly do complement each other. For instance, cyclists often have extremely tight hips and hamstrings and suffer from being hunched forward for long periods of time in the saddle.
I’d always been interested in yoga. In college, I did some DVDs, Yoga for Dummies, this and that. A few months ago, I decided to take it to the next level and actually attend a yoga class. It was nice, but my schedule prevented me to return and instead I found Pilates, which I absolutely adore!
Almonds have an amazing profile of antioxidant and nutritional benefits, making them a great candidate for fighting disease. They can improve brain function, hinder the onset of cancer, and much, much more.
You’ve probably already heard of the many health benefits of yoga, both physical and psychological. They all come from one place – your mind, the body’s strongest muscle. When trained correctly, it sends the right impulses to guide you through life. And what yoga does is change your brain. Literarily! We’ll let this infographic show you how.
Yoga is an ancient practice that combines movement, specific poses, controlled breathing, relaxation and meditation. It is also a philosophy and a way of life. You don’t have to be completely devoted to yoga to take advantage of its benefits. Practiced weekly or even daily, it can relieve pain, help maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and much more.
Lasting happiness. Freedom from suffering. We all want these. And this is what you can find in the yoga book True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment. It is an inspirational guide through the Yoga Sutras outlining ways to overcome difficulties and create enduring happiness and we’re fortunate enough that the author, Jennie Lee, let us publish an excerpt of this fantastic work.
A strong immune system helps not only fight off viruses and bugs, but is essential to respond to stress and health challenges when they come. When we are resilient and responsive to change we feel happier, more engaged and productive at work and generally make healthier life choices.
Do you enjoy walking? Just walking around, without any particular purpose?
Living in the city, walking usually takes us from point A to point B. In between, our minds are filled with things to do... we even walk and text to ‘save’ time! The urban lifestyle treats walking for walking’s sake mostly as a waste of time, or at best, a quirky luxury. But is that really so?
When you begin a yoga practice, an entirely new world opens up. For many, it feels as if you are rediscovering your body, mind and heart for the first time. These shifts occur at different times for each practitioner, depending on the consistency of practice, engagement and receptivity.
My passion has been traveling since my early high school years. As I started traveling independently, I was often asked how I could afford to travel and do so on a low budget. It is quite easy. There are quite a lot of small things that add up to make any vacation – and yes, even your yoga vacation – affordable.
Not long ago, it was an accepted biological phenomenon that brain loses its plasticity —the ability to form new brain cells— as one becomes an adult. The theory was that after adolescence, the shape of the brain cells becomes rigid. However, recent neurological evidence has shown that a brain cell can change its shape throughout its lifetime.
It is good that many people are aware that yoga and meditation are needed for a healthy and happy life. However, people still have many dilemmas regarding the origin and the essence of yoga. That’s why, I’m here to provide some authentic information and yoga facts to dispel misconception among yoga lovers.
There is something quite special in yoga that helps you to appreciate other things in life even more. There is something in the practice that allows you to enjoy the process of anything you do, no matter the results. Or to put it simple, something happens when you step on the mat that just brings out that inner child that pushes you to be more present and not take yourself too seriously.
The internet is full to the brim with information about yoga, travel, meditation and wellness. But with so many websites available, how do we choose the best ones? At BookYogaRetreats.com, we’ve narrowed down a list of 50 blogs that cover different specifications which we consider important to make them great.
2016 is now gone but it didn’t pass without leaving useful learnings to help us live a plentiful life. At BookYogaRetreats.com we were fortunate enough to count with the collaboration of many expert writers who shared their knowledge and experiences with us. Thank you all for providing with such valuable information to the yoga community. Check out which articles were the most popular ones throughout the year!
In recent years, yoga has become very fashionable. It’s the little black dress of the health and well-being industry, with people around the world aspiring to bendy perfection. Instagram is full of yoga ‘celebrities’ with a cult following, and yoga is seen by many as the best way to live a healthy, balanced life. So, what is a yoga lifestyle? And why do so many people want a slice of it?
The popularity of yoga and wellness travel keeps growing every year, which means more and more destinations offer yoga retreats and holidays all over the world. But which places are the hottest ones this year? At BookYogaRetreats.com we’ve plunged into our statistics to put together a list of the ten best yoga destinations that you should really consider throughout 2017!
We all know why yoga is good for us – it’s a stress buster, it improves your ability to work, you gain flexibility and so on. If you have never considered yoga to be a part of your health, wellness and fitness regime, you could be missing out on more than you think! The perks of practicing yoga start from the day you get on the mat.
Spirituality, peace of mind, relaxation, breath control, meditation, stretching, and body poses are some of the things that come to mind when most people hear the word yoga. I actually never thought of yoga as an efficient method to lose weight, until one of my colleagues suggested to try it after my complaints about how difficult it was to shed a few extra holiday pounds.
Winter is finally here! It’s time to take out your jacket, scarf, snow boots and enjoy the cold weather! Isn’t it exciting? Though the cold weather may not be of some people’s preference, we strongly believe that all seasons have their unique charm. And before you think that the low temperatures may have frozen our thoughts, that’s only because you haven’t thought about all the great things that come with it: beautiful snowy landscapes, the cheerful spirit of the holidays, quality time with the family, and amazing winter yoga retreats that embrace the magic of the season!
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ―Hippocrates
It’s been long known that what we eat influences our well-being, including our emotions and thoughts. To obtain and keep a healthy body, mind, and soul, it is not enough just to practice yoga or any physical activity we enjoy. Creating healthy habits and incorporating the right food in our diet should be an essential part of living a healthy life.
Anyone who has ever stepped on a yoga mat knows that yoga means much more than just a physical practice with fancy postures and inversions. It’s almost as if each yogi had a personal definition of yoga. We’ve gathered more than 50 of those definitions and put them together in this infographic.
The third element from the 10 elements of the practice is heard frequently: always practice at the same time and place every day. Regularity within all aspects of our lives from sleep, diet and work is a pillar of stability leading to inner peace. Our biggest stresses are simply a lack of regularity.
The many benefits of yoga are well-known; from improved flexibility to a more present state of mind. That’s why, according to research studies, yoga is a great complement to any sport. It enables you to approach your physical peak and utilize the power of fine-tuned concentration to improve your overall performance.
The holidays are fast approaching and plans to vacation with the kids abound. Although the intention is to gather with friends and family and celebrate, sometimes the travel itself can be a less than joyous event. There is packing and leaving home, long lines, big crowds and the well-meaning relatives who want to smother the children with love.
Hint: it could change yours too.
Kingston airport, Jamaica, 5 pm, a couples of days ahead of my 28th birthday. I have never felt this good. I am by myself, looking at a 17 hours travel with 3 flights to reach my current home in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (every flight got delayed and my suitcase only made it 2 days after me).
Many people who practice yoga to exercise and relax may have never heard of mantra chanting and its effects. However, one should be aware that in the vast territory of the science of yoga, the postures occupy only about one tenth of it. All the rest of the yogic science has to do with the mind. And training the mind is the actual goal of yoga.
Myths, stage hypnotists, & old wives' tales…
I recently went on a trip to Scotland staying with friends near Loch Lomond. Meeting a neighbor, she enquired about my profession. When I announced that I was a clinical hypnotherapist, she immediately recoiled, squirmed and cringed. You may have thought I had told her I was a murderer, or an evil scientist by trade.
Many people may wonder what it means to take your yoga off the mat, believing yoga is just an exercise. Some others could think yoga is a religion (it’s not!). And others might think that you definitely have to be flexible to even start a practice in yoga (you don’t! In fact, it is through yoga that you can get more flexible).
