Retreat of the week – well Yoga Teacher Training actually!

Traditional Sivananda style Teacher Training 

Dates: April 1st – 12th and June 15th – 26th

Join Spirit Body Yoga for an Ashram-style community residential teacher training. This course offers plenty of personal attention, support and encouragement to build confidence and and help each student experience the strength, discernment and joy that comes through yoga.

Move forward your practice at your own level of proficiency, whether you decide to become a teacher or net.

 

– A professional and experienced team of teachers (Nora Belton and Kirana Stover)

– Study of yoga philosophy and values

– The 8 limbs of classical yoga

– Introduction to yoga texts (The Yoga Sutras, Upanishads, Vedas, Bhagavad Ghita)

– Applied anatomy and phsyiology

Cost from €2000 including

  • Room and board
  • All tuition

ENQUIRE NOW

Life Yoga… from the mat to breathing the calm in the middle of life’s mayhem

Whether you are a long-practising yogi or have just begun to dip a well-placed palm or toe onto your yoga mat…  give yourself an extra (gentle, calming) challenge: bring the core focus of your practice into the often-chaotic, day-to-day reality of life.

Ahhhh the bliss of stepping into the studio or practice space.

The phone goes off.

The emails abate…  iphones and blackberries stop pinging and ringing… and that delicious space that silence creates helps to bring that inner-feeling of calm to pass even before the pranayama has begun.

Space – time – to be – to feel – to stop – to experience and to lose yourself in the guidance of your teacher, as you move from asana to asana.  Your yoga mat is your temple space and your body is your temple : indeed! Yet when you have created the space inside with your breath, you are feeling calmer, clearer, centred and balanced in body and mind, how often do you bring this experience into the midst (or should that be mist??) of your daily life?

It is said that it takes 30 days to successfully establish a new habit.  Recoding our mind – and therefore our body – with the messages that eventually enable us to take our hands off the gear stick and to enjoy the relaxed mode of auto-pilot ; so give yourself this healthy-habit challenge:  create calm in your life just ONCE each day with these simple steps:

* Stop – put your iphone/blackberry and other electronic devices to one side – ensuring they are switched off.

*  Stand or sit in a position where you can create alignment :

– plant your feet squarely on the floor and feel your connection with the earth below

or

– sitting cross-legged OR if on a chair with your legs hip-width apart and feet planted on the floor – again, feel your connection with the earth below

* visualise roots travelling down from your feet or your seat bones

* open up your palms and bring your thumb and fore-finger together

* consciously relax your shoulders, rolling them back to open up your chest

* release your neck and allow your chin to gently tip in

* bring your tongue to the top of your mouth behind your teeth

* relax your jaw

* smile and breath – inhaling the breath through your nostrils, up to the top of your head and as you exhale visualise your breathe releasing all toxins, all tension all aggggghhhhhh you may be feeling down to the earth below

* continue for 10 x cycles allowing your breath to fill you more and more

* complete by raising your hands over your head and extend your hands, fingers interlinked above your head

* release

Now – how are you feeling?

Notice the differences – and benefits – in how you are thinking and feeling – physically AND energetically.

Repeat! (just 39 days to go)

And let us know……     how when and where is your Life Yoga benefitting you most?

The Art of Contrology

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What is the Pilates Method? (Written by Ana Santos, Pilates Method teacher)

The Pilates Method is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th Century by Joseph Pilates. It is based on a set of principles and exercises engaging the mind (over 500 controlled exercises) which work the whole body in balance, coordinating the upper and lower musculature with the body’s center in order to re-align and strengthen the full body, as well as toning muscles and balancing muscular force at the joint level.

Joseph Pilates called the method The Art of Contrology, which refers to the way the method encourages the use of the mind to control the muscles. What makes the Method different from other body conditioning systems is that it takes a balanced approach so that no muscle group is overworked and the body works as an efficient, holistic system in sport and daily activity. Therefore, Pilates is a balanced blend of strength and flexibility training that improves posture, reduces stress and creates long, lean muscles without muscular bulk.

Based on proper breathing, good posture and intense concentration, the exercises are performed on a mat or with specially designed equipment and work several muscle groups simultaneously through smooth, continuous motion and with a particular concentration on strengthening and stabilizing the core or “Power House” (the abdomen, back and pelvic girdle region).

Focusing on breathing and support from deep within the abdomen, the practitioner develops a new way of standing and a more graceful way of moving “flowing motion outward from a strong center.”

As mentioned earlier, the regular practice of the Method stretches and strengthens the muscles uniformly resulting in long, sleek muscles rather than muscular bulk. In addition, by learning the proper stance and correct body alignment through the practice of Pilates, one soon feels and looks taller and leaner. Furthermore, as the focus in Pilates is on quality of movement rather than quantity, a Pilates session makes one feel invigorated rather than exhausted.

