Welcome Autumn…Time to let go!

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Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop. 

Rumi.

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I think this quote summarizes what is autumn is all about. Seasons often remind us that nothing lasts forever.

After a hot summer, full of activities, parties, maybe holidays, it’s now time to slow down and take time for contemplation, reflection and introspection.

Take care of yourself, be more tolerant with yourself and love yourself just the way you are. It is also time for spiritual renewal. Welcome new ideas, projects. Honor the changes and surrender. Let it go, let it flow…

In addition, there must be situations, emotions and people you need to let go. Just like the trees, let your leaves fall. Remember that holding onto the rusty colored leaves will not allow you to blossom again for the spring. Let your leaves fall: it will create space for new things.

In Yoga classes, you listen the teachers often say: “Let go of what no longer serves you”.

Now is the perfect time to do so!

Go to the forest and contemplate the colors of the trees, its leaves and learn from them. Nature is always our best teacher! You just need to observe and be mindful.

But autumn is not only a good time to clean our mind but also our body. Try to eat vegetables, fruits and cereals that are in season. Purify, cleanse your body with a more conscious diet. Drink more tea, infusions.

Take care of your body, your temple. You deserve it!

And lastly but not least, remember to ground yourself. Connect with the Earth, get nourished by her. A good ritual, that I learned with my dear friend Inês Gaya, is to close your eyes and visualize roots growing up where is our 2nd Chakra (situated about three inches below the navel). These roots will be growing up more and more and go down your legs, your feet and will ground into the floor. Continue visualizing your roots entering more deeply on the ground until they arrive to the heart of Mother Earth. Feel the connection with her, feel the energy that she is sending to you, fulfilling all your body.

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This is for me the best grounding exercise and a daily practice.

I have prepared for you a little Yoga practice, the Earth Salutation. This is an ideal sequence for autumn.

Start in Tadasana, knees a bit bent and your palms facing the floor. Close your eyes and take a few breaths. Bring your awareness here and now. Forget everything which is around you.

Inhale and rise up your arms, palms facing the sky. Bend your knees a bit.

Exhale and go down to Malasana; touch the floor with your hand. Inhale and go back to Tadasana, arms up, palms facing the sky. Repeat 4 times.

When you have done this 4 times, stay in Tadasana. Breathe in and breathe out.

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Let’s go to the tree pose. Put all your weight on the right leg and bring your left foot as follows:

  • Option 1: foot on the floor
  • Option 2: foot on your calf
  • Option 3: foot on your thigh

Find a focus point on the floor to keep your balance. Once you feel comfortable, rise your arms up, palms facing the sky.

Stay in this posture for 4 to 7 breathing cycles (breathing cycle = 1 inhalation and 1 exhalation).

Release your arms, your foot, inhale, and as you exhale, forward bend to the Half Forward Fold. Put your hands on the floor. Stay in this posture for 4 to 7 breathing cycles.

Inhale and as you exhale, step back your right foot, then your left foot and go to the Downward Facing Dog pose. Stay in this posture for 4 to 7 breathing cycles.

Inhale and go to the cat pose. Open your chest, roll your shoulders back and look at the sky. As you exhale, round your spine, contract your belly and bring your chin to your chest.

  • Repeat 7 times.

Inhale and as you exhale go to the child pose. Stay in this posture for 4 to 7 breathing cycles.

Take this time to think about all the things you want to let go, and surrender.

Inhale and go up to the kneeling Pose, arms raised, palms facing the sky. Exhale, go back to the child pose.

  • Repeat 4 times.

Inhale and go to the cat pose. Open your chest, roll your shoulders back and look at the sky. As you exhale, round your spine, contract your belly and bring your chin to your chest.

  • Repeat 4 times.

Inhale and as you exhale, go to the Downward Facing Dog pose. Stay in this posture for 4 to 7 breathing cycles.

Inhale and walk towards your hand and go to the Half Forward Fold. Put your hands on the floor. Stay in this posture for 4 to 7 breathing cycles. Then slowly stand up. Remember the head is the last one to go up.

Now put all your weight on the left leg and bring your right foot as follows:

  • Option 1: foot on the floor
  • Option 2: foot on your calf
  • Option 3: foot on your thigh

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Find a focus point on the floor to keep your balance. Once you feel comfortable, rise your arms up, palms facing the sky.

