Yoga is an ancient practice that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines aimed at achieving balance and harmony in life. It has deep roots in Indian philosophy and has evolved over thousands of years into a comprehensive system of well-being and self-realization. In today's fast-paced world, yoga has gained popularity as a means to relieve stress, improve physical health, and attain inner peace. This article aims to explore the multifaceted nature of yoga, delving into its history, principles, benefits, and modern-day relevance.

Historical Origins of Yoga

The word "yoga" is derived from the Sanskrit root "yuj," which means to yoke or unite. Its ancient origins can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilization, where archaeological evidence suggests the practice of yoga dates back over 5,000 years. However, it was the ancient Indian sage Patanjali who systematized the practice of yoga in his "Yoga Sutras," providing a philosophical framework for understanding the mind and achieving self-realization.

Patanjali's classical eight-limbed path of yoga, known as "Ashtanga Yoga," outlines a comprehensive system for personal development. It includes ethical principles (yamas and niyamas), physical postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), sensory withdrawal (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and ultimately, spiritual absorption (samadhi). This holistic approach to yoga emphasizes the interconnectedness of body, mind, and spirit.

The Principles of Yoga

At its core, yoga is founded on a set of principles that guide practitioners toward holistic well-being. The practice of yoga seeks to cultivate self-awareness, compassion, and harmony within oneself and with the world. The principles of yoga are deeply rooted in ancient wisdom and have enduring relevance in modern society.

One of the fundamental principles of yoga is Ahimsa, or non-violence. This principle encourages practitioners to embody kindness and compassion toward oneself and others, fostering a sense of interconnectedness and harmony. Similarly, Satya, or truthfulness, advocates for practicing honesty and authenticity in thoughts, words, and actions. These principles, along with others such as Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (moderation), and Aparigraha (non-attachment), form the ethical foundation of yoga practice.

The Physical Aspects of Yoga

In the West, yoga is often associated with physical postures or asanas, which have gained immense popularity as a form of exercise and stress relief. These postures are designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body, promoting flexibility, muscular endurance, and overall physical well-being. From gentle restorative poses to dynamic and challenging sequences, yoga offers a wide range of practices suitable for individuals of all ages and abilities.

The practice of yoga postures is not merely about physical exercise; it is also a means of cultivating mindfulness and presence. By focusing on the breath and bodily sensations during asana practice, practitioners can develop a heightened sense of body awareness and mental clarity. This integration of movement and mindfulness sets yoga apart as a holistic discipline that nurtures the body-mind connection.

Breath Work and Meditation

In addition to physical postures, breath work, or pranayama, is an integral component of the yoga practice. Pranayama techniques involve conscious control of the breath to regulate energy flow, calm the mind, and enhance vitality. Deep, intentional breathing can induce relaxation, reduce stress, and promote mental clarity, making pranayama a valuable tool for achieving balance and emotional well-being.

Meditation, the practice of focusing the mind and cultivating inner awareness, is another cornerstone of classical yoga. Through meditation, practitioners can gain insight into the workings of the mind, cultivate emotional resilience, and experience moments of profound stillness and tranquility. Numerous studies have highlighted the psychological benefits of meditation, showing its capacity to reduce anxiety, improve attention, and foster a sense of inner peace.

Yoga Beyond the Mat: Mindfulness and Daily Life

While the physical and mental benefits of yoga are often associated with the practice of postures, breathwork, and meditation, the essence of yoga extends far beyond the confines of a yoga mat. Yoga encourages practitioners to embody mindfulness in their daily lives, cultivating present-moment awareness, resilience, and compassion.

The practice of mindfulness, a central tenet of yoga, involves paying attention to the present moment with openness and curiosity. By integrating mindfulness into everyday activities, individuals can reduce stress, enhance focus, and savor life's experiences more fully. Simple practices such as mindful breathing, conscious eating, and gratitude journaling exemplify how yoga can be integrated into daily routines to foster well-being and emotional balance.

Yoga as a Spiritual Path

In its traditional context, yoga is not merely a set of physical exercises or relaxation techniques; it is a spiritual path aimed at self-realization and transcendence. The ultimate goal of yoga is to unveil the innermost nature of the self, transcending the limitations of the ego and realizing one's interconnectedness with the universe.

Spirituality in yoga is often expressed through devotion (bhakti), knowledge (jnana), and selfless action (karma). These paths provide different avenues for spiritual growth, allowing individuals to connect with the divine, seek wisdom, and serve others with love and compassion.

Yoga and Modern Science

In recent decades, the practice of yoga has garnered increasing interest from the scientific community, leading to numerous studies exploring its effects on physical and mental health. Research has demonstrated that yoga can have profound physiological and psychological benefits, including reduced stress, improved cardiovascular health, enhanced cognitive function, and alleviation of chronic pain.

Moreover, the integration of yoga with modern therapeutic approaches has given rise to practices such as yoga therapy, which applies yogic principles and techniques to support individuals in managing various health conditions. From depression and anxiety to chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, yoga therapy has shown promise in promoting holistic well-being and addressing complex health challenges.

Yoga in the Modern World

As the pace of modern life accelerates and the prevalence of stress-related health issues rises, the appeal of yoga as a holistic practice for well-being continues to grow. Yoga has transcended cultural and geographical boundaries, becoming a global phenomenon that offers a pathway to physical, mental, and emotional balance.

In addition to traditional yoga studios and retreat centers, yoga is increasingly integrated into diverse settings, including schools, workplaces, hospitals, and community organizations. This trend reflects a growing recognition of the multifaceted benefits of yoga and its capacity to promote resilience, reduce burnout, and foster a culture of well-being in various spheres of life.

Moreover, the accessibility of online yoga platforms and virtual classes has further expanded the reach of yoga, enabling individuals to engage in practice from the comfort of their homes. This democratization of yoga instruction has made the practice more inclusive and adaptable to diverse lifestyles and needs, reflecting its enduring relevance in a rapidly evolving world.


In conclusion, yoga is a profound and multifaceted practice that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions. Rooted in ancient wisdom and philosophy, yoga offers a holistic path to well-being, self-awareness, and inner transformation. Its principles, including mindfulness, ethical conduct, breath work, and meditation, provide a blueprint for living with greater harmony and compassion.

As yoga continues to evolve and adapt to modern contexts, its impact on individual and collective well-being becomes increasingly salient. From enhancing physical health and mental resilience to fostering a deeper sense of connection and purpose, the practice of yoga holds enduring relevance in our quest for holistic well-being and self-realization. Whether on the mat, in daily life, or the depth of spiritual inquiry, yoga offers a transformative journey toward balance, wholeness, and inner peace.

Here is the YouTube video if you want to try my 10-minute Grounding yoga at your home.

Spain is a perennial favorite among yoga retreat participants and holidaymakers for a multitude of reasons, each contributing to its enduring popularity as a top travel destination.