Organizing a successful yoga retreat might seem overwhelming at first. Yoga is an ever booming market, the number of US yoga practitioners has increased to more than 36 million according to a study by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance*. You can find more and more retreats being offered at magical locations all over the world, so how can you make yours stand out?
A yoga retreat can be a life-changing experience to remember for years to come. It can be a good time to relax, connect with your inner self, deepen your practice and go back home feeling rejuvenated. That sounds great, but as much as we would like it to be perfect every single time, the reality is that sometimes things just don’t go as planned.
The Old Continent is home of some of the most attractive destinations for yoga practitioners all over the world. Yoga retreats in Europe might not have the same ancient yogic tradition as the ones in Asia, but they sure have learned how to organize a great yoga holiday that combines this millennial yoga knowledge with the characteristic European flavors, a very rich culture and the magnificent places of the territory.
Nothing like a good long yoga retreat to spend 10-15 days doing asana after asana, eating healthy food, taking care of our body and relaxing like a boss. But we know that having such long vacations might not always be easy; especially for people who have to go to work, take care of their children, study, run a business, etc.
Fire, water, wind, earth and spirit are the five elements that have inspired Marin Vayu’s work as spiritual instructor, lecturer, and most recently, as an author. He is a Croatian adventure guide and nature lover whose travels in Asia and Africa helped him to write a yoga book on his favorite element: Dance of the Wind.
If you think about it, yoga and travel are two activities that bring similar benefits to our body and mind. They both let you know yourself better, push you to do things you probably didn’t know you were capable of, as well as provide you with a mindful state of mind that just makes you feel alive! That’s probably why they mix up so well together and have inspired many authors, philosophers and yoga teachers who have given us some of the best yoga quotes to motivate you during your next yoga retreat!
Finding a good yoga retreat that you can actually benefit from is getting harder than ever. With the vast offering out there it’s getting too complicated to differentiate between the retreats that are meant to help you to truly become more spiritual and the ones that are just a tricky scam. But fret not! Thankfully, at BookYogaRetreats.com we’ve looked for advice from the most qualified person on this planet to help us clear the obstacles on our way to find the best spiritual yoga retreat.
Upon heading back from London to Ibiza in preparation for the Kriya Yoga and chakra energy teachers training, I struck a conversation with a free spirited middle aged lady, who lives alone in a yurt that she built within a pine forest in Ibiza. She told me about a life breakthrough that motivated her to reach out to those people whose relationships had ended badly. He called many of them only to realize that she had been blocked by many of them.
Since the beginning of times, human kind has been driven by one simple, yet complex motivation: to be happy. But, what does happiness mean? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Nonetheless, we know that true happiness goes beyond one or two laughs every now and then. It’s a more sustainable state of satisfaction and gratefulness in our lives. It’s waking up every morning knowing there’s a meaning to starting a new day.
Thinking about where to go on your next yoga retreat? Andalusia is the place you’ve been looking for; everything is amazing here! The year round sunshine, the clean air filled with the fragrances of nature, the sea views, the culture, the abundance of fresh locally grown organic fruit and vegetables filled with the taste of sunshine and most of all the warmth of the people.
If you practice yoga or – for example – meditation, you know that it’s not ideal to wear jeans while doing so. Of course, there are lots of different sportswear options. But not every piece of sports clothing suits yoga.
So, what are the clothing specifications you need to pay attention to when you’re planning to buy yoga clothes? In this article, I’ll give you all the information you’ll need.
The practice of non-violence, better known as Ahimsa, is one of the five Yamas or guidelines to a more fulfilling yogic lifestyle. This principle is based on a mental, physical and emotional attitude of non-violence towards everything that surrounds us. To be compassionate and loving with ourselves, other humans, our mother nature and all living beings who live on it.
I've arrived. I roll out my yoga mat. I'm in a gorgeous, luxury 'grand designs type' holiday home, booked 2 years ago when I was still earning good bucks working for a bank. With 2 spacious lounges and inspiring views from floor to ceiling windows of the beautiful shaped islands of Rum and Eigg in the North West of Scotland. What else could I possibly need right now?
Going on 'retreat' tends to conjure up images of bunking down, going deep and attending to your 'spiritual side', whatever that means... for a male of the species, it isn't the normal place to go in order to spend precious days away from the office – we normally love football, sailing, spending time with the mates at the pub, or whatever activity is associated with the stereotypical alpha male.
Even though yoga is not considered an Olympic sport, at least not yet, the reality is that it already is a big part of the Olympics. Yoga is a fundamental component of the workout routine of many athletes who are striving for gold during these summer games, and it might very well be one of the key factors for them to finish on top of the podium.
A yoga retreat provides the perfect health and wellness balance to travel the world, eat delicious food and deepen your yoga practice. 62% of 36 million of American practitioners of all levels have the desire to go on a yoga holiday, reports the 2016 Yoga Journal study.
When looking at the tons of options available, finding the perfect retreat can look like a nightmare. But this infographic breaks down into 9 steps a handy guide to pick the appropriate yoga retreat. Scroll down for more detailed information.
Nothing like the beach to spend one of these good hot summer days. What else could someone ask for? Sand, water, sun, party, and of course, yoga. It’s no secret that practicing yoga on the beach is one of the most wonderful things to do, and for very good reasons: the warm weather allows you to wear your most comfortable outfit; you can get the yummy feeling of the sand between your toes in your favorite asana; and all this while hearing the relaxing sound of the waves crashing onto the shore.
The internet is ablaze with photos of yoga power-couples. Gazing at them exploring wild acro yoga poses, meditating side-by-side, and practicing yoga together, I find myself thinking, “why can’t my relationship look like that too?” I am not alone in this desire — for every girl whose man (willingly) practices yoga with her, there is an envious girl who craves that unity too.
Nepal is a beautiful Himalayan Kingdom blessed by Guru Gorakshanath. It is the origin place of The Vedic Sanatan Dharma (root of all the religions), birthplace of Veda Vyasa, who wrote the 4 Vedas; father of all the literature and scientific discoveries, source of holy river Ganga, the land of Devas, saints and sages.
If I ask random people in the street what’s the first thing that comes to their minds when they think of yoga, it’s quite possible I get answers like: yoga mats, sophisticated postures, workout for girls, yoga pants; or maybe if I come across some yogis, they’ll probably use a more Zen-ish terminology and say union, balance, focus, energy, etc. One thing is certain, it would be really hard to find someone who relates yoga with a soldier (yes, a soldier!). Unless, of course, I conduct my survey in Dan Abramson’s neighborhood in San Francisco.
Have you ever thought about organizing your own yoga retreat? We know that it could seem like a daunting task to take a group of people to one place to practice yoga for a few consecutive days, and thinking about everything that’s involved in the process of the organization of a retreat could be a bit overwhelming. But it might be easier than you think!
One year ago, I did my first yoga retreat and enjoyed it so much, that I decided that from now on I want to do this every year. Doing yoga, meditation, enjoying healthy food and relaxing somewhere in the sun, is my kind of thing. When I found out I was pregnant earlier this year, I changed this plan a little bit. I didn’t want to be far from home, didn’t want to fly anywhere, but I wanted to do some yoga somewhere nice. I even thought about looking for a special retreat for pregnant yogis, but decided against it, as I was not doing any particular pregnant yoga classes at home, but still keep up my regular Ashtanga yoga class.
Did you know that most yoga styles that we can attend classes are just one or another form of what is known as Hatha yoga? Did you also know that the asanas (the yoga poses) are just a fraction of what Hatha yoga has in store for you? I, just like so many others, started my yoga journey doing asanas for more physical flexibility and strength. A mere form of body exercise to get in shape. Little did I know that I would open a door to a whole new world for me.
