Day – 2: Grounding
The day started being woken up by the sun – I opened my doors and took in the amazing view of the mountains. I got up and took a walk along the beach before going for breakfast. It was during this walk that I discovered that sometimes I feel that I cannot do things that I want to do – but am able to do them when I need to. This is because on day 1 I was unable to balance enough to do tree pose, but when faced with the fact that I may fall and my camera may land in the sea I somehow managed to balance okay. Now I just need to keep telling myself that I can do things – so I can do them when I want as well as when I need.Shortly afterwards was the first Yoga session of the day – Beachside Vinyasa Flow which was in the aerobics tent facing the sea. This focused on the importance of being in the present – living each and every moment and appreciating everything around. It also covered stretching, balance, posture and breathing. Here I learnt postures and the names of them such as Child’s Pose – which can also be got into to relax when things are too much. After the session we were given some healthy shots to try.
By this point I had already started to develop a new-found confidence and agreed to go on a 9km bike ride with some other people I had met – despite the fact that I hadn’t ridden a bicycle since I was a child, and certainly not one with gears on a main French road! I totally got the gears wrong that day but somehow managed to keep up and go for a well-earned (massive) ice-cream at the marina.
In the evening there was a Back to basics posture clinic on the beach. In this we were explained about Salutations to the Sun. How people worship the Sun (like a God), and that nature is really important and how we connect to it. That they would ask for Sun (or rain) to help with things such as crops. The posture clinic made sure that we were doing each of the positions for the Sun Salutations correctly. Apart from the spiritual side to this session it was also good for posture breathing and aches (back/neck).
The Sun Salutation: Surya Namaskar
We were given a booklet explaining the 12 steps of the Sun Salutations – which had visual aids as well as instruction. It helps to develop flexibility, strength, balance, concentration and focus, and is a great way to synchronize the breath. Both Polly and Ela went through each position slowly to ensure that we had each one correctly – this was repeated during this session and throughout the retreat, gently guiding us to ensure we were in the best posture.
Each sequence is a repeat of the positions but with each side of the body: Starting and ending with Tadasana (Mountain Pose). What better place to worship the sun than facing the mountains towards the sun with the sound of the sea behind you. For this pose you learn to stand in the best possible way for your body and it should be used throughout your life when standing (whether that be in a supermarket queue, whilst washing up, waiting for someone, etc). You should be fit hip width apart, with your hips centered, pushing each of the four corners of the foot into the ground (lift your toes to do this), hands by the side of the body with the shoulders relaxed (pretend to give someone a big heavy present and then relax the hands down).
Mark Warner’s San Lucianu Resort was perfect for the Yoga Retreat as between sessions there was the possibility to relax or keep active in a range of ways. Not to mention being able to swim in the sea or pools and the fully inclusive catering to keep energy levels fuelled up.
This is relaxing yoga to let go of any tension. It helps the brain swap between nervous systems – I think this would be particularly useful for those with Sensory Processing Disorder. It helps with a great chilled sleep. This was practiced at 9pm and involved lying on a bed with a pillow under my knees, listening to the instructor and focusing my consciousness on different parts of the body – and pretty much trying to stay awake.
By the end of Day 2 I was most definitely seeing how Yoga could benefit me, and others, in everyday life in so many ways.
Read Day 3
Disclosure: This was a press trip. All words and opinions are honest and my own.