"The nearer we are to [beasts and] birds, the more we are in the hells of emotion. We call it love. It is self-hypnotization. We are under the control of our [emotions] like animals. A cow can sacrifice its life for its young. Every animal can. What of that? .. What is the difference between men and animals? ...‘Food and [sleep], procreation of the species, and fear exist in common with the animals. There is one difference: Man can control all these and become God... Animals cannot do it." - Swami Vivekananda
































VEDANTA MASS MEDIAHow to take a wellness retreat for less  



     By Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News National Edition

     Yoga and meditation retreats are costly, but their focus on wellness can be applied to even a typical family vacation, according to experts.

     Two months ago, Gabriel Schirm and his wife, Amy, were in Costa Rica, welcoming the sunrise with yoga on the beach and indulging in delicious local foods.


     It was a dream vacation, and yet it wasn't the one that initially captured the couple's imagination.


     "There's a very popular yoga retreat in Montezuma, Costa Rica, but we couldn't afford the cost," said Schirm, a travel writer and author of "Sunrises to Santiago: Searching for Purpose on the Camino de Santiago."


     The Shirms, like many Americans, had been priced out of the market for yoga and meditation retreats as the trips catch on among the world's richest travellers. Top hotel chains like Wyndham and Westin now offer concierge wellness services, capitalizing on a crowd willing to pay hundreds of dollars a night for extra incentives to be fit, as Business Insider reported in March.


     Although wellness retreats vary widely, they generally focus on equipping participants with the tools to relax and recharge.


     Professional teachers offer yoga and meditation classes, chefs prepare nutritious meals and, because retreat centers are often in rustic locations, cellphone reception and Internet access are limited. Some retreat centers even require participants to turn over their devices upon arrival.


     Wellness-centered trips are a valuable way to strengthen your mind, body and soul, Schirm said. But the yoga retreats he researched cost around $1,500 per person.


     The Schirms' solution was to be creative, planning a wellness-centered trip that suited their needs without breaking their budget.

"We made it to the location, but we did the yoga on our own," Schirm said.


     It's a strategy that could serve many Americans well, according to vacation experts.


     Jessica DeGroot, founder and president of ThirdPath Institute, an organization built around helping people live more balanced lives, encourages all travellers to be innovative with their vacation plans, finding ways to relax and refocus without a high price tag.


     Hiking, meditation, yoga — "this is all stuff people can learn to do on their own," DeGroot said. "We don't have to work extra hours to afford having someone take our cellphones away."


     Re-imagining relaxation


     The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reported in February that 9.5 percent of U.S. adults practiced yoga in 2012, up from 6.1 percent five years before. Meditation was only slightly less popular, cited by 8 percent of respondents as part of their wellness routine.


     Growing interest in practices like yoga and meditation can likely be linked to the rise of technology, DeGroot noted. These wellness activities allow people to escape, if only for 10 or 15 minutes, from lives made busier by devices that allow office responsibilities to invade every part of the day.


     Retreats like the one the Schirms hoped to take in Costa Rica take these short respites from a buzzing phone or boring meeting to a much larger scale, encouraging participants to unplug from daily life by limiting access to WiFi and nurturing a culture where introspection is valued over outward achievement.


     "These types of physical activity take us away from technology and send us back into a present state of mind," DeGroot said. "It's a great remedy for the constant barrage" of texts, tweets and emails.


     Chrissa Pullicino, manager of external communications at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, said the wellness retreat industry's growth has been exponential.


     Omega, founded in 1977, used to welcome a few hundred people each year. Today, around 23,000 people visit the Rhinebeck, New York, campus annually for programs built around visiting scholars, family therapy, or, Pullicino's personal favorite, juice cleanses.



     Full article: How to take a wellness retreat for lesss







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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015











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