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Mind and Body Nourishment, Life away from Travel!

We all know that life is not all about just travel tales to tell and listen. Even if we all would want our life to be full of adventures, constraints such as time, money, body and lifestyle curbs us from leading a nomadic life. We all have a routine life we must follow and find time to appreciate and take care of our body which helps us do celebrate life. It is our responsibility to thank our body and mind by providing it with nourishment both physical and spiritual.

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I have been an ardent yogi for more than a year now. My journey started with practice of asanas which serves my body. With time, I have learnt that the our mind needs as much as yoga as the body does. I have learnt to value and respect both my mind and body. Practice of meditation for the mind is as essential as asana for the body. Recently I have started to incorporate meditation and deep breathing into my practice. Every morning I set aside 30-40 mins to practice deep breathing, sun salutions and inversion. It has been 4 months since I started it and I am now addicted to it. Every morning I look forward to it. It is my reason to wake up and my body calls me for it. All our hard working bodies deserve this time and sense of peace as a gift from us.

Here is what my 40 mins sequence looks likes:

For the first 10 minutes, I just try to breath deeply. Say I inhale for count of 5 and exhale for count of 5, I start to slowly exagerrate my breath count and increase it to 8, slowly to 10. Depending on each person’s capacity the number might differ but the goal is to take deep inhales and exhales.

For the next 10 minutes, I practice pursed lip breathing. I inhale through the nose, however I purse my lips and breath out through the lips. This helps me exhale more air out so my breathing becomes even more exagerrated. The count eventually increases and it surprises me how different techniques can actually get more air flowing in and out

In the next 10 minutes, I practice alternate nostril breathing(Anulom Vilom) and few rounds of forced paused exhalations(Kapal Bharti). It helps me clear my nostrils and breath even deeper.

Last 10 minutes I get the body flowing through 10 sun salutations well cordinated with breath. Moving with breath is what is most important. After my 10 sun salutations , I practice one inversion. These days I am trying to get into headstand without support, so that is what I practice. I end my practice with a child’s pose to grace my body and move through out the day.

To be honest , I have already started seeing a difference already in the past four months and here are a few listed below:

Mindfulness: The first and foremost change I observe in me is becoming more mindful. Careless and forgetful person that I am, this change was easily noticeable by me. I don’t rush, panic or move quickly anymore which is a huge change in itself. I have cultivated the art of remembering essential things, art of moving slowly and mindfully very aware of the my surroundings.

Improved Breathing: I often struggle with my breathing which tends to get very choppy when it comes to exercising. My breathing has definitely improved and I have learnt to inhale and exhale more as I breath after my regular practice.

Positivity: I am already a very positive person reflecting on positive aspects of life rather than dreading on the negativeness. My meditation practice has helped me climb one step further into the light of positivity.

I can only write and describe my experience. But this gift is for you to actually experience. If you begin to incorporate parts of my practice into yours , I would love to know how it affected your mind and body. Thank you very much for reading, this post is very dear to my heart!

 


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Year 2016 – Travel and Yoga!

2016 has been a great year for me in terms of travel and yoga. I am so proud to say that I have practiced yoga almost every day throughout the year. I always set some time apart to return to my mat and grace my practice. I also traveled to so many different places through out the year for which I am very grateful. Travel and Yoga are the two things I have been in love with lately and I hope our bond only grows stronger in 2017. Here are a few trips where I tried to make both meet each other.

Santa Barbara, California

I made my first road trip of 2016 in California driving through Pacific Coast Highway from San Fransisco to Los Angeles. Here is a picture of me in Wheel Pose (Chakrasana). The pose is very good for strengthening of the both upper and lower body. It is also a great chest opener.

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Wheel Pose( Chakrasana)

Washington, DC

I was in Washington for the Cherry Blossoms in April. Here is a picture of me in Tree pose(Vikrasana) at the Library of Congress. The tree pose is a balancing pose good for both mind and body. Its practice strengthens the body and calms the mind.