And here is why:

Stunning Landscapes:

Spain's landscapes and natural beauty are as diverse as they are breathtaking, offering a wide array of experiences for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. From pristine beaches along the Mediterranean coast to rugged mountains and lush forests, Spain's scenery is nothing short of spectacular.


Spain is famous for its stunning coastline, which stretches for thousands of kilometers along the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Bay of Biscay. From the vibrant beaches of the Costa del Sol to the secluded coves of the Balearic Islands, Spain offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking to soak up the sun, swim in crystal-clear waters, or enjoy water sports such as surfing and snorkeling, Spain's beaches are the perfect destination.


Spain is famous for its stunning coastline, which stretches for thousands of kilometers along the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Bay of Biscay. From the vibrant beaches of the Costa del Sol to the secluded coves of the Balearic Islands, Spain offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking to soak up the sun, swim in crystal-clear waters, or enjoy water sports such as surfing and snorkeling, Spain's beaches are the perfect destination.

National Parks:

Spain is home to several stunning national parks and protected areas that showcase the country's diverse flora and fauna. The Picos de Europa National Park in northern Spain is known for its dramatic limestone peaks, deep gorges, and lush forests, while the Doñana National Park in Andalucia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its wetlands and birdwatching opportunities. Other notable parks include the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, the Tablas de Daimiel National Park, and the Caldera de Taburiente National Park in the Canary Islands.

Nature Reserves:

Beyond its national parks, Spain is dotted with nature reserves and protected areas that preserve its natural beauty and biodiversity. The Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in Andalucia is one such example, boasting rugged coastal cliffs, hidden beaches, and volcanic rock formations. The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park in the Pyrenees is another gem, offering pristine wilderness, alpine meadows, and stunning waterfalls.


With its Mediterranean climate, Spain enjoys mild winters and long, sunny summers, making it an ideal destination for sun-seekers year-round. Whether you're lounging on the beaches of the Balearic Islands or exploring the historic streets of Barcelona, you're sure to enjoy the pleasant weather that Spain has to offer.

Hiking The Thrilling Caminito del Ray

One of the highlights of our retreat was the opportunity to explore the rugged beauty of the Caminito Del Ray trail. Led by experienced guides, we embarked on a journey of discovery, navigating cliffs and winding pathways with awe and reverence.

Nestled amidst the rugged landscapes of Andalucia, Spain, lies one of the world's most exhilarating hiking trails: the Caminito del Rey. This awe-inspiring pathway winds its way through the breathtaking El Chorro Gorge, offering intrepid adventurers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the raw beauty of nature from dizzying heights.

Originally built in the early 20th century to provide maintenance access for workers at nearby hydroelectric plants, the Caminito del Rey gained notoriety for its perilous conditions and hair-raising reputation. For decades, the trail fell into disrepair, earning it the nickname "the world's most dangerous walkway" and attracting thrill-seekers from around the globe eager to test their mettle.

In recent years, efforts have been made to restore and renovate the Caminito del Rey, transforming it from a perilous pathway into a safe and accessible hiking trail. Today, visitors can embark on a guided journey along the trail, marveling at the stunning vistas and vertigo-inducing views that have made the Caminito del Rey a bucket-list destination for adventurers everywhere.

The journey along the Caminito del Rey begins with a scenic walkway suspended high above the rushing waters of the Guadalhorce River. As hikers traverse the narrow pathway carved into the sheer cliffs of the gorge, they are treated to panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, with glimpses of soaring eagles and cascading waterfalls adding to the sense of wonder and excitement.

The Caminito del Rey offers an unforgettable adventure that will be remembered for a lifetime. Whether you're a seasoned hiker seeking a new challenge or a nature enthusiast eager to experience the wonders of Andalucia's rugged landscapes, the Caminito del Rey is sure to leave you breathless in more ways than one.

Yoga Retreat Center

Our Yoga retreat center is located 3 km from the charming village of El Gastor.

The accommodations are rooms in villas with views of the mountain, air conditioners, and heaters and there is wifi inside all the buildings. Villas have a bedroom with a double bed, a living room with a fold-out sofa, an open kitchen, a bathroom, a balcony, and a pool. The 19 rooms can be single, double, triple, or quadruple occupancy and have air conditioning, heaters, and free wifi.

We have at our disposal a comfortable yoga studio with all the necessary equipment such as yoga mats, blocks, blankets, and bolsters.

Enjoying Nourishing Vegetarian Delights

At our yoga retreat, we believe that nourishing the body with wholesome, vegetarian food is an essential part of the holistic experience. Inspired by the bounty of Andalucia's fertile lands and the rich tradition of Mediterranean cuisine, our meals are crafted with care using locally sourced ingredients, ensuring that each bite is a celebration of flavor, freshness, and vitality.

Drawing upon the abundance of local produce, our menu showcases the vibrant flavors and vibrant colors of Andalucia's culinary heritage. From the rich, golden hues of locally produced olive oil to the earthy sweetness of ripe tomatoes and peppers, each ingredient is carefully selected to create dishes that delight the senses and nourish the soul.

Our meals are designed to provide a balance of nutrients and flavors, offering a variety of plant-based proteins, whole grains, and fresh vegetables to fuel your body and support your practice. Whether you're indulging in a hearty bowl of lentil soup, savoring a colorful salad bursting with seasonal vegetables, or enjoying a comforting plate of vegetable paella, our menu is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

Our vegetarian menu is not only delicious—it's also designed to inspire and empower you to make healthier choices long after you leave our retreat. By showcasing the incredible diversity and versatility of plant-based ingredients, we hope to ignite a passion for cooking and eating well that will continue to nourish your body, mind, and spirit for years to come.

Improve and deepen your yoga practice!

With multiple sessions each day, you have the opportunity to practice yoga more extensively than you might in your routine. This extended practice can help you refine your poses, build strength and flexibility, and deepen your understanding of yoga techniques. The expertise of an experienced yoga teacher can help you refine your alignment, explore advanced practices, and overcome any challenges you may encounter.

Retreats often incorporate workshops or discussions on yoga philosophy, history, and spirituality. This exploration can deepen your understanding of the philosophical principles underlying yoga and inspire you to integrate these teachings into your practice and daily life.

You can try and practice different styles of yoga.

