It’s January – How are you doing?

By Susie Howell – Co-Director of Ibiza Retreats.

December is such an intense month, isn’t it? The social and family plans, the food shopping, the present buying and possibly some expensive travel arrangements to visit relatives thrown into the mix mean that stress levels are already understandably high before we even get to the build up to the end of the year –

It can feel super ‘strong’ on our nervous systems & on our emotions…

And then the expectation is that when the clock strikes midnight on the 31st of December, heralding the start of a New Year, we will wake up full of enthusiasm, clarity, inspiration and ideas and we jump out of bed in order to begin this exciting process of complete transformation!

Ok, so the reality is more often than not a little different, to say the least!

Many of us feel really exhausted after the over-indulgences of the festive period – be it food, alcohol, sugar, family and of course the pressure that we put on ourselves… it can mean January the 1st might leave you feeling a little flat and less than fabulous, with a definite air of uncertainty on how to make a change in your life. It can feel like an onslaught of all the things you ‘should’ be doing to go into this new year as a ‘better’ version of yourself, and this can be incredibly overwhelming.

I actually dislike the whole concept of New Year’s resolutions, as I feel that they make us look at what we think we need to improve about ourselves. This intrinsically means we are not accepting ourselves as we are and are looking to ‘fix’ things about ourselves that are not good enough.

I prefer a slightly adjusted version of the word ‘resolution’ and I thing it sounds so much more kind to say “I resolve.”

Instead of making a resolution to do, eat, behave differently, ‘to resolve’ is like a kind promise to yourself.

For example;

  • I resolve to take myself on a walk outside, or in nature as much as possible.
  • I resolve to treat myself kindly and give myself a little time each day.
  • I resolve to not push myself too hard and to listen to what my soul really needs.
  • I resolve to regularly nourish myself with good, healthy food.

Rather than start the New Year off with a whole bunch of stuff you say you ‘shouldn’t be doing’ each day, try resolving to bring some wonderful practices into your life that will make you feel enriched and alive, instead of pressured and deprived.

Here are some of my personal & really practical tips for easing into 2019 and for creating the smoothest start possible. These tips are not about punishment – they are about reward. So you ended up having a glass of wine on January 3rd – who cares? Every day is a new beginning. You have not failed, you are human and you are doing your best.

 

  • Resolve to spend more time coming back to yourself and taking a moment to focus on your breath. It’s ok to start at the next breath – each breath is a new beginning, a fresh start. So never feel like you’ve missed the boat. Just take a deep breath and…start again
  • Resolve to nurture yourself by drinking plenty of water. It’s easier to do this in the summer when we feel parched more often, but resolve to hydrate your body a little more every day. Clear your system from the inside-out and clean your internal space. It’s funny how once you begin the process of self –care with tiny steps, each step feels that much easier. So start small – from tiny acorns the tallest oak trees grow,
  • Resolve to take a few minutes each morning, before you do anything else, to connect to your breath. To ground yourself and root yourself . Set a very simple intention for the day ahead – rather than a very long list of unrealistic goals. Be specific! Take one day at a time but have an overall goal of wellness and self-care in your head. One daily task achieved is better than a long list of uncompleted aspirations.
  • Resolve to be kinder and more forgiving to yourself. Every day, every hour, every minute, every breath is a new start. Rather than tie yourself to a day on the calendar  – that will come around again soon enough – try looking at each moment in life as a new beginning.

 

We’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to join us on one of our incredible healing and transformational retreats.

 Our soulful retreats offer peace, relaxation but plenty of fun with inspiring holistic support alongside practical techniques to learn and take away with you, to incorporate into your day-to- day life. We offer a unique blend of yoga, mindfulness, life-coaching, holistic wellness workshops and tailor-made strategies for on-going self-care.

If you need to change something in your life, then along with the little things, take a really positive step and start planning your own Self Care for 2019.

