When was it the last time you felt truly yourself? In other words, when did you last experience feeling free to just be, without roles and obligations, fears and worries? Think about the last time you woke up in the morning feeling energised and ready to face the day ahead. Now, imagine feeling like that every single morning.
We all have busy lives and we forget to take care of ourselves sometimes. We may need to let go of our schedule and our desire to pack as many activities into our diary as possible to live a balanced life. It’s a good idea to take stock on a regular basis and look at how we live our lives, and potentially find ways to improve our quality of life. Gaining a sense of perspective can bring clarity about our purpose and our potential.
Taking a break can make a difference, but not all breaks were created equal. A retreat may be one of the best ways to take a step back, re-evaluate things and recharge your batteries.
Maybe you already practise yoga regularly, either at home or in a class (or both), and maybe you have had a few Sophrology sessions. What if you had the opportunity to go a bit deeper into your practice?
You may be surprised to notice how working on your breathing can be transformative. Yoga works with a sequence of exercises and postures (asanas) designed to help you become more acquainted with your body and reach a balanced state in body and mind. Over time you become aware of your body and its subtle signals, for example areas of tension. The breathing helps to stretch the muscles a bit further or to hold a pose for longer.
Sophrology is a dynamic relaxation technique and a philosophy: Sophrology means “the study of consciousness in harmony”. While it’s not a spiritual practice, Sophrology raises the states of consciousness to improve your mental state and to release tension in your body. This tends to bring more positivity into your life as you focus on the present moment and let go of worry and energy blocks.
The founder of Sophrology, Professor Alfonso Caycedo, travelled to India to study how yogis worked with their bodies and their breathing to achieve a sense of balance. He learned meditation from Buddhist monks and even had the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama. In Sophrology we learn to focus on our sensations and our body, and then we start learning more about our inner world. Just for a few minutes a day we can put everything else on hold while we connect with our true self.
The Sophrology exercises are simple: you are either sitting or standing and you use gentle movement to connect with your body and your breathing. There are also some visualisation exercises that help you build a better future. An important element of Sophrology is the pause: between exercises we take an integration pause to notice any sensation in our body and embed the relaxation throughout the body. There is no right or wrong way to practise the exercises because it’s all about your personal experience, without judgement.
Benefits of Going on a Retreat
When you go on a retreat you get to carve out some time for yourself, a time for feeling nurtured and taken care of, which is particularly important if you look after other people (for example, if you have a young family).
A well-organised retreat usually provides perfectly balanced and healthy meals, all freshly prepared using organic ingredients, as well as detoxing and reviving drinks.
Retreats tend to have a programme of classes with enough breaks for quiet downtime or exploring the local area. Not having to worry about making appointments to attend classes is a welcome change to your normal routine back at home.
You get the opportunity to have your private space to relax but also to spend time with like-minded people. During a retreat you have more time for introspection, rest and live a simpler life. There is no rushing so you have more chances to observe what’s around you.
A retreat can be a journey of self-discovery where you realise how much potential and inner strengths you have. You may gain insights, such as rediscovering the wonder of nature around you with new eyes, as if it was for the first time. You appreciate what you have and who you are. Not all retreats will be life-changing, but they are a welcome change from a hectic lifestyle, when you know you need to slow down.
After every yoga, meditation or Sophrology class, you feel like walking on a cloud: the mind is free from worry and the body feels nimble. This is our natural state of being and we tend to forget how that feels when we are too busy and our mind is preoccupied.
The difference between a normal holiday and a retreat is the overall atmosphere: during a retreat you may experience more silence than you’ve ever been used to and less logistical problems. Everything has been meticulously thought through to have activities running smoothly, so you can concentrate on your well-being.
The biggest benefit of going on a retreat is the new knowledge you acquire: you now have tools and skills to help you overcome challenges and feel at peace and empowered even during difficult situations.
Yoga and Sophrology Retreat in Ibiza
BeSophro has partnered with Ambika Yoga to offer a wonderful week of relaxation, healing and empowerment at a yoga retreat in Ibiza.
The retreat takes place at Casa Lakshmi in Santa Eulalia, a stunning countryside location only 20 minutes’ drive from the airport. It is a beautiful villa with an outdoor swimming pool and infinity pool, surrounded by lush gardens.
During the retreat you will learn how you can integrate Sophrology with your yoga practice.
Sophrology is a great way to deepen your yoga practice.
Ambika Yoga retreats are designed to make you feel re-energised and ready to face the world.
You have been good all year, you deserve to go on a retreat!