Energise your life

Do you ever wonder why you feel energetically different at different times? If you are a practicing yogi, meditate regularly or have come in to contact with energy healing techniques like Reiki, you may already have experienced some of the sensory awareness that arises when you learn how to sense and feel your ever-vibrating system of energy.

In Chinese Medicine there are energy lines or pathways, that look like veins and travel throughout our body from the spine out to the tips of our fingers and toes. In Hinduism, Ayurveda and the yogic traditions we call these energy channels or ‘Nadis’ which branch outward from our central energy channel of the Susumna Nadi (pronounced ‘Sushumna’) which can be visualised as a bamboo pole, travelling the length of our spine, around our spine and our nervous system.

Along this Susumna Nadi, are our Chakras. These spinning vortexes of energies are complex and beautiful wheels of light, each one, when open, allowing us to experience different positive emotional and physical qualities.

The first, the root chakra, (Muladhara chakra in the ancient language of Sanskrit) is red and spirals downwards, connecting us to the earth.  This is located in the space at the base of our pelvis, between our sit bones and out public bone, and when open enables us to feel connected to the earth, grounded and secure, that our survival needs are being met.

The second, the sexual chakra, Swadhistana Chakra in Sanskrit, is orange and spirals from the front to the back of our womb space as women and the same space between the navel and the pubic bone in men. When this chakra is open, your creativity flows, you are emotionally healthy and able to connect with others emotionally. This chakra is connected to your sensuality and your ability to feel your way through life.

The third, located in our solar plexus (the soft space between the bottom of our front ribs) is called the Manipura Chakra, yellow like the sunshine – this chakra is all about being able to radiate your light, your willpower, having clarity about your life path and purpose. For many people this is one of the two key places where your inner-compass lies.

The fourth, beneath our sternum, is the Anahata, or heart chakra, and its colours are green and rose quartz pink. This is all about self-love, growth and healing. When this chakra is open you are able to give and receive in balance and to be able to live life from a place of trust, in a more relaxed way.

The fifth, our throat chakra or Vishuddha chakra, is the colour blue and when open, allows you to speak your truth and communicate with ease. When blocked you may experience a sore throat and problems of the upper chest.

The sixth, the third eye chakra, or Ajna Chakra, when open, enables consciousness, insight and intuitive awareness.

The seventh, the crown chakra or Sahasrara Chakra, is the ‘one thousand petal lotus flower’, coloured white and violet. It connects us with the universe, to our infinite potential and to our highest purpose in life.

So how can these chakras empower you in daily life? Well, everything is energy. At a sub-atomic level we are all made up of vibrating particles of energy. Hence, it is vital to have a regular practice like yoga or meditation, as a daily ritual, using breath (which carries energy – we call it ‘prana’ in yoga, vital life force energy), that can enable you, with opening movements and conscious stretching to open your energy channels, unblock and move your energy. When your chakras are open and your energy is flowing you can enjoy living life in flow too!

Would you like to explore more about this? To enjoy living life more fully? Come harness Ibiza’s magical energy to transform and empower by joining Larah, Susie and their team of energy experts on their next Get Glowing Retreat

Meditation: It’s all about headspace

Do you often feel exhausted or overwhelmed by the many stipulations of modern life? How often do you connect with your self… or is your iPhone where you find yourself spending most time connecting?

Creating headspace through meditation enables you to reconnect with your inner, more peaceful sentient self. Scientifically proven to reduce mental and physical stress symptoms (from tight shoulders to migraines), meditation boasts powerful positive healing benefits for those suffering from depression.

There are many people out there who feel they are too impatient to meditate. But why not at least give it a try? Just seven days can create a change so beautiful and beneficial that you will be compelled to explore further…

1. Keep it simple! Begin with 10-minute meditations and avoid placing and pressure in yourself to ‘do it right’. The ultimate goals of meditation may be to experience a welcome space of silence from the chattering monkey mind, to allow deeper insights to arise and to reestablish a deeper sense of connection, yet to meditate with a focus on achievement places an unnecessary mental pressure on the process. Since mental pressure is what you want to decrease, why not embrace the yogic recognition that there are many stages and types of meditation, all of which are valid when done consciously and can bring many health-enhancing, inner-peace promoting benefits?

2. Set a clear intention and just brrrreaaathe. Set your space up the night before. If possible, create a dedicated space to sit at each time you meditate, this helps create a healthy habit within your unconscious mind. Buy a candle, mat or cushion and light a candle to set a Sankalpa (soul felt intention) for your morning meditation. Then set your alarm for 10 minutes from now, so you can trust and let go. Every time the mind wanders, gently bring it back to focus on your breathing. Avoid judging yourself and simply observe thoughts and feelings as they arise without getting attached to them.