Have you ever been to a yoga retreat in Istanbul? If not, you should really try it! My partner Sandra and I are retreat organizers ourselves, we know how delightful it is to practice yoga in another language, to discover the yoga scene in another city or country, and to be a yoga student in different parts of the world.
Being healthy doesn’t have to be a boring and painful sacrifice; indeed, it can be fun and well disengaged from the number on the scale. That’s the philosophy of the Fit Bottomed Girls, three women who want to encourage people to avoid the diet drama and show the world that fit bottoms can come in all shapes and sizes.
Vinyasa Yoga is one of the most practiced styles worldwide, indeed, according to a survey by the Yoga Journal, it is the most popular style amongst yogis. So, why is it that there seems to be some confusion about what Vinyasa is? Is it a style? A sequence? Or is it just a technique? And what exactly does it mean when a teacher says “take a Vinyasa”?
Have you ever dreamed about organizing your own yoga retreat? Vacations on the beach, teaching one or two yoga sessions per day and earning good money – what could go wrong? What a lot of yoga teachers don’t know is that the organizers of such retreats carry a significant financial risk. A small mistake can jeopardize the success of the whole venture.
Therefore, it is crucial to plan your retreat carefully. By following these 10 steps, you can get closer to the dream of your very own yoga retreat.
Kerala, South India, December 2007
Just after dawn, I sat down on a cushion in the vast main hall, loosely wrapping my thin yellow “meditation shawl” around me. Suddenly I realised that this was week 4 of my ashram experience, week 5 of my first ever stay in India, and for the first time in my life, I could say that I had been able to step out at dawn every single day for five weeks, breathe deeply, and find that I needed neither socks nor a jacket to keep warm – I had never before gone without feeling cold for such a long time. It was also the first time I had ever spent four weeks in a place where windows are just openings towards a lush vegetation, and need no glass panes.
When I was looking for a destination to base a yoga retreat in Europe, we were initially looking at Liguiria in Italy. But as one can imagine, the story ended up being totally different… I kept hearing stories about Ibiza, finding beautiful images of it, and I even went to the Property Show in London, which had a stand representing Ibiza attended by very friendly people. Being someone who listens to the intuitive signals of the universe, I decided to go and see what was going on there even when I had never traveled to Ibiza before.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and our dearest person in the world deserves to be pampered on this special date. Though a big hug and a tender kiss are usually enough for her, it’s always a great idea to spoil her with something special to show much appreciation for all she’s done for us, either as your own mother or as the mother of your children.
In a small neighborhood studio, a yoga-class friend was telling me about a recent yoga retreat.
“Oh, it was amazing” she said as she folded her blanket into a meditation seat. “I was so relaxed. I just wish I could have felt so good when I came back.”
“Couldn’t you?” I asked. “Couldn’t you feel that relaxed everyday?”
Yoga and the wellbeing of our planet have always gone hand-in-hand. The relation comes naturally; it is the place that we live in, and as yogis, we’re aware of our union with all living beings on it, we’re not separate. Our bodies are made of the elements, we eat, drink and breathe from what the Earth provides; so we should honor it everyday – but specially on Earth Day.
As the weather gets warmer, outdoor yoga seems more and more enticing and the nature knows this; the sun shines, the flowers blossom and trees start growing on earth, on water and even in the air. You might think that real trees cannot grow in the air, but we’re talking about human trees!
Know your worth, know what you stand for, know your limitations, know your goals, know what it is that wakes you up every morning, know what makes you feel the most alive. Know yourself.
For many of us, life is a day-to-day routines. We wake up to a soothing cup of coffee, rush to work or school, spend all day learning new things, or filing papers, perhaps even toiling away at some job that makes you nothing short of unhappy. It is important to stay grounded and in touch with your deepest self. Here are three ways yoga can help you to successfully become more in tune to you.
We kid you not, it is true. You can actually go on a yoga retreat with no need to break the bank. We know that there are many luxurious options out there that have framed the idea of a yoga holiday as an almost utopic concept exclusive to the wealthiest cream of the crop. That doesn’t really sound like authentic yoga, does it?
Just a couple of months ago, I returned home after running my first ever yoga retreat weekend in Suffolk, England.
I’ve been teaching yoga for four years now and in many ways it seemed like a natural next step to offer a weekend of yoga and relaxation to some of my lovely yoga students at some point. This is how it went:
Altruism is defined as the practice of disinterested concern for the well-being of others – and isn’t it what yoga is all about? A way of living dedicated to achieve mindfulness in order to be a peaceful being, capable of serving this world. Through selfless giving, we are letting the light within us honor the light within others, therefore, altruism is the perfect example of living the true meaning of Namaste.
Starting with a daily yoga practice can often come with great promise and expectations & more often than not the expectations over exceed the possibilities. With these 3 poses not only will help you kickstart your practice, as the postures only take a few minutes, but they will also aid to open your heart, broaden the mind, and release any negative emotional baggage.
Indonesia is home to one of the most beautiful gems in the world: Bali. This island in Southeast Asia is well known for its breathtaking landscapes, lots of amazing coral reefs, astonishing beaches, green rice fields, and many more jaw-dropping features that make every traveler fall in love with this place. To add on to its natural beauty, Bali is also regarded as a highly spiritual location. Underlined by the ever-mindful Balinese population, their fascinating religious traditions and the holiness of some unbelievable temples.
If you are planning to go on your first yoga retreat, you might have plenty of doubts swirling in your head. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal. When doing something new, anxiousness, hesitation and excitement tend to come in at equal proportions. At BookYogaRetreats.com we want you to concentrate on the latter, that’s why we’ve asked two yoga teachers some of the main concerns a first yoga traveler might experience.
The new age of social media has seen the emergence of hashtags as a way for social media users to share and capture the essence of their posts. A great many hashtags are trending in that virtual world we call the Internet, with some being so popular, it’s a subject people would discuss for days!
The yoga lovers here at BookYogaRetreats.com did a quick search on popular hashtags that go along with #yoga. What we found is an interesting mix of the obvious, the creative, and the downright unrelated. Read on and be sure to include them unto your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts!
It’s that time of the year again: The flowers are blooming, summer is on the horizon, and your New Year’s resolutions may have finally gone all the way out the window – namely, the resolution to set aside more time in your day (consistently) for your yoga practice. If this sounds like you, fret not! For many, coming into the middle part of the year can cause a return to old routines, and between that and the increasingly beautiful weather outside, it’s understandable! To help remedy your possible slump, we’ve added our five favorite ways to get you back in the groove of your practice:
Thailand is a country famous for its unique vibes, world-class cuisine and the unbeatable fun lifestyle of Thai people. Christophe Cappon is a Canadian yoga teacher based in Chiang Mai, whose experiences have taught him that bringing up this amusing spark to the mat is one of the most important aspects of the yoga practice. He encourages all his students to be playful and not be so serious, and there is no better place to live this fun spirit than Thailand!
Read on to find out more about Christophe’s exciting yoga adventure!
In the beginning, yoga teacher training was an excuse to travel across the world, wear cute leggings, meet a few new friends, and get the firmer body I've always wanted by practicing asana after asana for hours every day. I won't deny that I had always admired my yoga teachers at home in Canada; their flexibility, their peaceful voices during shavasana, and the glamorous lifestyle they appeared to live.
I know what some of you might be thinking, and no, Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga are not the same. They could be very similar, but definitely not the same. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about the differences and origins of both styles.
I’ve got to be honest, before getting immersed in yoga, I used to think that Hot Yoga was just a variation of the ancient practice. I thought it was a marketing product created to sell a few courses by convincing potential customers that they were going get that spectacular hot body they always dreamed of. I couldn’t be more mistaken.