Practicing and learning different styles of yoga can greatly benefit you in finding the right practice for different days or stages of life in the future in several ways:

  • Understanding Your Preferences: Trying out various yoga styles allows you to understand what resonates most with you. You might find that you prefer the dynamic flow of Vinyasa one day, while on another day, you crave the grounding stillness of Yin yoga. This understanding helps you choose the most suitable practice for your current needs.
  • Adaptability: Life is dynamic, and your needs and energy levels can vary from day to day. Learning different styles of yoga equips you with a range of techniques and practices that you can adapt to suit your mood, energy level, or specific circumstances. For example, if you're feeling stressed, you might opt for a calming practice like Restorative yoga, whereas if you need an energy boost, you might choose a vigorous Ashtanga practice.
  • Targeted Benefits: Each yoga style offers unique benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. By exploring different styles, you can identify which practices address specific needs or goals. For instance, if you're recovering from an injury, you might focus on gentle, therapeutic styles like Iyengar yoga. If you're seeking spiritual growth, you might gravitate towards practices that incorporate meditation and breathwork, such as Kundalini yoga.
  • Holistic Approach: Combining different yoga styles allows for a more holistic approach to your practice. You can integrate elements of strength-building, flexibility, mindfulness, relaxation, and breathwork into your routine, ensuring that you address all aspects of your well-being.
  • Preventing Plateaus: Practicing the same style of yoga exclusively can sometimes lead to plateaus in your practice or personal growth. Exploring different styles challenges your body and mind in new ways, preventing stagnation and facilitating continuous growth and evolution.
  • Life Transitions: As you navigate different life stages or transitions, your yoga needs may evolve. For example, during periods of high stress, you might prioritize practices that promote relaxation and stress relief, while during times of change or uncertainty, you might seek grounding and stability through your yoga practice. Having familiarity with various styles allows you to adapt your practice to support you through different life circumstances.

Pilates helps Yogis engage their core!

Yoga and Pilates don’t have to be two separate practices. They can work together hand by hand, to help strengthen your core, lengthen your side body, avoid injury, and improve your alignment. Pilates’s focus on building and engaging a strong core can propel one's yoga practice into new realms.

Pilates is a comprehensive form of exercise that can help you become stronger by targeting core muscles, improving muscle endurance, enhancing flexibility, promoting good posture, and supporting overall functional strength and mobility.

Pilates is known as a "workout," and yoga as a "practice"; however, the irony here is that, to improve at anything, we have to practice, and when we practice well both Pilates and yoga can be exceptional workouts.

Our retreat Pilates teacher is Kaia Heinleht from Estonia.

More information about her in the Estonian language is here. 

Kaia is one of the backbones, and foundations of Estonian Pilates, having been introduced, practiced, and taught Pilates for over twenty years. During all these years, she has consistently developed her skills at various international training under-recognized Pilates master teachers such as Kelly McKinnon, Debora Lessen, and Amy Taylor Alpers. The last training was the Kathy Corey Postgraduate Mentor Program in Germany in 2018.

In addition to Pilates, in recent years Kaia has been improving herself in the field of osteopathy, and in 2015 she started studying kinesiology TFH (Touch For Health). Relying on her acquired knowledge and practice of thousands of hours in the fields listed above, Kaia has developed her physical education training course. Physiotherapists and rehabilitation specialists working in the Estonian medical system have improved their knowledge under his guidance.

Our retreat Yoga teacher and hiking guide is Pille Mitt.

Read more about Pille here.

You can book your next yoga & hiking retreat in Spain here.

Life is a journey marked by various stages, each presenting its own set of challenges, joys, and opportunities for growth. Just as our bodies and minds evolve over time, so too should our approach to self-care and well-being. Yoga, an ancient practice that harmonizes the body, mind, and spirit, offers a versatile toolkit that can adapt to the changing needs of individuals at different stages of life. From the exuberance of youth to the wisdom of old age, here's how yoga practices can be tailored to match the unique demands of each stage.

Youth: Embracing Energy and Exploration

In the vibrant phase of youth, energy flows abundantly, and the spirit of exploration is at its peak. This is a time of discovering one's identity, pursuing passions, and laying the foundation for the future. Yoga can serve as a valuable companion in this journey, providing a holistic approach to physical health, mental clarity, and emotional balance.

Incorporating Yoga into Daily Life

For young adults navigating the fast-paced demands of modern life, integrating yoga into daily routines can offer grounding amidst the chaos. Simple practices such as Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) or energizing flows like Vinyasa yoga can invigorate the body and sharpen focus. Additionally, pranayama techniques, such as Kapalabhati (skull-shining breath) or Bhastrika (bellows breath), can enhance vitality and mental clarity, allowing young individuals to approach challenges with vigor and resilience.

Yoga Retreats for Self-Discovery

Yoga retreats tailored for young adults provide an immersive experience that combines physical activity, mindfulness, and community building. These retreats often feature dynamic yoga sessions, workshops on stress management and goal setting, and opportunities for outdoor adventures. By stepping away from the distractions of daily life, participants can delve deeper into self-discovery, gaining clarity of purpose and direction for the future.

yoga practice

Adulthood: Balancing Responsibilities and Wellness

As adulthood brings forth a myriad of responsibilities – career, relationships, and family – finding balance becomes paramount. Yoga offers a sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, promoting physical well-being, mental resilience, and emotional equilibrium.

Mindful Movement for Stress Relief

In the midst of hectic schedules, incorporating gentle yoga practices can alleviate stress and tension accumulated throughout the day. Restorative yoga poses, such as Child's Pose (Balasana) or Legs-Up-the-Wall (Viparita Karani), encourage deep relaxation and release muscular tension. Moreover, mindfulness-based practices, such as Yoga Nidra or guided meditation, foster mental clarity and emotional stability, enabling individuals to navigate challenges with grace and composure.

Yoga for Connection and Community

In the whirlwind of adult life, cultivating meaningful connections and nurturing relationships is essential for holistic well-being. Yoga communities provide a supportive environment where individuals can come together to practice, share experiences, and foster a sense of belonging. Whether through attending group classes, workshops, or yoga retreats focused on personal growth and connection, adults can find solace in the company of like-minded individuals, strengthening bonds and deepening connections with oneself and others.

Middle Age: Cultivating Strength and Resilience

Middle age heralds a period of transition, marked by shifts in priorities, roles, and perspectives. As individuals navigate the ebb and flow of life's currents, yoga serves as a steadfast anchor, fostering physical vitality, mental fortitude, and emotional resilience.

Strength-Building Yoga Practices

As the body undergoes subtle changes with age, maintaining strength and flexibility becomes increasingly important. Yoga practices that focus on strength-building, such as Ashtanga or Power Yoga, help to tone muscles, improve balance, and enhance overall physical resilience. Additionally, incorporating props such as blocks, straps, or bolsters can provide support and accessibility, allowing individuals to adapt their practice to suit their evolving needs.

Yoga Retreats for Renewal and Reflection

Yoga retreats tailored for individuals in middle age offer a sanctuary for renewal and reflection amidst life's transitions. These retreats often feature a blend of dynamic and restorative yoga practices, mindfulness exercises, and contemplative activities aimed at fostering self-awareness and inner growth. By stepping away from familiar routines and immersing oneself in a supportive environment, participants can gain clarity, renew their sense of purpose, and emerge with a renewed sense of vitality and purpose.

yoga practice

Old Age: Nurturing Mind, Body, and Spirit

In the golden years of old age, prioritizing holistic well-being becomes paramount. Yoga offers a gentle yet powerful means of nurturing the mind, body, and spirit, promoting vitality, serenity, and spiritual fulfillment.

