Yoga & Happiness — Boost Your Mood With Yoga!

Yoga relieves stress and boosts mood

While all forms of activity are beneficial for your mental wellness, there is something special about yoga. If you find that you can’t relax during other forms of exercise, yoga is the ideal choice of activity. Stress often contributes to depressed mood, but research shows that yoga can effectively reduce stress and anxiety. This has a positive effect on your body, reducing the symptoms associated with stress, so your pulse, blood pressure and breathing rate all lower, helping your body cope better with stress. Yoga also seems to improve symptoms such as low energy levels, poor sleep and pain that often go with low mood and anxiety. Additionally, research shows that yoga triggers an even greater release of mood-enhancing brain chemicals than other types of activity. By managing stress and depressed mood with the help of yoga, you can avoid these problems having a significant impact on your life and you are less tempted to turn to unhealthy behaviors to cope. However, even if you have developed bad habits as a coping mechanism, taking part in yoga may help to manage cravings, which is why its practice is now incorporated into some withdrawal programs.

The value of the natural environment

Although you could enroll in a yoga class close to home, a change of scenery is in itself beneficial, particularly if you live in a built-up area. Enjoying pleasant surroundings while you practice yoga – whether that’s having a yoga class outdoors, catching a glimpse of greenery or making the most of the natural environment between classes – can really make a difference to your mood. For instance, studies found that activity in green surroundings help to ease stress and depression more than indoor exercise. This finding is understandable, as there is something calming about spending time around nature and you can’t help but feel more positive after outdoor activity against a pleasant backdrop. Certainly when you attend a yoga and happiness retreat you won’t be disappointed by the scenery on offer, letting you take in everything from coastal vistas to jungle landscapes, not to mention the relaxing surroundings of the retreats themselves.

Adventure boost positive feelings

From surfing and kayaking to mountain biking and travelling at speed down a zip-line, you’ll have the chance to try these and similar adventure activities while on your tour with Exotic Yoga Retreats. While admittedly these are far from the relaxing experience offered by yoga, taking part in these active pursuits can also boost your mood. As already mentioned, physical exertion promotes feelings of mental wellness, and as more extreme sports often place high physical demands on your body, this sends levels of the positive brain chemicals endorphins, serotonin and dopamine soaring. However, another aspect of more adventurous pursuits is that you receive an adrenaline rush when you take part in them, which can enhance feelings of positivity.

Nourishing your brain

Exercise and relaxation aren’t the only lifestyle factors that impact on your mood, as the food you eat also makes a big difference. A hectic schedule doesn’t just directly contribute to stress and depressed mood, but it can negatively influence your food choices, encouraging you to choose convenient options, which aren’t always that nutritious. If you end up relying on more processed foods, the artificial additives in these can have an adverse effect on how you feel, which is felt even more as these items are often low in mood-boosting vitamins and minerals. However, when you join a yoga retreat, the food served to you is wholesome and freshly prepared using local ingredients, which makes sure you receive a nutrient dense diet to enhance your mental wellness. Noticing the difference in how you feel may well encourage you to continue this way of eating on your return home, as nutritious food isn’t necessarily time-consuming or expensive to prepare.

EYR Teacher Feature: Rhubin Herceg

March 23, 2017
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Our Exotic Yoga Retreats teachers are incredible – and we would love for you to know more about them! As such, we have decided to create a series of features for each teacher. In addition to their general bios on our website, they have answered a few fun and thoughtful questions so that we know.. read more →

Now Is The Time, Now Is Sacred

February 12, 2017
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 It is hard to know what to write these days. It is difficult to find meaning in what feels like madness. As we are bombarded with distraction and uncertainty, it feels natural to want to connect with our inner stillness. A yoga practice can help guide and give purpose to this turning inward – in.. read more →

New Year, TRUE You.

