How Yoga Builds Resilience 

What is resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to bounce back from difficulties or the ability to withstand life’s challenges. It can refer to both the emotional and physical, which are of course intrinsically linked. It can be described as how effectively a person is able to cope, adapt or deal with adversity. 

Yoga and resilience 

Yoga is a really effective practice to build resilience for so many reasons! Yoga practices create the necessary conditions for the nervous system to find balance and self-regulate, training resilience. 

There are many different avenues we could go down with this theme, but for today let’s focus on one simple way that we can build resilience through yoga. Through core strengthening exercises and other strength building postures we can work with purposefully putting the body under just a little bit of stress in a controlled way to then bring it back down to relax. This is one way that through yoga we can build resilience, by training the mind and body to deal with challenges and moderate amounts of stress in a safe scenario. 

For example when you’re holding Utkatasana (Chair Pose) heat starts to build in the thighs and the body starts to fatigue. It sends messages saying “I want to get out of this posture NOW!” By holding the posture and focusing on a calm steadying breath, you send signals to your nervous system that everything is okay and that you can hold the pose a little longer than you may have originally thought. This same process can be mirrored off the mat, for example you may find it easier to stop and take a breath during a conflict with a loved one rather than react from a wounded place emotionally.

Yoga and the autonomic nervous system

Research has shown that some types of more active yoga like “power yoga” or ashtanga can activate the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) but that followed by restorative postures, this activation can lead to a deeper relaxation than practicing relaxation on its own. So yoga can actually activate both the sympathetic nervous system response (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic response (rest and digest). After playfully engaging the sympathetic response, the body is able to relax even deeper into the parasympathetic nervous system baseline, which is essential for deep healing and rest.

Yoga in the garden of Kinspacha, Urubamba

Some homework for fun!

This homework is inspired by Wim Hof who is known as the ‘iceman’ because he can stay emerged in ice for 1 hour 13 minutes and run marathons in the snow! He uses a particular breathing exercise that he says affects change in the autonomic nervous system allowing him to endure extreme cold temperatures. 

So, a simple way to train resilience at home is to take a cold shower everyday or jump into some cold water like the sea or a lake! This imposes a little bit of stress on your body to train resilience through a process called hardening. It helps your nervous system to get used to being able to handle moderate levels of stress. This helps you in the long run to deal with stressful situations in everyday life.

If this interests you check out Wim Hof being interviewed on Russel Brand’s podcast here.  

Want to deepen your yoga practice? Join us in The Sacred Valley, Peru, on our flexible affordable yoga retreat. Find out more here.

Blog post written by one of our current resident Yoga teachers Jasmine Sara @jasminesarayoga

photo by @tui_anandi

10 Stress Relief Tips for Backpackers

Whether you’re on a 2 week vacation from your regular job, are taking 6 months to soul search or have quit your career to work remotely round the world, backpacking can present unique challenges. So, we’ve put together these top 10 tips to relieve stress on the road.

Photo taken here in Urubamba, Peru, by @tui_anandi

Theoretically backpacking across the globe visiting beautiful places, making amazing connections and feasting on all kinds of different foods from around the world should be a fantastic adventure. Of course it is, but it can also be quite stressful! 

Living out of a backpack means learning to unpack and repack repeatedly, as well as being unattached to possessions and being fine with wearing the same outfits on rotation for however long you’re travelling for. There are all kinds of typical things that can add stress to a travel adventure from picking up sick bugs to missing flights to hitting random unexpected forks in the road.

But any backpacker will tell you that the lows are more than worth the highs! It is an unforgettable and unbeatable experience being free to travel the world, it can simply take a bit of management.