3. Create mini headspace breaks throughout your day. Business leaders are recognising the value in this. Take five minutes away from the screen, sitting calmly with your hands on your belly, focusing on your breath to massively increase your clarity and efficiency. For headspace on public transport or when driving a car, download this superb app: https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app

And to end your day? Brush your emotional teeth and release the mental charge that can get trapped in your nervous system by taking five minutes to exhale the stresses and any anxieties and repeat the morning practice of lighting a candle and focusing on your breathing. The trust in life begins to open up as your mind has less hold over you, worries and anxieties diminish and you begin to feel more inner peace as you become more centered and present!

Join Larah to explore meditation, mindfulness and visualisations on the Get Glowing, Just Stop! and Pure Yoga retreats.

Spiritual Warriors

Do you feel you are on a spiritual path? Are you a dedicated yogi? Are you practicing meditation regularly? Or are you choosing to create a life with positive intentions and a higher purpose in mind?
Since 2012, here in Ibiza, we have all felt a definite ‘awareness upgrade’ in the way we create our lives and our livelihoods. It goes beyond work-life balance, it is like we are being asked to stop compromising; to make new commitments to live our lives on purpose, with a higher life purpose, and to live consciously and compassionately, in ways that serves the greater good of mankind.
For our world to survive, now is the time, to stand up and live with integrity. Yet to be a true spiritual warrior is not about pushing your enlightened philosophies on the next man in the street, it means choosing to live the change that both your soul, and the world around you, needs you to be.
Author Paulo Coelho’s book ‘The Warrior of Light’ offers a wonderful set of guiding principles for bravely choosing a higher path that is more conscious, more peaceful, that sees you living with a holistic life ethos, yet is ultimately more powerful, as you stand up for what you know is right, cultivate the qualities of kindness (in yogic wisdom ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence is the first of the Yamas or ways of living), choose higher, kinder and more community oriented ways of thinking and acting. Think global, act local – for example invest in the work of local cottage industries, buy local honey, employ locally based therapists, eat ecologically yet locally and seasonally.
Live with positive intention! In our world and specifically here at Ibiza Retreats, as individuals, with our retreats and as an organisation, we begin every retreat, or idea in development with a ‘Sankalpa (Sanskrit) or heart-felt intention to clearly focus our thoughts, words and energies.
Where attention goes – energy flows – everything is energy. Hawaiian Huna
We are acting as warriors by facing our fears and learning how to release them by strengthening our connection with our souls. And perhaps most importantly of all, each and every one of the Ibiza Retreats team are practicing the art of being kind to ourselves, honouring our physical temples and our emotional and spiritual needs. Every day, in some way, we are personally honing techniques, yoga, meditation, breathwork, walking in nature. We each have our own ways to reconnect with the voice of spirit that resides inside each and every one of us.
This is the voice that deeply knows, the voice of your internal-guidance system. For the spiritual warrior, this connection with your inner-compass is vital for guiding your way through life.  This is also the secret to living in ‘flow’ and to enable you to live truly and freely, with an open-heart, full of trust. For this is the greatest gift of spiritual warrior-hood – moving beyond ‘caring what others think of me. Imagine this: if you stopped caring about what the rest of the world thought of you, how free would you feel? What else would this enable you to dream, to do, to create, to be?

Mother Nature knows best

How often do you take time in nature to relax and ‘just be’? If you are working in a city, or even in blissful Ibiza, spending a long time behind a laptop, or on the omnipresent iPhone, means the radiation from the screens and the over-stimulation of the senses, can send you into a heightened state of headiness, or over-exhilaration. Whether you just need to take a break from typing, or are feeling excessively tired, low or stressed – rather than popping some pills, opening a bottle or having a meltdown, try a more natural remedy this springtime to release the nervous energy and build-up of emotions, see the bigger picture again and remember what you are really here for.

Nature inspires, enriches and provides new perspectives – from cliff tops, at sunrise, or even during your lunch break in the centre of a city. As you step off the cement and onto green grass, rust red Ibiza soil, sand or into the sea, you’ll instantly feel any tightness and tension unwind downwards as you start grounding the body. Just 10 minutes can put you into a complete ‘break state’, resetting your emotional thermometer to peaceful and cool. Just do it: get away from the desk, from the house-tasks and from the ‘have tos’, re-find your self and your inner-peace amongst all-accepting Mother Nature.

