Namaste, dudes: yoga and surfing in the Algarve, Portugal

A surf and yoga outfit based in south Asia has opened a branch in the Algarve, handy for golden beaches on two distinct coastlines and refuelling on custard tarts

The early morning sun is spilling through the trees, bathing the orange grove in golden tones. The scent of the blossom lingers in the air as I walk beneath branches laden with fruit to the yoga shala. I roll out a mat in the open-air studio, a breeze kissing my skin and birds singing overhead. Hidden in the Portuguese hills, this is the kind of setting that unwinds you – before the yoga has even begun.

So starts my first day at Soul and Surf’s new base in the Algarve, which opened in April. The yoga and surfing company already has bases in India and Sri Lanka, but this is its first in Europe, introduced following a string of successful pop-ups. With three- and four-night breaks available, as well as week-long stays, it’s geared towards both “weekend warriors” and those looking to maximise time in the sea and on the mat.

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Travel | The Guardian

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Amanda Eller, Missing Maui Yoga Instructor, Ate Berries and Drank From Waterfalls to Survive

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Maui Police Department/Facebook

Amanda Eller, the 35-year-old yoga instructor and physical therapist who went missing on a hike in a Maui forest on May 8, ate plants and berries and drank from the base of waterfalls to survive, her rescuers say.

Chris Berquist, a friend who was fired from a part-time job for not returning to work until he found Eller, told Maui Now that she was “alive and well” and, despite cuts to her legs and severe sun exposure, was “walking and healthy.”

“We found her in a stream bed, she was waving up at us while we were in the helicopter, and we got her out nice and safe,” Berquist told ABC News Radio. “She was not injured. She has a little bit of exposure from the sun, a little bit of sunburn. She lost her shoes a few days in. But no injuries.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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How disability complicated my relationship with yoga and changed how I talk to my patients

How disability complicated my relationship with yoga and changed how I talk to my patients


How disability complicated my relationship with yoga and changed how I talk to my patients

When I graduated from physical therapy the second time, my therapist was much more pragmatic than the first one had been. The first time I went to physical therapy was immediately after leaving the hospital. I had cancer and needed several surgeries to remove the tumor and the surrounding malignant tissues. Then I had a stroke after one of these procedures, literally adding insult to injury.

My left arm was paralyzed, my left leg was tired and weak, and my face drooped on one side. Despite all of that, I was still young and relatively healthy. My potential for recovery was incredibly high, so my therapists were convinced that I’d do very well. They celebrated my tiniest improvements and insisted that I focus on a distant and idealistic future: me after cancer, after stroke, with two good hands, two strong legs, and a straight, beaming smile.

I went back to physical therapy two years after my illness. I had proved my first set of therapists right to some extent. By then, my mouth had straightened and my leg had almost totally recovered. My arm and shoulder were another story. They could move again, but slowly and awkwardly. The muscle tone had increased over time leading to stiffness and a constant aching pain. Most significantly, my left hand had lost most of its sensory function and would never recover it. I mentioned the pain and stiffness to my neurologist, and she sent me straight back to physical therapy. Things improved a little bit, but as weeks passed, it became clear that I’d need more than just PT to manage it.

“You know,” my therapist said, scowling as she entered notes into her computer, “you might want to think about taking a yoga class. That arm isn’t going to get much better.”

I bristled.

Woman rolling up yoga mat
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I’m a physician, so I’ve done my share of doling out advice about healthy habits and lifestyle changes.

I’ve talked about low fat diets and leafy greens, taught techniques to improve sleep, decrease stress, and increase physical activity. The one thing that I hadn’t suggested to my own patients was to try yoga. I gave my PT the same skeptical look and half-hearted nod that my patients had given me time and time again when I’d recommend a lifestyle change—I had absolutely no intention of going to yoga class.

Occasionally a health fad sweeps the nation, and suddenly every other person you know is claiming that it cures everything from obesity to ADHD. When my friends, family, and well-meaning strangers found out that I had cancer, they suggested that I try a number of these remedies to treat it. I was told to eliminate sugar and red dye, to go vegan or paleo, to eat more blueberries to get rid of inflammation. Colonics would rid me of toxins, they said. Essential oils would help with the sadness, they claimed.