In this, the second of a 10 part series on the elements of the practice, the value and meaning of drawing attention inwards will be scrutinized. Directing attention inwards is an act of letting go of matters that occupy the mind. From this point onward the ability to concentrate is achieved leading to meditation. This is attempted not just when meditating but also during yoga postures. Maintaining such a state during yoga sessions leads to deeper practices. Beginners see the logic, yet the process of application is complicated. The postures are new. Grasping yoga for the first time is like a child learning to walk. Concentration on every step is paramount. It is not long till the steps taken are void of effort and thought. Ideal is a mind that is not occupied by thought and emotion and so kept open to the world.
Maybe there should be a word for it. That moment when you feel utterly called to a yoga retreat. It's often an impulse, an invisible escape button that is begging for you to push it. Something tells you, it's time. It's necessary. Your heart's crying out for it.
What often compels a woman to a yoga retreat is a deep down visceral sense of needing to step away, to withdraw, to find a space where she can connect with her own center, hear her own voice and discern her own truths.
Intuition. There's the word.
Suncokret (pronounced "soon-so-kret") is the Croatian word for sunflower, and literally means "sun-revolver", an accurate description of the sunflower's devotional relationship toward the divine light of the sun, which, in turn, enables it to blossom to its fullest potential.
This amazing flower is a metaphor for the journey of Evening, a yoga therapist who along with her partner Stipe, combined their love, talents, interests and experiences together into a sustainable holistic lifestyle, until they blossomed like sunflowers at dawn. In return, they started Suncokret to offer their devotion, services and support as a platform for others to do the same in the form of a retreat in the beautiful Hvar Island, surrounded by the Adriatic Sea in Croatia.
Growing up I wasn't told about the importance of surrender. When I think of it now, I wasn't informed of it during most of my adulthood life. This concept was only given to me when I was introduced to yoga.
From as young as I can remember, life has always been about those lyrics from the Bob Marley song, Buffalo Soldier. “Fighting for survival”. I often feel as if I've spent most of my lifetime either; fighting, pushing, pulling or surviving. Just like all of those busy commuters that I used to get on the train with, when I worked in London. It was that mentality of “everyone for themselves”. I admit that my mentality at that time in life was, “If I don't push my way through and create space for me, then no one else will help me”
If you are a devoted yogi, you have probably heard a hundred times that “yoga is union”. It is a union of mind, body and soul; of conscious and unconscious; of yourself and the divine. But does it also include union with your loved one?
Gaurav and Kate are two yoga teachers based in Goa, India. They own Ashtak Yoga School on Arambol Beach and have been united largely because of yoga. They got engaged a few weeks ago and are a living example that yoga is love. Now, they share their story with us along with some advice to those who want to deepen their relationship through yoga.
Everyday, millions of people from all over the world get on a yoga mat to experience the union of the body, mind and soul that the asana practice provides. Can you imagine this feeling being multiplied in company of hundreds of other yogis practicing in the same place as you? Just imagine, breathing in synchrony with them, listening to the same sounds as you, doing the same poses… talk about sense of unity!
We know that a perfect yoga retreat doesn’t really depend on where it was. We think that how the sessions were or who you went with are usually more important factors. However, let’s be honest, who doesn’t prefer a heavenly destination to do it? That’s why, after ranking our top 10 in 2014, once again, we have dived into our statistics to check what places are the most recurred by yogis who want to try the retreat experience.
For 2015, we have two new guests and some ups and downs on this list that honors la crème de la crème of yoga destinations. The number in brackets indicates the position in which the country was ranked in 2014. Have a read and let us help you to make your choice on where to head off to this year!
Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya the father of modern yoga says, "Teach what is appropriate for an individual". Likewise a yoga student must learn to practice what is appropriate. Learning the appropriate practice is understood through a careful study of yoga science along with a direct experience of practicing over long periods. Comprehending what postures to practice for various conditions of concern from back pains to high blood pressure are just some of many challenges faced by practitioners. Prior to acquiring yogic knowledge a committed beginner will inevitably tap into the 10 elements an advanced practitioner knows to be mindful of.
At BookYogaRetreats.com, we firmly believe that the only way to achieve excellence is through cooperation and that the path to greatness is along with others. That’s why we are honored to say that we share the path with these fantastic partners who constantly motivate us to be better everyday. We’re grateful to walk this road together!
I practice yoga outdoors so inevitably I am visited by the occasional wandering ant who has no idea what a yoga mat is, let alone that it's totally taboo and awkward to cross it mid-downward-dog.
Sometimes, when I am not overly intent on getting on with my practice, I do this. I stop, kneel down, and watch that ant. I observe the color of the fragment of leaf that it's carrying or the awesomeness of its strength.
With the boom of web series at its peak, it was just a matter of time before the yoga world had its own sitcoms online portraying the yogi lifestyle. From dramas, to mockumentaries, parodies and comedies, these stories will give you something to keep you entertained this winter. Here are the 6 yoga web series you must watch:
Every day we wake up and feel different. Sometimes we feel so strong we feel we can do anything. Other times we feel fearful and can't even find the courage to start the new day. Know that life consists of these constant changes, fluctuations of ups and downs.
The art is to observe the quality of what exists here and now and welcome all emotions and feelings. It's normal to feel different every day, but the question is: how soon can you shift your perspective when necessary? "How can I do this?", you wonder. Focus on the positive aspects of your life, the opportunities on your path. Can you concentrate on what you learn from your challenges? We all need these to grow. Truth is: if everything would always be smooth and easy, we could not expand. So start seeing every challenge as an opportunity for growth.
As you enter your first yoga class, you are filled with fear and trepidation. The class is filled with women and men who look like they take yoga really seriously. They are clad from head to toe in Lululemon and their mats are top notch. There is a respectful silence in the room. You take a good look at yourself and at once wonder if you belong here. Before coming to this class, yoga frightened you. But once you’re here, yoga seems like even more of a nightmare.
If you can relate to the above, fret not! We’ve compiled a few do’s and don’ts for your first yoga class to help you settle in (almost) like a pro!
In social media land, Instagram is the place to be these days. We’ve watched a few yoga personalities on Instagram that are making a splash with their inspiring posts, and boy are they amazing. The big names on Instagram include Kino Macgregor, Laura Sykora and Rachel Brathen but of course, you already knew that. So we’ve picked a few up and coming personalities that just might dominate Instagram soon!
Itching to go on a yoga holiday? Well here’s 5 solid reasons:
1. Step out of the rollercoaster that is your life
At times we feel trapped in our daily lives. We wake up feeling life is happening to us and we have a hard time keeping up with our overload on "to do" lists. A yoga holiday with Yoganic Moves is a perfect chance to erase the verb "to have" from your mind. "Nothing has to be done, everything is possible", is my motto. Our yoga holidays allow you to, literally, step out of your daily life and look at it from a distance, with a new perspective. This allows you to make better decisions and find new inspiration.
When it comes to yoga blogs, we are aware that there’s an abundance of options to choose from. There are those that have great images and provide useful, practical tips we can instill unto our daily practice to those with little to no updates and/or confusing, difficult-to-digest information.
What we have learnt from our many interviews with yoga teachers is that yoga is a personal journey. Very rarely will you come across yoga teachers who have not had yoga affect their lives in some significant way. For Donna, it’s no different. Our interview with Donna takes us on a little journey through her very first dabble with yoga to how it plays an important role in her daily life now. Along the way, we got to learn an interesting tidbit too. Her great grandfather and Theodore Roosevelt are lifelong friends! Read on to find out more.
