Learn to love yourself… this Valentine’s season

Do you find it far easier to give time and energy to others, than you do to investing in yourself?

As corny as it may sound, learning to love yourself IS the key to health and happiness.  Yet why do you and I resist it so?

Yep, it is a proven scientific fact: smiling increases serotonin levels and laughing helps endorphins swim around your system, soothing your nervous tension and, as you relax.  So why not give yourself a hug every day for a week and feel the benefits as you smile from the inside out:

So here are 5 tips to learn to love yourself, more easily, this Valentine’s season:

1*  Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you:

– speak to yourself kindly, especially when things don’t go to plan or when you make those very “human” errors that can make us feel so stupid at the time

– appreciate yourself for all of the good goings you do on a daily basis, for others and the world around you

– set realistic targets – in both work and home life –  and be kind to yourself whether you reach them… or not.

2* Be kind to yourself: – listen to your body and if you feel to tired to complete a task or have a conversation – choose to rest and rejuvenate your system.

3* Make regular you-dates: – choose somewhere beautiful, for lunch, a tea, a walk in nature, a museum with inspiring art and design, whatever fills you up with good energy ( and ideally helps you feel indulged, treated and boosts your inner-smile )

4* Re-treat yourself for a few minutes each day: – take a 10 minute “disconnection” break, without iPhone, emails, tweets or pings.  Just Stop! And out on some relaxing music – take some time to just be.

5* Book yourself into a yoga class, for a massage or for a day in the spa:- give yourself the gift of healing hands, our body does crave touch to release and let go, you deserve to feel nourished and cared for.

And most of all…. En joy what you do this Valentine’s season.

Make choices that make you happy.  Choose pleasure rather than pressure.   And do include dark chocolate, as it is also proven by our team’s smiles that a bite of what tastes that good is also great for your happiness and spreads the good loving feelings.

 

Join our Get Glowing Retreat to learn empowering and heart-opening techniques!

Just Stop! and Surrender

Sometimes its time to Just Stop! and Surrender.… I was driving through the beautiful Ibizan countryside yesterday and I reached a red-light – most unusual in these small roads and natural surrounds – and my inner-mind spoke up: “hmmmm – it must be time to Just Stop! “ I laughed to myself: it had been a beautiful, memorable, yet intense few weeks, many wonderful clients and amazing, transformational retreats, gorgeous boat trips and sacred family time.  Yet not much down time…  So what was missing?  Why was I feeling this? Because I needed some slow-down time for me.  I saw a negative thought flash through my consciousness: “I am so sick of driving everywhere” And, just as the universe works with such precision to bring us exactly what we are asking for, my beautiful white jeep shortly stopped… just like that! At the bottom of a small hill.   And so that… was that.  I had to Just Stop! and Surrender.

* I noticed myself feeling relieved, as I rearranged appointments.  I accepted and even embracethe situation with the insight that this was going to be a beautiful learning curve and was what my soul was actually asking for, the jeep was faithfully towed to the mechanics leaving me… car-free for 24 hours at least !

* I was able to slow down as I surrendered and began to let go of control.  

* I breathed deeply into my belly and trusted that we would find ways to easily manage the many intricacies of work and family life gently and easily.

* I allowed  my husband to drive me and my son to his school.  We then did something we have not done together often since our son was born, my husband and I returned to feeling as light and free as teenagers, as we took an early morning swim together in the glittering emerald waters of Benirras beach.  I felt cheeky little tickles as fish nibbled my legs and announced their presence and, with no control over when we were leaving… I felt my mind quieten into a deep, blue, calm as I immersed myself in the waters and enjoyed the incredible majestic cliffs and rock formations, the morning light, the peace…

The rest of the day just flowed…. with a natural rhythm, from meetings and clients to lunch and emails.

And me? I softened, I felt myself enter this sacred feminine place that is gentler, more open, receptive, as I allowed others to take the actions necessary, which I did not try to control and which they, therefore, did with pleasure and with ease.

And as I descended further into this beautiful “softer” realm, my intuition became clearer, and I experienced many wonderful insights about other areas of my life that I need to “prune” this autumn, to purify and release, in order to conserve my energy and to secure more sacred, car-free, natural-letting-go time for me.

It was time to create some Autumn exhale time :0)

Join us for our Just Stop! Retreat in October and come share more of this surrendering-into-softness and enjoy the gentle new energy that can flow.

 

Thank you for reading! And have an amazing, go-with-the-flow day.

 

 

All love and lots of light x Larah x

 

“Walk in Beauty” Women’s Retreat

The Dalai Lama has said, that women will heal the world.  Yet first we need to heal ourselves and rediscover our beauty and feminine strengths to inspire the changes to flow.  From October 9th – 12th Zorah Leduc and Ilona Pantel-Ayel welcome women from all over the world to find strength and receive inner-healing in this powerful women’s circle as you meditate, dance, sing and through rituals, weave new medicine for strength and inner-healing into your life.  Through this carefully guided three day ceremony you will deepen your innate connection to mother earth and will feel your connection with all that is.  As you explore the simplicity of shamanic rituals that allow your female wisdom to arise, you will experience the blessing of inner-silence and open up to a new appreciation of your own beauty, learn techniques to cultivate and maintain this, your fitness and physical wellbeing, with nutritional details shared by detox and fasting expert and multi-level therapist and medicine woman, Ilona.   Zorah and Ilona will lead you with with wisdom that encourages you to reconnect with your own.  And just by being there, you will feel new gratitude for the tremendous beauty around you – in the stunning eco-setting of Ibiza’s most beautiful mountain top retreat: : “Buddha House”.

