yoga retreat in Nicaragua

If you’ve only ever done yoga at Western style indoor studios in the United States, then you’re missing out. Practicing yoga in a completely controlled environment with just the right balance of sensory stimulus is relaxing, inspiring and comfortable.

Unfortunately, the outside world is loud and messy. Deadlines have no regard for feelings. Noise pollution attacks our quiet time. And people don’t always make space for latecomers.

Here are 4 ways that doing yoga in Nicaragua will help you achieve mindfulness (and improve your life practice):

1. Uncertainty is where the magic happens.
In third world countries, cultural barriers can create confusion and the instruction style may not be what you are used to. It’s best to leave your expectations at home. Notice what happens to your thoughts and emotions in the moment of awareness.  Learn to experience the uncertain flow without judgment, irritation or disappointment. Surprises await beyond the borders of your comfort zone.

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2. Observe the causes of discomfort.
The core principle to mindfulness is being present and staying completely focused on the here and now. Take an inventory of your heart and breathe in gratitude. Notice which muscles are tight from traveling and give them grace. Become conscious of unfamiliar foreign sounds in the different environment and shift your focus to deciphering their sources instead of getting distracted by them. Awareness of your feelings, body and environment is the key to recognizing that they don’t have to dictate your current state of being.

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3. Feel and embrace the natural elements.
When you cross borders into third world countries, it’s common for yoga classes to take place outdoors. The freedom to set up shop in the wilderness is the biggest attraction to most yoga retreat and teacher training centers abroad. Outdoor yoga exposes natural elements that classroom walls protect from. Wind, sun and rain are gifts from Mother Nature. It’s easy to appreciate them in doses, but in extremes they can be humbling. Learn to cultivate awareness and gratitude for all elements of nature, even when it makes the practice more challenging.

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4. Prioritize practice over industry.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the industry of yoga. The quality of gear has improved drastically in the past fifteen years. From sweat resistant towels and name brand pants, to specialized rubber blocks and lavender scented eye pillows, we’re inundated daily with wonderful accessories that we don’t need to achieve success on the mat. There is something raw and beautiful about practicing yoga in a country untouched by industry consumerism. What you don’t have, you can’t buy in most third world countries. Everyone has access to mindfulness.

 

Guest post article written by Brooke Rundle, a California born surfer and yogi, Nicaragua ex-pat and co-creator of San Juan Live – a lifestyle and travel website on San Juan del Sur. She also co-authored the ultimate travel guidebook on San Juan del Sur. Vist her website here at http://sanjuandelsur.org/ or download her travel guidebook – http://www.amazon.com/Insider-Guide-San-Juan-Nicaragua-ebook/dp/B00NTY9FWS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444797918&sr=1-1&keywords=san+juan+del+sur

It’s something so many of us suffer with on a daily basis. Whether it is just small bouts of minor anxiety and depression, or severe, debilitating panic attacks, thousands everyday are enduring unneccesary stress. With these days come shaky and sweaty hands, racing thoughts, shallow breathing, and a sense of helplessness. It’s becoming a widely recognized problem for so many around the world today. Anxiety is a peace-thief. Researchers have searched for years trying to uncover the best ways to combat this growing condition. For those who opt to fight anxiety a more natural way, there has been one specific warrior they’ve found to be incessantly victorious time and time again– YOGA.

How exactly does a consistent yoga practice fight anxiety?

1.  BREATHING

The simple act of mindful breathing can help reduce anxiety. When you focus on the breath, your mind has a chance to rest and let go of negative thoughts. Yogic breath is also good for the body. Deep breathing increases oxygen levels in the blood supply, which helps remove toxins from the body. It also increases lung capacity and helps improve digestion. Anxiety steals our breath sometimes, so it’s so very important to set aside time to focus on giving it back to our body.

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2.  SWEATING

It’s amazing what a few stretches on a mat can do for your physical body and strength. Holding poses that feel comfortable for longer periods, create strain and resistance, causing quite a healthy workout. Sweating is another way our bodies rid themselves of toxins and burn pent-up energy. Many of us lack the daily exercise that we need to get natural endorphins flowing. This can lead to even more anxiety. Even thirty minutes of focused breath and stretching will increase heart rate, sweat, and the release of our daily dose of serotonin.