BookYogaRetreats.com had the pleasure of interviewing Vivek, one of Akshi Yogashala’s yoga teachers on his personal views on yoga and his teachings to other yogis. Vivek’s passion to his practice is inspiring, as is his commitment towards helping other find their footing as yoga teachers. Catch the interview below!
Detox is not for everyone but if you have some of this symptoms- fatigue, gas, depression, sleep problems, water retention, can’t losing weight, skin problems, constipation, skin problems, dark circles under the eyes, period problems, bad breath…and you’re up for a bit of self loving challenge this tips can be very helpful.
Meditation is achieving results in children through schools as was proven by vistacian valley school near San Francisco during their quiet time period of 15 minutes plus in adults in maintaining clarity of thinking for making decisions and profound wisdom to name but a few. In patanjali yoga sutras in Sanskrit it says the highest yoga is yoga Chita vritti Noradha to stop the fluctuations of the mind coming from silence and meditation.
Vedas are the books of knowledge compiled by the Guru Veda Vyasa born in Damauli Nepal in the previous eons. The 4 Vedas (Rig-Veda, Samveda, Ajurveda and Atharvaveda) are the father of all the religious texts, literatures and scientific discoveries. And, Ayurveda is one of the chapter of Atharvaveda that studies herbal medicines and over-all longevity / well-being of human-beings. The word Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit language of Nepal meaning Ayur (life) and Veda (Knowledge). Obviously, the origin of Ayurveda is the pious land of Nepal.
Let’s admit that it can be fairly intimidating to start doing yoga, especially when you’re stiff as a board. We do realize that not everyone’s born with the flexibility of a pretzel dough, but everything seems impossible until it’s done. The key is to start with the simplest pose and sort of build your way up to a more complex position. While you’re getting comfortable with your Shavasana, we have compiled the top 5 most ‘impossibly possible’ yoga poses you could ever strike (under the guidance of a suitably qualified yoga teacher of course) to stimulate your mind and get your yogi dreams all set!
Are you looking to go on a dream vacation to Costa Rica? If so, look no further. Ride on Retreats has found an absolute heaven on earth in Nosara, Costa Rica! Surf to your heart’s content, and then rejuvenate with great yoga sessions while you mix with the locals and immerse yourself in their vibrant culture. Sarah from Ride on Retreats has written a detailed piece on the retreat, so read on and allow yourself to be swept away by this amazing adventure!
Growing up in Canada, Kevin McQuillan took his yoga practice all the way to Costa Rica, where he set up Peace Retreat Costa Rica, an inspiring space of peace and community. The BookYogaRetreats team had the opportunity to interview Kevin, and learned of his vision, inspiration and journey with yoga. Read on and be inspired!
Yoga is often a personal journey that one takes on the road to self discovery. Each individual's yoga story is different and that is why we at BookYogaRetreats.com are interested in learning the stories behind our yoga practitioners. This week, we interviewed renowned yoga teacher Kaya Peters to find out more about her yoga journey. What an amazing story she has!
As you get ready for the summer, you consider taking that well-deserved yoga retreat. You imagine yourself surrounded by like-minded people, honing in on your asana practice as you enjoy the summer breeze, and just lazing on a hammock in a great destination somewhere.
With the summer approaching, many yoga schools and centers begin to offer great yoga retreats in fantastic locations that are certain to whet your appetite for adventure. Here at BookYogaRetreats.com, we’ve narrowed down the list to the top 5 yoga retreats that you surely must not miss this summer! Pack your bags and roll up your mat. It’s time you take that great yoga vacation!
When the natural flow of life moves freely, our body feels alive and our mind vibrant. Yet we have moments in our life when we feel drained, uninspired and depleted of vital fuel in our bodies.
If you feel like it is a good time to delve deeper into your Yoga practice by taking a Yoga teacher training, the first step is choosing which training to pursue. This can seem like an overwhelming task for most people. There are so many different trainings out there in the world, it's hard to know which one to choose. Since a training is an investment of time, money, and energy on many levels, making the right choice the first time is of great importance! Below is a list of some ideas to consider when making your choice. They aren't necessarily in order of importance.
This week, BookYogaRetreats.com had a wonderful chat with Vanessa Pattison, the owner of Zen Yoga and co-founder of Nicaragua Yoga Institute (NYI), the most luxurious yoga retreat in Nicaragua where yogis from around the globe come to deepen their yoga practice as well as to relax and have plenty of fun!
We talked about everything from the inspiration behind the creation of Nicaragua Yoga Institute’s retreats to what she believes has been the most important factors to its success. During our chat, Vanessa even shared a valuable piece of advice for those looking to start their own yoga retreat. Curious as to what Vanessa said? Here’s the rundown of our inspiring chat.
If you are looking for new experiences, need fresh energy in your life, feel tired and uninspired, need healing time and want to do what your heart desires? Then a woman’s surf and yoga retreat might be just what you need to gain a new perspective, expand your horizons and bring positive energy into your body, mind and soul.
Sometimes, in a world made up of business calculations and profits, we find a true gem - an enterprising company that sincerely works to give back to the community. BookYogaRetreats had the pleasure of interviewing Alina de Vilder, the SEO of Mindful Adventure, a travel agency specializing in taking you on beautiful safaris in East Africa. The interview with Alina is raw, sincere and incredibly inspiring.
I bet when we you think about going on a yoga retreat your first focus is on the health benefits to your body (and perhaps booking a relaxing massage). Plant based food, exercise, lots of outdoor activity and fresh air is the ultimate health boost. Maybe you have a specific goal to lose some weight, tone up or kick start some healthy habits to bring back home.
But did you know that there are also proven benefits to your mental wellbeing as well?
When I bought Swell Women last year, expanding our surf and yoga retreats from Maui to other beautiful surf destinations around the globe was my top priority. And Nicaragua was my top choice for a second location. This Latin American country is an absolute gem—near perfect surf breaks, warm water, incredible wildlife, friendly locals, and fresh markets overflowing with tropical fruit. From the moment I arrived at Hacienda Iguana for a scouting trip, I was in love. The sun was just coming up at Playa Colorado, beautiful, organized sets were breaking right outside my front door, and the white sand beaches were empty save a few early morning surfers. In a word, it was magical, and I knew this was the experience I wanted to share.
Feel Great Breaks celebrates its 4th birthday this year. Run by two wonderful women - Jessica Howell and Nicola Bates, Feel Great Breaks have created incredible memories for those who have attended their retreats. In this special edition, the team at BookYogaRetreats interviewed Jessica and Nicola, finding out the essence of their company, their source of inspirations and more.
While I was working at YogaLife, I contacted Chandra about her yoga retreat in Jamaica so we could include it on the ‘Upcoming Retreats’ page. Chandra emailed me details about her June dates and I replied saying it was a shame there weren’t any retreats in July as I was planning to be in Kingston for a few weeks visiting my brother.
She called me five minutes later – she was planning two retreats in July. We arranged to meet for breakfast one morning and talk about it. Chandra’s enthusiasm and passion for what she was trying to create were infectious – and I decided I would attend her seven-day retreat in July.
Iyengar Yoga is a methodical and deeply researched yoga system developed 75 years ago by Yogacharya BKS Iyengar who at the age of 93 still practices daily – exploring, studying, writing, and teaching about yoga. The Iyengar approach to yoga is firmly based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga (Ashtanga) expounded by Patanjali in ‘The Yoga Sutras,’ over 2,500 years ago.
“Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind”, (Sage Patanjali, the Yoga Sutras - I.2). The word Yoga comes from Sanskrit and means ‘union’. Yoga is a spiritual science of self-realisation that has been developed in India thousands of years ago. Through Yoga we learn to master our body and mind to cultivate inner stillness and an ever growing realization of the innermost essence (soul).