As both a rehabilitation and a wellness program, Pilates is a wonderful complement to physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy and many other therapeutic or physical fitness systems.

Pilates exercises stimulate circulation through facilitating muscular flexibility, joint range of motion and proper musculoskeletal alignment. In addition, the Method promotes new neuromuscular patterns, heightened body awareness, and more precise coordination which help prevent future re-injury and reduce – even in some cases alleviate – chronic pain altogether.

In particular, Pilates is used to rehabilitate spine problems. The method strengthens, lengthens, and balances spinal musculature, thereby aligning and decompressing injured vertebrae and helping to relieve nerve and disc pressure. This decompression also facilitates and stimulates healthy circulation to the damaged spinal tissue. Furthermore, the pelvic and spinal stabilization work also helps prepare the body for rehabilitation of other weak or damaged areas more effectively.

The effects of practising the Pilates Method start to be noticed in the short term, there is no need to spend a long time working out at the Gym. As Joseph Pilates stated:”In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in twenty sessions you will see the difference, in thirty you’ll have a whole new body.”

The Pilates Method not only will teach you that your body, taken as a whole, is the best and unique tool for being in excellent physical shape and it will change the way in which you relate to your body and face life, but also Pilates will help you to feel that true strength is in your mind.

If you wish to enjoy the multiple benefits from the Pilates Method, Ana Santos offers weekly Pilates MAT classes in small groups, private and semi-private sessions in Ibiza island. Tuition is available in both ENGLISH and SPANISH.

If you wish to get information about times and rates, please get in touch with us by e-mail at cheryl@ibizaretreats.com or by telephone on +34 648 914 706.

Ujjayi breath

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Ujjayi breathing is a breath technique employed in a variety of Hindu and Taoist Yoga practices. In relation to Hindu Yoga, it is sometimes called “the ocean breath”. Unlike some other forms of pranayama (breathing), the ujjayi breath is typically done in association with asana (postures) practice.

Ujjayi is a diaphragmatic breath, which first fills the lower belly (activating the first and second chakras), rises to the lower rib cage (the third and fourth chakras), and finally moves into the upper chest and throat. The technique is very similar to the three-part Tu-Na breathing found in Taoist Qi Gong practice.

Inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. The “ocean sound” is created by moving the glottis as air passes in and out. As the throat passage is narrowed so is the airway, the passage of air through which creates a “rushing” sound. The length and speed of the breath is controlled by the diaphragm, the strengthening of which is, in part, the purpose of ujjayi. The inhalations and exhalations are equal in duration, and are controlled in a manner that causes no distress to the practitioner.

Claimed Benefits

According to Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who taught the creators of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and others, Ujjayi Pranayama is a balancing and calming breath which increases oxygenation and builds internal body heat.

Ujjayi breathing may be used continuously throughout Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, and is frequently used in Power Yoga and Vinyasa, or Flow Yoga. This breath enables the practitioner to maintain a rhythm to their practice, take in enough oxygen, and helps build energy to maintain practice, while clearing toxins out of the bodily system. This breath is especially important during transition into and out of asanas (postures), as it helps practitioners to stay present, self-aware and grounded in the practice, which lends it a meditative quality.

Ujjayi, sometimes referred to as “cobra breathing”, is also a helpful way for the yogi or yogini to keep the vital life force, prana, circulating throughout the body rather than escaping from it. Ujjayi is said to be similar to the breathing of a new-born baby before the prana begins to flow out into the world’s attractions.

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward dog is the leader of the pack!

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So here we are, pretending we are dogs having a stretch, almost upside down, our backs feel stiff and our heels are nowhere near the floor but yet there is a certain sense of calm. The downward dog is probably a posture that even the non yogi-est yogis have heard of.

There are so many benefits to the humble dog, below is a mere taster!

Physically it:

–       Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

–       Energizes the body

–       Stretches the shoulders, spine, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands

–       Strengthens the arms and legs

–       Helps prevent osteoporosis

–       Improves digestion

–       Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue

–       Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

Phew!! And so how do you do it…

  1. Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Curl your toes under and spread your fingers out on the ground to help you feel stable and grounded through you arms.
  1. On an exhalation raise your hips upward, pushing into the floor away with your hands and pressing your heels down toward the floor, initially keeping your knees slightly bent. Take care that your weight is evenly distributed between your hands and feet. Hold this post or move on to straighten your legs, with your heels continuing to descend to the floor, so that your heels are grounded through your legs and feet as well as through your arms and hands, while your hips reach upward.
  1. Hold for 1-3 minutes – or longer of you can. End the position, by bending your knees into child’s pose and relax.

Check out our top 3 yoga retreats for July

Yoga in the Village with James DeMaria July 3rd – 8th

Garden of Light Ecological Yoga retreat July 9th – 16th

Sunset Mountain Retreat with Lena Tancredi July 8th – 15th

ENQUIRE NOW for further details.