10 stress relief tips for backpackers 

  1. Slow down. It can be tempting to pack the schedule full to try and see everything but this can leave you exhausted and in need of a holiday from your holiday! We suggest taking your time and slowing down the pace for a stress free trip.
  2. Don’t forget to breathe. Sounds obvious right? Breathing is something that happens on it’s own without any conscious effort but sometimes it can help to intentionally take a big deep breath. If you’ve got the travel nerves waiting for a delayed bus or whatever else then focusing on the breath can really help to self-soothe and calm down.
  3. Organise your things. Nobody likes throwing their belongings all over the place and searching the backpack ten times to find that one particular pair of pants that you need. Have a system. For example you can have separate drawstring bags for different types of clothes, one for pants and socks, one for bottoms and one for tops, simple!
  4. Be flexible. This one is essential and can take some practice for those amongst us who are big fans of rigid plans. Things change all the time on the road, so in order to manage our stress levels we have to find a way to be okay with that.
  5. Set intentions. This can be a great way to bring clarity and focus to your days or places. Maybe for a city break your intention is to connect to others or push the comfort zone by trying out a new dance class. Perhaps you head to the country with the intention of connecting to nature. Knowing the ‘why’ behind your ‘what’ is a good way to stay stress free.
  6. Keep it light. Going deep, looking within and taking your healing journey seriously all has an important place and is part of the process. But don’t forget to keep it light, have a giggle and let your hair down as well.
  7. Prioritise wellness. In order to see the world and enjoy all your adventures you have to be feeling well! So don’t forget to take care of basic needs such as drinking enough water and eating healthy, nutritious foods. This is key in managing stress, wherever you are in the world.
  8. Book a retreat. There are so many options out there now for retreats for budget travellers, those wanting luxury and anyone in between. Whether it’s yoga, cooking or surfing that you’re into, there’s sure to be a retreat out there for you.
  9. Do nothing as well. You don’t have to always be going on adventures. Balance is important so be sure to have a duvet day every once in a while, even if it’s in your shared dorm in a hostel! Doing nothing can be as important as doing something.
  10. Treat yourself. Sure, you might be on a strict budget but leave a little wiggle room to treat yourself every now and again. It could be to a fancy dinner, a massage or a trip to the local sauna. Whatever you fancy, the cool part is you get to decide!

Hopefully this list has given you some ideas of how to keep your exciting travel adventure stress free and balanced. 

If you liked tip number 8 then check out our affordable yoga retreats, designed specifically for the flexible traveller here. 

 

Find balance on the road with our stress relief tips!

Blog written by one of our guest Yoga teachers Jasmine Sara (@jasminesarayoga) hosting our New Year’s Retreat.

New Years Retreat!

A New Years Retreat in The Sacred Valley, Peru.

We warmly invite you to come fly with us into the new year with an Intentional, conscious crossing of the threshold from 2019 to 2020. Together we will embrace the lessons that got us this far and enter into the new year, blessed with connection and community for reclaiming our personal dreams and wellbeing.

Through Yoga, creative workshops, a group hike, embodiment practices and ceremony we will welcome all that the new year has to bring us.

Dates: 30th Dec 2019 – 2nd Jan 2020

Photo by @tui_anandi

THE LOCATION

Kinsapacha Yoga Retreat & Eco Lodge Farm is located in Urubamba in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru. Only one hour’s drive from Cusco city and airport, and around two hours’ from world-renowned archaeological site, Machu Picchu, they host yoga retreats, on-site holistic therapies, and comfy accommodation for those wanting to recharge and get close to nature in one of the most beautiful and sacred places on earth.

Kinsapacha provides healthy, fresh food, some of which is from their own vegetable farm and garden. All meals are vegetarian and gluten free, please let us know if you have any other dietary requirements.

EXAMPLE DAY ON RETREAT:

• 8am Earth element yoga flow
• 9.30am Breakfast
• 10.30am Hike to ancient ruins
 1pm Lunch
• 2pm Free time to relax
• 4pm Authentic connection workshop
 5pm Restorative yoga
• 7pm Dinner
• 8pm New Years ritual and fire ceremony

YOGA RETREAT FACILITATORS:

 Astraya@sistarsoflight

Astraya is a divine feminine leader, yoga teacher, spiritual catalyst, medicine channel and earth guardian. Astraya brings with her a wide range of healing modalities; including 15 years of experience as a certified massage bodyworker, reiki master, metatronia master healer, crystal and angelic healer.

