mireya semelas

yoga · mindfulness · reiki



20 lessons from 2020

As we glide through the last days of this [fill in the gap] year, I want to take the time to reflect back on some crucial personal realizations that I adamantly want to carry over into 2021 (and beyond).

  1. life is strange. And ephemeral. Live it
  2. change overwhelms me
  3. routines are saviors
  4. nothing (nothing) can substitute human touch. Hug often
  5. re-assess often who and what I invest my energy in. If it is not adding value to my life, re-direct accordingly
  6. loneliness hurts. Physically hurts
  7. life is better with a dog
  8. nature heals
  9. nothing is under control
  10. asking for help is not a weakness
  11. mental health is a priority, not a privilege
  12. meditate. Every day and more so when I feel unable
  13. remember often the souls who shone brighter on my darkest days
  14. I don’t need half of the things I think I need
  15. everyone is fighting their own battle. Be kind. Always
  16. check-in often with those who you love
  17. if I am able to do something, I should. It may not be possible tomorrow
  18. half of what weighs me down is not mine to carry
  19. don’t take anything or anyone for granted. Be grateful for all I have
  20. it’s ok not to be ok. Accept emotions. Let them hurt until they don’t hurt any more

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!

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.


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…



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La  Asociación de Afectados por Cáncer de Ovario (ASACO) me hicieron una entrevista en la que cuento los beneficios del yoga para los afectados por cáncer. ¡No te la pierdas!

In this interview for the Ovarian Cancer Patients’ Association  (ASACO) I tell how yoga benefits cancer survivors. Learn all about it! (link in Spanish)

Yoga Avanzado / Advanced Yoga


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¿Qué entiendes por yoga avanzado?
¿Hacer el pino?
¿Flexionarte hasta que tu tronco y piernas se junten?
¿Tocarte los dedos de los pies con las piernas totalmente estiradas?

Eso es solo circo.

El verdadero yogui avanzado es aquel que:

  • respeta, conoce y escucha a su cuerpo
  • adapta la postura a su cuerpo y no su cuerpo a la postura
  • no se compara con los demás
  • abandona el ego en su práctica
  • respira comodamente en la postura
  • modifica la postura si nota su respiración comprometida
  • se relaciona con su cuerpo en lugar de luchar contra él para conquistarlo
  • viene a la esterilla a ‘sentir‘ y no a ‘hacer’

El verdadero yogui avanzado sabe que “yoga” no se limita a la práctica física…

What does advanced yoga mean for you?
Doing a headstand?
Bending forward with your chest touching your thighs?
Touching your toes with your legs completely straight?

That’s just circus.

The truly advanced yogi is that who:

  • respect, knows and listens to their body
  • adapts the posture to their body and not their body to the posture
  • doesn’t compare themselves to others
  • keeps their ego away from their practice
  • breathes freely in a pose
  • modifies the pose if their breath is compromised
  • establishes a relationship with their body rather than fight against it to conquer it
  • comes to the mat to ‘feel‘ not to ‘accomplish’

The true advanced yogi knows that there is so so so much to “yoga” beyond the physical part…

Sahasrara Chakra

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Nuestros pasos por los chakras nos trasladan al último de ellos: el Sahasrara chakra o centro de la corona.

Este es el chakra de la conciencia. La parte más alta de nuestra cabeza en nuestra conexión universal con la belleza y la espiritualidad. Es la última expresión del yoga, la unión entre lo universal y lo individual. Cuando nutres tus raíces desde el primero de los chakras, tu creatividad fluye por el segundo, tus intenciones cobran poder en el tercero, tu corazón está abierto e intercambia amor en el cuarto, te expresas desde el quinto y estás en contacto con tu voz interior en el sexto, solo entonces, la energía puede llegar al sahasrara chakra para recordarte que tu esencia es infinita e ilimitada.

  • ¿Dónde se encuentra? en la parte alta de la cabeza, en la coronilla
  • ¿Qué gobierna? nuestra conciencia
  • ¿Elemento? Pensamiento
  • ¿Color? Violeta
  • ¿Mantra? ‘Yo Entiendo’
  • ¿Aceite esencial? incienso
  • ¿Qué información te proporciona al escucharlo? conexión entre conocimiento y espiritualidad
  • ¿Qué pasa cuando la energía fluye con libertad? entiendes tu mundo interior y cómo este conecta con el exterior
  • ¿Qué pasa si la energía está bloqueada? te cuesta comprender, tiendes a sentirte deprimido, no retienes información.

Las siguientes posturas te ayudarán a eliminar bloqueos y que la energía fluya por tu Sahasrara chakra en la cantidad y velocidad adecuada:

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Postura del cadaver

Salamba Sirsasana
Postura sobre los hombros

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Supta Baddha Konasana
Postura del ángulo atado acostado

Our journey through the chakras takes us to the last of them: Sahasrara chakra or crown centre.

This is the conscience chakra. The top crown of our head is our universal connection with beauty and spirituality. This is the ultimate expression of yoga, the union between the universal and the individual. When you nourish your roots from the first chakra, your creativity flows through the second chakra, your intentions take power from the third chakra, your heart is open in the fourth chakra, you express yourself from the fifth chakra and you’re in touch with your inner voice from the sixth chakra, only then, the energy can flow through the sahasrara chakra and remind you that your essence is limitless and infinite.

  • Where is it located? on the crown of your head
  • What does it focus on? our conscience
  • Element? Thought
  • Colour? Violet
  • Mantra? ‘I Understand’
  • Essential oil? frankincense
  • What information does it provide you with? connection between understanding and spirituality
  • What happens when the chakra is balanced? you understand your inner world and how it connects with the outer world
  • What happens when the chakra is out of balance? you have trouble understanding, you tend to feel depressed, you find it difficult to retain information

The following yoga poses will help you remove blockages and allow the right amount of prana to flow freely and in the right amount through your Sahasrara chakra:

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Corpse pose

Salamba Sirsasana
Shoulder stand pose

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Supta Baddha Konasana
Reclining bound angle pose


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