Gentle Yoga Practice for Mobility and Comfort

As the body naturally slows down with age, gentle yoga practices provide a safe and effective way to maintain mobility, flexibility, and overall well-being. Chair yoga, gentle Hatha yoga, and Yin yoga are particularly well-suited for older adults, offering modified poses and ample support to accommodate varying levels of mobility and comfort. These practices help to alleviate stiffness, improve circulation, and promote relaxation, allowing individuals to age gracefully and with dignity.

Yoga Retreats for Wellness and Wisdom

Yoga retreats catered to older adults offer a nurturing space for wellness and wisdom, celebrating the richness of life's journey and the wisdom accrued over the years. These retreats often feature gentle yoga practices, guided meditation, and opportunities for reflection and storytelling. By embracing the present moment with gratitude and acceptance, participants can cultivate a deep sense of inner peace, contentment, and spiritual fulfillment, embracing the fullness of life's experiences with grace and equanimity.

In conclusion, yoga is a timeless companion that adapts and evolves alongside individuals at every stage of life. Whether in the exuberance of youth, the responsibilities of adulthood, the transitions of middle age, or the serenity of old age, yoga offers a holistic pathway to well-being, resilience, and self-discovery. By embracing the transformative power of yoga practices tailored to match the unique needs of each stage, individuals can navigate life's journey with vitality, grace, and inner harmony.

This article provides insights into how yoga practices can be adapted to meet the needs of individuals at different stages of life, from youth to old age. Through mindful movement, connection, and self-reflection, yoga offers a holistic approach to well-being that supports physical health, mental clarity, and emotional resilience at every stage of life.

The mother-daughter relationship is one of the most complex and profound connections in human existence. As adult daughters navigate the challenges of life, the bond with their mothers takes on new dimensions, requiring a delicate balance of independence and closeness. In the pursuit of fostering a healthy connection, unconventional approaches, such as yoga and hiking retreats, can provide a unique and transformative space for quality time and personal growth.

The Dynamics of Mothers-Adult Daughters Relationships:

The dynamics between mothers and adult daughters can be intricate, influenced by a lifetime of shared experiences, evolving roles, and individual growth. As daughters enter adulthood, the relationship often shifts from a more parent-child dynamic to a friendship grounded in mutual respect and understanding. However, this transition isn't always seamless, and maintaining a healthy connection requires effort from both parties.

Mothers and Adult Daughters Quality Time: A Catalyst for Connection:

In our fast-paced world, finding quality time for meaningful interactions can be a challenge. This is where the idea of a yoga and hiking retreat comes into play. These retreats offer a purposeful escape from the demands of daily life, creating a serene environment conducive to self-reflection and strengthened connections.

Yoga for Mind-Body Harmony:

Yoga is not just a physical exercise; it is a holistic practice that promotes mental and emotional well-being. Participating in yoga sessions together can provide mothers and daughters with a shared experience, fostering a sense of unity. The practice of mindfulness and deep breathing can open channels of communication, creating a space for vulnerability and understanding.

Hiking for Shared Adventure:

Embarking on a hiking and yoga retreat introduces an element of shared adventure and challenges that can strengthen the bond between mothers and adult daughters. Physical activity not only promotes health but also encourages teamwork and mutual support. Overcoming obstacles together on the trail can be a metaphor for navigating life's challenges side by side.

The Healing Power of Nature:

Surrounded by the beauty of nature, a yoga and hiking retreat provides an ideal setting for healing and rejuvenation. Away from the distractions of daily life, both mothers and daughters can reconnect with themselves and each other. The serene backdrop becomes a canvas for shared memories, fostering a deeper understanding of each other's perspectives.

Reflection and Communication:

Retreats offer a unique opportunity for reflection and open communication. Mother and daughter can engage in meaningful conversations about their journeys, aspirations, and challenges. The retreat becomes a safe space for honest and authentic dialogue, strengthening the emotional bond between them.

Deepening Connections Through Shared Learning:

A yoga and hiking retreat not only focuses on physical activities but also provides opportunities for shared learning. Engaging in workshops or classes together, whether it's learning new yoga poses or gaining wilderness survival skills during hikes, can be an enriching experience. This shared acquisition of knowledge creates a sense of camaraderie, encouraging mutual growth and understanding.

Empowering Each Other:

One of the beautiful aspects of a yoga and hiking retreat is the encouragement to step out of comfort zones. Mothers and daughters can find themselves in unfamiliar situations, facing physical challenges or exploring aspects of their personalities previously untapped. This shared journey of self-discovery and empowerment can bring about a newfound appreciation for each other's strengths and vulnerabilities.

Digital Detox for Authentic Connection:

In the age of constant connectivity, a retreat provides a rare opportunity for a digital detox. Away from the screens and distractions, mothers and daughters can immerse themselves in the present moment, fostering authentic connections. Unplugging from the virtual world allows for deeper conversations, enhanced emotional bonding, and a more profound shared experience.

Creating Lasting Memories:

The retreat becomes a canvas for creating lasting memories. Whether it's the breathtaking sunrise during a morning yoga session or the sense of accomplishment after completing a challenging hike, these shared moments become touchstones in the mother-daughter relationship. The memories forged in the retreat environment can serve as a source of strength and nostalgia, reinforcing the unique bond between them.

Practicing Gratitude:

A key element of many yoga retreats is the practice of gratitude. Taking time each day to reflect on the positive aspects of life can shift perspectives and create a more positive atmosphere. Encouraging mothers and daughters to express gratitude towards each other during the retreat fosters a sense of appreciation and acknowledgment, strengthening the foundation of their relationship.

Sustaining the Connection Beyond the Retreat:

The impact of a yoga and hiking retreat doesn't end when the journey concludes. Encouraging mothers and daughters to integrate the lessons learned into their daily lives ensures that the positive changes experienced during the retreat become lasting. Implementing mindfulness practices, engaging in physical activities together, and maintaining open communication are ways to sustain the strengthened connection long after the retreat is over.


In the pursuit of a healthy mother-adult-daughter relationship, the importance of quality time cannot be overstated. The yoga and hiking retreat serves as a transformative experience, blending physical activity, mindfulness, and the beauty of nature to create an environment conducive to personal growth and strengthened connections. By embracing these unconventional approaches, mothers and daughters can embark on a journey of self-discovery and shared experiences, fostering a bond that withstands the test of time.

Discover our selection of yoga and hiking retreats here.

Read a blog post "What is yoga retreat..." here

In Pranayama, breathing is elevated to a controlled, extended process of exhalation and inhalation. This generates the cosmic energy of prana, the life force that provides the strength, power, and vitality required for any activity - B.K.S. Iyengar

Pranayama is generally defined as breath control. Although this interpretation may seem correct because of the practices involved, it does not convey the full meaning of the term. The word pranayama is comprised of two roots: 'prana' plus 'ayama'. Prana means vital energy or life force. It is the force that exists in all things, whether animate or inanimate. Although closely related to the air we breathe, it is more subtle than air or oxygen. Therefore, pranayama should not be considered as mere breathing exercises aimed at introducing extra oxygen into the lungs. Pranayama utilizes breathing to influence the flow of prana in the nadis or energy channels of the pranamaya kosha or energy body.

