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Are Yoga Retreats Worth It

People practicing yoga may feel that they would not need to go on a yoga retreat as it is not worth it. They may not have the time or money to go on a yoga treat. However, for many reasons it is seen quite beneficial to go on a yoga retreat.





Taking out time for yourself

A retreat is nothing like a vacation; it is more like taking out some quiet time for you and is simply about being rather than doing. Unlike holidays, retreats are more about what an individual wants; it is about listening to your own needs at all times. Retreats will allow a person to leave the outside world behind them; it allows a person to step away from the stress and problems of life and makes you focus on concentrating less. At times, stepping away from the daily problems in life can help a person become refreshed, re-inspired and rested to a great extent. With the help of a retreat, a person can gain more clarity in his life and may at some point even find the answers they are looking for.

Deepen your practice

A retreat can help with yoga practice as well; a person could be a beginner at yoga and they may want to experience more, thus going on a retreat would be beneficial to them. Yoga retreats can help people with their practice as well. Most of the time yoga retreats have yoga practice twice a day thus increasing the individual’s strength and flexibility to a great extent.


Most importantly, a yoga retreat lets out the person from their comfort zone. Unlike a proper yoga class, when you are out on a retreat you are completely new and unfamiliar to the surroundings, there is no routine that you can follow. It can have a new teacher and new people and at the end of the day the center of the retreat is about yourself and your yoga practice.

Learning something new


Since a retreat is usually done at a place that is new to you, it gives you a deeper sense of your mind. It is beneficial to a person if they combine yoga learning with the practice of developing a lasting meditation. Find out the different benefits of the various kinds of nutrition. Give a higher meaning to your yoga practice by exploring its history, ancient wisdom and philosophy.

Detox your life

If you are looking to get a proper detoxification of your life, a yoga retreat is the best way. The nutritious food offered at yoga retreats help cleanse the body from the inside. Your mind and body are cleared out through the daily practice of yoga and meditation or even some time of complete silence. The retreat could even help you set out on the right path, helping you find the answers you are looking for. The main focus of yoga retreat is to help you gain a sense of refreshment and a revitalization of the body.

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How Yoga Can Make You into a Happier Person

By doing yoga, you’ll not only be more flexible, but your emotional state can also benefit from it.

Sometimes, when you’re feeling the most down, reading about how to feel uplifted can make you feel even more lost and sidetracked.

Listen. 

First and foremost, listen to your needs and what your body is communicating with you. But also listen to others. You’re such an elevated spirit if you’re a good listener who knows how to give constructive criticism.

Talk to people who had gone through similar challenges in life that you’re going through. I don’t really believe in therapy in the traditional sense. But there is therapy through talking to others who have experienced similar feelings that you’re going through now.





Be physically well 

Resort to things that are known to you such as exercises or physical practices that make you feel good.

Fuel your body with good eats and foods that are songs to your soul and not only the body.

Start by carrying your shoulders back and chest out. Your posture says so many more words to the world around you before you even open your mouth.

Take benefits of a structured life.

For example, make a short yoga or a different type of exercise routine in your daily practice. Routines and structures are good for your soul as well as for your body. Make sure that within those, you change details so you don’t get bored with them.


  • Commit to healthy habits.

If you cannot commit to yourself, how do you expect yourself thriving in any other way?

  • Be real with yourself. 

When things are not working, access the process and be willing to change things. I get it, change is scary, but the way to growth only goes up. So, what do you have to lose?

  • Create healthy and predictable sleeping routines.

If it means taking the extra couple of minutes at night to detach yourself from electronics, read a book, or do a meditation or an on-bed yoga or a stretching sequence – commit to it. Know and understand the benefits of what you’re doing before you immerse yourself into those activities.

Having a structured life helps you inspire taking better care of yourself. A little moving or structured exercise like yoga gives you a healthy dose of happy chemicals. It helps you bring your breath to a regular and improved rhythm. Actually, in times of anxiety, your breath is the one that calms you. So, don’t overlook its significance.

The gratification might not be instant. But when you keep at your healthy habits, you’ll see results. As in exercise, you’ll see improved stamina and strength. With breathing and stretching practices, you’ll see how your body gets more and more flexible, and in turn, you open more space within your soul for new ventures and victories.