If you feel you would like to dive deep, join us on one of our Harmonise or Nourish retreats – where your experience is very held and you are guided through the process.

Or if you like the yoga practice to do the work for you, as you trust in the magical process which takes place on the mat , try our GLOW retreat.

If you book before the end of January, then we will offer you a 10% discount and the choice of either an Indian Head Massage or Reflexology treatment, to add to your complimentary diagnostic, holistic full body massage. 

Remember – as we forge forwards into 2019, Kindness is Key – say something lovely to yourself every day.

I hope we will see you on the mat here at Ibiza Retreats soon!

Namaste

Susie x

 

Fixing Energetic leaks and drains in your life

QUANTUM PLUMBING for mind-body and heart! How to clear, unblock and strengthen against those energy leaks and drains!

 

How many times have you said to yourself – or to others – “I feel drained..” ?

As we’re staring out with some plumbing vocabulary, we may as well continue!

Do you ever feel ‘blocked’, physically or emotionally ‘drained’, or that things aren’t flowing as easily as they should?

 

We want to enable you, as a wonderful human being, made up of cells than are more than 80% water, to enjoy a LIFE FLOW that feels GOOD. And as at the center of every cell, you are simply vibrating particles of energy….. remember: where attention goes energy flows so here is a 3 step “quantum plumbing guide” to be able to flush out negative energies, get the flow going again in ‘stagnant’ times, whilst taking the time to become aware of repeating blockages so that you can make the deeper, long-lasting life-shifts.

 

In practical emotional-anatomical terms…. Every emotion affects a certain organ, anxiety affects the kidneys; the kidneys process the urine…. so when your thoughts are softly flowing and your mind feels bright and clear, toxins can literally, pass out through your pee freely!

 

If you are feeling stuck or stagnating, constipation can occur… if you feel overwhelmed and unable to digest life… that you are giving out too much to too many, indigestion and IBS may be the result. Everything is connected…

 

Ok, so we are going to call this exercise the ‘Quantum Plumbing Progamme’ – to enable toxins to pass freely out of your system, to block energy leakages at a sub-cellular level, to prevent further drains on your emotional and physical resources and to ensure you have everything flowing as it should….

 

Lets start with some Svadvaya (self-enquiry)

 

  1. What (or who) is blocking your life-flow at the moment?

 

  1. What (or who) is draining your energy?

 

  1. What do you need to choose to do differently?

(in order to take your power back, let life flow…. and prevent the “leaks” from happening again)

 

PLUMBING LESSON 1 – BLOCKAGES

When we have energetic blockages in our lives, we can never perform at our full capacity. We may think that we are ok, but there are hidden obstacles to our growth and to our ‘free-flowing’ channels of energy and creativity.

 

* Is it a trigger for something from your past that has come up to invite more learning and is ready for you to release? (especially situations that incite anger/fear/spins/frustrations)

 

* Is it a pain in the neck? Too much on your shoulders that is restricting your breathing?

 

* Is there a frog in your throat or a current ‘hairball’ that is making you cough and choke because you need to speak your truth and communicate more easily?

 

* Is it a tightening of our physical resources that is causing lower back pain and is preventing you from looking beyond our current situation?

 

These are all areas that we must investigate, so be honest with yourself, reflect, practice the yogic Svadvaya of self-enquiry to look quietly and clearly within.

 

PLUMBING LESSON 2 – DRAINS / DRAINAGES – how to mend the leaks!

 

This is an important one; to preserve and empower your energetic flow – WATCH OUT FOR LEAKS AND DRAINS !

 

* AVOID Being “always on” – DIGITAL (OVER) AVAILABILITY is the No1 energy-exhauster at every level.

 

* BE AWARE OF TOXIC SOCIAL SETTINGS and FALSE FRIENDS – Detox those who make you feel bad/guilty/judged. Choose to feel compassion for them that they are stuck in those patterns – avoid trying to change them (as you will just get sucked in)   Instead:

 

* CHOOSE RADIATOR RELATIONSHIPS – with those who are on the same level, whose company is warming and empowering, who you can truly be yourself with, who respect your needs and your life path.

