Founder of the celeb favorite “12 Days” Mind&Body Cleanse™, Chris James, is excited to return to the birthplace of his personal journey to wellness to lead the Clean Break Retreat at Ananda in the Himalayas. From April 16 – 26, guests can enjoy a Yoga Ayurveda Detox Retreat with the Visiting Master, who worked with Ananda to design a seven and ten day program to help guests deeply heal, cleanse, relax, and revitalize their minds, bodies, and souls through yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic treatments, and more. This special workshop is part of Ananda’s larger Visiting Masters program, where renowned teachers, therapists, healer, Ayurvedic doctors, and guides visit from around the world to lead group workshops and private sessions with guests. Can’t make it out to Ananda but still want a taste of this amazing retreat? Chris shared ten expert tips to help you handle stress in your day-to-day life!
Learn to train your mind
You can designate just two minutes in the first week, graduate to three, then five, and so on. Find a comfortable place to sit, in a chair or on the floor and allow the natural breath to settle. Bring your attention to the navel. Observe the gentle expansion of the breath on the inhalation, observe the contraction of the breath back towards the spine on the exhalation. Continue to observe the breath without forcing it at all. When the mind wanders, as it inevitably will, bring the mind back to the breath. Meditation occurs when the space in between your thoughts increase.
Yoga and Pilates
In addition to regular cardiovascular training a few times a week, whether it be running, cycling, or swimming, and lifting weights, I recommend practicing an intelligent form of movement such as yoga or Pilates, three times a week. Both yoga and Pilates are transformational, focused methods of movement that facilitate positive change in the mind and body. Yoga helps us to take a break from our thoughts and calm the mind. Yoga poses, in the first place, are practiced in order to create open hips and a long straight spine. This is to make sure that the practitioner is able to sit for prolonged periods of sitting for meditation, without being distracted by the whims of the body.
Practice the art of savoring
We eat while we are watching television, while we are working and sitting in front of the computer screen, while we are on the move. It’s a sad state of affairs; we have become mindless eaters. In 2015, resolve to practice the art of savoring. Just try it once. The next time you have your lunch, stop and give some space to the activity. Pay close attention. The closer the attention, the more you’ll get out of your savoring. Savoring food is just the start: you can savor anything, and you should; it’s wonderful and it changes everything.
Learn how to breathe properly
Just as correct diet enhances the body’s store of nutrition, correct breathing enhances the body’s vitality and promotes blood circulation. Regular deep breathing slows the action of the heart, reduces blood pressure, alleviates the symptoms of stress and anxiety, and helps to relieve digestive problems.
Two to three yearly structured cleanses
While nothing can beat a focused approach to eating healthily year round, most of us enjoy more than the occasional glass of wine or espresso ! Our digestion needs a break from the continual process of breaking down foods at least two to three times a year. I recommend structured nutritional cleanses which can be practiced at certain points during the year, particularly in the spring and in the autumn, so that your natural bio rhythms are able to synchronize with the natural rhythms of nature.
Make some clear time
Choose a time to meditate when you really do have a bit of undisturbed time and can relax, even if it’s just for five minutes! Turn off your mobile phone and close the door. Do what you can to make it possible to allow yourself to let go of being available to outside demands for a while and take an undisturbed space for yourself.
Listen to music
Music has the power to transform your mood. If you feel the tensions rising, stick on a little classical music to transport you to a higher plane or plug into your favorite song to transport you to good times and happy memories. Listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. If you want to let off steam and get rid of pent up anger, stick on some rock or pop really loudly and belt out the song at the top of your voice.
Exercise is well known as a stress buster. When we do it our bodies release feel good hormones which make us calmer. Exercise also uses up some of the hormones that the body makes when it’s stressed. The physical health benefits of exercise are well known but the mental health benefits are becoming more appreciated. It’s amazing how more centered and relaxed we feel after a short run or a workout. It also boosts our self esteem which makes us feel happier.
Try visualizing a peaceful scene away from your current tensions. It could be a golden sandy beach with the azure waves lapping at your toes; it could be a warm bath with scented oils. The idea is to take your mind off the current worry and transport yourself and your mood to somewhere relaxing and calm. The more detail you imagine the calmer you’ll get.
Ananda in the Himalayas (www.anandaspa.com ) is a luxury destination spa located in the picturesque foothills of the Himalayas. It is a holistic wellness retreat incorporating the healing principles of the East and the West with a specific focus on Ayurveda, Yoga and healthy cuisine. Ananda in the Himalayas is built around the 100 acre palace estate of the Maharaja of Tehri- Garhwal, near Rishikesh. The resort features an expansive world-class spa with expert therapists and consultants, deluxe rooms and suites, villas with private swimming pools, with breathtaking views of the Ganges River and mountainside. Ananda’s signature wellness programs such as Weight Management, Detox, Ayurvedic Rejuvenation, and Stress Management are world-renowned.