Exercising is a quality time spent with yourself. It’s like spoiling yourself without splurging. Pampering doesn’t have to come with luxurious spa treatments – though sometimes, that’s extremely nice and needed, too. You can make pampering low budget by adding elements of pleasant sounds, scents, and eye-pleasing visuals to your relaxing or stretching workout routines.

Make your own rules of practice. Focus on breathing, but first and foremost, on personal growth.

It’s OK, or better, it’s necessary to put yourself first. Listen to what you need. Accept it. Surrender, and when needed, let things go.

Tell me how you keep yourself grounded. A little pumping of your blood will help clear both your mind and the kinks that you’ve acquired through the body. So, if nothing else, commit to a short stretching and breathing exercise routine each day. You might be surprised at the results you’ll see. There’s nothing not to love about yourself when you’re in love with your own body and the person that you are. It will surely shine through your confidence.


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What Should You Pack for a Yoga Retreat ?

 

 

Your mind is filled with the potential beauty of an exotic locale and a few days spent soaking up the sun. A yoga retreat can be a wonderful way to reconnect with your inner self and spend a few days moving even deeper into your current practice. If you’ve been finding yourself feeling disconnected from the world around you, maybe a yoga retreat is just the thing to help you come back from all of the chaos in your daily life.

Once you’ve officially booked your retreat, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll pack. Which items are important enough to make it into your suitcase for your long-awaited yoga retreat?

We know how tempting it can be to overpack for any sort of trip, but a yoga retreat makes it even more likely that you’ll bring unnecessary items. To help you prepare for your upcoming trip, we thought you may want to see our list of must-have items for your luggage.

Multiple Yoga Outfits

If your retreat features multiple practices each day, you may want to plan on going through multiple workout outfits each day. Practicing a rigorous sequence under the heat of a tropical sun may cause you to sweat profusely. Chances are, you won’t want to keep wearing that same yoga outfit for the entire day.

Plan to pack at least one yoga outfit per practice that is scheduled. If they have a laundry facility on location, you may be able to get away with packing fewer pairs of your favorite yoga leggings. Be sure to check on the accommodations in advance.

Reminders to Help You Focus

Many yogis have items that they incorporate into their regular practice to help them better focus. If you use any supplementary items, like mala beads or natural crystals, you should plan to bring these items along. You will feel more at home with your yoga practice and will be better able to focus on any new things you’re learning at the retreat.

Essential Gear

Don’t show up to a yoga retreat without all of your essential gear, including a yoga mat, blocks, and a strap. If you have an overwhelming amount of yoga gear, try to leave some of it at home this time. You may be able to move further into a simpler practice without unnecessary gadgets and props. Try to bring only the things you consider absolutely essential to the integrity of your yoga practice.

Free Time Activities

You may want to consider packing some light reading, a sketchbook, or other imaginative and creative pursuits to occupy your leisure time. After all, a yoga retreat can help to unlock your mind and free you to think more clearly. This is a great time to accomplish some novelty items that have been on your to-do list for months.

 

A yoga retreat is a great time to dive deeper into a steady yoga practice for devoted yogis. However, the very act of packing for such a retreat can be almost overwhelming. Keep yourself from packing two or three suitcases by following these tips for the only essential items you’ll need on a yoga retreat.

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Bikram Yoga and Vata – Pitta Doshas

Many styles of hot yoga have become very popular especially in the west, particularly Bikram yoga. This style of yoga was popularized in the 1970s by Bikram Choudhury. While it is rooted in Hatha yoga, it varies from tradition in its fast pace, focuses on strengthening and increasing the heart rate with its heat-intensive environment. Bikram also encourages competition, which some may argue contradicts the underlying principles of Hatha yoga which are more about peace and unity.

I found myself drawn to this type of yoga. It seemed like the challenge I needed. I tried to complete the 30-day challenge: 30 Bikram classes in 30 days. I stopped because my body begged me to. I felt like I had failed. However, years later, when I dove further into my yoga studies, I found some compassion for myself. When I began to study Ayurveda, I learned that I was simply practicing the wrong type of yoga for my dosha! I have come to believe that Bikram yoga should probably only be practiced by Kapha doshas or by no one at all. In studying yoga, I learned it is most important to listen to your body. In Bikram, individuals are pushed very hard even when they are showing signs of pain and dizziness. In fact, they are encouraged to stay in the room even if they are very dizzy. This can be very difficult to do when the room is heated to over 40°C.

