Body Rejuvenation & Relaxation

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  • REASONS TO MEDITATE & THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGA
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  • YOGA FOR ALL SEASON: WINTER

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Ayurvedic Spa Treatments are the Crème de la crème of the massage world to De-stress, Relax and Rejuvenate

Written by: Salochanee  Reddy, Chopra Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Practitioner

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The inspiration for this article grew out of a strong belief that Ayurveda (Sanskrit word meaning Science of Life) should be shared in a simple, practical way. Heretofore, Ayurveda has been viewed as an esoteric science. Yet its simple, practical, science of life principles are universally applicable to each individual’s daily existence.  Ayurveda speaks to every element and facet of human life, offering guidance that has been tested and refined over many centuries to all those who seek greater harmony, peace, rejuvenation and longevity.

Understanding the interconnected functioning and relationship between our five senses and the five elements forms the foundation of Ayurveda fundamental to restoring balance to mans’ mind, body and emotions.

The five elements are directly related to mans’ ability to perceive the external environment in which he lives. They are also related, through the senses, to five actions expressing the functions of the sensory organs. The basic elements Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth are related to hearing, touch, vision, taste and smell, respectively:

  • Ether is the medium through which sound is transmitted. Thus, the ethereal element is related to the hearing function.
  • Air is related to the sense of touch: the sensory organ of touch is the skin. The organ of action for the sense of touch is the hand.
  • Fire, which manifests as light, heat and color, is related to vision. The eye, the organ of sight.
  • Water is related to the organ of taste: without water the tongue cannot taste.
  • Earth element is related to the sense of smell. The nose, the sensory organ of smell.

Ayurveda aims to enable each individual to bring his body, mind and emotion into harmonious balance with the five elements and senses.

Ayurvedic spa treatments are the crème de la crème of the massage world. They've been tried and tested through the ages in India, not only for relaxation, but for health benefits such as improving circulation, toning the muscles, calming the nerves, lubricating the joints, and increasing mental alertness. They are also used for supreme detoxification, skin health, energy, stamina, and better sleep.

There are several key things that make an Ayurvedic massage different from a regular massage. From the training of the masseuse to the long-lasting effects, here are some of the things that set Ayurvedic massages apart from the rest:

  • Healing Arts Masters. The therapists are trained by an Ayurvedic Doctor
  • Special Ayurvedic Oils. Carefully crafted organic oil blends are infused with Ayurvedic herbs and heated to the perfect temperature to promote relaxation and detoxification. At the right temperature, these special oils enter through the skin and pores, bind to toxins, and are released to purify the body.
  • Intention. Depending on the treatment, an Ayurvedic therapist focuses on clearing the energy channels in the body, moving and dislodging toxins, and balancing the chakras (energy centers). A simple shift in intention from rubbing the muscles to clearing the physical and energetic pathways can be the difference between a relaxing massage and a life-changing event.
  • Sensation. The strokes and movements in Ayurvedic massage are more connected and vigorous, yet never painful. This increases circulation and lymphatic drainage … and feels utterly blissful. Most recipients leave feeling energized and rejuvenated.
  • Benefits. Primarily, these unique treatments are intended to make the energy flow properly in the body, clear all physiological and energetic pathways, and reduce stress.

Turn your next massage into an Ayurvedic treatment at The EQ Natural Day Spa in Johannesburg, South Africa. Here are the most luxurious Ayurvedic spa treatments available.

De-stress and Rejuvenation Therapy
Our signature therapy is a combination of 3 specialised Ayurvedic Healing Treatments designed to release emotional toxicity and create balance.

Treatment commences with Marma Point Therapy a unique therapy in Ayurveda that helps awaken “energy points” throughout the body. This is followed by Pinda Swedana a unique therapy with the application of hot herbal rice puddings in muslin pouches. The treatment is completed with Nabhi Basti, which helps to balance the vital centre where all subtle energy pathways converge. A gentle abdominal oil application therapy with specific herbal oil is performed, thereafter a bowl made out of dough is placed over your navel area and filled with lukewarm medicated oil.