January 8, 2017
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It’s a brand new year, full of promise. And as usual, this first week has been full of messages about creating a new you. Often, you receive this message subconsciously and accept that you need to reinvent yourself. You feed the impulse to change who you are. You convince yourself that you will be happier.. read more →

MEXICO HOLIDAY RETREAT DECEMBER 2016

December 29, 2016
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. Xinalani   Once we were Gods Immortal, perfect and bored We longed to play We longed to feel deeply So we created Earth Filled with trees, rivers and mountains Birds, animals and fish And many such wondrous gifts The game was ours to play And to love and struggle through When we came down.. read more →

Poem by Hafiz ~ There Are So Many Gifts

November 6, 2016
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Inspired by a great conversation with a wise young gal on a plane this morning, I share with you this poem by Hafiz. We spoke about God, divinity and the act of stepping into unknown territories (geographical, heart and mind)… the gifts that are always, ALWAYS here, simply awaiting us to receive them.    .. read more →

What Is Meditation | Meditation & Poetry

October 23, 2016
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People on retreats often ask if I meditate daily. The question makes me pause and ponder, “what is meditation”? For nearly twenty years I had a formal 2-hour daily practice. Now it’s very different and I imagine my ‘meditation’ will keep changing and evolving as I evolve. I like the idea of the beloved late Irish theologian.. read more →

Ireland Yoga Retreat – 3 Things To Know Before You Go

September 23, 2016
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Our luxury Ireland yoga retreat begins in just a few weeks and we are so excited to explore the lush countryside of this quaint European island. Since Irish culture has been exported to many countries around the world, most of us are familiar with at least a few aspects of life in Ireland. You will.. read more →

Life As An Ocean; Yoga and Meditation As Your Steadfast Vessel

September 8, 2016
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Every once in a while, life is just plain overwhelming. In sweet times, it feels like you are floating gently on calm seas – totally in the flow of life. Other times, it feels like you are holding tightly onto a slowly deflating life raft – battered by the storm and praying that it lets.. read more →

Find Us The Perfect Retreat Venue — Win A Free Retreat!

September 5, 2016
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We would love your help!   We host Exotic Yoga Retreats in phenomenal locations all over the world—but would love to explore the diverse beauty of the United States!  Do you know of the perfect venue to host an Exotic Yoga Retreat here in the USA?  If you introduce us to a venue—and we host a.. read more →

Yoga Retreats, Mediterranean Style

August 17, 2016
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Most of our Exotic Yoga Retreats are designed to promote the Mediterranean style of living and overall health. In fact, we strive to offer our participants an experience in both good health and good living! We achieve this experience in a number of ways – some that are unique to each retreat and others that.. read more →

An Exotic Yoga Retreat: Not Just For Yogis!

August 14, 2016
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Have you been looking at an Exotic Yoga Retreat, but want to go on a trip with your non-yoga-practicing partner? Are you excited about and committed to your yoga practice, but your partner wonders what you find so alluring about it? Perhaps he has never tried yoga – or tried it and didn’t care for.. read more →

Bhutan, A Truly Exotic Yoga Retreat

July 27, 2016
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The small, isolated nation of Bhutan was closed to tourism until 1974. Considered by some to be the world’s last Shangri-La, this Himalayan kingdom has intrigued and charmed its visitors for over 40 years now. Our Bhutan yoga retreat is truly exotic, taking place in a natural wonderland that few people will ever visit. In.. read more →

The Yoga Journey, A Journey Home

July 24, 2016
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Home is where the heart is. Yoga is a journey. Each individual practice brings you from one state to another in your body, mind and heart. In such a lovely way, the evolution of your practice over time will continue as long as you continue to show up on your mat. The beauty of yoga.. read more →

Independence, Interdependence, Yoga, Travel

July 14, 2016
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Yoga travel affects us and everyone around us. Last week, we celebrated Independence Day here in the United States. We declared our freedom from Great Britain 240 years ago – not a long time, in the overall timeline of this planet and human history. As one of the founding principles of this nation, we greatly value.. read more →

Switzerland Yoga Retreat — How Cool Is This?

