Yoga and Meditation

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Yoga means Union. The aim of the Yogi is to achieve liberation from all limitations and achieve a state of union. The is to become one with the divine. In this path, on the energetic level, the awareness passes through various energy levels, energy vortexes or chakras,

These chakras can be thought of as additional senses, perception or awareness areas, leading from the base of the spine (the seat of the Kundalini or Life Force), to the crown of the head. Meditation on these helps to activate the associated energy.

The Yoga Sutras are the definitive Yogic text that give Yogi’s precise, scientific guidelines for self-purification, self-mastery, stilling the mind, activating the kundalini and raising it up the spine achieve liberation from the thinking mind, and eventual union with the divine.

Yoga has many aspects or paths, which could be categorized broadly as having physical/practical elements or having spiritual/meditative elements. Some, such as Kundalini, Kroya and Tantra are faster paths to liberation.

HATHA YOGA AND KUNDALINI YOGA

Hatha yoga and kundalini yoga are two practical or physical aspects of Yoga.

Kundalini yoga kriyas are practical, physical practices that seek to activate and raise the kundalini life force located at the base of the spine. The meditative or spiritual aspects that follow the physical are focused on channeling the kundalini energy up along the spinal column to achieve bliss, ecstasy and union.

Yoga poses (asanas) stretch and balance specific areas of the body. Kundalini yoga kriyas are more dynamic forms of yoga that work on moving the energy along the nadis, the bodies’ energy channel networks.

During the yoga asana practice, specific muscles of the body are stretched, held and then relaxed. When the muscles are stretched and the body is stilled, inner tension is removed. When the muscle is relaxed on exiting the asana, both the imposed muscle tension and the underlying muscle tension caused by stress and other factors is released.

In a yoga session the body is systematically stretched and relaxed, thus relaxing the entire body of tension. With the body fully relaxed, the mind can also be relaxed as it does not have any muscular tensions or stresses to occupy itself with.

Then, with the body and the mind relaxed, you can proceed with meditation, and true self-examination, self-development and self-mastery.

Aerial Yoga, Anti-Gravity Yoga

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Aerial yoga or anti-gravity yoga is an amazing, revolutionary form of yoga and fitness training.

Magic and fun happen when yoga and flying unite!

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The traditional yoga class experience of stretching, balance and meditation is combined with aerial training where gravity is eliminated.

With aerial yoga you will have a powerful workout that combines strength, balance, flexibility, core training, all infused with the joy of flying!

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Aerial yoga use ropes and hammocks, and includes swinging, inversion and all traditional yoga poses, performed in the air.

Partner Yoga and Contact Improvisation

Partner Yoga and Contact Improvisation is a unique meditation and movement practice that will expand your awareness, trust and communication, as well as build your strength, flexibility and balance. It involves:

Mind Body Centering

Partner Flow Sequences

Inversions

Thai Yoga Massage

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Meditation: Dynamic and Still

At Lotus Retreats we practice both the dynamic and still forms of mediation.

Meditation can be practiced in stillness, that is without movement of the body and without sound. This would be the typical form used by Yogis and Buddhists, where the yogi sits still in the symbolic Lotus posture and meditates in silence and stillness.

Meditation can also be practiced with movement of the body, where the meditation is active or dynamic. This can be done as a martial art such as Tai Chi, breath work such as Chi Gung or even dance forms such as the mind body centering form of contact improvisation or ecstatic dancing. In dynamic forms of meditation, attention is brought into the body ,That is, attention is taken away from the mind and the thinking process, which is like a prison, and into the living body.

Active meditations are more fun, they involve cathartic work, primal scream, movement, sound, tantric bodywork, energetic cultivation, healing, hugging and laughter.

Dynamic mediation is also practiced in the Holistic Five Pillar massage, which is an advanced dynamic meditation and body work practice.

At lotus retreats there will be guided meditation, pranayama and chi gung sessions. Meditation and Pranayama help balance mind, body and spirit.

Chi Gung helps develop and focus vital energy for health, sex and longevity.