After my surgeries and after the stroke, when I walked with a slight limp and my arm was still at its weakest, I started getting suggestions about exercise. Cross fit and Soul Cycle and even pole aerobics. But yoga was the one recommended to me most often. I heard miraculous stories about how it made people fit and strong, how it cured depression and back pain and asthma. If yoga could do all of those things, my would-be advisers reasoned, then surely it would work for me.


I knew that people were trying to help, but their suggestions quickly started weighing on me. There seemed to be an undercurrent beneath the advice: I was a broken thing that needed to be fixed. Or worse, that I could fix myself but I simply wasn’t trying hard enough.

The more time passed, the stronger that feeling became—especially once I started to look healthy and “normal” again. If I mentioned my mobility issues or asked for some kind of accommodation, I was often met with looks of shock, confusion, or disbelief. Some people wanted more details and asked probing questions about my hand and my illness. Others shared their own stories about disability—I am forever grateful for those people. However, some others eyed me critically. They made unsolicited suggestions for improving my mobility, always getting to yoga eventually. They didn’t seem to listen when I told them what would and wouldn’t work for me.

Woman receiving physical therapy in the hospital
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I completed my second round of PT and incorporated the therapist’s recommended exercises into my daily routine. My shoulder loosened a bit but the pain persisted. I went to a pain clinic where I got injections in my neck, shoulder, back, and upper arm every three months. I tried patches, pills, creams, and massagers—nothing seemed to work. My sleep got worse. So did my anxiety. I was in my neurologist’s office waiting for another follow up appointment when I noticed a brochure on the table. A new yoga studio had opened nearby and offered special classes for PT graduates in addition to their regular schedule. The people in the pictures looked so happy, so healthy.

It took two months, three attempts to sign up, and continuous support from a chronically ill yogi friend before I actually stepped into the studio for my first class.

I shuffled to the back of the room, hoping to hide behind more seasoned yogis. Unfortunately, only two other women showed up and they looked just as bewildered as I did. The teacher was placid, personable, and impossibly fit as I imagine many yoga teachers are. She didn’t ask us why we were there or ask us to share about our respective medical traumas. She smiled and started class. She showed us two or three modifications for each pose, encouraged us to take breaks as we needed them, and offered assistance when we struggled. And oh did I struggle. I spent half of the class trying not to fall and the other half of the class cursing myself in my head. This was yoga and it was kicking my butt. I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t to end up shaking and drenched in sweat twenty minutes in. The teacher smiled. I’m convinced that she could read minds. “Don’t think about what you look like,” she said. “Don’t think about what you can’t do. Just focus on what brought you here and do what’s best for your body.” My shoulder ached. I moved on to the next pose.

Group of women in a yoga class
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Yoga is not a miracle drug. It did not cure my cancer or heal my brain. My shoulder still hurts. I still have anxiety. I cannot be fixed, but I am not broken.

What yoga has done for me is help my body and I coexist with each other.

My shoulder still hurts, but maybe a little less now. My arm is still stiff, but it is stronger. There are still moments when I flash back to the intensive care unit where I was stroked out, strapped down, and terrified. That old panicky feeling creeps up and threatens to choke me. I close my eyes and focus on my breath.

I still don’t suggest that my own patients try yoga when they’re in recovery—at least not right away. If nothing else, illness has been an excellent teacher. I’ve learned so much about what it means to have a disability, how to be a better physician, and how to work more empathetically with patients. Every therapy isn’t for everybody, so it’s important to listen to disabled people, learn each person’s wishes and goals, and figure out what works best for them. Knowing that I could be the first or the fiftieth person to suggest any kind of therapy (including yoga) means that I had better know whether it’s even feasible for them before I start talking. If I think that yoga may help a patient and they agree, then that’s when we can have a meaningful discussion about how to practice safely.

I may never be able to do a handstand or even much of a pushup. That’s okay. I am stronger in ways that I never thought I could be. I will probably always be annoyed every time a new health fad becomes popular, 150knowing that at some point someone will suggest that I give it try. I’ll probably give them that same skeptical look and half-hearted nod and then grudgingly—but invariably—return to my yoga mat.

