Mindful Meditation Yoga Retreat

August 18, 2011  |  Activities, Featured, Holiday Tips, Meditation, Travel News  |  Share
Mindful Meditation Yoga Retreat

Meditation is something that has been a part of my everyday for as long as I can remember. Finding a place to meditate in London is a little bit of a challenge. Although that all changes when you get yourself out of your normal environment.

Rates of depression and anxiety are rising in the modern world. Andrew Oswald, a professor at Warwick University who studies wellbeing, recently told me that mental health indicators nearly always point down. “Things are not going completely well in western society,” he said. Proposed remedies are numerous. And one that is garnering growing attention is meditation, and mindfulness meditation in particular.

The aim is simple: to pay attention – be “mindful”. Typically, a teacher will ask you to sit upright, in an alert position. Then, they will encourage you to focus on something straightforward, like the in- and out-flow of breath. The aim is to nurture a curiosity about these sensations – not to explain them, but to know them.

It’s a way of concentrating on the here and now. It doesn’t aim directly at the dispersal of stresses and strains. In fact, it is very hard to develop the concentration necessary to follow your breath, even for a few seconds. What you see is your mind racing from this memory to that moment. But that’s the trick: to observe, and to learn to change the way you relate to your your mind. Here lies the route to better mental health.

Mindfulness is not about yogic flying. Moreover, it is not a fast track to blissful happiness. It can, in fact, be quite unsettling, as works with painful experiences, to understand them better and thereby get to the root of problems.

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Yoga Holiday Spain

July 12, 2011  |  Destinations, Featured, Meditation, Travel News  |  Share
Yoga Holiday Spain

Our Yoga Holiday was spent in the stunning mountain scenery of the Monasterio Santa Eulalia. We arrived on the Friday to a beautiful sunset and an amazing dinner of fresh seafood. The morning yoga session was set up the mountains at sunrise watching the different colours change the land. Arriving at our platform nestled in mountain range Laura taught a energising yoga session. We were surrounded by natural beauty and settled down to relaxation with the sounds of the local birds twittering away. It was a far cry from the Yoga in London studio.

We spent the day relaxing and having a wander around the local artisan market that comes to the monasterio. We tried local organic cheeses, got to try out a pottery workshop and bought some beautiful local essential oils. We then all floated to our evening session and said goodbye to the sun and another day. What an amazing area this is, I felt so inspired that I sat and drew the landscape for an hour, something I haven’t given myself the time for back in London.

That became the main theme throughout the retreat, giving yourself the time to invest in yourself as a whole. We are organising another luxury yoga break in October at the Monasterio Santa Eulalia. To book now then click here, we would love to hear from you.

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All inclusive holidays 2011

April 26, 2011  |  Activities, Destinations, Featured, Travel News  |  Share
All inclusive holidays 2011

All inclusive holidays can be eco friendly.  Yet choosing a genuinely eco-friendly escape can be complicated; from deciding how to travel, to researching the eco merits of the tour operator or hotel and how the food is sourced.

The first consideration is your choice of location, and method of transport. If you’re off to Europe, even the more distant corners, travelling by train is often a brilliant option.

If you are flying, offset CO2 emissions by paying money to an organisation such as Climate Care (www.jpmorganclimatecare.com). The money will be invested in projects supporting energy renewal schemes and reforestation.

Why not try to opt for greener hotels and B&Bs such as guesthouses and homestays. ‘The ‘eco-friendly’ label is used too easily by hotels, spas and retreats across the globe, which in reality still offer water in plastic bottles, use toxic toiletries in the bathrooms and fill the bedrooms with unnecessary electric gadgets. Most are still using chlorine in their pools and hot tubs, and fossil fuels to heat their water.

Thinking and buying local once your arrive is also crucial. Hiring local guides where possible, staying in locally run accommodation, eating in local restaurants and trading with local craftspeople. A growing number of tour operators and hotels now reinvest in the local community by employing local people and sourcing ethically produced food.

There is also the popular option of volunteering with environmental charities such as Earthwatch; devoting time to working directly with the environment is perhaps the ultimate way to holiday with a conscience. Whichever eco friendly course you decide on for your yoga holiday, it will still have a positive impact.

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Research proves we want more from our holidays

February 17, 2011  |  Featured, Travel News  |  Share
Research proves we want more from our holidays

According to the research organisation Mintel, we are starting to shun the “fly and flop” holidays and are looking for breaks that are far more fulfilling. We now want to be more active by cycling, walking and climbing. No longer are we content to slouch by the pool with a beer in close proximity, we actually want to get out there and embrace the local culture. At least a growing number of us do anyway.
And its not just physical activities that we are interested in either. Increasingly there are a growing number of tour operators offering a wide selection of self development holidays, including cooking, singing, writing, dancing, painting and yoga experiences.
We are now interested in developing our skills and broadening our horizons preferably in fascinating and inspirational places with like minded people.

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