Ishvara pranidhana is the Niyama or inner discipline of surrender or devotion to Oneness.

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By: Kellie Cline, Miraval Equine Facilitator 

The art of riding horses, or simply spending time with them, requires certain elements of ourselves that mirror those elements we hone in our yoga practice. The horse is such a generous companion, forgiving us of many of our human flaws but they are also a companion that asks us to participate fully in our relationship with them. In order to create a deep union with the horse, they ask us to be present, to be self-accountable, and to be authentic. These are promises we make to the horse, and in turn to ourselves. Through simple but imperative practices of breathing and becoming more aligned in our intentions, we unite our mind and our body and as a result, we create unity with our horse or any other living being we choose to connect with.
 

By Rebecca Wilkinson, MA

Wellness Counselor and Art Therapist

I first learned about “mandalas” in 1991 while I was in graduate school studying art therapy—a mental health field that uses art as a way of healing and a way of learning more about ourselves.  Art therapy is based on the idea that just doing art, as we know from the popularity of coloring books, is very soothing and relaxing.  Art also gives us a glimpse into parts of ourselves that we can’t access through words alone.

“Mandalas” are a tool often used in art therapy to help people center and ground.  In some ways, mandalas are nothing more than a circle shape that either has a design in it or is just a circular outline left empty for artists to fill in their own designs.  Although it seems odd that such a simple form could have so much impact, research has shown that when people draw mandalas it helps them focus their attention and it induces the relaxation response.
 

By Miraval's Alysa Volpe, Yoga & Meditation Specialist

Why do I practice yoga?

From what I have been told…I have always been a mover. Once I figured out how to walk, all I wanted to do was run. Sitting still? Watching TV? Not my thing which is probably why my parents enrolled me in dance at the age of 3 but after suffering a major injury to my ankle at the age of 11, my “Go, Go, Go” mentality was suddenly at a loss.

My mind, like my body had dealt with a lifetime of trauma and stress and I had learned to manage it by always moving and finding distractions so when dance was no longer an outlet for me, I suddenly felt very ungrounded.

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Tapas: Discipline

By Miraval's Alysa Volpe, Yoga & Meditation Specialist

Tapas is the 3rd of the Niyamas and it refers to the practice of discipline. In Sanskrit it means 'to burn'. This understanding of it leads one to recognize that with discipline one can burn away old patterns and habits that cause us harm.

Our guests tell us that Fall is their favorite time of year to cook for family and friends - inspired by the comforting aroma and taste of Fall staples like butternut squash, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With cooler temperatures rolling in, it's easy to find solace in comfort food so our Miraval chefs created these recipes to help reduce the calories without sacrificing flavor and texture. 
 

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By: Jes Gale, Yoga & Meditation Specialist

Santosha, or contentment, is one of the five Niyamas. In the Yoga Sutras, a text of yogic philosophy, the sentence we are given about santosha roughly translates to: through contentment comes supreme joy. This is, and always has been, my favorite sutra.


By: Alysa Volpe, Yoga & Meditation Specialist

The practice of cleanliness is the act of taking care of the places that we live in by keeping them sanitary and without filth or disease. This includes our planet, our homes, our bodies and our minds.


By: Miraval’s MaryGrace Naughton, Yoga & Meditation Specialist

I love yoga! I practice yoga for a multitude of reasons all of which meet my need for expanded awareness and continued personal growth.

My first experience with yoga was in the late 80’s when I was going through a really rough time and desperately needed some support. I went to class 5 days a week directly after work.  I cried through some classes and many, many savasanas! Little did I know yoga would become a lifelong companion and continual support. When my body feels good, asana practice enhances that goodness. When my body feels tight and depleted asana and meditation help soothe stiff areas and bring energy to my body and mind. The practice of yoga has always been a physical challenge for me and I appreciate the challenge. Over the years, I’ve learned to become fascinated with subtle changes in my body from day to day and use these as opportunities for practicing self-acceptance. Yoga helps me build strength and maintain flexibility in my body and being.