She is a born intuitive, having an innate ability to read energy from a very young age. Astraya is also the creatress of ‘Sistars Of Light, a divine feminine institute that empowers women to embrace their soul gifts and role as feminine leaders. She is currently facilitating worldwide divine feminine pilgrimages, workshops, trainings and 1:1 priestess mentorship programs.

Jasmine @jasminesarayoga

Jasmine completed her 200-hour YTTC in India and went on to study advanced modules in Yoga Therapeutics in the North of England. After primarily teaching Yoga and running workshops in Newcastle, UK, she has been teaching and hosting on retreats around the world for the past year.

Yoga has been hugely beneficial in her life and an integral part of her healing journey, so she is inspired to share this well-being practice with others. She loves to guide traditional yoga and meditation classes as well as combining yoga with dance in her Yoga Dance workshops that have a focus on free movement to music. Her teaching is trauma-informed and she’s sensitive to the individual needs of each student.

GUEST FACILITATOR:

 Olivia Dias@oliviadiasb

Olivia has been travelling and working remotely for the past 2 years, working as a designer and marketing strategist for retreat centres and wellbeing businesses. Part of the Rosemary Dream community in Brazil for over a year, Olivia helped develop events and workshops to cultivate community and explore personal growth. With a desire to help people find their calling and create their freedom through harnessing their unique gifts, Olivia will be facilitating creative goal-setting workshops to welcome in the new year with clarity and intention.

EXTRA INFO ON WORKSHOPS

31st Dec 3 – 4.30pm Authentic Connection workshop with Jas

Explore safe, authentic and open communication with embodiment exercises, listening skills, partner and group exercises. We will also introduce some Acro Yoga to develop trust in ourselves and others.

1st Jan 10.30am – 12.00noon Creative Planning & Review with Olivia

Review of the past year, redefining what success means to you, setting intentions for 2020 and making planning fun and creative rather than a chore!  

1st Jan 2 – 4pm Manifest Your Dreams – Self- Portrait Healing Workshop 

Discover and embrace self healing art & an expressive journey to clarify and manifest your deepest heart’s desires for the coming new year 2020.

All prices include:

3 x Nights Accommodation

4 x Breakfast

5 x Lunches and Dinners

5 x Yoga Classes W/Meditation

3 x Creative Workshops

1 x Ecstatic Dance

1 x New Years Eve Ritual & Fire Ceremony & ecstatic dance

2 x  Hikes

For booking and to ask any questions about pricing or further information please email: jasmineirving@hotmail.co.uk or Whatsapp: +44 77 49 88 02 81

Our organic permaculture garden onsite at our Yoga Retreat & Eco Lodge Farm

Simple Ayurvedic Vegan Recipe

Here at Kinsapacha Yoga retreat & Eco Lodge Farm, we believe cooking food is an act of love and connects us to the cycles of nature. This is why we have our very own organic permaculture garden which provides us with fresh veggies and herbs for our guests and family. We have a special interest in Ayurveda and in vegan food.

Our organic permaculture garden onsite at our Yoga Retreat & Eco Lodge
Farm

We’ve put together a simple recipe to share with you so that you can cook up some healthy, delicious treats from wherever you are in the world! Ayurveda is an ancient system of health from India, which takes into account many different aspects of how a person lives their life. For optimal health Ayurvedic food focuses on fresh produce locally sourced and balanced meals.

Golden Milk – an Ayurvedic Drink

Use your favourite cow’s milk alternative (e.g. coconut/almond/hemp) and slowly heat in a pan with a sprinkling of cardamom, dry ginger and turmeric plus a little bit of ground black pepper (to help absorb the benefits of turmeric.) 

Photo by @oshakey

Lentil Dhal with Brown Rice & Green Salad

To serve 4, you will need:

For the Dhal & Rice

  • 2 cups of brown rice to 4 cups water 
  • 2 cups of red lentils to 5 cups water 
  • 1 tbsp turmeric 
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  •  ¼ tbsp black pepper 
  • 1 sliced small chilli 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cardamom pods

For the Salad

  • 1 broccoli head
  • A handful of green beans
  • 1 cup of garden peas
  • A handful of fresh coriander 
  • 3 tbsp of goji berries
  • 1 lettuce
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • A handful of almonds
  • A sprinkling of salt

Rice & Dhal cooking instructions

Add the rice and water to a pan with the cardamom pods for flavour, bring to the boil then leave to simmer for around 30 minutes or until the rice is soft with no water. 

