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mireya semelas

yoga · mindfulness · reiki

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Mireya

Yoga Retreat

I am only back from a one week yoga retreat with KaliYoga in the south of Spain. When people hear “yoga retreat” they imagine some sort of paradise where you practice yoga, relax and do little more. A place where you find yourself, where all problems disappear and you come back all zen and enlightened.

And I do feel more connected after having had the gift of time to disconnect from the crazy day to day. However, my life has not changed after this week. I am still the same person, with the same monkey mind, with the same fears, anxieties and mental exhaustion who packed her bags a week ago. What this week has given me is the space to come back to myself. That pause that I so much needed to remember who I am. To recognize what I need and what I need to let go of. The time to be amongst strangers who have become part of my life after only a few days together.

“Enjoy the gift of time”

Let me tell you a little more about my experience and also some tips for those of you who are on the fence of booking such a trip because of the investment it requires (economic, time, etc.).

The Good

Yoga and meditation
The morning meditation sessions in the astonishing beautiful ‘shala’ made my days. Morning yoga was dynamic and evening sessions where more ‘yin’. Although my practice is different to what I experienced, Lely and Arantxa (yoga and meditation guides) helped me walk a little closer to myself.

The People
There were 13 of us. Two couples and the rest solo travelers. We all had different ages, experiences, nationalities, backgrounds, lives. Every conversation has been incredibly interesting and respectful. I have learned so much from these companions. In such a group I cannot say that I felt the same affinity to every soul, but there were some that touched my own. I will forever be grateful for that.

The Space
From the venue itself – a place in the middle of nowhere – to the yoga shala (yoga room), the bedrooms, everything felt really welcoming and cozy. It made it easy to feel at ease and difficult to leave.


The Demanding

The (so called) Healthy Focus
The absence of alcohol and coffee was no struggle for me, but the food was. I have been vegetarian for more than half my life and have a diet based rich in unprocessed fruits and vegetables. And yet this week I have really struggled at times. Evening ‘mocktails’ were far from healthy with loads of sparkling water and honey or other sweeteners. There were 3 chefs cooking for us on different days of the week and, liking more one than the others, they all abused so much of nuts that I honestly can’t take an almond, walnut, hazelnut, pistachio or anything of the kind anymore. My stomach has had enough cheese that the mere mention of feta or goat cheese makes me nauseous.

The Wind
I was lucky that the rain made no appearance during the week despite the weather forecast. We did get unusual strong winds everyday instead that made sleeping at night challenging and encouraged my monkey mind to move faster and faster. After the first days, I decided to embrace the challenge of finding inner peace despite what was going on on the outside. An example of mindfulness at its best!

Was it the best time I have ever had? No.
Would I return? Of course!

KaliYoga
Beautiful Yoga Shala

Cicatrización / Scar Tissue

¿Sabes cómo puedes recuperar movilidad y flexibilidad la zona afectada tras una intervención quirúrgica?

Si has padecido alguna intervención, por ejemplo de cáncer de pecho, es normal que tiendas a sobre proteger la zona y encojas los hombros o evites mover el brazo del lado afectado.

Sin embargo, es importante mantener flexibles los tejidos durante la cicatrización para mantener el rango de movimiento. Este simple ejercicio te ayudará a cicatrizar y a abrir la zona afectada de manera más natural. Además ayuda al drenaje natural de la linfa.

¿Te quitas la camiseta?


Do you know how you can recover mobility and flexibility after going through surgery?

After breast cancer surgery, for example, it is normal that you tend to protect the affected area, hunch your shoulders or avoid moving the arm of the affected side.

However, to maintain the range of movement, it’s crucial that to keep the scar tissues flexible. This simple exercise (video in Spanish) will help you open the affected area in a natural way as well as draining lymph through the body.

Want to take the shirt off?

Flexibilidad / Flexibility

Cuando pasas por una cirugía es importante que el tejido afectado cicatrice bien para no limitar el rango de movimiento y flexibilidad en la zona. Practicar este sencillo ejercicio puede ayudarte a recuperar movilidad y sanar la zona afectada. Pásate por Jaque Al Cáncer para saber más.


After breast cancer surgery, it’s important that the wound heals correctly to prevent the loss of flexibility in the affected area. This short video (in Spanish) shows a simple exercise you can do to help the healing and increase the range of motion. Visit Jaque al Cáncer for more information and tips.

Sofocos / Hot Flashes

Los sofocos son uno de los efectos secundarios más comunes de los tratamientos contra el cáncer. Aprende a manejarlos mejor con este vídeo super corto. Pásate por Jaque Al Cáncer para saber más.


Hot flashes are one of the most common side effects of cancer treatments. Learn how to handle them better with this super short video (in Spanish). Visit Jaque al Cáncer for more information and tips.

Ansiedad

La ansiedad es uno de los efectos secundarios más comunes del cáncer y de sus tratamientos. Pásate por Jaque al Cáncer y aprende cómo esta sencilla técnica de respiración, que puedes hacer en cualquier lugar te ayudará a calmarla.

 

Jaque Al Cáncer

Privilegiada de colaborar con el equipo de JaqueAlCancer en una serie de vídeos que te ayudarán a sobrellevar mejor los efectos secundarios del cáncer.

Muchos de vosotros ya conocéis a Mireya. Estuvo en Jaque hace algunos meses. Nos trajo un post muy interesante sobre la relación del yoga con el cáncer. Nos hablaba sobre los efectos secundarios qu…

Source: CÁNCER Y YOGA: VÍDEO PRESENTACIÓN

Transitioning to Autumn

Summer is giving way to autumn, a time of preparation and change for the colder days to come. It is also the season with high Vata predominance.

