Posts

Yoga for daily life: Purifying Breath Techniques

The essence of yoga is really all about purification. Keeping the body pure and healthy through the physical asanas, detoxifying the mind of negative thoughts and emotions and creating space in the breath for this ‘prana’ or life force energy to flow.

Featured breathing technique

Nadi Shodhan. We introduce this gently purifying ‘pranayama’ (breath) technique to help clear out blocked energy channels in the body, which in turn calms the mind. ‘Nadi’ means subtle energy channel and ‘Shodhan’ represents cleaning and purification. This can be done anytime of the day, not just on the yoga mat – we suggest two to three times daily to really experience the benefits.

  1. Sit comfortably with your spine long and shoulders relaxed
  2. Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of the right hand between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, thumb on the right
  3. Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left
  4. Now breathe in from the left nostril, close the left nostril gently and breathe out from the right
  5. Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. This is one round – try nine
Other benefits of purifying breath techniques?

Our minds have a tendency to regret or glorify the past or get anxious about the future. This helps us to stay present. It helps harmonise the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personalities. This breath technique prepares the body and mind for meditation, so try a short meditation afterwards.

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.

Top treatment: Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage

Both a healing massage and a ceremonial ritual, from the Hawaiian philosophy of ‘Huna’ (translated roughly to ‘the secret’ or ‘the knowledge’, Lomi Lomi massage is a healing practice developed by the native Kahuna healers. In traditional trainings, massage practitioners were apprenticed from childhood and received decades of training. Mastery, it was said, could be achieved throughout a lifetime.

Here in Ibiza, our modern-day master of this ancient healing art is Shambala Wegner, passionate about her purpose and boasting a wealth of mind, body and spiritual training and experience. Shambala’s open heart and many decades of body work lay the foundations for this profound and life-enhancing treatment, and she welcomes you to let go, be nourished, deeply relaxed and pampered on her table.

Quite literally, Lomi means to rub, soothe, knead or work in and out like the paws of cat. As a receiver you can luxuriate in this deeply restorative treatment, or surrender more deeply in body, heart and mind to the ancient healing arts that flow from Shambala’s hands. Using plenty of oil, the treatment is always given with prayer and intention, plus music and song, as dancing hands and flowing strokes resonate through every cell of your being like the movements of waves, purifying, healing and releasing.

Shambala is fully receptive to your unconscious signals and your body’s need to hold on, reassuring you with her calm, loving care. Breathing with you, she inherently senses your readiness to release. Floating and serene, you are reconnected with your feminine qualities (whether you are male or female) and you can expect to leave the massage bed softer, more soothed, and with your skin feeling supple. The benefits of this unique and ancient massage ritual include improved circulation, immunity and posture; lower blood pressure, increased flexibility and healing plus an overall feeling of wellbeing and harmony that is noticeable after just one treatment.

During the Ibiza Retreats Get Glowing Retreats, Shambala is a resident therapist, resplendent in her warm and welcoming temple treatment room, filled with colourful, lush flowers. You can also experience Shambala’s Lomi Lomi massages on during the Just Stop! Retreats or by private appointment – enquire with us for more information.

Yoga for daily life: Postures to open your heart

Tightness around the chest and shoulders is often put down to the stress and tension of daily life, but it can also be the body’s natural defence against our hearts getting hurt. Heart-opening postures can help to gently open your heart through yoga – to new loves, life experiences and feelings of happiness and wellbeing.

Featured posture

Setu-Bhandu (bridge pose). As well as being a beautiful heart-opening posture, this also strengthens the spine, improves spinal flexibility and stimulates the thyroid gland. For the ultimate in restorative healing, use a block underneath your lower spine (just where the top of your buttocks start) to work with the adrenals and deeply relax the body.

  1. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet parallel
  2. Lift hips up
  3. Interlace fingers behind your back, drawing your shoulder blades together
  4. Lift the hips higher
  5. Draw the chest toward the chin
  6. Release the hands and peel the spine back to the mat
  7. Rest, allowing the knees to come together

After practicing heart-opening postures like this, you will feel lighter, brighter and more receptive to the beautiful things around you – especially to love!

Why not try Anusara yoga, which is a yoga philosophy completely dedicated to opening the heart? Make sure you focus on your breath when undertaking any posture or practice, for the breath will tell you all you need to know… when you learn to listen.

Featured retreat: Get Glowing Yoga & Energy Retreat

The Ibiza Retreats Get Glowing retreat is a delicious five-night experience with one focus – to get you glowing from the inside to the outside. We work with the body’s natural energy systems, uplifting daily yoga (and some island secrets) to send you home radiating health and energy. The retreat is suitable for all levels of yoga experience.

A typical day on retreat

09.00:  Morning yoga practice – energising vinyasa flow
10.45:  Fresh juice followed by a healthy, organic brunch in the garden
12.00 – 17.00:  Relaxation time. Enjoy further treatments and therapies by the pool, in the garden or in your room or optional beach trip
17.30:  Evening workshops such as self massage, energy healing or restorative yoga
20.00:  Delicious and healthy (but abundant!) dinner at the retreat centre

Our food philosophy is all about clean, healthy, seasonal and vegetarian cuisine – wheat-free, sugar-free and dairy-free to offer your body a gentle detox during your stay. The Get Glowing menu follows the ancient energy system of the chakras – we eat to activate each chakra day by day.

Wake up to peaceful mornings in the beautiful Ibiza countryside after star-filled nights of blissful deep sleep at Can Amonita. Feel nourished and nurtured in the peace and tranquility of the beautiful retreat centre, where the beds are comfy and each room has an en-suite, giving you all the space you need to get your glow on!

Find more information here on Get Glowing retreats.