 

* BE AWARE of the VAMPIRES – the lighter you become, the more brightly you shine, the more Vampires may want to enjoy your delicious positive energy! Make a list of those people who only turn up in your life when you have something they want and be sure to protect yourself intentionally and energetically (with a bubble of light) before answering the phone/ Whatsapp message / email / door!

 

* EMBRACE THE POWER OF NO! Remember: Saying “NO” from your heart, to others means Saying “YES” to you!

 

PLUMBING LESSON 3 – GETTING YOUR LIFE INTO A ‘FLOWING STATE.’

 

* Create a DAILY RITUAL that enables you to feel centred, calm and connected (to your inner-guidance system).

 

* PRACTICE SELF-CARE for a FULL CUP (that effortlessly overflows) – choose organic, nourishing foods and drink plenty of water. Take daily exercise and time in nature (or in a park) as frequently as you can. Get REST and plenty of it! As a priority including a healthy sleep-routine to get at least 2 hours in before midnight.

 

* LEARN to LISTEN TO YOUR NEEDS, your TRUTHS and know that by filling yourself up fully first, you have MORE than enough energy, love and time to give to those you love around you.

 

* JOURNAL your energy levels throughout the month and your lunar cycle (women) and by the cycle of the moon (men). Get to know when you feel strongest / most energetic /calmest /most emotional / tired. Begin to sculpt your life responsibilities / work / home / chidren/ social AROUND the times in your cycle that enable you to be at your energetic best for them.   Use the dark-moon times for reflection and quiet rest and rejuvenation.

 

* Take responsibility for your ENERGY levels every day. Be prepared to change appointments, go slower, book in an extra massage or yoga session to OPTIMISE your life state so that you can remain strong and in your centre. When you are centred and strong and balanced the rest of the life recognises this and flows around you too!

 

* STRENGTHEN YOUR ENERGETIC BOUNDARIES – use your intention and visualise a protective bubble before you walk out of the door.   Notice what colour works for you and wear this also as a bracelet or amulet.

 

KNOW that you are WORTHY and deserve to feel calm, balanced and whole. That life CAN flow better when you go more slowly and that most of the time….

Doing LESS really will bring you more.

 

 

 

 

Practice Self Love & Self Care this Valentines Day

By Larah Davis – Founder & Co-Director of Ibiza Retreats

“Be gentle with yourself”

In our society that celebrates high achievers, so many of us – and especially women – have pushed ourselves to and beyond our limits, and out of balance with our own natural rhythms and cycles that invite us to be gentle with ourselves at certain times of the lunar month – and year.

So the greatest gift of self love – that I practice every day and as often as I can remember, is to feel in, to tune onwards to my inner sense of self and to keep asking myself:

Does this feel like a pleasure? Or a pressure?

Your body, with its innate intelligence is ALWAYS channelling your highest good, so to feel inward is the key…. first thing in the morning, before you open your emails or turn on your phone… before you respond and say “yes” automatically…

Remember: 
“You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
Max Ehrmann

So this Valentine’s day – be compassionate when you feel you should be doing more or better, be kind to yourself about the dropped balls, less-than calm moments, mistakes in judgement – arguments and anger, anxieties and fears.

You deserve to honour, love and en JOY yourself – you deserve to be soft as well as strong, vulnerable and in need of support as well as the high-flying leader – and you are all of these things – it is what makes you YOU and you human ( or woman ).

As a mother of now two wonderful young beings, chaos often reigns in the most colourful and challenging ways!

Ibiza Retreats was my first baby and the passion that I felt for growing this organisation, for our purpose in serving the wellness of our clients, in Ibiza, in many magical ways, was hard to surpass.