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Tree Pose(Vikrasana)

Florence, Italy

I traveled to Italy with my family over the summer. On international yoga day I was in Florence. Here is a picture of me trying to do Camel pose (Ustrasana). I am so terrible at it and I hope to improve. This pose is a huge chest and heart opener. It also strengthens the thigh muscles.

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Camel Pose(Utkarasana)

Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin

Late summer, I and my friends made a fun road trip to the Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin. Below is a picture of me doing the Reverse Warrior(Viparita Virabhadrasana). The pose strengthens the lower body at the same time stretches the upper body. It is also a very good balancing pose.

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Reverse Warrior( Viparita Virabhadrasana)

Palm Springs, California

I spent my birthday at Palm Springs doing an amazing yoga hike by the Santa Rosa mountains.The sun shined through my sun salutations at the top of the hill. Sun Salutation(Surya Namaskar) offers body a complete rejuvenation and gets the blood flowing from head to toe. Below is a picture of me in Cobra pose(Bhujangasana) as a part of sun salutations which is again a great chest opener and arm strengthener.

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Cobra Pose(Bhujangasana)

St Pete’s Beach, Florida

My last trip of the year to Florida over Christmas, we stayed at this really nice resort in St Petes Beach. The Don Ceaser resort offered yoga classes in the morning at their private beach and I loved practicing yoga at the beach by the waves. Below is a picture of me doing Boat pose(Navasana). It helps in strengthening of core muscles.

Boat Pose(Navasana)

As the new year begins, new resolutions and opportunities await. Let us all welcome the year and promise each other positivity and gratefulness. No matter what we all should promise ourselves to return to things that we love to do. Blessings and good wishes to you all. Happy 2017 🙂

What are your passions? Please post your comments. I would love to read.


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One of best Birthdays ever, Palm Springs, California!

I was very apprehensive when I started to plan my birthday trip to Palm Springs. However how things turned out to be absolutely opposite and wonderful was such a great birthday surprise. Palm Springs is a desert in Southern California which is located within a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. The landscape of the desert itself is very unique. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria resort located at the Coachella Valley which was indeed the highlight of the trip. The resort was nestled in between the Santa Rosa Mountains with a backdrop of huge palm trees. The architecture of the resort was quite fascinating with red-tile roofs villas and welcoming gateway arch filled with Bougainvillea creepers. The colorful flowers mostly red and white roses complimented the tangy smelling citrus orange and grapefruit trees. In short it was an absolute nature’s paradise.

All we did during our trip was explored our resort which in itself was such an adventure. The resort was so huge that we would travel from one place to another in hummer carts which was such a fun and bumpy ride. The restaurants in the resort had an amazing roof top view of the mountains. We enjoyed the Mexican dinner at one of the restaurants in the resort and relished the natural beauty and view it had to offer. Our breakfasts were super healthy with so many fresh fruits and vegetable options which we enjoyed by the outdoor patio. This travel was a real vacation for me. Relaxing in the resort by the pool, pampering myself with spa, appreciating the little things instead of running around covering things to do and see in the city was the best part. I loved this kind of vacation and would definitely recommend you all to try it out once. Sometimes we all forget about the real relaxation that a vacation has to offer.

The resort had all kinds of fun activities to offer during the morning hours. There was a meditation class early in the morning which I really enjoyed under the huge palm trees . Breathing deep, listening to the chirping birds in silence and focusing on the different chakras of the body was such an amazing experience.

The activity I enjoyed the most was yoga hike. Early morning at 6:30 am on my birthday, we woke up for the guided hike through the trails that run behind the resort along the mountains.  The weather was a bit chilly early morning, however we were all bundled up feeling toasty and warmed up from the hike. We did see the sun rise through the mountains lighting up the Santa Rosa mountains with reddish-brown color. After reaching the hill-top, our teacher guided us through yogi sun salutations which was definitely my best birthday gift ever.

All I would say is I never knew that I could have so much fun inside a resort. Sometimes experimenting different options helps you learn what you actually love. This was an absolutely different kind of travel than my usual travel journey but I really enjoyed it and I am definitely looking forward to many more pleasant stays in beautiful resorts all over the world. Do you have any recommendations of resorts you stayed in? Do share. I would love to read.