In Spain, where I now reside with my 3 year-old daughter, sausage dog and Basque partner the New Year begins in September, forget January, it’s all about September. Throughout August, 90% of businesses shut shop and head south for a month of relaxation and disconnection. This tradition, alongside daily siestas, are my favourite Spanish culture staples, ones which have firsthand taught me the art of relaxation and letting-go. This year I decided to take full advantage of the free month and booked onto a 1-week yoga retreat in Greece, at the end of our family holiday: the perfect way to help prepare mentally, physically and spiritually for the Spanish New Year.
It’s now been exactly 1 month since I returned home from Ancient Epidavros in Greece, where I practised yoga twice a day in a private shala overlooking a heavenly harbour, surrounded by majestic mountains and crystal clear waters, a place where time seems to stand still and you can taste nature caress you with her ever wonder, and I can honestly say, I have not experienced a single dose of holiday blues or September stresses.
I feel like I’m standing tall and shining brightly with an innate sense of happiness vibrating inside of me, and what’s better, it just keeps increasing. As a result, my daughter is more relaxed, well behaved and joyful, my partner can’t stop laughing and chatting and even my dog seems to be somersaulting from the sofa more often. Happiness is totally infectious, happiness feeds more happiness and taking the time to give love to yourself means you can always give more to others.
I keep asking myself why and how can it be that this wonderful feeling of inner peace, that I have been searching for for so long seems to have finally taken up permanent residency in my heart, and deep down, I know the answer – I have been putting time and energy into taking the greatest journey of all, the journey within. Essentially, you don’t need to travel anywhere, no plane ticket or suitcase required, you already have everything you need within but realistically, most of us live quite stressful and busy lives with children to organise, school runs and morning dramas to survive, satisfactory dinners to prepare, jobs to excel at, relationships to invest in, families to love and at the same time try and find time to relax, exercise and live a healthy lifestyle – and this is where booking a place into a yoga retreat comes in.
How does it work?
– Time out. Taking precious time out from the demands of a gruelling schedule will refresh you, inspire you and ignite you like nothing else. You’ll return home with new zest, ready to try your hand at recreating new healthy dishes for your family and friends, full of determination to maintain a daily meditation and exercise regime and with so much joy in your heart you’ll be ready to burst with appreciation for life.
– Positivity feeds positivity. On any yoga retreat you will find yourself surrounded by authentic and positive teachers who radiate and share loving energy with all, as a student you will benefit greatly from this, creating space in your heart where only happiness can grow.
– Spiritual enjoyment can replace feelings of fear. If you’ve been experiencing feelings of fear, insecurity, negativity or anxiety at home (like we all do from time to time), going on retreat provides you will the perfect opportunity to water the seeds of courage, peace and strength in your heart. You will leave feeling ready to succeed at everything and anything.
– On retreat you will be encouraged to take time to reflect on good, wholesome and noble actions that you have done in the past, things you feel proud of and which create a sense of joy and bliss within the mind. This approach to life has the ability to remove toxic mind sets, depression and sadness.
– Escaping the city and being surrounded by nature has a profound effect upon your mind and body. Living your life, even only for a weekend or week, alongside the rhythms of nature takes you back to your source, making you feel instantly connected with your essential nature.
– You already have everything you need within, it’s already there but sometimes we need a little helping hand, a bit of space, a bit of self love and peace to be the best version of ourselves.
Give yourself time and love and you can give more to everything and everyone else around you.
Following the completion of an intensive yoga teacher training in Morocco with Yoga Alliance UK I have continued to progress on my spiritual path, training and studying with the likes of renown teachers Shiva Rea, Simon Parks, Rod Stryker, Bodhiyoga.es (mindfulness yoga), Tara Lee and Uma Dinsmore-Tuli.
I am passionate about sharing the joy of yoga with all and run 2 successful yoga studios in Spain from where I also hosts monthly retreats, combining Buddhist principles, meditation and a flowing form of vinyasa yoga that creates energy, joy and health in every cell, pulse and beat of the mindbody – igniting your soul and enlivening yourspirit www.lifeesbella.tumblr.com