It has taken TWO bright and shining little angels, to call me UP to the next level of self-care because, unless I nourish myself and my needs first, I simply don’t have enough patience and energy to give them the wonderful life experience that they deserve.

And now, on returning more fully into Ibiza Retreats this year, as a retreat leader, teacher, coach and yoga therapist, (as well as the business development and management that is all part of this great journey) there are more opportunities than ever, into which I can pour my energy.  And ALL of this, has been my joyful creation – yet, unless carefully managed, internally and externally, it can also become overwhelming.

So to maintain my sense of self, my connect to source, spirit and inner-self – as well as a mother’s heightened sense of awareness of all that is happening to my children, our clients and our team….  practicing kindness and compassion towards myself is the HEART-stone, of my self-practice:

–  In my morning barefoot walk to ground myself and connect to Mother Earth’s replenishing energies…  amidst the almond trees (alone – and complete with a steaming cup of ginger, turmeric tea)

–  In my conscious breathing in the fresh morning air – where I breathe into my heart to invite the kindness and compassion in (and exhale out from my belly, to release all self-judgement and self-criticism)

–  In my morning meditations where I create a sense of inner space – and evening legs-up-the-wall kidney & adrenal loving Viparita Karani rejuvenation

–  In the way I practice my yoga – accepting that right now, less = more – yin, therapeutic, soft yet deep, restorative and nurturing – whenever I can, throughout the day, without being overly disciplined

–  In the way I mindfully eat enough of the “treat” dark chocolate with nuts, bio curries and sumptuous vegan roasts to feel like I am TREATING myself on a daily basis

My self-care practice has expanded in many different ways  – and I also plan time into my week which is PURELY for doing what I LOVE (riding my horse!) and for what truly fills me up (juices and breakfasts and singing circles with sisters).

Patanjali himself, in the original yoga sutras, talks about finding your source of joy and happiness, which enables you to access this Anandamaya Kosha level of existence.

Never has this been more important, because by being KIND to myself, rather than PUSHING myself to keep going, by surrendering to the mess and the chaos which is PART of every parent’s hood, I am letting go of the egoic need to control and constantly “succeed”. Through this, compassion flows from my heart to my children, to my husband, to our Ibiza Retreats team, clients, friends and the world around us.

Yet my greatest practice of self-love and self-care has to be practicing self-acceptance, when I feel tired and reactive, lose my patience or feel low. Those are the times when it is so much easier to self-critique – yet by observing these emotional highs and lows, and looking behind them to their root causes, I can see where I have been over-doing things, get to know my “tipping points” and come back again to where and when pleasure tipped into pressure…. and that, I believe is the root of all loving self-caring.

And as I keep filling my CUP with kindness, compassion and JOYFUL choices, it keeps flowing over to the world around me.

Wishing you all SO MUCH LOVE, this Valentine’s Day!

Larah x

Transform Resolutions into heart-felt Sankalpas…

 to set yourself up for healthy habits that you can grow and sustain

 

Happy January to you all!

How is the first month of 2018 shaping up for you?

Did you make New Year’s Resolutions? Have you stuck to them? Or have you found that your genuine, considered and focussed plans for a healthier, cleaner, more productive ‘new you’ have already fallen by the wayside?

If you haven’t faltered and you are still going strong and sticking determinedly to your goals, then I send my heart-felt congratulations to you. Keep going! You’re doing great!

However, if you have stumbled, lost your way or even deliberately thrown in the towel under the indefinable pressure of the long, dark month of January, then I urge you not to lose heart –

Here are 3 ways to keep the faith and your healthier, happier, habits for 2015 alive!

You can re-set or ‘re-frame’ your New Year’s resolutions simply by looking at them in a different way.

(1) Be REALISTIC about the size and feasibility

Take a look at how ‘New Year’s resolutions are defined; if you look up the term ‘New Year’s Resolution’ in the dictionary – or online – you will undoubtedly see a variation of this;

“ A firm decision made on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to do, or refrain from doing, something over the course of the coming year.”

