Farewell Spanish Retreat

BY les | Tue 29 Aug, 2017

I have been practising yoga for 18 years and teaching for 16 years.  The first news letter was issued January 2010 which  progressed to a blog - My Yoga Journey in Oct 2015 which I still think is worth reading. This month I became 66 years young and have decided that it is time to kick back a little and practise what I preach:  'I must not be too busy making a living that I forget to make a life'!   Some of you already know  I am selling my Spanish retreat and have a potential buyer so if all goes to plan, September and October may be my final retreats in Spain.  If you have been before and want one last shot at it, or have always hankered after coming to experience this unique place this could be your last chance.

Sept 20-23rd & Oct 4-7th.

Easy Jet have a sale on which starts on the 31st August

Here are a few things I would like to leave you with to enhance your mental & physical approach to The Practice:l

  • You will only do yoga as long as you enjoy it
  • Don't beat yourself up if you find some postures/days/moments hard
  • Remember there will always be people more flexible than you, they possibly have more elastine in their muscles - something you will never change
  • If you wish to maintain flexibility or become more supple do yoga regularly  BUT...
  • A desire for physical excellence is this is not the essence of The Practice
  • The Practice is hard, yes it is tough and challenging but rather than approach your mat with a western attitude of " Must do and achieve" try a more Eastern approach of "Do and be".
  • Remember "where you are at is where you are meant to be"
  • Want to be more flexible supple?  DO MORE YOGA.
  • "It is what is on the inside that counts the rest is just a circus" (Pattabhi Jois).


If you can't manage a smile during The Asana Practice you are trying too hard. A smile is fundamental to The Practice.  Without a smile there is an internal dialogue  between the body and the brain; the body says to the brain "This is hard" and the brain agrees therefore it is hard!  Try a different approach, smile whilst doing your yoga so that there is a different internal dialogue where the body says to the brain "This is hard" the brain says "but we are smiling", the body then says "Smiling?" and the brain replies "Yup that's right, smiling", the body then says "Hey we're smiling we must be enjoying it".  The body then surrenders to the postures and you enjoy it more. Smiling becomes a self fulfilling prophecy .

The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. ... The feel good neurotransmitters, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are released when a smile flashes across your face.  This not only relaxes your body, but it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

'Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.' ~Thich Nhat Hanh


Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises

 (TRE) – is an alternative method of treatment for PTSD (Posttraumatic stress disorder). It uses seven exercises to release the psoas muscle and start neurogenic vibrations of body, to release stress, unload tension and decrease intensity of PTSD symptoms. The method proved to be efficient in cases of so-called shock trauma, generated by different accidents. Unlike traditional methods of PTSD treatment, e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy, TRE can be performed by a subject of treatment by himself. For more info see https://traumaprevention.com/

A different perspective:-

A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression:

“We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.

They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better, there was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again, there was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy, there was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.

Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.”

Yours in Yoga,


TAGS: yoga, spain, retreat

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