yoga pose

Asana for October – Paschimottanasana – seated forward bend

Lengthen and strengthen hamstrings and back muscles equally whilst turning your gaze inward for this meditational, releasing, asana that is perfect for softening muscles and mind into autumns energies.

1. Sit comfortably on the earth – ideally directly on Mother Earth – yes even when cold! You can place a towel down if you wish, so that you can, literally, absorb the rebalancing negative ions up from the earth, and reharmonise your whole system energetically.

2. Send your heels gently forward, which moves your femurs nicely back into your hip sockets

3. Note: !! if you have tight hamstrings feel free to bend your knees gently – or place a rolled towel beneath your knees ( otherwise this places strain on your lumbar spine and cause your upper back to arch and compress the intervertebral discs ).

– the aim of this pose is to first LENGTHEN your spine and then your hamstrings so: press down through the base of your legs, inhale into your diaphragm fully and deeply to expand your ribs, heart and chest space

– now imagine you are shining a light forward from your heart and slide your shoulder blades back and down towards each other

– exhale your heart forward towards and beyond your toes – yet without over arching your upper back – and draw your navel to your spine to gently press out old stale air and energy ready for recycling

– inhale for 4 counts to lift your heart and gaze forward

– exhale for 6 counts and slowly soften your jaw and your mind as you turn your gaze inwards to the tip of your nose

– FEEL into the release through your muscles as you exhale long, slow and deep

– imagine that each breath is a wave which your body is riding – upwards and over and down to release

Repeat 5 – 10 breaths

Observe your mind : is it willing you to go deeper, further, faster, or can your inward focus on your breathing waves and maybe the image of the wave, enable you to be present and at one with where you are – from moment to moment.

yoga charity

The Yoga Mandala Project

As Ibiza Retreats is now into its 10th Anniversary year, we are celebrating by selecting some wonderful, unique and very important charities that we will be supporting for the next part of our journey as our business continues to grow.

The first of our chosen charities that we would like to tell you about is the Yoga Mandala Project. This wonderful charity is a non-profit organisation that provides psycho-social support and wellness through the physical and mental health benefits of Yoga and TRE (Trauma Release Exercise) to those displaced or affected by war and conflict. They do this by “helping to build emotional resilience, providing simple self-care through yoga to relieve trauma related conditions, such as stress, tension, anxiety and depression.”

Their purpose is of bringing yoga into the lives of people in desperate situations, refugees in war-torn countries, and also those that are known as ‘urban refugees’ who may not have been displaced but are living in catastrophic conditions in war zones or areas previously destroyed by war.

They do this by providing specialist Trauma Informed Yoga training to yoga teachers, to equip them with the very unique skills to approach from both a yogic perspective and from an understanding of trauma sensitive practice and trauma release exercise.

In their own words,

“Supporting people with trauma is a core benefit of the practice and wisdom of Yoga.

Dr Bessel van der Kolk, trauma and bodywork expert, says ”PTSD is a disease of not being able to be present”

This is very much on a physiological level- dissociation and inappropriate activation of fight or flight response. The body and its responses become ‘stuck’ in the past experience, even when the mind seems to have left that experience behind. Yoga can help people to relearn to inhabit their bodies. “befriending ones bodily sensations to overcome the imprints of trauma” (David Emerson- Trauma center Boston), as well as rooting us firmly in the physical experience of the present moment.”

Please read more about them on their inspiring website  and follow them on Facebook to see their work in action.

Breathing is the new meditation

Top 3 Desk Stretches