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This week is all about balance. Most of us live a very Yang, active, life with too much energy flowing outward and up towards the brain. More used to solving problems and dealing with obstacles by thinking, we forget that we are feeling creatures and inextricably connected with mother earth and the whole universe. Finding a balance between Yang and a more Yin, passive, lifestyle is one of the most difficult things. Yin and Yang are the two energies that embody Universal law, which ensures that all things remain in harmony. This week Malin will take you on a journey through the our basic human emotions and the effect these emotions have on our body. Starting each morning with a dynamic Yang morning practice based on the Astanga-Vinyasa system and finish your day with Yin Yoga and Meditation/Yoga Nidra - Yogic sleep. Come and join us to bring balance into your life and being - A journey from your head to your heart.
Accommodation is provided in beautifully furnished 5-metre bell tents. Nestled amongst the lemon and orange groves, the bell tents are simple but sumptuous, with electricity and comfortable beds. Each tent can sleep up to three people. Crisp bed linen and pool towels are provided. There are solar hot and cold powered showers facilities. Internet access is available. There is a small shop on site for all those little essentials you might need.
Working with the energies of the Sun (Yang) and the Moon (Yin) our morning practice will be a combination of Yang Yoga from a modified version of the Ashtanga Primary series to Rocket to Power Vinyasa. We will play with flow and asanas creating a wide variety of sets of postures depending on the preferences and needs of the students. Malin loves to encourage her students to step out of their comfort zone and try something new without the need to achieve or look a certain way and to instead finding a balance between trying too hard and letting go.
Our evening practice will appeal more to the gentle restorative moon energy in the form of Yin Yoga. Yin yoga is a slow and introspective practice where we hold the postures for longer periods of time, supporting the body with props by using bolsters, straps, blocks and pillows.
The challenge in our Yin practice goes beyond the physical to also challenge our mental and emotional body. It forces us to become still and to look within. Our evening sessions will be a journey through the elements and we will look at how the different elements affect our body, emotions and our overall well-being. We will end our evening sessions with a meditation or Yoga Nidra.
This is a sample timetable and may be subject to change. There will be one workshop a day, it may be in the morning or afternoon. There is also the option to visit local markets on Wednesday and Sunday.
Why balance? The retreat consists of a blend of yin and yang yoga, yoga nidra and meditation sessions. The yin and yang yoga will help you to create the optimal balance in your yin and yang energy and help you to bring balance to your life on and off your yoga mat.
This retreat is designed to offer you a week to kick back and relax, but also to explore your Yoga practice and take it to the next level. It will give you glimpses into different dynamic styles of yoga and various relaxation techniques.
We will begin our day with a dynamic Yang practice allowing you to move, flow and explore your practice. Each day will have a workshop where we will focus on an element, the associated muscle group and one of the human basic emotions associated with the element. In our evening practice we will then further explore the physical effect these different elements have on our body. With your muscles completely relaxed you have the time to turn inward and become the observer of all that comes and goes. Emotional blockage and tension in the body will begin to solve and have a chance to get released causing a calming effect on the nerves system. Learning to let go and start to see the impermanence of our thoughts, feeling, emotions and sensory abilities. A Yin yoga practice also works on the deeper layers of our physical body creating mobility in our joints and the morning yang practice will strengthen the muscles and create flexibility.
When you sync up with the natural flow of Yin and Yang, you switch on greater potentials of energy, insight, and understanding. The alignment of Yin and Yang allows natural wisdom to appear in your awareness. This week will allow you to stop, take stock and better understand the capacity you have to adjust the behavior that helps guide the Yin and Yang energies playing out in your body and mind.
In our first workshop we will look at the effects yoga has on our body and mind. We will take a closer look at the nervous system and the difference and importance of balancing our Sympathetic Nervous System (Fight, Flight or Freeze) and our Parasympathetic Nervous System (Rest and Restore). We will learn how the Yogic breath - Ujjayi breath - affects our mind and body during our practice and how yoga brings calm and allows us to the choice in how we react to situations and challenges through the “The Magic Pause”. We will also look at how Yoga can help us find a balance and a positive relationship to our body. If we start to ignore our true feelings out of fear this energy start to manifest and houses itself somewhere in our body. Over the next 4 days we will take a deeper look at how Yin Yoga and the poses in Yin Yoga can help us to balance our emotions and restore our balance physically, mentally and emotionally.
“Fear to Panic.”