To oxygenate and revitalise the whole system, consciously take 10 deep breaths of fresh, clean air. Yes – even in cities! Find a place with some trees – they are the city’s lungs, recycling carbon dioxide and producing fresh oxygen continually – and get up close and breath deeply. As you inhale deeply, through your nose specifically, you are inhaling up the ‘ida and pingala’ – two energy pathways that intertwine down to the base of your spine. As you breathe in the fresher air, your nervous system can start to relax. Even better if you’re in Ibiza, where you can walk through rosemary bushes and pine trees – drinking in the uplifting and revitalising aromatherapy in addition to fresh oxygen.

The colour green is the colour of the heart chakra, and is proven to be soothing and deeply calming. As you look around at it, observe yourself – you may feel your chest opening and expanding, your breath softening and shoulders relaxing. Notice how good it feels to look around at wider, more open spaces. Feel the way that looking around at the colour green relaxes your eyes. If walking along the beach, the blue hue of the sea is also the colour of flow and great for healing. Looking out at the horizons and the vastness of sea and sky will literally, open your mind.

Step out of the ‘have to’ head of the ‘switched on’ life you have created, and feel how much easier it is to put the many tasks and responsibilities of daily life to one side when you can see the beauty of the blossoms opening, the vibrant green fronds and leaves, and the grass beneath your feet. Let nature see you as you truly are: in your strength and vulnerability. Come ‘home’ to your real self and feel back in to who you really are… naturally.

Spring clean your body, detox your mind

How are you feeling at the end of the winter? Even if you are a regular gym goer, outdoors exercise lover or passionate yogi, chances are you have been spending the majority of time, not least because of the colder weather, inside lately. Winter time often sees us being more ‘indoors’ and ‘inwards focused’. The colder weather and longer, darker, nights encourage us to hibernate – and rightly so! Winter is the time of year for the ‘inner work’ as we say in Ibiza, and now, as the beautiful almond blossoms appear on the trees signifying the change of season, are you feeling your whole being wanting to open, expand and grow? How can you release the last of the winter blockages and step into spring with a clear focus, positive intentions and an energised, spring in your stride?

Well… It’s all about a good spring clean!
  • Physically. Work with springtime energies to do a physical detox or cleanse. There are many ways to do this, including juicing and raw foods. We love Verity Smith’s door-to-door nutritionist facilitated juice cleanses, tailored to your personal needs. Or if you are looking to retreat and detox on a deeper level, try Ilona Pantel-Ayal’s amazing holistic fasts held high on a mountain top in the beautiful Buddha House incorporating reflexology, massage, visualisations and many other supportive techniques. Otherwise, you can simply choose to lighten up your larder (and your life!) by eliminating stimulants like caffeine, good old PG Tips, sugar, wheat, dairy and all the stodgy carbs that, whilst great for winter warmth fuel, can feel heavy and unnecessary for the approaching warmer months.
  • Mentally. As you detox the body, you also create space to clear and cleanse the mind. Inevitably, stuff will come up! This ‘stuff’ could be things you may have been avoiding or things you have been seeking clarity on. Any situations in relationships, or in life, which are not clear will beckon your attention. Having a good holistic life coach or detox guide is vital to be able to reconcile and release any challenging emotions. The Just Stop! lifestyle detox retreats offer wonderful, fully-facilitated support so you can dig deep and transform any poison into medicine.
  • Energetically. When cleansing your system, you can expect to feel tired during the first couple of days. So long, slow walks in nature, gentle yoga and stretching are vital for supporting your lymphatic system to purify, calling on you to breathe more deeply and consciously. The yogic ‘pranayama’ techniques lengthen the breath, to expand the intake of new ‘prana’ or life force energy and enable deeper release of ‘apana’ or old, toxic, waste energy.
  • Spiritually. As you clear your space internally, it opens up a connection to your inner self, the deeper, truer part of you that enables you to know when you really are on your right path. This is a great time to consider your life purpose and how you are treating yourself and others in your life. Take time out to ask yourself those important questions and to connect with your potential for creating incredible projects this year.
  • Environmentally. Move through your home with some sage or palo santo, or good quality incense to intentionally clear the space in each room. Now be brave! Veto all the things in your physical environment that do not bring you feelings of peace, calm or happiness, and yes – that includes clothes! Follow the three-word rule: recycle, re-sell or retain. If there are things around you that don’t feel good to look at and are catching even a millisecond of your unconscious attention, they are potential energy drains. Get rid of them!
So what are the benefits?

You will soon notice how much clearer and lighter you feel. You will rest better, sleep better and feel stronger, calmer and more energised. Your appetite will diminish and you will be able to listen to your body more, to continue to eat and drink things that really are good and right for you and your system. Your home will become a place where you can relax and refuel and your ‘inner-world’ will also feel more peaceful as you listen to your inner guidance system more effectively. Welcome to living your life in flow!

Find more information here about Ibiza Retreats Just Stop! retreats – the perfect escape for an inner spring clean.