With spring being soon in its full blossom here at Suryalila at this time of year already, summer will be on its way sooner than you think... and this means it's time to get beach read... hang on a moment, you didn't really think we'd use body shaming language like 'Beach Ready' at Suryalila did you?! We believe that if you feel good on the inside, then you'll glow on the outside, no matter what swimsuit size you are. Our mission is to create a safe space where you can reconnect with your true essence and nurture your inner self. And we've found that yoga, meditation, movement, mindfulness, a nutritious diet and daily gratitude practise are powerful ways to help bring your mind and body into balance so that you can shine through life. That's why, in this lovingly curated blog post, we've teamed up with a bevvy of incredible yoga teachers, retreat leaders and experts, to help light you up from the inside, out. So, go get the glow and enjoy looking forward to those long summer days (and, in case it's raining, there's plenty here to do help you drift into bliss!). Here are four suggestions to nurture your inner self. Enjoy!
How Shoulder Strength can help your emotional health
Having strong shoulders isn't just handy for opening a tough jar of olives. Having upper body strength can work wonders for your mental and emotional health. Research has shown that strength training can help to lift low mood. How? One of the reasons is that when you're training, you're more focussed on the present moment - mindfulness - and the sensations that you're experiencing. Mindfulness also teaches you that thoughts and feelings are transient. They come and go, and it's up to you whether to act on them or not. Suryalila and Frog Lotus International founder Vidya is the shoulder queen! At 66 she can still hold a handstand longer than anyone else at Suryalila! Here, she shares a dynamic online Shoulder Flow class to help build upper body strength and inner resilience.
WHY WRITING YOUR STORY CAN BE SO HEALING
Journaling is becoming increasingly popular, and can be a powerful tool to help you to tell your story. Journalist and Suryalila Retreat Host, Amisha Desai, draws on her 15 years experience in real life storytelling to share her thoughts on why writing your story can be so therapeutic. Amisha says: 'Storytelling is one of the most ancient art forms. Stories can help you to make sense of the world, and create order and clarity in chaotic times. The act of writing your story can be one of the most healing things you can do, even if you're the only one who sees or reads it. It can help you to make that journey from head to the heart and connect with your true inner self. You can start to feel a sense of release as any feelings of hidden guilt, shame, trauma or negativity that you've been storing deep within you, leave your body and flow onto the page. Difficult experiences which threaten to define you and hold you back can become reframed as events which are part of your journey, helping you to move on with hope. By unburdening yourself, you can start to feel free as you create an internal path for a new story to take shape. But sitting down to write your whole life story can feel like a daunting task! So here is where journaling can help. Try and focus on taking your mind back to one memory and using your fives senses to describe that one memory in detail. Write down exactly what you can see in that moment in time, what you can taste, smell, feel and hear - for e.g if you're describing a conversation with a person, what are they wearing? What colour are their clothes? What is going on around you? What other noises can you hear? What can you smell? And then also start to describe the emotions you experienced in that moment. Writing your deepest thoughts and emotions in relation to events in your life can lead to positive change. Eventually, the words will start to flow and you will find your voice - a great gift to yourself.'
Celebrate 'you' with a joyous free online movement practise
If you’re feeling low, stuck, or in need of some inspiration join Esmeralda & Joanna for the perfect practice... the practise of JOY. All you need is a little bit of space, a good speaker / set of headphones and a willingness to move your body and open your heart! This guided practise will be a celebration of YOU. A celebration of life. A celebration just because. Choosing joy and celebration is a powerful statement to life, and it is central to the work that Esmeralda & Joanna had been hosts in a 'Reconnect Rewild Restore Retreat' here at Suryalila and here you can enjoy their practice that was filmed live as part of their online Moondance community project and feel your heart sing! For a double whammy of joy, listen to their uplifting Spotify playlist here.
Get a natural high with dj yoga teacher miles mortensen
Miles Mortensen went from London DJ to yoga teacher after hitting a rough patch in his life. Here. he shares his powerful story about how yoga helped to transform his life. Miles says: "DJing took me to some crazy places, gave me some wild experiences, and created some beautiful memories and connections. But, I then hit a very rough patch of my life. A tricky relationship and a break up triggered a spiral of dark times. I fell into a space of hating myself, developing body image issues, being filled with anxiety, and just feeling depressed. I didn't want to see or talk to anyone. It hit me how bad I was when my best mate pulled me aside for a chat. Down the line I decided to pick myself up and make some changes, incorporating meditation and yoga into my life. I would experiment with yoga by remembering what I had done with my mum when I was younger and what I taught myself online. The yoga world sucked me in and I was watching and reading anything I could about it. I eventually started experimenting with teaching some friends. Fast forward two years and I headed to India to do my 200-HR in Ashtanga and Vinyasa. Teaching and practising are like nothing I have ever experienced and yet it gives me the same high as when I would play in a night club. Along the way, I came to meet Ashtanga's rebel sibling, Rocket. In my eye's it is the perfect combination of tradition and playfulness. It gives you a structure to follow whilst allowing the practitioner freedom to express themselves. Now I incorporate the tools and skills I have learnt over the years into my teaching and classes, curating unique soundtracks for that lift and carry the practitioner through their practice. I like to create a story of movement and breath when I practise and teach with a bit of a party vibe. The sound helps guide people into a space of exploration and inquiry, of playfulness and fun. I want to share the things I experience through my practise with others and not just on a physical level but also on a psychological and energetic level. Yoga has helped me overcome many barriers within my life to become a stronger and more in tune person. And this is why I want to help others, through practice and through sound with an element of play. I now travel without a home searching for places wherever I can bring the party. "Feel strong in your inner and outer self with this online upper body class with Miles. Afterwards, take a breather and listen to him chatting about men, mental health and body image on the Yo Geez Podcast.