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The Meditation: Mind Detox page has more on Meditation, Relaxation and Pranayama

 

Chanting and Mantras

Chanting and Mantras are ways to silence and discipline the mind. Until the mind is silenced and disciplined, you will not make much progress on the path of self-purification, self-development and self-mastery.

Our retreats will have guided Sufi, Hindi and Tibetan chanting sessions, as well as talks and discussions on spirituality.

As well as chanting special mantras, we will also explore the inner meaning and spiritual relevance of the mantra.

 

Therapeutic Massage Training

We teach non-clinical theraputic massage. For more details, read: Clinical and Non-Clinical Massage Training

 

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Therapeutic massage kneads toxins from the tissues, activates lymph drainage, stimulates glandular secretions, tones the joints, muscles and tendons, and helps the mind and body to relax.

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At the retreat we will offer optional workshops, practice, and one-to-one massage sessions

 

Holistic Five Pillar Massage Training

Holistic Five Pillar Massage is an eclectic form of tantra massage therapy.

Eclectic means that it is built on a broad and diverse range of sources.  It is a  synthesis of Indian and Chinese massage and healing therapies with modern understandings of anatomy, physiology and psychology.

It is an inclusive, non-clinical, holistic form of massage therapy that addresses the conscious and unconscious needs of the whole person. This includes the physical, the emotional, the sensuous, the energetic and the spiritual needs of a person.

It is a massage practice that enhances your life energy, essence and spirit –  the Three Treasures. It harnesses the energy of the cosmos (chi/prana), brings it into your body and into your partner as a spiritual gift.

The practice incorporates ancient Indian and Chinese massage traditions including Tantric, Taoist, Traditional Thai Massage; as well as modern western massage and bodywork practices including Swedish Massage, Aromatherapy, Hot Stones, Reichian Therapy and Psycho-sexual Release.

Each “Pillar” is a body of knowledge and training that together with the other four makes a comprehensive whole.

The five pillars are:
1. Breathing and Connecting
2. Conscious Touch: Sensitivity and Skills
3. Rocking and Releasing
4. Yoga Asanas: Postures, Positions and Movement
5. Techniques and Massage Routines

More details at: Holistic Five Pillar Massage Therapy

 

These are practical training sessions covering massage, energy work, body work and meditation.

Like learning to drive the pillars need to be practiced, practiced and practiced again, rather than read about. Think of it as a sacred physical and spiritual practice, where the thinking mind is allowed or persuaded to rest and not interfere with the enjoyment of the massage experience.

Regular massage practice will make the process automatic, natural, requiring no thought, free flowing and enjoyable to both the receiver and the giver.

Holistic Five Pillar Massage has elements of:

Traditional Thai Massage

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Shiatsu

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Traditional Asian Foot Massage/Reflexology

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Hot Aromatherapy Oil Massage

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Hot Stones Massage

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Movement and Dance Workshops

Contact Improvisation

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Belly Dance

Kundalini Dance

Sufi Whirling

 

 

Goddess Kundalini Awakening Workshops

Kundalini is an enormous reserve of untapped potential within each of us. It is normally depicted as a coiled or sleeping serpent, located in an area towards the base of the spine.

It can be stirred, awakened and guided to rise leading one to union, merging or being one with the Divine.

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Healing Tantra and Tao Workshops

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Tantra yoga is the Royal Path to Union. It is a process of inner awakening, flowering and self-empowerment.

The Taoist traditions are practical ways to live in harmony with nature, attain health, sex, longevity, and an alignment of ones life to the “Way”.

 

Shared House Care (Karma Yoga)

There will be some shared house care work for all, intended to complement the meditation and help instil the qualities of loving kindness, service and mindfulness.

Karma yoga is about doing things for other people, doing them with other people so as to form a bonding based on shared activities and work. We encourage you to feel at home and not expect to be waited on – our retreats are not five star serviced holidays!

If you are a yoga, massage or other therapist or teacher, you could also contribute by helping with or facilitating workshops and sessions.

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