This will be the first retreat we hold here in February 2018 and we are really looking forward to it. Since we started hosting retreats over a decade ago we have learnt that February is a month when some of us need to just getaway from it all and go on a yoga retreat to take a little time for themselves. We have also had a lot of requests from school teachers who are looking for a well earned break during the school holidays half term in 2018.
So here it is a week of ashtanga yoga and yin with mindfulness meditation, a perfect antidote to releasing the stress and tensions from the body and mind in a very beautiful location in the heart of rural central Portugal.
On this yoga break in the morning class will be the ashtanga yoga primary series and all of the morning classes will be led. This is what we call a yang practice as yang is expansive and heat generating though dynamic movement, yang is also objective and so is very much about the mind and thinking about thoughts etc. So in the morning we will be slowly and gracefully moving through synchronizing body and mind using the breath as the guide. At the start of class in the morning we will have a look at and practice the methods of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a time tested practice that allows a person to come into each and every moment without any judgement or preference to what might be happening now and when we look at what might be happening now we usually see that we are experiencing thought, emotions and sensations which all create feelings.
In the evening classes on the yoga holiday we take a much more yin approach when using postures to generate experience. Unlike the yang practice of being objective in our perception the yin classes takes us deep inside as it is the subjective experience that allows us to really connect to our body and mind through sensation. Yin focuses more on compression of the joints and tension inside the connective tissue which allows us to come into each moment as the body and sensation is here now. In this practice we also have the opportunity of removing blockages in the meridians according to Chinese medicine as we surrender to the theory of gravity, allows gravity to gently massage us in each posture.