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3.  STRETCHING

The practice of asanas (or yoga poses) is good for both mind and body. Physically, asanas help release the tension that anxiety creates, allowing the body to feel recharged and healthier. When the body feels better, so does the mind. The challenges you face on the mat reduce anxiety by taking your mind off your worries and fears. You find yourself focusing on your strength, your body’s flexibility and limitations, and physical endurance, and giving your mind a much-needed break from reality. Taking your mind off of things that you can’t control and placing them onto things that you can control, eliminate the hold that anxiety has over your mind.

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4.  MEDITATION

Meditation is challenging, but not impossible. The ability to clear one’s mind of all thoughts is a skill that takes time. It is a path, not a goal. Meditation starts by simply taking the time to focus on your breath. It gives your mind a chance to slow down and teaches your body to relax.  In addition, with a regular meditation practice, you will begin to notice patterns in your thinking. The things that trigger anxiety, panic, and fear will become apparent to you. Once this happens, you can learn to change the patterns by recognizing your triggers. Learning to focus your mind on positive, thoughts full of gratitude, helps hold the effects of anxiety at bay.

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5.  NAPPING

Don’t we all do yoga for the savasanas–naps at the end?  After a concentrated time of focus, stretching, sweating, and meditation, the act of lying flat of our backs, no matter what life may have in store for us afterward, is exactly what the mind needs every single day. If meditation is the focusing of the mind, then savasana is the clearing of it. Whether it takes on the form of being completely in tune to all 5 senses and enjoying the smell of lavender in the air and the sweet sounds of the breezes on your patio, the pose of surrender and REST is exactly what each one of us need before or after a busy day. We all struggle to slow down. We move from one task to the next, and then onto a myriad of daily distractions, never allowing our minds to fully rest. Savasanas remind us that there is always time to  s l o w d o w n.  And it is extremely necessary.

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It’s time to step onto your mat… the practice will take care of itself. Through the simple steps of conscious breathing, regular asana practice, and meditation, anxiety is a thing that can be controlled, reduced, and ultimately overcome one breath, one pose, one day at a time. Take hold of your practice. Take hold of your life!

Namaste.

 

 

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Yoga retreats are an amazing way to escape, focus on balancing your life, and refilling your well. They almost always include relaxation, meditation, and lots of spiritual discovery. What if they also included amazing adventures?!
Daily Yoga Sessions

This January 24-30th, NYI is hosting a YOGA ECO-ADVENTURE! Amazing instructors Katie Prucha and Jessica LaVallie will lead sunrise yoga sessions to clear your mind and bring you renewed focus for each new day in sunny Nicaragua! The afternoons will be spent exploring the jungle in one of the tallest volcanoes in Nicaragua, learning to surf in the magnificent Pacific waves, and sailing the coastline on a catamaran with your new yoga amigos at sunset! Each and every day holds a brand new adventure!!

Amazing Eco-Adventures

This week will be a journey of fun and focus, self-discipline and self-discovery! If you’ve ever needed a winter escape, the time is now to sign up for this wonderful all-inclusive opportunity! Participants will be pampered in our luxury 5-star accommodations and will be wined and dined the entire week with our fresh, organic gourmet meals. Spots will fill up fast so take advantage of this amazing package!
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All-Inclusive Yoga Eco-Adventure Retreat Package Includes:

*Luxury Accommodations at the Pelican Eyes Resort in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

*All Gourmet Style Meals

*Round-trip Airport Transportation

*Daily Sunrise Yoga Session

*Catamaran Sailing Trip

*One Hour Massage

*Granada Trip and Volcano Hike

*Surf Lesson

*Raw Foods Workshop

*Volunteer Activity

*Unlimited Pool and Beach Time

Package Prices starting at $1895. To reserve your spot in paradise today, visit the Yoga Eco-Adventure Retreat Registration Page.  You don’t want to miss!!