Italy Yoga Retreat Mindfulness Practice

In June I will return to Italy where I am always more conscious of the pacing of life. In the art cities like Siena and Florence the cadence of one’s walk is mindful, never too fast (whether or not you’re walking in heels on cobble stoned streets.) And in the Tuscan countryside the way in which one eats and drinks is even slower so as to savor the tastes completely. Then my travels will bring me to the warmest sun of all, that of the Amalfi area of Southern Italy. There I reconnected to the Sun in the most splendid way while living on Ischia!

And what I observe when living in the sun is that you move more slowly.

Tuscanycollage2013I am inspired to bring this learning back into the practice of Sun Salutations, Surya Namaskar, in yoga class too. There is nothing natural about practicing our Sun Salutes at break neck speed. If that’s the pace then your breath speeds up in a frenetic way causing your mind and body to overheat. You leave feeing frantic even if at first you misidentify this as “energized”.

Try it for yourself, on a sunny day go run around as fast as you can and then observe whether or not you feel more or less connected to your life. For me, I only ever want to feel more, and let light make me see more too. I don’t want to rush in my yoga because I’ve found that rushing in my life only led me to emotional and mental burn-out.

Yoga empowers us to be present to our magnificence but not manic. It is as Stephen Covey writes, “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” Celebrating which in sanskrit is “Namaskar” requires us to enjoy the light of each moment. Therefore Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutations, are a traditional way to celebrate mindfully the light within us for each of us is self-effulgent like the Sun.

We have no need to prove anything or create undue friction by going too fast. As Hafiz so eloquently puts it,

“I am happy even before I have a reason. I am full of Light even before the sky. Can greet the sun or the moon.”

Today practice Sun Salutation A and B with this awareness. Even practice outside on a sunny day. And for variation in Warrior A try this:

*Inhale reach up from your waist say to yourself “I am celebrating!”
*Exhale hands behind your back in yoga mudra, breath in, breath out and fold, “I am releasing.”
*Inhale reach up
*Exhale open your arms into prana mudra say to yourself “I am receiving”

As you celebrate your life, share your brilliance from the inside out and receive the warm blessing of the sun into your heart. Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
poolcollagefaves

How to Make Limoncello

What is the famous drink of the Amalfi area?

The region is famous for Limoncello! Traditionally made from the zest of Sorrento lemons, zest/peel & steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with a simple syrup – yummy & delicious!

Come taste for yourself July 1-7, 2013! Join us living on Ischia for an adventure of a lifetime. Learn more http://www.alchemytours.com

lemonstimes3

Fashionable Yogis

Ciao Fashionable Yogis! If you, like me, love yoga and fashion then join me for some retail therapy in Italy this summer! Tuscany Retreat June 22-29 & Amalfi Eco-Luxury Retreat July 1-7! We will be living on Ischia, and learning the secrets to the fountain of youth!

PS I bought these boots shown here in Naples last summer, still my all-time faves. Can’t wait to be back there again! Do the things you LOVE.

http://www.alchemytours.com/2013/01/amalfi-ischia-yogaretreat/7/

bestbootsnaples

How to Speak Italian

One of my favorite parts of the Italian experience is hearing and speaking the language. I would love to have you join us on our Inspired Travel Alchemy Tours Tuscany Yoga & Wine, Cycling and Cultural Adventure June 22-29, 2013 or Amalfi Adventure July 1-7, 2013! And in preparation here’s a little bit of what to practice saying. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

***WHAT TO SAY***

Fortunately, getting around in Italy with little or no exposure to the Italian language is not very difficult. The Italians are, by nature, outgoing and often appreciate even the slightest attempt at communicating in Italian. Here are some useful words and phrases to help you get started:

English Italian

Yes / No Si / No

Hello / Hi / Goodbye Ciao

Please Per Favore

Thank you Grazie

You’re welcome Prego

Excuse me Mi scuzi

I’m sorry Mi dispiace

Good morning Buongiorno

Good evening Buona sera

Good night Buona notte

Goodbye Arrivederci

To the left A la sinistra

To the right A la destra

Straight ahead Sempre dritto

Bicycle Bicicletta

Hotel Albergo

sunflowercollage

Italy Yoga Retreat Where is Ischia

#1 question I get asked about my AMALFI ADVENTURE ECO-LUXURY YOGA RETREAT, JULY 1-7, 2013 is “where is Ischia?”

AWESOME DISCOUNT OF 3 OR MORE SIGNING UP TOGETHER = $150 OFF PER PERSON. Details herehttp://www.alchemytours.com/2013/01/amalfi-ischia-yogaretreat/

ischia-map

How We Choose to Be Happy at Alchemy Tours

havegoodtimeHappiness is a choice. This lesson almost more than anything else has changed my life. It is one that I stay in touch with on a day in and day out basis. I made a choice to lead retreats all over the world because it is important to me. And as part of developing Alchemy Tours I continue to be tuned in to the partnership of happiness and choice. Here is how we choose to be happy in 2013 at Alchemy Tours. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

How We Choose to Be Happy at Alchemy Tours

Explore a New Place in the World
Expand beyond ordinariness into experiencing
someplace extraordinary and inspiring.

Make a Full Commitment
Set your intention/sankalpa and stay with it. Practice
Sun Salutes everyday or set the date for a retreat.

Do Something that Scares You
Push your limits and get out of your comfort zone.

Taste Something New
Savor new flavors in wine, beer, and food;
either locally or in new part of the world.

Practice Relaxation
Make time to meditate, spend time near the water,
watch more sunsets, unplug from technology.

Learn a New Language
Set your mind up to try speaking another language. If you’re
going to Italy, then learn some Italian phrases, or try Spanish
if you’re going to Mexico or South America.

AT front cover 2013 card

Favorite Beach Quotes

As we get closer to Summer our hearts and minds move towards thoughts of great times ahead spent on the beach. Here are some of our favorite Beach Quotes to inspire you! Countdown to summer, June 21st!

“To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.”
Isaac Newton

saltwaterhealsAT“Babies don’t need a vacation, but I still see them at the beach… it pisses me off! I’ll go over to a little baby and say ‘What are you doing here? You haven’t worked a day in your life!”
Steven Wright

“Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable, much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine. A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it, thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does.”
John Kenneth Galbraith

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.”
Jeanne Moreau

oceanstirscollage