I have a Vata-Pitta constitution. Vata is predominant while Pitta is a very close second. Vata is air and ether, and these are people who are very fast-paced, often anxious, and often cold. Pitta is fire and water, and these are people who are hot, fiery, and quick as well. Ayurveda teaches us that it is very common for individuals to be drawn to similar qualities as themselves. It makes sense that like attracts like. However, adding more of the same elements to an already dominant dosha easily puts us into imbalance. 

This is how I found Bikram yoga to affect me. Adding more movements and quick motions to my already anxious mind and body seemed to only send my mind and heart into a faster race. Adding more fire to my Pitta dominance seemed to quickly overheat me. Essentially, it became the perfect storm to create imbalance. The relaxation I believed to feel after these classes were more of physical exhaustion. I was often feeling dizzy and unable to stand or perform tasks for the remainder of the day. This is not what a yoga practice should bring. In fact, research has found some negative effects of Bikram practice, including the consequences of extreme low salt levels caused by excessive sweating and water drinking. If you are doing this practice, it is vital you replenish your electrolytes after every single class.

Just because you’re drawn to something does not mean that it will be good for you. Tune into your body and listen to it! It knows what you need better than your ego does.

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Yoga for Travel

Traveling is great for the mind, body, and soul but it can also be overwhelming for individuals who thrive off routine. While you may want to travel and enjoy it once you arrive at your destination, if you are a planner, you may have some anxiety about your routine being thrown off track. A workout routine is the most thrown off because you are not in your normal environment. If you are a yogi, traveling can throw you off completely because you are not near your normal yoga studio or in your own home to roll out your mat. Luckily, most hotels have gyms or other workout spaces where you can roll out your yoga mat and you can even do yoga in your hotel room. It’s just a matter of having access to yoga practices. In today’s world, you can access any and everything online—including yoga. YouTube has a plethora of yoga videos for you to take with you when you travel.

The other side of traveling could be that you’re stressed and anxious about traveling in general and you feel as though you need a yoga practice to calm yourself. If you do enjoy traveling but you have anxiety and stress about the mere thought of traveling and shaking up your routine. Here are tips that will help you with traveling if you are a yogi who still wants to bring their practice with them on the road. 


1. Plan Ahead

Yes, having a plan for everything is the key to success. Yes, your plans may not always happen as laid out by you or they may actually fold out the way you laid out, you never know. But the beauty of planning is that you will always be prepared in one way or another. Share where you are traveling with friends and family because they may know someone where you are going who knows all of the yoga hotspots. Before packing your mat and yoga leggings spread the word that you are looking for a yoga studio at your destination. Once you’ve narrowed down your search for yoga studios, research the studios you are planning on going to and then choose one by picking the classes you are thinking of going to. Once you arrive at your destination, you will feel less anxious because you’ll know where you are taking your yoga class or classes.

2. When You Arrive

If you can, skip the taxi ride, take public transit or walk! That is the best way to explore the place you are staying and you get to see all of the places around the way on the way to the yoga studio. Once you have chosen a studio that you are interested in try to stick to it because jumping from studio to studio can be frustrating while traveling. Get out there and meet people, talk to people at the yoga studio and find out what they like most about the area you are in and see if you can visit local spots on your vacation. Talking to locals is the best way to find out about the area and you’ll receive the most genuine advice. Finally, send thanks to you to your yoga studio, thank them for having you and making you feel welcomed.

Traveling yogis do not have to feel stressed or anxious—there is hope for you to continue your yoga practice. It’s always fun to try out new studios, especially when traveling because you never know who you will meet. Strangers will most likely become friends when traveling and what yogi doesn’t want more yogi friends?

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Tips For Staying Healthy While Traveling

I’ve spent the better part of last year traveling, and while it is the most exciting, exhilarating experience, it can be hard to maintain health while simultaneously being on the road or in different countries. When your routine is always changing, new food is being introduced, or you are trapped in airports or on buses for hours on end, keeping a healthy mind and body can be the least priority. It often leads to exhaustion at the end of a trip and trouble getting back into healthy habits. So, how can you stay healthy throughout your trip and keep your mind and body on the right track while having the best experience away from home?