Benefits of therapy:
NURTURING session for emotional stress, trauma, grief.  Strengthens the power of digestion and absorption, and facilitates the release of deeply seated emotions.
This multi-level treatment works on the entire system—mental, physical, and energetic. If you seek to heal, balance, and transform, opt for this pinnacle of massage treatments.

Shirodhara (shiro-dar-a)
Probably the most well-known and highly spiritual experience is the Shirodhara. It is a very meditative and tranquil treatment in which a soothing stream of warm oil is poured over the forehead and onto the “third eye” chakra, your intuitive energetic center. It calms the central nervous system and integrates the mind and body. Many experience visions and restful awareness, where it almost feels like you’re asleep, yet still aware. You have to feel it to believe it.

Abhyanga (abee-yan-ga)
This is the quintessential traditional Ayurvedic treatment, and after experiencing it you'll understand why it's so popular. Abhyanga is a choreographed massage using friction-based strokes and warm specific oils. As the oil is massaged into the skin, it penetrates deep into the tissues to loosen toxins at a cellular level. The Abhyanga enhances immune system function, promotes circulation, and creates deep relaxation in the body and mind.

ABOUT THE WRITER:  Salochanee Reddy is a Chopra Certified Ayurvedic Health Practitioner and founder of The EQuilibrium Wellbeing Centre the home of EQ Natural Day Spa. She is a mother of two children, and is passionate about natural forms of healing, fitness, yoga, holistic wellbeing, healthy living, meditation, and sun, moon and star-gazing.

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REASONS TO MEDITATE AND THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGA

By Salochanee Reddy – Chopra Certified Holistic Wellbeing Facilitator

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The practice of Yoga asanas develops strength and flexibility, while soothing your nerves and calming your mind. The asanas affect the muscles, joints and skin, and the whole body – glands, nerves, internal organs, bones, respiration and the brain. The physical building blocks of Yoga are the posture and the breath.

Health benefits of Yoga include:

Cardiovascular system (heart and arteries) – This improves cardiovascular fitness and circulation. Studies show that regular Yoga practice may help normalise blood pressure.

Digestive system – Improved blood circulation and the massaging effect of surrounding muscles speeds up sluggish digestion.

Musculoskeletal – Joints are moved through their full range of motion, which encourages mobility and eases pressure. The gentle stretching releases muscle and joint tension, and stiffness, and also increases flexibility.

Maintaining many of the asanas encourages strength and endurance.

Long-term benefits include reduced back pain and improved posture

Nervous system– Improved blood circulation, easing of muscle tension and the act of focusing the mind on the breath all combine to soothe the nervous system.

REASONS TO MEDITATE

The reasons we meditate are as varied as the many ways there are to meditate. The most common reason most people are drawn to meditation is to quiet the internal chatter of the brain and to reduce stress. Meditation is, indeed, a very effective stress reducer, but its benefits—sometimes are mysteriously hidden and are far more bountiful.

The actual act of meditation can be as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath or a mantra—a word or phrase. There are countless traditions and no singular “correct” way to practice meditation. Find a practice that you like and stick with it for a while. Notice how you feel as you go about your days. If you find that you have more patience, feel grounded and better able to respond to stressful situations, and are more in touch with your intuition or “gut feelings,” you are enjoying the many benefits of meditation.

Because It’s Good for Our Bodies

Scientists gathering data on meditation have found that a consistent practice not only boosts the mind, but it also bolsters the body. Studies bear out that meditation can help reverse heart disease, reduce pain, and support the immune system, better enabling it to fight disease.

The mind-body connection between stress and disease is abundantly apparent as science is finding that meditation can lower production of the stress hormone cortisol. This means meditators are better able to adapt to stress in their lives and its common physiologic responses, which can include:

    Heart disease

    Osteoporosis

    Sleep problems

    Digestive problems

    Depression

    Obesity

    Memory impairment

    Skin conditions

Because It’s Good for Our Relationships

Paradoxically, while meditation helps us tune in and turn inward to our true essence, it also helps us detach from our own egos to connect with others in more meaningful ways. Couples counselors have found when they assign their clients meditation, the couples become less angry, more self-reflective, and more loving.