Bring the water for the lentils to boil in a big pan. Add the lentils and cook for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring. 

Next you need to stir in all the remaining ingredients and keep simmering on the stove until you have a slightly thick, less watery texture and the lentils are soft.

Green Salad cooking instructions

Wash the fresh lettuce and put in a serving bowl. Chop the broccoli and green beans then lightly steam with the peas until cooked. Add the green veggies to the serving bowl. Add the lemon juice and the salt. Chop the almonds in half to lightly toast both sides in a dry frying pan. Sprinkle the goji berries, toasted almonds and coriander to the salad. 

Enjoy your meal and don’t forget to add in some love and take a moment in meditation before you eat, cultivating gratitude for your food!

We host affordable yoga retreats in The Sacred Valley Peru where we serve organic vegan meals cooked with love. To find out more click here. 

Our resident Yoga Teacher and Co Founder of Kinsapacha, harvesting fresh veggies from our garden!

Urubamba hike Sacred Valley

Mountain Life in The Sacred Valley

I always thought of myself as more of a “beach girl” but somehow life has brought me here, to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. I have had the opportunity to live on an island and was blessed to have the “island life” experience, twice! But that is a story for another day.

It was my “life’s purpose” that brought me here. The first time I came to Peru was in 2014, to stay in the jungle and learn from the mother plant, Ayahuasca. I already knew back then, when I stayed in the jungle of Iquitos that I had a special connection with Peru.

Later last year the Universe brought me back here, and this time to the warm presence of the mountains. What a welcoming embrace that was. I keep loving it more and more here every day.

 

Morning Routine in Urubamba

On a perfect day, I prefer waking up early to experience the mist hovering over the mountains and the cool crisp air of the morning. This time is ideal for a morning yoga practice, when all that is audible are the sounds of the birds waking up and your own breath.

The Local Market

Depending on how much time I have, I sometimes feel like walking to the market which takes about 20 minutes. The walk goes through the local village, with spectacular views along the way of the mountains. The market is a feast for the senses with a multitude of different colours, fresh produce and the friendly faces of the local community. Sometimes I like to stop for lunch at only 10 soles ($3) at one of the vegan stalls on the third floor of the market.

Organic Kitchen Garden

We don’t need to buy so many vegetables at the market because we are abundant with fresh organic vegetables from our own orchard based on permaculture design principles. I love being able to walk into my own garden and pick vegetables to create magic in the kitchen! We sell our vegetables to our guests and women from the local community, as well as making the most of this delicious fresh produce in the restaurant vegan menu for guests here at Kinsapacha.

Hiking in the Mountains

Some days when I’m not too busy I like to go for walks on one of the easy routes that are accessible from our doorstep. One of the routes takes you up to a beautiful viewpoint where you can explore some Inca ruins and have a breath-taking view of the Valley during the sunset golden hour.

Sundays are for Rest

Living in the mountains we sometimes lose touch of what day of the week it is! Things can get very busy here and although I stay grounded with my yoga practice, I still need some time for myself. So, I decided to make sure I always take Sundays as a day off! Some Sundays when we are very ambitious, we go on an adventure to either Ollantaytambo, Pisac or Maras. But to be honest my favourite past time is chilling in the hammock reading my favourite book or writing in my journal or taking a well-deserved nap. It’s also the  bird watchers paradise with hummingbirds fluttering in the sun.

Yoga as a Way of Life

Kinsapacha is now my home but yoga is still my life and always will be. At Kinsapacha I have learnt to take things slower, to be more present and to enjoy the beauty that nature provides, as well as the knowledge that she teaches us. My passion for teaching has evolved to a more spiritual and grounding practice. I like to encourage my students to connect with their inner teachers and liberate themselves from unnecessary stress of missing out on the whole point of life which is to be happy and free!

       

If you’d like to experience this way of life for yourself then our doors are always open! Click here to learn more about our yoga retreat packages or here to book your stay as a guest.