  • Maintain Your Meditation Practice: Staying consistent with your meditation practice can help you stay sane in the most hectic travel moments. While traveling, we can experience our highest highs while we meet new people, see new sights, and encounter new culture, but we can also experience our lowest lows of stress and anxiety. Meditating and taking the time each day to center and ground your breath will help you ride the highs and lows or help settle your moods into a more consistent flow. 
  • Find Moments Each Day To Connect With Yourself: Traveling can be extremely fast-paced with days packed full of adventure – from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall into bed. While it is easy to get sucked into a pace when you want to see and do everything, it is important to take a small amount of time each day for your mental and physical health and slow down and connect back with yourself. It could be as simple as taking some time to journal, stretch, or stay in bed for an extra five minutes and make a gratitude list in the morning.
  • Practice Yoga In The Morning Or At Night: Practicing yoga in the morning or at night while you are traveling can help with jet lag, mental fog, and muscle stiffness. Take a few moments to practice sun salutations each morning or stretch out your tired and sore legs at the end of the day. You can print out sequences to take with you or use classes that you’ve found online if you don’t want to go out and find a yoga studio in the city that you are traveling in.
  • Pack Healthy Snacks: Being prepared with healthy, nutritious snacks will save you from the last minute hunger that may send you straight to junk food. Pack bars with minimal ingredients, dried fruit, or roasted fava beans that will keep you satisfied during travel. It’s also a great idea to pack greens powder packets that you can add to water or juice for extra nutrients and vitamins while you are traveling and in an area where you may have less access to leafy greens. 
  • Walk As Much As You Can: This one is self-explanatory, but try to walk wherever you can. It’s a great way to see the city, get better acquainted with where you are, and a wonderful way to move your body without having to think about getting a workout.

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Maharishi Patanjali’s Eight Limbs Of Yoga

Maharishi Patanjali’s eight limbs of Yoga

 

The author of Yoga Sutras, Maharishi Patanjali, divided life into eight fields – eight limbs or stages of yoga. These should be our guide in Yogic life. They lead us in the direction of full realization of ourselves and allow us to unite our body, mind, and spirit.

There are four outer limbs and four inner limbs.

  • Outer limbs reach to the Universe
  • And inner limbs reach our inner self.

 

Outer Limbs:

The outer limbs of yoga are making us aware of ourselves, and allow us to gain control over our body. They are:

 

1. Yama Principles – living our lives following natural moral codes. These are:

  • Ahmisa – nonviolence,
  • Satya – truthfulness,
  • Asteya – non-stealing,
  • Brahmacharya – celibacy (control over your sexual life) and
  • Aparigraha – non-covetousness (non-collecting, taking from nature only how much you really need).

These principles are social, directed towards nature and others. They focus on our behavior and are the first thing we should aim to purify.

 

2. Niyama Principles – more personal, directed towards our own life. The five Niyama codes are:

  • Saucha – purity. It includes hygiene, or purity of body, but also the purity of mind and thoughts,
  • Samtosa – contentment, acceptance of others and self, also acceptance of an inability to change things and an optimistic point of view,
  • Tapas – self-discipline, austerity or simple way of living,
  • Svadhyaya – the study of the self and accepting God as the only support in our life
  • Asana – Yoga postures, which are necessary to reach higher levels of yoga. It includes both, meditative and dynamic poses.
  • Pranayama – Yogic breathing. Breath is connected with the mind, and with the regulation of breath, the mind also becomes balanced.

 

Inner Limbs:

The inner limbs are directed towards the mind and consciousness, and they are:

 

  • Pratyahara – directing the attention towards the mind and its source, preparing for deep meditation. You are still aware of the world around you but are trying to detach from it. It helps us to observe ourselves, to see what we are doing wrong and also to recognize our cravings or other bad influencers on our physical and mental health. It is the transition from the inner and outer limbs.
  • Dharana – Steadiness Of Attention. The mind is focused on a mantra, an object one observes, or a particular thought. It stays focused on one thing, rather than jumping from one thing to another.
  • Dhyana – It is the reduction of mental activity, often also seen as meditation. It is continuous and uninterrupted. It contemplates the object of focus in Dharana and accepts it as it is, without focusing on specific ideas of it, becoming completely aware.
  • Samadhi – state of pure consciousness, reached with profound meditation – Yogi becomes one with the object of his meditation and the Universal spirit. There is no more distinction between them. He loses his ego and self-consciousness.

 

The purification of one limb directly influences others. Yoga translates as unity, an integration of all these aspects. When all of these obstacles are surpassed, one can reach Samadhi or superconsciousness. It should be the ultimate goal of every Yogi.

 

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