Stay in this posture for 4 to 7 breathing cycles.

Release your arms, your foot, inhale and exhale on the Tadasana pose, knees bent a bit and your palms facing the floor.

Inhale and rise up your arms, palms facing the sky. Bend your knees a bit.

Exhale and go down to Malasana; touch the floor with your hand. Inhale and go back to Tadasana, arms up, palms facing the sky. Repeat 4 times.

When you have done this 4 times, stay in Tadasana. Close your eyes. Breathe in and breathe out.

Observe your body, your sensations. How is your body right now? How is your mind? How is your breathing?

Namaste,

Emilie M.

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Why book a yoga retreat in Madeira Island?

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[cmsms_dropcap type="type2"]I[/cmsms_dropcap] still remember the first time I set foot on Madeira Island. As soon as I landed, I had this nice comforting sensation. I immediately felt like I was home.

There is indeed, a powerful energy coming from all directions, inviting you to reconnect yourself with nature. Basically, you are on a little rock with trees and flowers everywhere, big mountains and ocean view wherever you are. When you look at the horizon, you feel as though you were alone. That is the magic of Madeira and that is why I have been living here for 16 years.

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The island is calm, peaceful, surrounded with nature, with breathtaking landscapes. You could essentially practice Yoga anywhere. And since everything is nearby, you are always close to a beautiful spot where you can practice.

Madeira is also a perfect choice to beat the winter blues. Blessed with mild temperatures all year round, allowing for pleasant outdoor Yoga.

My favorite spots to practice Yoga are at the Prainha Beach in Caniçal (Eastern Coast) on nights of Full Moon; on the enchanted Laurisilva Florest of Fanal, amongst centenary trees (UNESCO named the Laurisilva forest of Madeira a World Heritage Site in 1999), or on the highest peak of the Island, contemplating the sunrise above a sea of clouds.

The island is safe, peaceful and perfect for family holidays. Funchal, the capital, is a small town, where you take nice walks, do some shopping or rest in its beautiful gardens.

The atmosphere is very relaxed, people are happy and very welcoming. Madeira is adapted for all travelers’ tastes and offers all kind of accommodation. From little cottages on the mountains to fancy hotels in the capital, you will be sure to find your happiness.

Lastly, let’s talk about food. Madeira´s gastronomy is very rich, succulent and made with fresh food. More and more restaurants offer vegetarian options, and you can find organic veggies and fruits almost anywhere in the island. I particularly like to go to the organic market, every Wednesdays, in Funchal. If you go to little villages on the North Coast, you will find people selling organic food on the road. They are locals, living of only agriculture.

With this in mind, don't you think Madeira is perfect for a Yoga retreat?

Are you ready to discover beautiful Madeira?

Join my next retreat ! (OCT 2019) - Click here !

See you soon,

Namaste,

Emilie M.

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No time to meditate? Try this routine.

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Since my little girl was born, I used to meditate at night, while I got her to sleep. It was very important for me to have this time to relax and center myself.
It helped me a great deal when facing the challenges of parenthood and in particular those unslept nights.

When she grew up, I started reading for her narrative meditation, such as “The Star Catchers: Stories for You to Read to Your Child To Encourage Calm, Confidence, and Creativity” (by Anne Civardi, Joyce Dunbar, Karen Wallace, Kate Petty) or “Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire” (by Dharmachari Nagaraja). These inspirational stories were not only beneficial for my daughter but for me also and it was really a meditation time for the both of us.

Then, there was a time where I started to read her guided meditation. My favorites books are “Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)” (by Eline Snel) and “52 Meditações para Crianças” (by Susana Guerreiro. In Portuguese only).

In her 2nd year of Primary School she told me she sometimes had some problems to concentrate at school, especially when her friends were talking during the class. I thought it was a good time to introduce the breath counting meditation. She was ready and it would be an excellent opportunity for me to practice it with her. So every night, we would go to bed, talk a little bit about our day and then get prepared for the meditation.

Here follows the Meditation method I use:

Lie down, close your eyes and relax all your body. Now, focus on the breath. Feel the air coming in and out of your nose. Breathe in, breathe out gently.
Put your hand on your belly and feel the movement of your belly while you are breathing.