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How I stopped comparing myself to the ideal “yoga body” that doesn’t actually exist

How I stopped comparing myself to the ideal “yoga body” that doesn’t actually exist


How I stopped comparing myself to the ideal “yoga body” that doesn’t actually exist

I found my yoga teacher, Joy, when my oldest daughter was 4 months old. In the middle of deep postpartum anxiety, taking her class was the first time I left the baby and did something entirely for myself. I chose Joy’s class because she taught “curvy yoga.” I hoped I would find a safe space to practice without feeling like an outsider because of my body.

For five years, I followed Joy through different studios, and every class brought new ways to challenge myself and work with my body instead of treating it like a hindrance. Belly limiting your movement? Let’s adjust. This doesn’t work for you? Let’s try something else. Joy never sidelined a student for not fitting a predetermined idea of how yoga practice should look.

When Joy announced that she was taking a sabbatical from teaching, I had to figure out what yoga looks like for me, without her and our familiar judgment-free classes.

Trying to scratch out a start to this new path, I asked Joy, “What is your philosophy for yoga?” Instead she gave me her philosophy for life: “I exist.”

“As I have been teaching,” she said, “I am seeing it in everyone—that they too want to exist.”


One summer Saturday afternoon, about a dozen of us sat on mats around the loft studio for Joy’s last curvy yoga workshop before her sabbatical. We chatted about parking and the weather, then a deeper conversation began: Why had we each joined a curvy yoga workshop that day? A confessional of inexperience and insecurities followed.

I listened to women who were taking their first-ever yoga class and were drawn to Joy because she used the “curvy yoga” label. They talked about how they never felt like they had the right body type for yoga, so they were too intimidated to join a room full of “yoga bodies.” I also listened to Joy’s regular curvy yoga students bemoan her break from teaching and their fears of finding a new class where they can fit in.

I thought about the times in class when a folding or twisting pose made anger swell up from deep in my long-hated gut — all the times yoga was a physical expression of my emotions.

I weigh 250 pounds; I do not have a “yoga body,” but there is no such thing as a yoga body.

I have a body, and I have yoga.

Books and Instagram accounts tell the stories of curvy yogis and nontraditional yoga practitioners. When I google images of “yoga body” today, the first few results are pictures of Jessamyn Stanley, author of Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body. Stanley and Anna Guest-Jelly, founder of a Curvy Yoga-branded teacher training program and author of Curvy Yoga: Love Yourself & Your Body a Little More Each Day, challenge assumptions about what yoga looks like and who can practice. Dana Falsetti’s Instagram is filled with daring poses and minimal clothing, a striking image against the idea that bendy yogis MUST be small and taut.

These women are challenging expectations associated with yoga, and I want to do the same. So when my teacher left, I retained these lessons:

I am my own teacher.

I had a mission when I went to Joy’s last workshop—to figure out what I would do next. In the quiet of savasana and deep breath, I wondered, what would Joy tell me to do? I imagined her response at once both compassionate and DGAF: “You figure it out. This is not about me.”

Yoga is for every body.

We are doing accidental yoga all day. My two-year-old executes a perfect downward-facing dog before her sister tickle-tackles her. Both the pose and the laughter are yoga. On the rug, my husband grimaces into an awkward frog pose to loosen up after a long run. I suggest a modification because “Joy says…” Both the pose and the communication are aspects of yoga. The practice does not only consist of people perched on mats, defying gravity and joint mechanics.

Practicing yoga when others think we don’t belong is a subversive act. It allows us to be an ambassador for all those people who are too nervous to take that first class.

Joy isn’t here. It’s time for me to try new classes with new teachers and new peers. My calendar is populated with the class schedule of the nearby gym. It’s five minutes away, offers childcare, and has an attached cafe. Still, I think about walking into that room for the first time and wonder if my body will be too disparate from the other bodies there.

But I go to class because showing up is the first step.

I will try not to be the one committing the offense of comparison: She is older than I am, she is shorter than I am, she is more graceful than I am. We all belong in yoga because we chose to be there, and at the same time, no one will have an identical practice. I will focus on commonalities, not differences when I practice yoga—even if that means the common experience of feeling different.