The word Yama means to control and is used to denote various rules and codes of conduct. However, this is not the word that is joined to prana to form pranayama; the correct word is Ayama which has far more implications. Ayama is defined as an extension or expansion. Thus, the word pranayama means extension or expansion of the dimension of prana. The techniques of pranayama provide the method whereby the life force can be activated and regulated to go beyond one's normal boundaries or limitations and attain a higher state of vibratory energy and awareness.

Four aspects pf pranayama:

  • Inhalation or pooraka
  • Exhalation or rechaka
  • Internal breath retention or antar kumbhaka
  • External breath retention or bahir kumbhaka

The different practices of pranayama involve various techniques that utilize these four aspects of breathing.

The mind and breath

It is said that the mind and the breath are one's constant companions. Where there is a breath, there the mind is focused, and where there is an active mind, so is the breath focused. Pranayama seeks to quiet the mind, controlling it through the deep and rhythmic flow of inhalations and exhalations.

The sound of the breath

The pranayamic breath has a sound of its own: Soham. The sound of the inhalation is "as" and that of the exhalation is "ham". "Soham" has been interpreted as "He, I am and I am He". During pranayama, concentration is drowned solely in the action of the breath, and it is this attentive awareness of the breath that leads to the art of dhyana, or meditation.

The art of inhaling not only focuses the mind on the breath, but also brings one into contact with their essence, or soul. With the retention of the breath during the inhalation, the soul becomes wedded to the body. This is the divine union of the soul with our nature or body. During the process of exhalation, the soul re-enters into an unfathomable space. The mind dissolves and the divine marriage of Prakriti, the body, and Purusha, the soul, occurs.

Just as the practice of asanas, or poses, is seen as yoga in action, developing the individual's knowledge of the body, mind, and consciousness, the practice of pranayama is said to lead on toward the path of love minus lust, which is known as Bhakti Marga. Among the eight limbs of yoga, pranayama is therefore seen as the heart of the practice.


  • Pranayama should not be practiced during illness
  • Some pranayamas are not recommended for beginners

Time and place of the practice

The best time to practice pranayama is down when the body is fresh and the mind is very few impressions. If this is not possible, another good time is just after sunset. Try to practice regularly at the same time and place each day. Do not be in a hurry. Practice before eating in the morning or wait for at least three to four hours after meals before starting pranayama. Practice in a quiet, clean, and pleasant room, which is well-ventilated but not draughty. Pranayama should be performed after shatkarmas and asanas, and before meditation practice.

There are many different pranayamas:

  • Nadi Shodana Pranayama. The word Nadi means channel or flow of energy and Shodana means purification. Nadi Shodana, therefore, means that practice that purifies the Nadis.
  • Ujjayi Pranayama. The word ujjjayi means victorious, it is also known as psychic breath.
  • Sheetali Pranayama which means cooling breath.
  • Sheetkari Pranayama which means hissing breath.
  • Brahmari Pranayama which means humming bee breath.
  • Bhastrika Pranayama which means bellows breath.
  • Kapalbhati Pranayama which means frontal brain cleansing breath. Kapalbhati is the practice that brings a state of light or clarity to the frontal region of the brain.
  • Moorchha Pranayama which means swooning or fainting breath.
  • Surya Bheda Pranayama which means vitality-stimulating breath.

Benefits of pranayama:

  • Decreases stress
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Increases mindfulness
  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Improves lung function
  • Improves immune system

The blog post about powerful yogic breathing for beginners is here.

Nadi Shodana pranayama for beginners 12-minute YouTube video is here.

Nadi Shodana Pranayama with antar kumbakha 17 minutes youtube video is here.

You can start your yogic journey here.

Unlock the secrets to a successful yoga journey on the 10 common mistakes to avoid when beginning your practice. Start your yoga practice on the right foot, cultivating self-awareness and embracing the transformative power of yoga.

Yoga is a beautiful and transformative practice that can bring physical and mental well-being into your life. Whether you're new to yoga or considering it a try, it's essential to be aware of common mistakes that beginners often make. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can embark on your yoga journey with confidence and success. Here are ten of the biggest mistakes to steer clear of:

1. Choosing the Wrong Class or Style

Not all yoga classes or styles are the same. Choosing the wrong one for your needs and preferences can lead to a lack of interest or motivation. Explore different styles and teachers to find what resonates with you. Determine what you want to achieve through yoga. Understanding your goals will help you select the most appropriate style. Take into account your current fitness level. Some yoga styles are more physically demanding than others. If you are new to exercise, you may want to start with a gentler style and gradually progress. You can read more about different styles of yoga here.

2. Being Impatient

Yoga is about the journey, not just the destination. Rushing through poses or expecting immediate results can lead to frustration. Patience is key.

3. Inconsistency

Yoga benefits from regular practice. Inconsistent or sporadic practice won't yield the same results as routine practice. Set a schedule that works for you and try to stick to it.

The act of setting aside time for yoga practice can instill discipline and mindfulness, making it easier for beginners to maintain the habit over the long term. The community and support from fellow practitioners in a yoga class can help beginners stay committed to their practice by providing a sense of belonging and accountability.

4. Comparing Yourself to Others

Yoga is a personal journey, and everyone progresses at their own pace. Constantly comparing yourself to others can lead to frustration and defeat the purpose of yoga's mindfulness and self-acceptance aspects.

5. Not Listening to Your Body

Disregarding the signals your body is giving you can be a significant mistake. If something doesn't feel right or causes pain, stop or modify the pose. Your body knows best.

6. Breathing Mindlessly

Yoga is closely connected to your breath. Breathing mindlessly or holding your breath can reduce the effectiveness of your practice and increase tension. Click here to can learn yogic breathing.

7. Pushing Too Hard

Overambitious beginners might push themselves too hard, trying to achieve advanced poses before mastering the basics. This can lead to physical strain and injury.

8. Skipping Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Neglecting to warm up before starting your practice and cool down at the end can lead to muscle strains and injuries. Always prepare your body and allow it to recover properly.

9. Ignoring Proper Alignment

Neglecting to pay attention to proper alignment in poses can result in discomfort, strain, and potential injuries. Learning and maintaining proper alignment is essential for a safe practice.

10. Not Embracing the Mind-Body Connection

Yoga is not just a physical practice; it's a mental and spiritual one. Neglecting the mindfulness and meditation aspects can limit the holistic benefits of yoga.

In conclusion, starting a yoga practice is a beautiful journey that can enhance your physical and mental health. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can build a strong foundation for your yoga practice, reduce the risk of injury, and fully embrace the transformative power of yoga. Remember that yoga is a personal journey, and there's no rush to achieve perfection. Embrace the process, practice patience, and enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that yoga has to offer.

To avoid these mistakes, consider starting your yoga journey under the guidance of a qualified teacher or by following instructional videos and resources designed for beginners. A structured and well-informed approach will help you build a strong foundation and ensure a safe and fulfilling practice.