When we become aware of—and honor—our interconnection with other beings, we are able to recast our perspectives, see our worries in a different light, and embrace gratitude, which is the heart’s memory.

Because it Can Change Our Lives

In a world rife with never-ending fast fixes, crash diets, and get-rich-quick schemes, it’s nice to know there is a proven practice that really can change your life (or at least bring about dramatic effects) in just a little time in each day.

Yogis and doctors both agree: meditating—even just a few minutes of deep breathing—relaxes the brain, reduces anxiety, and decreases depression. When we feel as though we can't afford the time to meditate, but the truth is we can't afford not to.

How to Start Meditating

Getting started is simple, but it’s helpful to have a teacher or guide to coach, motivate, and encourage you along as you start. Here are some options to help you get started in meditation:

    Find a teacher near you: It doesn’t get better than having a real, live person teaching you how to meditate. Make sure you choose someone you really connect with and respect, so that it will be easier to see them consistently. The Equilibrium Wellbeing Centre offers instruction in Primordial Sound Meditation—a powerful meditation technique rooted in the Vedic tradition of India.

Try a Guided Meditation: If you don’t have the time or means to find a teacher near you, guided meditations can be a great way to learn. They walk you through the steps and help you find a calm and peaceful state—one step at a time. Try one of these guided meditations, each with a unique theme. You can also sign up for the 21-Day Meditation Experience with Oprah and Deepak.

Go on a Weekend Retreat: If you’re ready to dive in and begin a consistent practice, it may be time to sign up for a meditation retreat. A retreat weekend is a great learning experience for the first-time meditator and is perfect for those seeking a true celebration of the power and beauty of meditation and exploring a yoga practice. A weekend retreat is a powerful weekend of awareness and rejuvenation, perfect for those that want to learn to meditate and begin a practice.

Source and resource supplied by Salochanee Reddy , Founder of The Equilibrium Wellbeing Centre. For further details on Learning to Meditate and Weekends Retreats, contact 011 568 0329 or email salochanee@www.eqcentre.co.za

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YOGA FOR ALL SEASONS -WINTER

Written by the EQ Centre for Health & Wellbeing

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It is important that we change with the seasons just as nature does by adapting our daily habits, yoga practice and food choices. During the winter season, the energy of the Earth and its creatures is drawn inward.
We can use this time for restoration and introspection, just as many plants and animals use it for hibernation in preparation for the spring, it is important to slow down and rejuvenate.
During the dry, dark, cold months of winter our digestive fire plummets, leaving you more susceptible to colds, poor circulation, joint pains and negative emotions. Here are some yoga and lifestyle tips that can help you to balance your lifestyle this season

5 WINTER YOGA POSES
The winter months are notorious for colds and flus, so poses that open the chest, throat and sinuses will aid in improving congestion and supporting your respiratory organs. The following poses are metabolically invigorating and help to warm the kidneys and clear phlegm.
1. Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara): This invigorating invocation to your yoga practice helps build heat in the body. Do up to 12 rounds. See attached sequence.
2. Fish Pose (Matsyasana): This supine backbend/inversion opens the throat and chest. Do up to three sets.
3. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana): Open your chest with this backbend. Do up to three sets.
4. Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana): This supported inversion helps with stagnation of lymph. Do one time and hold for a minimum of 12 breaths.
5. Locust pose (Salabhasana): This “baby backbend” opens the chest while strengthening the back. Do up to three sets.

Follow this sequence with Breath of Fire Pranayama, also know as kapalabhati breathing, a practice that builds internal heat and eliminates mucus from the respiratory tract. These are rapid, sharp exhales, passive inhales, and a snapping of your lower abdomen. You can start with cycles of 30 breaths and gradually increase up to 100, for 3-5 rounds.
End your practice with Savasana (Corpse Pose)