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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 Margot will take you on a journey through the 5 elements of nature – Earth, Water Fire, Air and Space, exploring how to establish yourself though these elements and how to use them to find more balance in our day to day life. Starting each morning with a dynamic Yang practice and finishing your day with Yin Yoga and Meditation/Yoga Nidra - Yogic sleep. Come and join us to bring balance into your life and to your being - A journey from centre of the Earth to end of the Space and within.
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.
Margot teached Ashtanga method, Yin and Vinyasa yoga, to balance out Yin and Yang. Her classes are based on functional method to help build a student’s personal practice and understanding of their body. Welcome into the journey of you! Her classes are fiery as a dragon, calming as earth and with a focus on cleansing the body/mind and heal through the teachings of yoga.
The Yang classes she teaches are energy lifting, cleansing though building heat in the body and with simple alignment suggestions. Combining Asana with Pranayama, Bandhas and Drishti to create meditative movement. Influenced by Ashtanga and Dharma Yoga.
The Yin classes are calm, focusing on downward and inward moving energy allowing the student to move though all the layers of self and notice the subtle energy. Combining Yin Yoga with movements from Tai Chi and breath practice to reach a meditative state, creating stillness and serenity.
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.
“Slowing down and connecting our body/mind”
In the first workshop, we will look at the effects of Yin yoga on our body and mind. We will take a closer look at the functional approach to our practice to ensure we can start understanding the importance of personal practice. We will slow down and take a closer look at balancing our Sympathetic Nervous System (Fight, Flight or Freeze) and our Parasympathetic Nervous System (Rest and Restore).
Earth element is related to worry and anxiety. By going through a grounding Yin sequence, we will combine stillness and slowing down, allowing rest and revitalisation enter and help ourselves find more balance and understanding though our body/mind connection.
In the next 4 days we will take a deeper look at how though practices of yoga can help us to balance our universal elements and restore the connection to our true nature, mentally, physically and emotionally.
“Gracefully conquering fear”
In our second workshop we will move to the Water element. Water is associated with fear, in appropriate amounts is, of course, essential; due care and caution in recognizing our limitations to preserve life. However, living in an acute or chronic fear can have serious effects and far reaching consequences in many areas of the body.
We will look at the nourishing qualities of the Water element - sense of softness and vitality that gives us vibrations of grace, adaptability and consistent synchronization, and explore how to connect with this element thought the technique of Vinyasa. Wherein we synchronize the body’s movements with the breath though Tai Chi Yoga sequences.
“Transformation of heart”
Now that we conquered fear and set a step towards a more nourishing practice, our exploration of elements takes us to Fire.
The source of Fire is our heart. It brings confidence and courage through purification, intensity and integration. Too much fire can be overwhelming and cause judgment and verbal attacks, not enough Fire can cause withdrawal, and inability to digest new ideas.
Fire is embodied through the techniques of Mula, Uddiyana and Jalandhara Bandha. Engaging the Bandhas means integrating the body-mind within, that is guiding the blueprint of the basic energies of upward, rising, expansion and downward, rooting, concentration.
We will explore a heart opening Dharma Yoga sequence. Remembering that the authentic embodiment of Fire, which arises though the practice subtle awareness and results in radiance. This radiance is the energetic charge that originates from the depths of the core, and this is what gives the body a characteristic luminous power… that is far more striking than extreme movement.
“Breathing to feel”
Air is the second of the subtlest elements. Grief is the emotion that relates to the Air element that specifically affects the lungs. Air element, out of balance has a ‘knock on’ effect to our ability to breath and communicate properly, which determines our overall health.
In practice, the source of Air is felt in the throat, when Ujjayi Pranayama is engaged. We will learn how the Yogic breath - Ujjayi breath - affects our mind and body. Pranayama is seen as a simple action of inhaling and exhaling. We will scratch further from the surface to expand the attention of the actions during inhaling - the lengthening and expanding and exhaling – grounding, steady and stillness.
Simple act of observing our breath, can help us acknowledge and express our true emotions and bring stability.
“Connecting to the source of Universal wisdom”
Over the past 4 days we took a journey through 4 elements, today’s element is Space - the lightest, most subtle element.
It’s the primary element, within which the other four emerge, unite and transform. Space is a source of consciousness – unrestricted, direct and free from being.
Space is fundamentally embodied by the technique Drishti or “focused intention”. Drishti cultivates awareness by turning the mind “inward” towards the inner workings of posture, the flow of breathing and the psychological states arising in the current moment.
We will explore Space though element meditation to cherish the sacred energy we created as a community this week.
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.