That’s quite a tall order, isn’t it? Committing to ‘do or refrain from doing’ something over the course of a whole year?

So, on December 31st we traditionally make decisions on how we are going to live our lives, for the rest of the year, without any knowledge of what the coming months have in store for us?

(2) Rather than deny – focus on the “feel-good” factor

The concept of New Year’s resolutions are invariably tied up with a plan to deny ourselves something, (chocolate, wine, coffee) or to force ourselves to do something (daily 30 minute yoga practice, meditating instead of watching Netflix) which instantly bind us to either ‘Ego-led’ behavioural patterns when we achieve another day of sticking to our resolution, or the plummeting feeling of disappointment if we trip up on our pre-defined path of resolve.

Instead – focus on the good feelings that these new year’s resolutions are going to bring!

(3) Create a SANKALPA – a heart-felt – feel good intention

Yogapedia.com brilliantly describe a Sankalpa like this….

“Unlike a goal, which is a personal need to accomplish something, the concept of sankalpa turns inward to connect with the heart’s highest intention. A goal can be thought of as an individual’s will, while the sankalpa is the universal will. A sankalpa is a positive declaration or affirmation, such as “peace is my true nature,” rather than the ego-driven “I want peace in my life.”

Doesn’t that sound more realistic, achievable and authentic?

The beauty of setting a daily Sankalpa is that you are not binding yourself to a year of commitment, of ego-led piety or dissolute failure, but instead you are making a daily intention.

For example;

  • Today I will be kind to myself and everyone I meet
  • Today I will get outside and walk in nature
  • Today I will be mindful of the fuel I put in my body
  • Today I will nourish my body with exercise
  • Today I will begin to read that lovely book I have been meaning to start!

You can re-set and re-frame your Sankalpa every day, according to your life, your commitments and your ‘inner voice’ that lets you really know how much you can manage in one day.

Yogic philosophy is very much grounded in living in the present moment. So why should we bind ourselves to rigid, external instructions of how to live each day throughout an entire year!

Remember the old saying of ‘Take Each Day As it Comes’ and if today didn’t go as planned, or was disappointing or frustrating in some way, don’t worry; we have another day tomorrow to set our very best intentions all over again.

Live ‘in the moment’ and be the most authentic, inspired, creative and optimistic version of yourself TODAY!

 

what is yoga therapy

What is Yoga Therapy and who does it benefit?

What is Yoga Therapy?

Empowering you with the self-knowledge and the “tools and techniques” to heal yourself, yoga therapy is fast-emerging as a leading therapeutic process that bridges the gap between complementary natural health-care and modern western medicine. Treating the mind, body, energetic body and spirit, it is both an art and a science that gives you the keys to your own self-healing.  Utilising ancient yogic models combined with an in-depth anatomical and physiological assessment, grounded in medical knowledge, the therapist invites the client to experientially create inspiring personalised home-practice programs that treat both the immediate pain/presenting symptoms and through this, enable a profound and insightful self-exploration that raises awareness of the links between the mental, physical and energetic symptoms and the root causes embedded in emotional blockages and lifestyle patterns in a liberating journey of self-discovery.

Incorporating therapeutic asana (postures), pranayama (breathwork), meditations and guided visualisations) and other yogic tools to deeply relax over-stimulated minds and nervous systems such as yoga nidra (yogic sleep) and restorative yoga,  the, the 1:1 sessions are grounded firmly in a clinically standardised, yet compassionate process which is goal-oriented and tailored to each individual’s lifestyle needs. So if 10 minutes in the morning is what works for you – your therapist will give you a written practice for you to do at your optimum time each day.  