Imagine your belly like a balloon. Take a deep breath to fill your belly up with air, as if filling up a big balloon. Then, let the air out of the balloon and feel the belly moving back down. Try to breathe only with your nose. But you can also let your child inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. It would be more comfortable for kids.

And now we will start counting, to concentrate and focus our attention.
After a few breathing cycles (a breathing cycle is an inhalation and an exhalation), let’s introduce the counting.

I normally ask my daughter to inhale and count to 4 and then exhale and count to 4. But another technique is to count until 20, as: inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4, inhale 5, exhale 6, inhale 7, exhale 8… until 20. Then with time and more confidence, you can count until 50.

Whilst your child is doing this technique, you can use a different one. Inhale and count to 4, exhale and count to 8. Do it until your child has finished. When thoughts run through your mind, which is normal as we cannot stop them, just let them pass without any judgement, go back and concentrate on the counting.
This meditation is a very good way to relax and clear your mind and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep. And it will only take you 5minutes!

No more excuses not to meditate. Create your routine: practice this meditation every night during 21 days, which is the time we need to take in a new habit and make it a ritual.
It will also be a privileged time with your child. Both will benefit from it.
And if you do not have kids, just do it by yourself and enjoy the moment.

It’s not about ‘having’ time. It’s about making time. If it matters, you will make time.

Unknown

Namaste,
Emilie M.

Check my last article : Read more on my Blog !

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Boom Festival 2018 - Cover

Teaching at Boom Festival: a dream came true!

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A long time ago, a friend of mine told me about the Boom Festival. She had just come back from there and she told me about her beautiful experience. I still remember the light on her eyes when she explained her adventure in Boomland. I was curious and promised myself I would go there 2 years later.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend and again I promised myself I would go there in 2 years. Indeed, this festival happens every 2 years.

So, in 2016, me and my sister went to Boom, for the first time. Our experience already started in the way to the festival. We met lots of Boomers on the road between Lisbon and Idanha-a-nova. And when we arrived at the entrance gate, we were like two kids getting a toy. We were finally there!

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We had decided that as it was our first festival, we would only stay 4 days. And I can say it was 4 magical days.

I had this amazing sensation that I knew the place and that I was at home! You can dress the way you want, you can dance, sing, and nobody will have this judgement eyes at you! Boom is FREEDOM, Boom is a return to our homes, Boom is friendship, happiness, smiles, hugs, brothers and sisters hood.

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We met so many beautiful souls, which whom we had so interesting conversation. So many people and we never saw a sign of violence! Just love everywhere.

The most emotive and energetic moments happened every end of day, when everybody would stop what he was doing and just salute the sun, which was going to sleep. So much vibration and resonance in our bodies. No words to explain...

Everything was perfect, from the camping place to the yummy food. I have to salute the organization, who are amazing! All details are thought for our well-being, security and fun. And the decorations.... well... stunning. Once again, no words to explain... You have to experience it!

We assisted to excellent concerts, with lots of variety. There are for all tastes!
And the plus is the lake. I remember we spent so many hours in the water.

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After all, Boom is a perfect way to connect with the nature. Settled in the middle of nowhere, with trees and a lake. What else? That's the perfect opportunity if you need a break on your crazy life!

I have to admit that for 4 days we were in utopia land and when I came back to the real life, it was quite hard.
It took me a while to go back to reality, but I took with me a little bit of Boom, in my life.
From now on, Boom would be a sister’s retreat, to be repeated every 2 years…

From 2016 to 2017, my life completely changed. I left the software business to live my dream: being a Yoga Teacher full time. And of course, my dream was to teach at Boom.

I have to admit that I was a bit afraid to apply but I got courage and sent my online application. Two months later I received a message saying that Boom Team loved my proposal! I was so happy, I couldn’t believe it!

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So now it’s official, I will teach Resonance Yoga at Boom Festival! And I will be there with my favorite assistants: my sister Laurie and my friend Lidiane. Two beautiful souls, very special to me.

My dream came true and I am so grateful. It reminds me that it’s important to never give up of your dreams, even the craziest ones. Just follow what you love, do it with passion and continue dreaming.

See you at Boom! Can’t wait to be back at Boomland, can’t wait to see you there, can’t wait to share Yoga with you!

With love,

Emilie

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