Fear is the emotion of the water element and has specific relation to the kidney and bladder organs, the central nervous system, reproductive system, and endocrine system. Fear is a necessary emotion as it provides the ‘fight’ or flight’ response necessary for survival however living in an acute or chronic fear can have serious effects and far reaching ramifications in many areas of the body.
A typical state of chronic fear is a perpetual reaction to the world around us and feelings of being overwhelmed and our inability to cope. This includes concepts such as fear of coping with our relationship, health, our job or our financial situation. These reactions often become imploding and internal creating ‘time bombs’ which build up over time. We produce a mask (keeping up a front) for the world to see while inside the inner fear of handling difficult situations is damaging our nervous system. We literally scare ourselves to death!
“Anger to Rage.”
Anger relates to the wood element that includes the organs of the liver and gall bladder, the muscular system and the immune system. When anger is in a state that is harmful to the body, it can weaken and break down the immune system and we have difficulty fighting off disease particularly viruses.
Anger was used in past times as a motivating force as a means for survival i.e. in battle or as a motivating force when hunting, whereas today it usually expresses itself in work and life stresses. It is rarely an emotion / energy that is used creatively and almost always manifests destructively.
Long term suppressed anger can also lead to the formation of gallstones (condensed anger) and migraine headaches. The liver is also associated with our ability to plan and make decisions. As a result if a person is in a state of chronic anger his / her decision making abilities are diminished. We are ‘livered’ and cannot think straight. Generally a loss in quality of life occurs as we are attracted to violent situations as a way of releasing this emotion.
Jealousy is anger and fear and is often fueled by very low self-esteem.
“Worry to Anxiety.”
Worry affects the earth element that relates specifically to the stomach, spleen & pancreas. The effect particularly when reacting with intense worry to the stomach is one of acidity and ulcers. We are unable to digest and process life’s situations. Also the pancreas cannot produce the required amounts of enzymes that enable proper digestion of food. This in turn can lead to sugar handling disorders as regulation of levels is irregular. Guilt is a combination of anger with fear or worry.
“Unexpressed Love becomes Possession. Grief to Depression.”
Grief relates to the air / metal element that specifically affects the lungs and large intestine. Imploding grief i.e. grief that is not expressed in a healthy manner, will often manifest itself as fluid on the lungs and can lead to chronic or acute lung disorders which impair our breathing. This in turn has a ‘knock on’ effect as it is our ability to breath properly which determines our overall health.
Joy is the energy of the five elements that affects the heart, circulatory system and small intestine. Joy has a positive effect on the overall Body / Mind but when it is absent it manifest as sadness. This Sadness is ‘heartache’ or depression, as opposed to grief (that is grieving over something specific). Chronic sadness affects the heart, arteries and veins and can impair the absorption of food and emotions through the small intestine
Rustic Retreats is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Espuna Mountains, southern Spain. This beautiful site has so much to offer to so many, they have an organic vegetable garden, fresh mountain spring water, solar power throughout, a beautiful swimming pool, earth-bag dome, stunning yoga platform on the side of the mountain, hammocks, orange and lemon trees, a tailor made pinewood meditation / relaxation cabin with views across the valley, outdoor showers so you can shower under the stars, and so much more. Totally off grid, zero light pollution. Stunning surroundings, beautiful, and simple accommodation are part of the Rustic Retreats charming environment.
Stimulate all your senses whilst you absorb the bright colors, beautiful textures, tantalizing flavors, and sublime aromas of the fresh food served at Rustic Retreats. The chef will create a myriad of fresh, healthy vegetarian meals to tantalize your pallet, all using the ripest, freshest, seasonal ingredients that are locally produced either from their very own organic garden and vegetable patch or from the local market and farmers.
Varieties of fruit are growing freely on the site such as lemons, oranges, almonds, pomegranate, and carob to name but a few. All vegetarian meals are lovingly prepared by a trained chef in the outdoor kitchen and are served 'al fresco' whenever possible. All meals are included in the price. The meals have been so popular with the clients that they are looking at producing a recipe book for next season.
All day snack menu is available but cost is not included in the price. Alcohol is available at a small extra charge.
Fly into to Alicante, then it's a 2-hour train journey (6 EUR) through the beautiful Spanish countryside down to Totana station where Rustic Retreats will collect you.
Arrive at Totana station where Rustic Retreats will collect you.
You can get a taxi from the airport which would cost 170 EUR and upwards. Also, there are car hire options at the airport.