Imagine that your yoga therapist is your own private taxi driver, yet you have the keys and can dictate how fast or slow you want to go. New generations of highly trained yoga therapists are graduating annually to raise the caliber of professional care. They are dedicated to accompanying you along YOUR preferred path of self-discovery, at every level of body, mind, spirit and heart:

On a physical level (in yogic terms: the Anamaya Kosha)

Your therapist aims to empower you to build confidence through conscious breath-led movements so that you feel safe and grounded in your body, and able to incrementally physical strength, enhance your flexibility, invite more spaciousness as needed.  As you develop trust in your own resources, you are able to dive deeper to the emotional issues and hidden causes that lie beneath the physical pain…. yet only when you are mentally ready to do so.  

On a mental level (in yogic terms: the Manomaya Kosha)

Your Yoga Therapist invites you to lead inner-exploration so that traumas can be revealed and delicate emotional matters can be gently explored only when you feel ready.  They seek to create a safe, non-judgmental space for you to observe the thought patterns and belief systems running through your mind and dictating your habitual actions and behaviours which can contribute to postural problems and/or energetic blockages.  Proven techniques, such as mindfulness meditation and guided visualisations, mantras and affirmations enable you to centre and calm.

On an energetic level (in yogic terms: the Pranamaya Kosha)

By connecting you to your breath, on which rides the “prana” (life force energy) you connect more deeply to your body and can create spaciousness, release muscular tension, which in turn frees the mental tension whilst optimizing the energetic pathways through asana (postures) and vinyasa (breath-synergised movement) sequences.

On an intuitive level (in yogic terms: the Vijnyanamaya Kosha)

Through body, mind, breath awareness, and awareness arise as you begin to connect to your “inner-compass”, intuition, or inner-guidance system resides.

All so you can feel good…. Naturally! In yogic terms: the Anandamaya Kosha is the bliss key that is turned on when you feel turned by experiences that uplift and inspire you, physically, emotionally or energetically.   Yoga therapy invites you to recognise what genuinely enables you to feel GOOD in life, to make the life choices, from work, to how you sit when you are driving, that optimize your health, happiness and holistic wellbeing.

Beginning with an in-depth health questionnaire, the first session begins with assessing postural issues (such as stiff necks and frozen shoulders from too much time at the lap-top or on the mobile phone), continues with reviewing breathing patterns that reveal energetic and emotional blockages.  All whilst encouraging you, as the client, to self-observe so that you can become aware of “links” between mental, physical and emotional issues, and to feedback, throughout your journey together, on what triggers pain and discomfort, both on the mat and in daily life so that you can make healing choices that enable you to experience more positive states of rest, rejuvenation and release.

 

Yoga Therapy is good for you if you:

Are anxious, highly stressed, suffer from panic attacks, are depressed or overwhelmed and are seeking holistic solutions to create more balance, calm and a lasting sense of control in your life.

Have a functional illness such as fibromyalgia, auto-immune related conditions, IBS, Fertility concerns, and have been to many different specialists without being able to diagnose or find proper treatment for your condition

Have asthma or breathing difficulties

Are in recovery from Cancer or other long-term illnesses

Want to replace “props” such as caffeine, painkillers, sugar, alcohol with proven body-mind relaxation and energy rejuvenation techniques

Have been experiencing recurring pain in your body ie: lower-back or sciatica, without being able to find the right treatment.

Feel regularly exhausted and lack the energy to embrace exercise or have physical ailments, chronic conditions or injuries that prevent you from joining group / yoga classes.

Wish to create a carefully facilitated bridge from dependency on prescription drugs ie: anti-depressants

Are ready to commit to a program of self-led practice, designed to suit your lifestyle, and can embrace your innate ability to heal yourself

 Yoga therapy is goal oriented, working with your short and long term Sankalpa (intentions) and goals, which are reviewed at each session to focus on the present needs. 1 session offers a powerful springboard into new levels of self-awareness, yet with 3 – 5 weekly / bi-weekly sessions to shape and sculpt your practice to complement and enhance your life-style and bring you the benefits you seek.