Click here to find a step-by-step guide on how to start your yogic lifestyle.

This awesome yoga and hiking retreat between the fjords of Norway is a real adventure and mental detox, that will nourish your body, soul, and spirit.

The yoga retreat days will start with walking or driving to the local yoga studio for morning yoga and pranayama. The walk is around 7 minutes from Thon Hotel or 10-20 minutes from your accommodation. If your accommodation is not so close, you will be together with other people and have a car to drive to the yoga studio. Don't worry if you don't drive, you will be accommodated together with someone who does. We use rental cars that have insurance included. The rental car fee is included in the price.

Molde is a city and municipality in Møre and Romsdal county, Norway. It is a small town by the Moldefjord with a population of 26822. Molde is a very calm and relaxing city, famous for its amazing views. It is surrounded by fjords and is close to several remarkable hiking trails and viewpoints. Book your flight to Molde, Årø airport.

We will pick you up from the Molde airport on the day of arrival, but it is best to arrive on the 16.45 or 17.00 flight from Oslo.  It is not a problem when you arrive earlier on that day or by bus. Transfer from the airport or bus station is included in the price only on that day. On the first day, we have a welcome dinner all together at 18.00.

Our yoga classes will be suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners. We will practice vinyasa flow yoga in the morning to energize our body and mind, and yin yoga in the evening to relax and restore our muscles. We will also incorporate meditation and breathwork to enhance our awareness and connection with nature.

Our hiking trails will vary from easy to moderate, depending on your preference and fitness level. We will hike for about 3-6 hours a day, exploring different landscapes and viewpoints. We will see waterfalls, meadows, villages, and wildlife along the way.

You can choose your 7 days retreat date and make your booking by clicking here.

5 days retreat by clicking here.

Weekend retreat here.

Yoga retreat program: 

Day 1, Friday

Arrival day. Pick up from the airport, settle into accommodation, introduce the program, meet other guests, dinner.

Day 2 

Energizing morning yoga session, breakfast, pack lunch.

Hiking Tusenårsvarden 523 m.a.s.l. or Varden viewpoint 407 m.a.s.l. 6-10 km.

After the hike, we return to the yoga studio for an afternoon yin yoga session and dinner.

Day 3 

Strengthening morning yoga session, followed by breakfast, packed lunch, and snacks.

Troll Church 484 m.a.s.l., consists of three exciting limestone and marble grottos with underground streams and a beautiful waterfall. On the surface, to the west of the uppermost cave, there is a lake with white marble "jetties". Braver hikers can swim in the mountain lake.

The mountain behind the Trolls' church is very distinctive, with jagged points and spires. Sometimes we hike only to the caves and lake, 8 km, but with real adventurers, we will hike further over the mountain ridge (832 m.a.s.l.) and make a loop back to the cave. Guests can choose how long of a hike they want this day. After the hike, we return for a restorative yoga session and a delicious meal.

Day 4 

Morning yoga, followed by breakfast and pack lunch.

Jendemsfjellet 633 m.a.s.l. is a mountain near Molde with a breathtaking 360-degree view over the fjords and mountains. We can choose between the shorter or longer trail, 4-6 km. Afternoon yoga session followed by a delicious meal in the accommodation.

Day 5 

Morning yoga, breakfast, and packed lunch followed by a ferry trip and driving to Trollstiegen.

Trollstiegen or the Troll ladder/road is a famous mountain road with narrow curves and sharp hairpin bends. The road has 11 hairpin curves and an elevation of 850 m. Every bend has its name. The road is narrow with a gradient of 9 % but passing pockets have been incorporated and traffic normally flows without a problem. An impressive bridge of natural stone carries it across the Stigfossen waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Norway. Stigfossen is an unregulated and powerful waterfall with a total height of 240 m, from which 180 m is almost a single drop.

Guests can choose if they want to drive up or hike. Kløvstien hike - the path is preserved as a cultural heritage, and a lot of effort has been put into maintaining the path. Stone steps and chains are making challenging parts more accessible and safer.

Day 6 

After morning yoga, breakfast, and packed lunch, we take off on a road trip to the Atlantic Road.

The Atlantic Road has National Tourist Route status, and the entire stretch between Bud and Kristiansund is one continuous experience packed with coastal scenery, culture, and history. The road that crosses this “infamous stretch of the ocean” was hailed as the world’s best road trip by the British newspaper The Guardian. In 2006. The 8.3 km (5 miles) road, with 8 bridges of a total length of 891 meters, is built on several small islands and skerries and is spanned by eight bridges and several landfills.

Sjurvarden, 667 m.a.s.l. is the mountain that stretches out to the sea, giving a powerful view of Hustadvika, the Atlantic Ocean, and the coastal landscape from Sunnmøre in the west and Smøla on Nordmøre in the north.

Day 7 

We will enjoy a final morning yoga session and breakfast before guests depart.

All good things must come to an end but only till next time! We transfer you to the airport and say goodbye!

Depending on participants' comfort level and the weather, this itinerary is subject to change.

Other options for hiking are:





Yoga retreat accommodation: 

You can choose between a hotel room or a single or double bedroom in an apartment together with other retreat participants. The hotel is located in the city center and the comfortable but simple rooms include a private bathroom, shower, toiletries, and free wireless internet. You can choose between a single or a double room. The hotel's name is Thon Hotel Moldefjord, address is Storgata 40, Molde. If you want more privacy and time alone we strongly recommend you choose to stay at the hotel. If you prefer a more luxurious room, please let us know.

Accommodation in an apartment is a local home. You will share the bathroom with 2-4 other participants. Those accommodations are located in different parts of the city.

What is included: 

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 2 meals a day, water, tea, coffee (vegan, gluten-free options)
  • 5 guided hikes
  • Yoga and meditation classes
  • Yoga mats and props
  • Transport
  • Pick up and drop off at Molde airport or ferry terminal during the arriving and leaving day
  • Personal attention, motivation, care, and enthusiasm

What is not included: 

  • Airfare
  • Dinners (dinners for an extra cost 900 NOK made by our chef)
  • Insurance
  • Transport from and to the airport if you arrive before the start of the retreat or wish to stay longer

Additional Information: 

If you are looking for an eventful holiday with lots of yoga, fun, and mountain air, Norway is the place for you. Expect relaxed group dynamics and the opportunity to integrate more balance and health into your life.

A Youtube video about yoga and hiking Trolltindene is here.

Guided tours take you into the heart of world-renowned wilderness destinations like countless number of waterfalls, Troll Church, Atlantic Road, Romsdalseggen, or some smaller mountaintops with amazing views over the fjords.  Sometimes we will have yoga, pranayama, and meditation outdoors, on the top of the mountain.

What to bring/wear:

  • Backpack 25-35 L
  • Waterbottle
  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Warm cardigan
  • Comfortable outdoor shoes or boots
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Hiking pants
  • Gloves and hat

If you are ready to reconnect with nature and yourself on this amazing yoga and hiking retreat in Norway, don’t hesitate to book your spot now! Spaces are limited and filling up fast. For any questions or inquiries, please email us at

You can also follow us on Instagram @yogaandhikingwithpillemitt to see more photos and stories from our past retreats.”