It’s the New Year, which means New Year resolutions. Does your New Year resolution include a commitment to regular yoga practice? Does this commitment lessen come the second or third month of the New Year?
Many of us experience this time and again. We want to commit ourselves to a regular yoga practice, but like committing ourselves to regular gym sessions or regular fitness workouts, we find it difficult to stick to a routine. Distractions are aplenty. Work gets in the way. Other more pressing matters need to be attended to. And the list goes on…
Did you know that it's not only nutrition and energy that your body needs from its food intake? There is another factor that is mostly overlooked, but which can explain many of the health problems which arise in our bodies.
If you are feeling unhealthy, tired or stressed or you are struggling to lose weight it could be because you have been ignoring this one factor. When this factor gets out of balance in the body it can lead to sugar cravings, yeast infections, weight problems, high cholesterol, cancer and heart disease plus a multitude of chronic health problems.
Though yoga is said to have dated back as far as pre-Vedic Indian traditions, this ancient practice is slowly rising in popularity again in recent years, with many aspiring yogis and yoginis discovering the benefits of consistent yoga practice. A search on Google trends has shown that interest in yoga has gone up over time, with interest peaking early this year.
That said, more and more people are scouring the Internet looking for the perfect yoga vacation – combining a holiday in a faraway destination with the peaceful practice of yoga. Beginners and advanced practitioners alike are in search of that sweet spot that would enhance their practice as well as satisfy their need for adventure.
Some healing systems teach that raw salad vegetables especially lettuce, celery and carrots that are high in cellulose take a lot of enzyme power and energy to digest and release their nutrients. These can be prepared for detox by cooking as a soup, by steaming, stewing or steam frying — a way of stir frying in minimum oil and liquid to protect the oil from damaging changes by heat.
Fresh vegetable juices on the other hand need no digestion. Their essential nutrients are absorbed very easily and they make up for the cooked vegetables which have lost their enzymes and some vitamin content. A powerful blender can help break down the cellulose in plant foods and release the nutrients while retaining the fiber which is needed for health. Smoothies can very nutritious when prepared this way.
My detox program experience at Tambo Ilusión was fascinating. Unexpectedly fascinating. I am describing my day by day experience in order to encourage others to book the same retreat, because it could be - as it has been for me - a life changing experience.
There are several factors contributing to such great results in only one week, and it certainly also depends on your very own contribution, the situation in your life and your efforts or interest in turning this into a spiritual experiment as well, but even if it was just for the physical experience, it surely was intense and liberating.
Mindful Hatha yoga is an excellent way to bring your body, mind and spirit back into balance. It improves your health, all over. Each week at La Crisalida a minimum of five mindful hatha yoga classes is offered. In this article BookYogaRetreats takes look at what this actually means!
Many guests wonder what La Crisalida mean by mindfulness. They liken it to this description from Jon Kabat-Zinn: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”. (In his book: “Full Catastrophe Living”).
It’s about being, rather than doing.
As we age, our body tends to stiffen and tighten, which makes it increasingly uncomfortable to live in. There are many beauty products on the market claiming to prevent wrinkles, lots of ‘superfoods’ that are said to stop aging and many articles and websites that claim yoga can prevent or reverse aging…but what lies behind these claims?
Regular yoga practice can certainly help to improve your reach. For example, if you stand and bend forward (standing forward bend or Uttanasana) – maybe you can touch your toes or maybe you can not. Many people in their 30s or 40s or older, who are new to yoga, can not reach their toes without bending their knees. The body has become stiff from sitting hunched over a computer or laptop or at a desk for eight hours (or more) per day. The back muscles are tight, so too are the hamstrings. With regular yoga practice the flexibility in the body will improve and increase, until eventually you can reach your toes (and beyond) in comfort.
I am is an infinite awareness without limited labels of personalizing. In sanskrit the word means 'so ham', or I am that. Yoga is the scientific process devised 5000 years ago to arrive at this union of the individual to the whole. The mastery of the mind has never been researched as it has been by the yogis through their own self practice, which is why yoga is a self practice. To arrive at the I am requires a desire for truth and is not for the weak hearted. Courage, conviction, and self-discipline are a must to see all the games we play with ourselves through our mind, senses and ego.
One year ago, I met Nathalie de Haaij in Nicaragua, where she launched her wellness business “MALEKAI”. After one year, we’re going back to Maderas, Nicaragua as business partners to hold a surf and yoga retreat together, and to share with others why Maderas is a magical place, where magical things happen.
It’s time to admit it: the winter months are edging ever closer and you have already experienced pangs of dread. Right now, it’s a waiting game. Soon, all daylight hours will be spent at your desk, your daily commute shrouded in darkness.
If the very thought saps you of energy, don't worry—we all need a break from time to time. A yoga holiday is a unique type of getaway that can regenerate your body and mind with lasting effects. Whether it’s charming Marrakesh or the rural Mediterranean, here are three reasons why it’s time to book that yoga retreat!
Practicing yoga for weight loss is becoming very common nowadays. With the emergence and popularization of active yoga forms like Ashtanga, Vinyasa and others, yoga is no longer regarded as only a passive form of movement. Different forms of yoga poses can assist in weight loss and burning of body fat. However, the main purpose of yoga is to bring your breath, mind and body in balance, so if you would like to practice yoga for weight loss, however, you will have to know a few important things.
While maintaining a yoga practice can be a great way to reduce stress, stay in shape, and calm the mind, finding time to relax through yoga in the modern world is a growing problem. Here are five easy stress-relieving, relaxing and calming yoga positions for beginners and advanced yogis alike by Rachel, Escape Haven's retreat manager! As Geeta Iyengar said, when this body has been so magnificently and artistically created by God, it is only fitting that we should maintain it in good health and harmony by the most excellent and artistic science of yoga.
One of the first things we learn as kids in a maths class is the art of addition. Fast-forward a few years down the track and we’ve all graduated with flying colors. We’ve got ourselves a Masters of Addition. We buy, we collect, we consume, we swap, we take, we build, and we produce. In a nutshell? We add. We are full-fledged experts at it so let's take it a notch up—how much do you dare to subtract? How much can you do without?
Silence is golden. Practicing silence is a powerful way to see ourselves more clearly and to observe the relationship between our inner and outer worlds with greater understanding. Time spent in intentional silence can go a long way toward revealing the architecture of our hearts and unfolding a life full of fulfillment and purpose.
Good posture makes all the difference, both in yoga and your general life! Here is a yoga sequence that will help you open your shoulders. Before you begin, however, make sure that the environment is safe, practice with caution, and push yourself only as much as you are comfortable.
No matter what stage you are in your yoga practice, a strong core is not the only thing you need to sustain your poses. You also need strong arms. Here are eight steps that will help you get just that! Before you begin, however, make sure that the environment is safe, practice with caution, and push yourself only as much as you are comfortable.
I had the most amazing, chillaxing, healthiest, and calming yogatastic week at Yoga Sutra Shala! I feel as though I found myself and rested my mind and body for a short time from the hustle and bustle of the world's crazy twenty-first century. To slow down and meditate in such a beautiful, homely, stand-alone haven with stunning surroundings and scenery was absolute bliss.
If you’ve ever considered attending a yoga teacher training, whether it was five years ago or this morning, this information is for you. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to but never felt the courage to commit, never had the money, or simply never knew if it was right for you. It’s important to recognize that a yoga teacher training is very different from a yoga retreat or a yoga vacation.
My time at Tambo Ilusion was an experience that went far beyond my expectations. I have never felt so relaxed, energized and inspired at all the same time. It was the perfect place to be introduced to the world of yoga and learn about a lifestyle aimed at living together with nature.
