Yoga at Shamballah Retreat Center in Sintra, Portugal

It is so rewarding to see the positive change in people after a week of practices that harmonise body and mind, healthy vegetarian food and close proximity with Nature´s beauty!

I believe that when we take the decision to go deeper, like doing a yoga and meditation retreat, something is set in motion and that process starts there and then. As we receive different groups every week, it is easy to notice how different everyone is by the end of the week, that change is clear in their bodies, minds and spirits. As the body becomes more flexible so does the mind and the openness of the heart. Nature is sacred, when we take the time and space to appreciate its beauty we become more receptive to the healing and enjoyment of the abundance of life. It is easy to forget these aspects of ourselves in today´s modern lifestyles but so important for our overall wellbeing. Meditation is very helpful and important if we want to look after the health of our brain.

Consciousness is freedom!

Scientific researches have demonstrated that there are many benefits from spending time in Nature. Here are some those benefits:

Stress relief

Tensed and stressed? Head for the trees. One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in the city.

In another study, researchers found a decrease in both heart rate and levels of cortisol in subjects in the forest when compared to those in the city. “Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy,” they concluded.

Among office workers, even the view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.

Additionally, consider exploring meditation retreats for a more immersive and rejuvenating experience.

Reduced inflammation

Inflammation is a natural process the body uses to respond to threats like damage (e.g., a stubbed toe) and pathogens (e.g., exposure to the flu).

But when inflammation goes into overdrive, it’s associated in varying degrees with a wide range of ills including autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and cancer. Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep it in check.

In one study, students who spent time in the forest had lower levels of inflammation than those who spent time in the city. In another, elderly patients who had been sent on a weeklong trip into the forest showed reduced signs of inflammation as well as some indications that the forest bathing had a positive effect on their hypertension.

Sharper thinking and creativity

“Imagine a therapy that had no known side effects, was readily available, and could improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost.” That’s the dramatic opening to a 2008 paper describing the promise of so-called “nature therapy” — or, as a non-academic might call it, “time outside.”

When college students were asked to repeat sequences of numbers back to the researchers, they were much more accurate after a walk in nature. This finding built on previous research that showed how nature can restore attention and memory.

Another study found that people immersed in nature for four days — significantly more time than a lunchtime walk in the park — boosted their performance on a creative problem-solving test by 50%.

While the research suggests the possibility of a positive relationship between creative thinking and the outdoors, it wasn’t enough to determine whether the effects were due to “increased exposure to nature, decreased exposure to technology, or other factors.”

For us this is part of the healthy lifestyle we promote during these weeks.

See full article here here.