In the summer of 2022, the first yoga and pilates teacher training will take place in Molde, Norway.

This Yoga and Pilates teacher training welcomes students who want to deepen their understanding of these two practices. Anyone who loves movement can learn and grow through this intensive 250-hour teacher training. Students may attend any of the three modules; both yoga teacher trainings are required to be eligible for registration with Yoga Alliance. Personal trainers, yoga practitioners, teachers, Pilates instructors, physiotherapists, and group fitness trainers, especially Les Mills Bodybalance and Bodyflow instructors will be able to enhance their personal practice and incorporate techniques they learn so they can teach a variety of classes without injury. The entire 250-hour teacher training is appropriate for beginners as well as intermediate and advanced students.

The 200-hour yoga teacher training will give a basic overview of different styles of yoga; as well as introducing the philosophy, and history of different styles. It will also prepare students to teach basic yoga poses and design around basic themes.

The Pilates module will teach the 50 preparation Pilates exercise and 34 original Pilates mat exercises in the correct order. 

What is Yoga? And what is Pilates?

Yoga uses the body to connect with the mind and the inner self, while pilates uses mindfulness to connect to the inner workings of the body. 


Yoga was created in India thousands of years ago to connect the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness through physical activity. In short, it aims to not only improve your physical health but your emotional and spiritual health as well. Through repetitive movement, the act of yoga can be extremely therapeutic. In addition to being therapeutic, these movements focus on building flexibility and strength. Many types of yoga involve meditation at some point during the exercise. The meditative portion of yoga tends to attract people who are seeking to unwind from stressful situations.

Yoga is an integrated health management system using breath, movement, and meditation to unite the mind, body, and spirit. It also incorporates elements of philosophy, science, and an ethical way of living.


Pilates was created in 1920 by German, Joseph Pilates for physical rehabilitation. Pilates aims to increase flexibility, strength, and body awareness. It is considered a resistance exercise, even though, as a beginner, you may experience an increased heart rate. Pilates has a full mat routine, in addition to exercises that can only be performed on specific Pilates machines, such as the reformer and the Cadillac.

The main goal of Pilates is to strengthen the core, improve posture, stabilize and elongate the spine and develop balance and overall strength.

Pilates works from the center of your body outward. It increases body awareness and core strength resulting in a more resilient body. Pilates is excellent for injury management. The gentle supportive movements are particularly useful for an aging population.

Yoga and eastern philosophy inspired much of Joseph Pilates’s technique. In his book Pilates’ Return to Life Through Contrology, he wrote that age is gauged not by years but by the suppleness of the spine. He also noted that full, deep breathing is a key component to efficient movement. And a stint on any Pilates mat reveals similarities between Pilates exercises and yoga asanas: Side Lift is much like Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose), Roll Over is reminiscent of Halasana (Plow Pose), and Swimming could be mistaken for Salabhasana (Locust Pose).

Pilates’s focus on building and engaging a strong core can propel one’s yoga practice into new realms. This set of exercises can help yogis get stronger, avoid injury, and sometimes advance into poses that they hadn't previously thought possible.

Pilates Helps Yogis Engage Their Core!

This teacher training combines Pilates with yoga to transform your body and your daily routine.

Difference between Yoga and Pilates

Yoga uses the body to connect with the mind and the inner self, while pilates uses mindfulness to connect to the inner workings of the body.

While yogis are instructed to either hold poses or flow through them in vinyasas, Pilates is a rhythmic practice of precise movements repeated five to 10 times for each exercise.

By focusing on targeted movements that develop core strength, Pilates can help yogis build a stable center, lengthen the side body, and increase awareness of alignment. The majority of the focus in Pilates routines is on the body’s powerhouse – the core. Strengthening the core creates stability, which improves balance in yoga poses and allows a student to hold asanas for longer periods of time. Strengthening the core muscles also brings safe alignment into yoga poses. The alignment of the limbs originates in the core. Improving alignment allows us to avoid injury and experience postures more ease. This comfort allows for effective energy channeling making every asana more fulfilling.

Although Pilates brings an intense focus to particular parts of the body – especially the core and the breath – Yoga fosters a deeper connection with all layers of the Self, including the mind. Developing the mind in this way will improve your entire life, as well as their Pilates practice. Students who can connect with each movement are more aware of what occurs throughout their bodies.

Stronger muscles always try and take control, especially if your core is weak. Developing deeper core strength through Pilates brings greater control – control over the center of gravity, movements, and where the tension lives in the body. For example, arm and shoulder strength are commonly overused in Chaturanga Dandasana (Low Plank pose). A stronger core allows the power to originate in the core, improving the asana itself while reducing fatigue, strain, and injury in the upper body.

Where Yoga immerses a student entirely in a full-body routine, Pilates allows them to isolate the body’s specific movement patterns. Many people have trouble understanding what is going on in their bodies. Learning through highly focused methods during Pilates can help people become more knowledgeable about each body part in isolation. For example, gaining an intimate understanding of the shoulder girdle or how the various joints in the hips and lower spine interact will improve your body’s engagement throughout your Yoga classes.

One difference between pilates and yoga is the ultimate goal. Yoga provides a meditative environment for you to improve your overall quality of life. It focuses on stress relief while improving your body.

Yoga concentrates mostly on large, functional movement patterns increasing the overall strength and flexibility of the spine and limbs.

In Yoga, the primary goal is the connection to breathe, using various pranayama techniques. Pilates focuses on building deep core strength first and teaches correct muscle activation, which can help alleviate back pain. Pilates also focuses on breathwork, but unlike yoga, the goal in Pilates is to engage deep abdominal muscles, building core strength and stability. 

Pilates is known as a "workout," and yoga as a "practice". However, to improve at anything requires practice, and when practiced well both Pilates and yoga are exceptional workouts. 

Yoga and Pilates can work together to strengthen the core, lengthen the side body, and improve your alignment.

We hope, you can join us in Norway from 01-16 June and 01-10 August 2022 to learn how you can combine these techniques to strengthen your personal practice and begin your teaching journey.

Yoga and Pilates Teacher Training in Norway, Molde 2022. More info here.

There are large variations in intensity between styles of yoga based on oxygen consumption and heart rate. Variation in intensity between yoga styles was due to the variability of what practitioners were doing over the whole arc of a yoga practice. Yoga practice could range from higher intensity sun salutations to lower intensity seated postures. A heated practice room, such as that in Bikram, and length of holding postures also contributed to differences in intensity ratings.

Students seek out a yoga class or practice for many different reasons. Additionally, what we mean by yoga varies considerably from one practice style to another. For these reasons, it can be helpful to identify some objective measures to describe individual yoga styles. This can help new practitioners make more informed choices about what yoga styles to begin with when they are starting out, based on what their intentions are with respect to starting a yoga practice.