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10 of the best yoga holidays in UK and Europe

Beautiful locations and activities such as running or simply hanging out on the beach complement quality yoga teaching at these retreats

Combine yoga and Greek sunshine with a holiday on Santorini, the southernmost of the Cyclades islands, staying in whitewashed houses at a boutique hotel with pool outside the village of Oia. There are two daily classes for all levels with warm, encouraging teacher Louise Gillespie-Smith, who balances creative, breath-led flow with gentle, mindful yin. An optional 10-mile hike is included, and guests are also able to enjoy sailing, sea kayaking and wine-tasting if they wish. Louise also leads holidays in the UK and French Alps.
From £795, with breakfast and three evening meals, 29 June-6 July, adventureyogi.com

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Travel | The Guardian

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Claim That She (and Goop) Popularized Yoga Is, Well, a Stretch

Since launching Goop in 2008, actress Gwyneth Paltrow has been a divisive presence in the burgeoning wellness industry. Her comments in a Wall Street Journal Magazine profile, in which she claimed claimed credit for making yoga popular, may end up making that ambivalence even stronger.

Paltrow was a subject of a puff piece in the magazine showing how she “is living her best life–and believes she can help you live yours better, too.” To Goop’s many adherents, that may ring true. But Paltrow’s critics zeroed in on comments she made that appeared to take credit for popularizing yoga.

“Forgive me if this comes out wrong, but I went to do a yoga class in LA recently and the 22-year-old girl behind the counter was like, ‘Have you ever done yoga before?’ ” Paltrow said in the interview. “And literally I turned to my friend, and I was like, ‘(She has) this job because I’ve done yoga before.’ ”

While Paltrow’s use of “literally” may leave grammar nerds feeling as if their heads are about to explode, health professionals will surely be puzzled by another quote that seems to regard the age-old wisdom that food affects health as somehow radical in concept.

“That was the beginning of people thinking I was a crackpot,” Paltrow said about Goop’s founding in September 2008. “Like, ‘What do you mean food can affect your health, you (expletive) psycho? I remember when I started doing yoga and people were like, ‘What is yoga? She’s a witch. She’s a freak.'”

To be fair, the story notes that Paltrow’s conversion to a healthier lifestyle began after her father faced surgery for throat cancer in 1998. And the comments read like flippant, off-hand remarks made in conversation, rather than for an interview for print. Nonetheless, they don’t exactly mesh with reality.

For example, yoga has been popular in the U.S. for decades. According to Yoga Journal, Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga to the U.S. in the late 1800s. It slowly but steadily gained in popularity over the following decades. By the 1960s, there were books about yoga that sold millions of volumes, dozens of yoga studios, and even a TV show featuring yoga workouts.

A Harris survey that Yoga Journal commissioned in 2003 found that between 15 million and 18 million people, or between 7% and 9% of the population, were practicing yoga. What’s more, the survey found:

more than 12% of the U.S. population, or 25.5 million people, is very or extremely interested in the practice of yoga; one in six respondents, or 35.3 million people, express the intention to try yoga within the next 12 months; and more than half of the general population, or 109.7 million people, has at least a casual interest in the practice of yoga.

What’s more, a Google search of Goop’s early web site–described by the Daily Beast as “a spare gray and white design and a vague promise of future inspiration”–shows only a handful of references to yoga before 2010, and most of those mentioning the practice only in passing.

Paltrow’s comments were also greeted on Twitter with more that a raised eyebrow.

By some measures, Paltrow’s Goop is a success: It’s 2017 revenue was reportedly between $ 45 million and $ 60 million, up from a range of $ 15 million to $ 20 million a year earlier. But that growth has come with some controversies, such as the $ 145,000 settlement Goop paid this year for making unsupported medical claims about “jade eggs for your yoni.”

If Paltrow wants to keep Goop’s brand healthy, unsupported claims about making yoga popular won’t help.

Fortune

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Hero used a broom to fight gunman during Tallahassee yoga class killing

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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3 dead, including shooter, at Florida yoga studio

A gunman killed two people and wounded five others at a yoga studio in Florida's capital before killing himself Friday evening, officials said.
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