According to Ayurveda, Vata has the  following qualities:

  • Rough
  • Windy
  • Erratic
  • Cool
  • Light


What influence can Vata have on me?
On the physical aspect, you might notice:

  • Skin getting drier
  • Your hands and/or feet feeling colder
  • Irregular bowel movement
  • Change in appetite

On the mental aspect, you can experience:

  • Restlessness
  • Spaciness
  • Nervousness

What to do to better flow through this transition period?
Vata’s element is air, so it is best to incorporate lifestyle choices that balance this element. Nourish your body and mind adequately to encourage a sense of warmth and grounding.

The best advice is to incorporate to your diet foods that are in season. Nature provides products that help harmonize our body with the environment.

Some examples of great foods and spices to cook with these next few months are:

  • Root vegetables
  • Butternut squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Beets
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Hearty grains
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Vanilla

Remember that a strong body is more able to overcome changes and challenges in the colder months to come. So make sure to take good care of yourself: mind and body.

 

Beat the Heat

(scroll down for English)

El calor aprieta en Madrid. Huye de él con estos simples pero eficaces remedios:

  • Uvas congeladas: mete algunas uvas en una bolsa de congelar (recuerda lavarlas primero) y guárdalas en el congelador. En un par de días tendrás el perfecto tentempié. Deja que se derritan en tu boca para una sensación inmediata de frescor.
  • Agua fría de limón: vierte agua (mineral / filtrada) en una jarra. Añade hielo. Exprime un limón y añade alguna rodaja más. Pon unas hojas de mente y ¡a disfrutar!
  • ¡Splash! ¿Te cuesta dormir? Moja tus muñecas, nuca, parte baja de la espalda (a la altura de los riñones) y pies con agua fría. Notarás tu cuerpo aliviado del calor.
  • Sheetali Pranayama: realiza este simple ejercicio de respiración.

¿Utilizas otros remedios? Compártelos comentando abajo.


These last days of August are being hit with extreme temperatures. Beat the heat with this simple yet efficient remedies:

  • Frozen grapes: put some grapes in a freezing bag (remember to wash them beforehand) and stock in the freezer. After a few days you’ll have the perfect snack. Allow them to melt in your mouth for an immediate cooling sensation.
  • Cold lemon water: pour some cold (mineral / filtered) water into a jar with some ice. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and a few lemon slices. Add some mint leaves and enjoy!
  • Splash! Difficulty sleeping? Simply splash some cold water on your wrists, hindhead, lower back (kidney area) and feet. Feel the coolness spread throughout your whole body!
  • Sheetali Pranayama: practise this simple breathing technique.

Are there any other techniques you use? Comment below to share them.

Sheetali Pranayama

(scroll down for English)

Sheetali (o Respiración Refrescante)

¿Qué tal llevas los efectos de las altas temperaturas? ¿Te sientes irritado/a? ¿Sufres sofocos?

Combate el calor con Sheetali, un simple ejercicio de respiración que te proporciona una sensación refrescante.

Origen
La palabra “sheetali” significa ‘refrescar’ en sánscrito. La práctica de esta respiración refresca el cuerpo y la mente a la vez que calma la mente y reduce el estrés. El propósito de esta técnica de respiración es reducir la temperatura corporal. Actuando de manera positiva sobre las glándulas endocrinas y el sistema nervioso.

Cómo practicar Sheetali
1. Adopta una postura cómoda sentándote en el suelo, esterilla, cojín de meditación o silla. Asegúrate de que tu espalda está erguida.

2. Saca la lengua y enróllala si puedes (no todo el mundo puede enrollar la lengua, así que si no puedes, simplemente sácala).

3. Inhala por la boca, con la lengua fuera. Puedes contar hasta 4 mientras inhalas.

4. Mete la lengua y expulsa todo el aire por la nariz. Puedes contar hasta 6 mientras exhalas.

5. Continúa con esta respiración durante 2 o 3 minutos. Luego puedes volver a tu respiración normal durante otros 2 o 3 minutos y repetir Sheetali durante otros 2 o 3 minutos. Con práctica podrás incrementar la duración de la inhalación y exhalación a 4:8, o 5:10 o 6:12 segundos.


Sheetali (or Cooling Breath)

How are you managing the effects of the high temperatures? Feeling irritated? Suffering hot flashes?

Beat the heat with Sheetali a simple breathing technique that will help your body cool down.

Origin
The word “sheetali” means cooling in Sanskrit. The practice of this breathing technique cools the body and mind and at the same time calms the mind and reduces the stress. Its purpose is to reduce the body temperature, which may have positive effect on the endocrine glands and nervous system.

How to practise Sheetali
1. Sit in a comfortable position on the floor, mat, meditation cushion or on a chair. Make sure that you’re sitting up right, so that your spine is erect.

2. Stick your tongue out and roll it if possible (not everyone can roll the tongue, so if you can’t just stick it out).

3. Inhale through your mouth, with your tongue still out. You can start with inhaling in 4 counts.

4. Withdraw the tongue and close the mouth, exhaling completely through the nostrils. You can start exhaling for 6 counts.

5. Continue doing this breathing for 2 to 3 minutes. You can then return to normal breathing for several more, and repeat the cooling breath for another 2 to 3 minutes.With practice one can increase the counts to 4:8, or 5:10 or 6:12 seconds.

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