Wow. My week of restoration and renewal at Croatia Yoga Retreat in May 2014 was incredible. I traveled a long way from Portland, Oregon, USA, to reach the beautiful retreat villa on the island of Vis off Croatia's Dalmatian Coast and the experience I had was worth every in-flight hour!
By just 32 years old, hard-working and usually upbeat Kiwi businesswoman Janine Hall was blue, burned-out and wanted a life more extraordinary. Today, 7 years on, she runs Bali's highest rated retreat, Escape Haven, has just expanded to Australia's Byron Bay, and is now also hosting new retreats in Portugal and Morocco in 2014! Women from all over the world now come to her to reconnect with themselves and to rediscover their joy.
You’ve stretched and strengthened your body practicing various yogic postures more than a few times, sat down in a meditative position while watching the breath on occasion, and read several books describing the joys and benefits of becoming an enlightened being. You have a general feeling, deep down, that something feels right and good about practicing ‘spirituality’ and being a ‘spiritual’ person, and endeavor, whole-heartedly, to embark upon your own personal journey. Perhaps you feel you have already begun, or even made it pretty far along the road, so to speak. But, at the end of the day, what is all this ‘spiritual journey’ talk about, really?
Have you ever played a word association or dissociation game? No? Let’s play one then. As a yoga teacher, you will have to unpack and deconstruct your student-teacher relationship to understand it more effectively. These are some questions for you to answer to understand where you stand as a yoga teacher.
Planning a retreat is a lot of fun, and it might even be something that you’re interested in. I recently co-facilitated my first retreat ever. We walked, talked, flew, stretched, biked, SUPed, snorkeled, laughed, cried, meditated, ate turkey and drank wine. Here are some tips from my experience to help any of you in the process of planning your own!
My experience at Tambo Ilusion was absolutely wonderful. At first it seemed a little daunting flying off to Peru and going straight into the jungle, but all my fears were allayed as soon as I arrived. I was collected from the airport as arranged beforehand and taken straight to the retreat, where Jo, my retreat host and yoga instructor, had lunch already prepared. Straight away I was made to feel right at home!
By Jessi - There are so many different types of cleanses and detox programs that work to improve specific types of health issues, prevent disease, or just to improve overall health. No matter what type of detox you have decided to follow, you can drink a specific "tea" to help improve and support your cleansing. Read more to find out what they are!
Three years ago, Will Allen, a mechanical engineer from California, left his job and set out to travel in Latin America. On his journey, he stumbled across Hridaya Yoga Silent Meditation Retreats, changing his life forever. Read more to find out the huge impact these retreats have had on his relationship with himself and those around him!
One of the goals of yoga practice, for many people, is spiritual development. A part of spiritual development is letting go of one's ego and allowing the power of humility to shine through. One interesting question is this: ‘Can yoga practice help to dissolve the ego?’ The answer, most definitely, is yes. Read more to find out how!
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, Jean-Baptiste Degez (JB) and Geoffroy Dumesnil (Jeff) set sail to Colombia on an adventure that was about to change their lives. Greeted by warmth, openness, and a culture bursting of life, the two Frenchmen fell head-over-heels in love with the rich, varied South American landscape of the country and conceptualized a way to preserve its natural beauty: Tayrona.
Yoga as a regular practice helps in daily life as it brings balance, relaxation, discipline, health, happiness, and a sense of peace to everything in our lives. The understanding of yoga philosophy also helps in making relationships stronger as the philosophy of yoga talks a lot about uniting and connecting with people. It talks about humility and letting go of the ego. This paves the way for the forging of strong relationships.
Yoga Sutra Shala's retreats border on getaway perfection. Firstly and most importantly, the yoga is taken very seriously. A two and a half hour Ashtanga session in the morning is complimented by two hours of Hatha Yoga and meditation in the evening. The teachers, Namit (Indian via Leicester) and Maru (Mexican), have only recently begun running retreats together and their beginners' mind manifests itself in boundless enthusiasm and a fresh, open approach.
The Body Soul Movement Experience in La Ventana, Mexico, is unparalleled and exceeded my expectations in every way imaginable! Frederica and Joshua are gracious hosts: full of energy, expertise, willingness and eagerness to assist guests achieve balance and spiritual renewal. I exited Body Soul Movement feeling revitalized, renewed, and in many senses, reborn.
Mozambique, which is located on the southeast coast of Africa, is definitely one of Africa’s emerging jewels. Although its eclectic variety of Indian Ocean coastal lodges and prestigious island resorts have, for many years, welcomed visitors from around the globe, its interior is still something of an undiscovered adventure.
Although I have been traveling to India since the year of 2000, most of my visits were to South India. When my first time in North India came, my landing place was Shiva Yoga Peeth in Rishikesh. I love this place because of its nature, which is similar to my country, Malaysia, and also the spiritual energy in this place. It’s God’s blessing that I am able to just stand next to the holy Ganga River with wonderful Swami Sudhir, who teaches at the center!
I was at the Sayalonga Yoga Sutra Shala Retreat at the beginning of October, well prepared, as Namit and Maru answered all of my many questions patiently and detailed by email. The retreat is situated on a mountain, approximately 10 minutes by car from Sayalonga Village, Spain. Sayalonga itself is a small village with the next airport being Malaga which is about 45 km from Sayalonga. Buses go in both directions twice a day. Should the timetable of the buses not be suitable, you can call or write to Jose from Sayalonga local taxi as I did.
A good yoga teacher should ideally be someone who inspires you to practice yoga as it truly is, that is, as an art to help guide you to becoming healthier and more peaceful. He or she should also be someone who guides you to improve yourself as a human being. Practicing yoga is all about bringing peace to yourself and the teacher’s guidance should encourage this in you.
A wise approach to yoga relies on the skillful choice of practices from the many thousands of tools of Hatha Yoga. This means that your choice of asana and other yogic methods should depend on your own personal healing aims, taking into account your personality, temperament and any chronic health conditions. There is no better way to start than with a professional Ayurvedic diagnosis at a healing center devoted to the union of yoga and Ayurveda.
We all have moments in our life when things seem to be going great and then, out of nowhere, we are struck with an illness, heartache, or some other change in our life. And no matter how prepared we thought we were this sends us into a funk, a depression, an unwell state of mind. When this happens to me, my first instinct is to curl up in a ball and go over and over again how unfair this is for me. But this doesn’t help me. It doesn’t make me feel better. And I bet it wouldn’t make you feel better either. So what to do when you need to detox your body, mind, and soul?
As the spread of Indian wellbeing knowledge continues to migrate around the world, we stand on the brink of a revolution in health. Ayurveda, India’s ancient science of holistic health care, is tipped by industry experts to be the wellbeing phenomenon of 2014. An extensive field of knowledge devoted to personalized care according to your individual Ayurvedic dosha type, Ayurveda opens the door to a new level of depth in your yoga practice.
A few weeks ago, I needed a break from my usual routine in Monaco. Although I love my practice in Nice Bikram Yoga, I wanted a holiday. Somewhere I could relax with open space and of course the beach. Where could I go that was not too far away yet had Bikram yoga on a daily basis?
If you want to know first-hand what it feels like to be on a yoga retreat, well, wait no further! Earlier this year, Begoña González Galarza went on a week of Hatha yoga retreat with Yoga Paros, a yoga studio located in Greece. She was more than happy to share her thoughts with BookYogaRetreats.
Although Yoga has been around for thousands of years, it is currently more than ever sought out for its purposes of health, fitness, beauty, and spirituality. We’ve all heard about the many “trends” out there that will guarantee a happier and skinnier self, but can yoga really do the magic? Maggie Gori had a chance to interview Cat Haayen, who has been pioneering YOGathletA, a method of teaching that has proven to be as holistic as it is strengthening. What is YOGathletA, though? How does it help to benefit your mind and soul, besides your physique? Here's our short interview with Cat Haayen.