Yoga is a versatile, variable tool that can have an impact on many different aspects of our well-being. We may seek out a yoga practice for many different reasons. So, it’s helpful to have a clearer picture of what individual styles of yoga offer. This article provides information about the physiological impacts of common styles of yoga practice. That can help us make choices about which style might be a good fit for us.

The intensity of yoga styles based on oxygen consumption:

  • Hatha, Gentle or Soft Flow = light
  • Yin = light
  • Bikram = light
  • Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Rocket = moderate

The intensity of yoga styles based on heart rate:

  • Yin = light
  • Bikram = vigorous
  • Gentle = light
  • Hatha = light/moderate
  • Iyengar = light/vigorous
  • Power = moderate
  • Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Rocket = moderate

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Rocket Yoga and Vinyasa Flow

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

is an ancient system of yoga. For each movement, there is one breath. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is both a dynamically aerobic and meditative practice. It was primarily introduced to practitioners in the West by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, a dedicated yogi, and Sanskrit scholar. As taught by Jois, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga that focuses on asana (posture), pranayama (breath control), and vinyasa (the linking of postures by breath and movement). An important part of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a deep sort of breathing we call ujjayi or victorious breath, bandhas or energy locks, and Drishti or our eye gaze.

Rocket Yoga

also known as "the Rocket" is a style of yoga, developed by Larry Schultz in San Fransisco during the 1980s. Rocket yoga is rooted in the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. It is composed of poses from the Primary and Intermediate series of Ashtanga. It was first called "Rocket" by Bob Weir because "it gets you there faster." Rocket Yoga is a dynamic and fast-paced flow of yoga. Students are encouraged to make their own interpretation of the traditional asana or can remove or modify binding postures that tend to cause students to get stuck in the traditional series. The Rocket is also divided into a three-part series: Rocket 1, Rocket 2, and Rocket 3. Each series focuses on targeted body strength and flexibility. Typically, Rocket 1 is practiced on Monday and Thursday, Rocket 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday, Rocket 3 on Friday, and Ashtanga Primary Series would be practiced on Sunday, and optionally on Thursday instead of Rocket 1. As in the tradition of Ashtanga Yoga, Saturday is the day to rest from physical forms of yoga. The Rocket 1 series is based on the Modified Primary Series. The Rocket 2 is based on the Intermediate series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Rocket 3 (aka "Happy Hour" because you get two classes for one) is a combination of Rocket 1 and Rocket 2, practiced at a brisk pace to cover 90 poses in 90 minutes.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

is also a dynamic yoga style but it can vary from soft to vigorous depending on the level of the group or student. Vinyasa Yoga is a teacher's interpretation of traditional yoga practice, based on the purpose of the class. If we want to emphasize that the class is slow-paced then we can call it Soft or Slow Vinyasa Flow or Gentle Flow. In a typical Slow Flow class, you will practice about half the number of poses you might practice in a Vinyasa Flow class. The pace is meditative, emphasizing peace and calm in body and mind. We hold poses longer, taking several rounds of breath in each pose, instead of moving to each breath. In that class, the asanas are practiced with an internal softness. You will focus on working in the poses using your breath, movement, and internal strength rather than the outer muscles. That type of Yoga is of medium intensity and the best way to start with your yoga practice to find out your preferences.

Yin Yoga

is a part of the original Hatha Yoga tradition. It combines the influences of Indian Yoga with Chinese Daoist practices and Western science to improve our health on many levels. With its emphasis on long-held, passive stresses of the deeper connective tissues, Yin Yoga mobilizes and strengthens our joints, ligaments, and deep facial networks. Most poses are done lying or sitting on a yoga mat or soft carpet and held for 2-5 minutes. In Yin Yoga class we're not stretching the tissue but rather, stressing it, and then allowing time for rest and repair. We are using the physical postures to help us in getting to a unity of the mind and the body. It is a platform for meditation. You can find a yin yoga video by clicking here.

Restorative yoga

is a deeply relaxing style of yoga practice. It is a receptive practice, not an active practice. Unlike the more active styles of yoga where poses "flow" into one another, restorative yoga poses are held from five to as long as twenty minutes. During this time, you are held in "shapes" while being supported with blankets, blocks, or bolsters (pillows). The shapes emulate the forms of some more active poses found in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or Iyengar such as backbend, forward bend, twist, or inversion. When you are in the poses you are completely supported in a particular shape, which helps achieve the desired benefit - it could open up your lungs, release tension in your lower back, or any of the other physical or psychological benefits. In any style of yoga, part of the practice is about letting go of the ego. Restorative yoga is no different. Yoga teaches patience, devotion, and faith. When you apply the teachings both on and beyond the mat, your mind is better able to adjust to the stresses of everyday life and is brought into harmony with your body. You can find a restorative yoga video by clicking here.

Read more about yoga history, philosophy, and styles by clicking here.

The new solar year is upon us as the Earth begins to tilt back toward the Sun, signifying the completion of another life cycle before the emergence of spring. For thousands of years the Winter Solstice has been celebrated around the world—acknowledging the shortest day of the year as a return to light, a return to innocence; a rebirth along the wheel of life as the great world continues to spin.

During this cycle, we are invited to realign with our goals and ideals as we look toward the new year ahead—despite the chaos of the holiday season as the calendar turns.

Winter Solstice has been a time of celebration, rest, and emotional and physical nourishment for thousands of years.

Setting intentions at the winter solstic practice

As we lay out the framework for our plans, we are building a path that lights the way through the darkness of winter and guides us toward our brightest future. Through continued refinement of our goals, a willingness to understand that mistakes will be made and that we may need to change course along the way, intentions are little stepping stones that lead us like a compass toward our highest potential. An intention is the starting point of a dream; what makes the unconscious conscious. It is the creative power that fulfills our heart’s desires, be it career or relationships, money or material things, personal or spiritual ascension.

Solstice practice

Winter Solstice in the Northern hemisphere coincides with the sun’s ingress into earth-sign Capricorn, the sign traditionally aligned with the knees. Kneel in gratitude for your body, your practice, your life. Let saying the word knees be a kind of yogic mnemonic for thinking about your needs. Which ones really could use some attention now? While you are working on the answer to that question, please your knees in these poses, which connect you to Mother Earth.

Much like our yoga practices, our intentions are always in flow—and are changing from moment to moment. Through the ritual of practice, the intentions we set in motion will automatically become second nature, as old layers, habits, and selves begin to fall away in this great unraveling toward the Self; our truest nature. And like a seed, an intention must be planted, nourished, and given patience. But an intention cannot grow if we cling to it—it must be released outwardly to make itself known to the universe.

Activate your intentions for the new year by turning inward and awakening your inner fire; by learning to see in the dark. Think of the Winter Solstice as the fourth and final movement of your 2020 life-symphony. Synchronize your breath to movement that’s strong and intuitive. Go slowly, and let go of what no longer serves you so that you may clear the slate for all that is coming your way.

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