3 day workshop 295 euros

Food and accommodation: 49, 69, or 95 euros per day – please email us for further details.

 

Hand Reflexology Uncovered…

Hand Reflexology uncovered… by one of our therapists Gini

Reflexology is a safe, non-invasive therapy that we literally have at hand (and foot!) wherever we go. Whilst booking yourself in for a treatment is always a great option, reflexology is something that we can all carry out on ourselves if we need a quick health fix.  Most people associate reflexology with the feet, but we can actually carry out reflexology on ourselves by applying pressure to the reflexes on our hands.

Here are my 5 quick and easy steps for self help reflexology: 

1. Studies have shown that reflexology can relieve stress. Knowing that we have our hands available at all times is therefore very reassuring.

We can calm the nervous system by accessing the brain reflex and the spine reflex. The brain reflex lies at the tips of our fingers, so simply pinch and hold several times. The spine runs down the side of the thumb; reflexologists use a thumb walking technique, but this isn’t necessary if you are using reflexology for a quick fix. Just add pressure to the area, in whatever way feels most natuaral to you.

The diaphragm and the solar plexus are also great reflexes to work to ease stress and tensions. Massage across the hand just underneath where the fingers meet the palm. This will actually be the lungs, but if you go a touch further down the palm of the hand and work across you hit the diaphragm line and solar plexus. Practice some relaxing breath work techniques by inhaling for 4 and exhaling for 6, at the same time and you will really feel the benefits.

If it’s convenient try giving yourself 5 – 10 minutes, using these relaxation techniques.

2. Congestion and colds can cause a lot of discomfort, particularly around the face and in the head. Work the whole of the fingers to connect to the reflexes in the face. Working them on the front and back and around the sides, really give them a good old massage! Once again pinch the tips of the fingers to work the brain reflex for any headaches.

3. For back pain! Whether it’s tension around the shoulders, or discomfort in your lower back, connect to the spine reflex on your hand. Try pressing the edge of your thumbs against each other so that they massage each other. Simple and effective!

4. If you suffer from IBS or bloating after meals, there is a great way of working the digestive reflexes using a golf ball. The reflex for the colon and the small intestines sit at the lower palm of your hands. Take the golf ball and connect to these reflexes by holding it between your two palms, and rolling it around the lower part of your hands. Just remember to pop the golf ball in your bag so you can do this anywhere at anytime!

5. Having trouble sleeping? Reflexology can be great for helping with insomnia. The pineal gland that is found in the brain is the regulator of sleep, as it produces the hormone melatonin. If you’re off balance in this area, connect with the tip of the thumb where the pineal reflex sits; my advice is roll the tips of the thumbs together so that they are massaging each other, nice and easy and something you can do when you are tucked up in bed. Remember to make sure there is no light creeping into your bedroom too, as this stops the release of melatonin which is essential for sleep!

My advice is to work from hand to hand so if you get interupted you can be sure you are balanced!

Don’t worry if you forget these reflexes, just give yourself an over all hand massage and be assured that this is having a balancing effect, and just make sure you take off your shoes and walk barefoot when possible! Feeling the grass underneath your feet, or the sand in-between your toes, enjoy the feeling of being balanced and grounded by the earth.

You can also meet Gini on our retreats as she is our invaluable retreat assistant too! 

EX-HALE your way to Relaxation…

How about if we all had a certain magical power within us? A magical power which can ease stress and tension, reduce anxiety and make many of life’s stresses feel manageable… Oh wait – we do! Our own breath is a hugely powerful resource which many of us can learn to tap into very simply and with incredible results.

As yogis have known for centuries—and, as medical science is beginning to discover—the breath has amazing recuperative powers. By controlling the breath (a practice called Pranayama), the yogis found, they could alter their state of mind.

Not all breaths are created equal. A great, simple breathing exercise for calming both the nervous system and the overworked mind is a timed breath where the exhale is longer than the inhale. When your exhale is even a few counts longer than your inhale, the vagus nerve (running from the neck down through the diaphragm) sends a signal to your brain to turn up your parasympathetic nervous system and turn down your sympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system commands your fight or flight response, and when that fires, your heart rate and breathing increases, and stress hormones like cortisol start pumping through your bloodstream, preparing your body to face the threat. If the threat is, “A lion is chasing me and I need to run for my life” this is helpful. If the threat is, “I am late for work” this is not a particularly valid threat, and in fact it can be damaging to the other systems of the body.

The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, controls your rest, relax, and digest responses. When the parasympathetic system is dominant, your breathing slows, your heart rate drops, your blood pressure lowers as the blood vessels relax, and your body is put into a state of calm and healing.

Here’s how to Ex-hale your way to Relaxation:
1* To begin, sit still and tall somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes and being breathing through your nose.

2* Inhale for a count of 1. Hold the breath in for a count of 1 and exhale gently, counting out for 4… and finish by holding the breath out for a count of 1. Keep your breathing even and smooth.

3* If the 2-4 count feels too short try increasing the breath lengths to 4 in and 6 out, or 6 in and 8 out, and so on. But if longer breaths create any anxiety there is no need to push yourself. The most important thing is that the exhale is longer than the inhale, not the absolute length of the breath.

Namaste! x