mireya semelas

yoga · mindfulness · reiki



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

Meditación / Meditation

(English below)

Seguro que has oído hablar de la meditación y de todos sus beneficios. De cómo influye de manera positiva en nuestro estado de ánimo, potenciando la producción de serotonina y reduciendo así la ansiedad, el insomnio, los dolores de cabeza… Además,  una práctica constante de meditación fortalece el sistema inmunitario, relaja los músculos y nos permite relacionarnos con el mundo que nos rodea desde la conexión.

Pero ¿qué es la meditación? ¿Cómo se medita?

Con este post espero poder responder a tus dudas aclarando algunas de las ideas falsas que rodean a la meditación.

  1. La meditación NO es dejar la mente en blanco
    Mira a tu alrededor e intenta no ver nada. Difícil ¿verdad? Pues lo mismo con la mente. La mente está diseñada para pensar.
    Meditar es dejar que los pensamientos aparezcan sin seguirlos, permitiendo que se vayan fundiendo con el fondo para que no nos atrapen. Así, lo que nos queda es la respiración y no podemos respirar en el pasado. No podemos respirar en el futuro. Solo podemos respirar en el momento.
  2. La meditación NO es una religión
    Los budistas meditan, pero también cantan y no por ello el canto es una religión.
    La meditación no es una religión, es una ciencia. Es la ciencia de la mente.
  3. La meditación NO busca un resultado específico
    Esto no es fácil de entender en una sociedad en la que el fruto de la acción es nuestro único objetivo.
    La meditación despierta sensaciones que nos permiten disfrutar del poco tiempo que tenemos en esta vida.
  4. La meditación NO es una manera de aislamiento
    La meditación es la unión entre el cuerpo y la mente. Es la unión entre tu persona y el mundo que te rodea. Es un viaje hacia la auto-liberación que te prepara para aliviar el sufrimiento de tu alrededor.
  5. La meditación NO es correcta o errónea
    Buenas noticias: no hay una manera de meditar bien o de meditar mal. No existe la manera de ser el mejor meditador del mundo. Busca lo que te sirva a ti y nútrelo.

Meditar es llevar nuestra atención a algo específico y mantenerla ahí.
Sin resistencia, aceptando, creciendo.
Sintiendo, dejando ir, volviendo.

You surely have heard about meditation and all of its benefits. Of how it positively affects our mood by enhancing the production of serotonin. This reduces anxiety, insomnia, headaches, etc. A constant meditation practice has been found to boost the immune system, lead to muscle relaxation and allow to better connect with the world around us.

But, what is meditation? How does one meditate?

In this post I’ll try to clarify your doubts by addressing some of the most common misconceptions that surround meditation.

  1. Meditation IS NOT leaving your mind blank
    Look around you and try not to see anything. Hard, right? The same thing happens with meditation. How are you going to stop thinking when your mind was designed for thought?
    To meditate is to allow thoughts to appear and slowly fade into the background. Allowing the free flow of thoughts without getting dragged into them. What is left is the breath. We can’t breathe in the past. We can’t breathe in the future. We can only breathe in the moment.
  2. Meditation IS NOT a religion
    True, buddhists meditate, but they sing too and that doesn’t make chants a religion.
    Meditation is not a religion but a science. The science of the mind.
  3. Meditation DOES NOT seek a result
    This isn’t easy to understand in a society where the result is the main objective of our actions.
    Meditation awakens sensations that allow us to enjoy the little time that we have in life.
  4. Meditation IS NOT isolation
    Meditation reunites the body and the mind. It is the union between yourself and the world around you. It will help you liberate yourself so that you can help alleviate the suffering of those around you.
  5. Meditation IS NOT right or wrong
    Good news: there isn’t a right or wrong way to meditate. There isn’t a way of becoming the best meditator in the world. See what works for you and nurture it.

Meditation is setting the mind on something specific and keeping it there.
Without any resistance, accepting, growing.
Noticing, letting go, coming back.

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