July 10, 2016
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There is something about Switzerland – perhaps the ruggedly beautiful landscape or serene alpine lakes – that simply exudes relaxation and inspiration. Add a touch of luxury, daily yoga, and ample opportunity to explore the mountains and our Switzerland yoga retreat becomes a deeply rejuvenating experience. Our 2016 Switzerland Yoga Retreat begins in just a.. read more →

Tuscany Yoga Retreat — 3 Interesting Things

June 28, 2016
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The Tuscan countryside brings many pleasant things to mind: fresh pasta, roasted meats, farm-grown produce, and of course, the playful palette of Chianti. What better place to fully enjoy these Italian pleasures and deeply connect with yourself than on a soulful Tuscany yoga retreat? As you may know, our Exotic Yoga Retreats are about much.. read more →

Yoga and Wine – They Go Together!

June 21, 2016
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The first ever Exotic Yoga Retreat was a yoga and wine holiday in Puglia. “Yoga and, uh, wine?” When Exotic Yoga Retreats was launched over four years ago, it seemed that everyone I told about it responded with this question — as if yoga and wine did not belong in the same sentence. I expected.. read more →

Gayle’s Top 5 Travel Tips & Packing List For An Exotic Yoga Retreat

“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money”.   There are packing-nerds (like me) who pack their bags weeks or more in advance of a trip. There are the packing-challenged, who procrastinate digging out the suitcase until late night before travel… read more →

Tales From a Tuscany Yoga Retreat

June 13, 2016
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UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN I will admit, I signed up for the Tuscany yoga retreat on a whim. I had been feeling frazzled and overwhelmed by life’s demands — work life was in no way balanced with my personal life and a recent health scare had taken its toll. As I scrolled through my Facebook.. read more →

Travel Light — Yoga Travel Tips

June 13, 2016
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Travel light, Live light, Spread the light, Be the light. –Yogi Bhajan We are on the road a lot here at Exotic Yoga Retreats, so it is no wonder we have learned some travel tips and tricks along the way. People have all sorts of thoughts and feelings about traveling – and a multitude of.. read more →

Want to Travel Solo on a Yoga Retreat?

May 17, 2016
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An Exotic Yoga Retreat is the perfect yoga retreat for the solo traveler! Have you been wanting to go on a yoga retreat, but can’t quite seem to coordinate schedules with your friend or partner? There are many reasons people travel solo (and love it!) – and a yoga retreat is the perfect opportunity to.. read more →

Croatia Yoga Cruise • 3 Reasons to Jump In!

May 15, 2016
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3 Things to Make You Jump On Board Our Exotic Croatia Yoga Cruise! In recent years, Croatia has become the hot spot to visit! With turquoise blue coastlines on the Adriatic Sea, pristine national parks, historic landmarks and quaint island villages, there is no wonder this Eastern European country was recently recognized as the Mediterranean’s fastest-growing travel destination… read more →

3 Things You Never Knew About Morocco • In Preparation For Your Morocco Yoga Retreat

May 3, 2016
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Blending the magic of the Middle East with the traditions of the Berber people, distinct images often come to mind when you hear of the North African country of Morocco. Maybe you imagine the colorful markets, snake charmers and layered scents of spices – or perhaps you picture a sandy ride atop a lumbering camel… read more →

10 Reasons To Make Meditation a Part of Your Life

February 23, 2016
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Meditation is essentially any practice that focuses your awareness to a degree that the busy mind quiets down, and you become simply aware of the present moment. Why is this simple act of presence so profound?  It’s not easy to explain in words—like other profound experiences in the life—it’s only in the experiencing that you understand meditation’s.. read more →

Yoga & Happiness — Boost Your Mood With Yoga!

Yoga relieves stress and boosts mood While all forms of activity are beneficial for your mental wellness, there is something special about yoga. If you find that you can’t relax during other forms of exercise, yoga is the ideal choice of activity. Stress often contributes to depressed mood, but research shows that yoga can effectively reduce.. read more →

Exotic Locations • Morocco Yoga Retreat

March 8, 2015
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My sister Katherine and I visited Morocco recently to scout the perfect exotic location to hold our first Morocco Yoga retreat—that special kind of place where simplicity and luxury meet in natural harmony. When we venture into a new location, it’s with a lot of thought and inquiry as to whether it has that ‘magical.. read more →