I was half way through a three-month trip across Europe and my intention to stay longer in fewer places had not quite gone to plan. Instead, curiosity kept getting the better of me and I was moving around a lot more than I originally intended. Whilst I love the freedom of being able to do this, it was exhausting. I decided that a full week of relaxation at a yoga retreat would force me to stay in one place for a week and give me time to properly rest and recharge. I also decided that the south of France would be the perfect setting for it. After a quick search online, I found a retreat at Domaine de La Grausse in Clermont, a small village located at the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. I was a little hesitant because I know how varied yoga teachers can be, in both their practice and overall approach, but after reading a few of the reviews and a quick phone chat with Dagmar and Mike who run Yoga France, I decided it was a risk worth taking.
Traveling for some people is just a passing of time. For some, traveling gives them more clarity about life and the life they choose. But in Shari Hochberg's case, it turns her into a story teller. In her book, "I Got Laid Off, Traveled, and Wrote This Story", not only that Shari wrote her own funny, embarrasing, and personal stories, but she also made us see some interesting sides of hers; not a typical yogi and an honestly hillarious story teller. This gorgeous yogi who founded Sole Yoga Holidays shared with us her stories about her book, yoga, and, of course, about her one and only, "The Vagina Whisperer". Here’s our little interview with her.
Most yogis (even the most experienced ones) have a difficult time with camel pose. Understandably so, Ustrasana is a very intense deep back bend. A recent survey indicated that the most common word used to describe camel was "emotional". That is because camel pose opens up the entire front side of our bodies and our heart chakra which is associated with our emotions. When done correctly, the benefits are amazing for our bodies. Focusing on the benefits and getting into the pose correctly will allow us to actually enjoy it. After four years of practice, I actually look forward to camel and no longer fear it! But be careful, beginners are cautioned to practice with instructors and hold the pose for no longer than 20 seconds.
As the sun slowly rose, birds chanted and the pink sky emanated everywhere. Surrounded by the majestic mountains of southern Andalucia in Spain, we were in Paradise. Yes, an oasis of natural wonders, charm and tranquility in Casa de Laila, a Yoga Glamping; glamourous camping spot nestled the hillside of Alhaurín el Grande.
Diabetes has become one of the major health problems all across the globe, especially among adults with sedentary life styles. As diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent every day, patients are increasingly trying to find a cure among various lines of alternative and complementary therapy. Recent research has examined the influence of yoga on diabetes and its complications. Despite the fact that researchers failed to prove that yoga can completely cure diabetes, they concluded that practicing yoga regularly can lead to better control of blood glucose levels which would reduce the complications of diabetes.
Yoga is so much more than merely a fitness regimen; its practice is all about soothing mind and body through a unique set of physical poses and breathing exercises and meditative practices. Researchers have recently discovered that Yoga can be effective in treating depression via boosting the levels of a specific chemical substance in our brains, known as GABA, which is responsible for promoting a sense of calmness and relaxation within our minds and bodies. Scientists have discovered that GABA levels are higher in the brains of those who practice Yoga regularly, when compared to others who practice various forms of strenuous physical exercise such as jogging or running.
A regular yoga and meditation practice has been proven to have numerous benefits to health. But other than the every day physical and mental improvements, we can experience the benefits through its practice, like better concentration and increased flexibility. Yoga can also be of benefit to those who suffer from more serious health issues. Ailments like clinical depression, anxiety attacks, high blood pressure and even obesity all have proven to improve through the therapeutic application of specific Yoga postures, also known as “Yoga Therapy”. In our busy modern day society, the main thing affecting our health and wellbeing in one way or another is stress. High stress levels can cause insomnia, overstimulation of the nervous system, agitation, irregular menstrual cycles and feelings of depression and anxiety, amongst other things.
If you live and practice in NYC, you are no stranger to the fact that most yoga studios will charge an arm and a leg to get your "Namaste" on. The average going rate per class is $25, depending on the membership selection. Some hot yoga studios have a higher rate per class. The rate does not normally include a matt, towel, or water. Which means you could end up spending anywhere from $28 - $40 per class! What to do then? Here's some suggestions...
Up until a few hundred years ago, our ancestors lived in direct contact with the Earth's surface. They walked barefoot upon the ground, slept close to the earth, or perhaps were separated only by the thinnest of animal skins and plant based bedding materials. Our ancestors were constantly grounded, and lived in intimate contact with the earth. In China, the ancient Daoist yogis intuitively felt that the earth possessed energy, called earth chi. In many places the chi was strong; near flowing water, near ocean beaches, in the rocks… and it was easily absorbed through the soles of our feet. Today, we have adopted a very different lifestyle from our ancient forbearers; we wear shoes with rubber soles and sleep in beds and houses that are insulated from the ground. We also experience diseases and maladies that were very rare for our ancestors. Is there a correlation? Could cutting ourselves off from the surface of our planet somehow be a cause or a contributor to many of our modern ailments? If there is such a thing as earth chi, are we chronically deficient?
We would like to share our story about Iris who creates beautiful yoga bags. We think her products are cool and we love to share it with all of you out there who are looking for functional and well-designed yoga products. BLooM Yoga Bags are handmade in the European Union. The bags can conveniently carry your yoga mat, cell phone, light clothing, and water bottle. Adjustable straps, long zippers, and great flower designs are practical and so beautiful, you can carry these yoga bags anywhere. We are feeling inspired by the designs!
Yoga travel. Which yogi despise the idea of having a retreat in a far faraway land while having some fun? Many people would love the idea of having yoga retreats in an exotic place like Costa Rica or Bali. But travelling can also mean a lot of stress; long hours of flight, jet lag and not enough of sleep, problems with the flight, and not to mention a culture gap. Before you get discouraged by the idea of going on a yoga retreat far from home, it is better to read the following tips.
You might think that meditation is only for religious people. But that’s not true. Meditation, as well as yoga meditation retreats could be for everyone. For those who are new to meditation, let's start with breaking some of the myths about meditation. First of all, you don't have to be religious to meditate. Treat meditation as a relaxation technique, very much like getting a massage for your mind. Also, meditation doesn't require changing your diet, becoming celibate, living in ashrams, or seeking a guru. Although you're free to do so, but let's try to keep it simple here. Lastly, don't think that you need to sit there for hours! Attempting an hour long meditation may trigger boredom and frustration. It's better to start with shorter sessions.
Today, more people started to realize that combining yoga and healthy diet would have even more powerful effects to the body. One of the diets that yogis should try is the raw food diet. Raw food diet is a type of diet where you eat food that are not cooked or heated over than 40 degree Celcius or 140 degree Fahrenheit. Shocking for many people, but when you know how to process raw ingredients, you can create a healthy and delicious food on your plate. Can you imagine having a non-cooked Crepe to start up your day? Not quite sure how to start it? Enjoy creating this amazing dish with me.
Quite a few people have asked me how I found the Tribe Yoga Teacher Training and if I would recommend the course and the venue. Now there’s a lot to take into consideration when choosing a teacher training course so I thought I'd write the post that I would have like to have read when choosing the right training. If any of you other Tribe students should come across this post please do comment with your opinions.
There are many places you can choose for a yoga retreat. If you’re looking for something spiritual, you might be interested in India or Peru. If you’re looking for a true getaway, you’ll probably want to go somewhere deep in the jungle of South or Central America. But, if you’re looking for great yoga practice and a perfect holiday-- you will want to go to the beach. Here is BookYogaRetreats’ picks of the top 6 most popular destinations for a yoga retreat near the beach.
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