“Shutting off the alarm for the 5th time in the morning, I drag myself out of bed. The next couple of hours are chaotic with having to wake the kids, getting them ready and out of the house to school. My partner has her roles to play in the morning drill, and by the time, we catch the train to work, we are ready to bed. It’s a whole day spent in corporate warfare, time spent in negotiating, wrangling, maneuvering the treacherous landscape, moving forward while staying safe.
The few hours in the evening is hectic, getting kids to and from their various activities, ensuring they eat their meals and an hour of family time, I find myself snoozing in the middle of the TV show. The sun rises and the routine plays itself, I’m on autopilot mode. It got to a point where it dawned on me, that there was no time for me to compose myself, pamper myself, reset and connect with myself.
I came across the Wellness weekend at Nirvana Spiritual Retreat and was pleasantly surprised at what it had to offer. The program offered:
Nirvana spiritual retreat is in the World heritage Barrington National Forest and is the largest privately-owned rain forest retreat in this part of the world. We loved the pristine fragrant air, the bubbling water from the creeks, waking up the sound of the birds and bush, made the location an ideal one for anyone to RESET. The tired aching body relished the food and the massages, creating a new sense of energy. You can also go for their Yoga Walk or relax in their exquisite cabins.
I could go on and on…In short, we loved everything about the program, it provided the nourishment for my Mind, Body, and Soul and I’m coming back to Reset myself again in one of the biggest Healing Retreat.”
– Alex Jonas
One of the raging topics that have been going around is the fire in the Amazon forest. There are instances of so many fires in Brazil this year- about 76% more than the last year, the count going up to 72,000 incidents. The intensity of the fire is such that the skies of Sao Paulo have turned black due to the smoke rising from the fire which is 2,700 km away. Online platforms are buzzing with some misleading photos and facts. Let us try to clear some of the misinformation in our blog.
While some fires are expected in the dry season of Brazil in Amazon jungle, many of them are believed to have been started deliberately. President Bolsonaro is not transparent and has still not condemned deforestation. Moreover, he openly supports clearing the Amazon for agriculture and mining. The smaller groups of people are also responsible for starting the fires than the big corporations. More than 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest is already gone, and much more is severely threatened as the destruction continues.
It was also stated that, so far this year 228 megatonnes of carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere which is highest since 2010. The forest is burning since July but the trend on social media started recently because of #PrayforAmazonas and #PrayforAmazonia hashtag. Why? The first real sign was reported when smoke from the Amazon fire hit Sao Paulo causing a daytime blackout on 19th August. From that day the hashtag became the trending topic all over the social media handles.
The size of a football pitch is lost every minute due to fire in the Amazon forest.
Many people quoted in their social media handles that Amazon produces 20% of the world’s oxygen. But academics say that this is a very big misconception. The figure is less than 10%. The majority proportion of the world’s oxygen is produced by plankton. According to 2018 satellite data compiled by a deforestation monitoring program called Prodes, amazon deforestation has hit its highest rate in a decade.
Talking about the effect of these amazon fire on global weather, well there will be an immediate effect of fire on the climate of South America leading to less rainfall and more prolong dry seasons. The Paris climate deal which aims to limit average temperature rise to below two degrees will be more difficult to achieve. For most of human history, Amazon rainforest deforestation was primarily the product of subsistence farmers who cut down trees to produce crops for their families and local consumption.
In Continuation on our last blog where we plea to all Australians to support small businesses, Tourism Australia in response to Australian wildfire has launched a $20 million advertising campaign called “Holiday Here This Year”. This is done to stimulate tourism in fire devastated areas by encouraging Aussies to travel locally. People should commit to holidaying in these areas for this year. It can be driving up the coast, taking an interstate trip and spread the word everywhere that our country Australia is ready to welcome more travelers.
So how can we as tourists support our local community and help with Australian wildfire recovery? The best donation that we all can give to our community is booking a hotel in these fire devasted regions. Usually, these areas are all full at this time of the year and give a good profit through which they can survive the rest of the year. But these areas are all quiet right now, even those ones which are untouched by the Australian wildfire.
So we call all people to return to these areas, spend a great time there and give back to the local economy. Right now in Australia, more than 660,000 people or more than 5.2% of the total working population depends directly on tourism for their income and many more livelihood is affected indirectly.
This is the ideal time to visit these areas. If you are looking to cancel your holidays in an affected area, reschedule it for a later date rather than asking for a refund. The best way we can help people is to travel within Australia. There are many small businesses operating usually. They are the key to diverse Australian culture and we should rally together and explore Australia’s diverse destinations.
While many forests are closed due to fire you can still visit the beautiful Gloucester and Barrington Tops. With the river flowing again due to recent rains tourists can explore scenic views of the mountains.
Most of us watch the horror that engulfed a massive part of Australia. The australia bushfire season comes every year but none of us imagined this ruthless level that has destroyed communities and wildlife. The toll continued to rise and the devastation is unspeakable. Not only the people living there are impacted it has also destroyed small businesses and workforce. Today I would like to talk about myself. I work for a resort in Barrington Tops as a Digital Marketer. Everything was going great for me. I was able to generate the required output and my employer was quite satisfied with my performance until the australia bushfire season arrived. The australia bushfire took a heavy toll on small businesses like ours. People are left jobless. There was a severe water shortage with level 4 water restrictions in Gloucester. Small businesses operating in the area were left with no option but to shut down and move.
One day my employer came to me and said that he cannot afford me these few months as they are getting no bookings from the last few weeks. Even though I was living in Sydney I was left with no option but to quit. That day I realized there were people like me who are also impacted by the fire in those areas – be it transport guys, people working in warehouses, mates working in local stores and many others. We see social media posts of people praying for Australia. All their hearts go out to those impacted by the current fire crisis but time has come to give back to the community instead of just sitting down and praying for something good to happen. We are not asking for donations. There are many organizations doing the same but we all can indirectly contribute to the affected people living in the bush.
While our brave firefighters are on the front line controlling the fire, people living in cities should come forward and help the communities living in the bush. Instead of giving direct donations, buy products made locally. It can be food, dairy products or even clothes. Buy Australian made products and help small businesses impacted by these fires to bring them back on their feet. Take your family to outskirts, buy products from local stores, refill from the local gas station and stay in nearby resorts. These small steps will give a major boost to small businesses that are on the verge of collapsing. While the forecast for rain is expected to bring some relief from fire, the time has come for the people living in cities to give back to the community. Through this article, I want to put forward the message out on how people can help small businesses and support the local workforce. On behalf of all small businesses, we wish to ask for your support in this time of crisis.
Christmas is coming and we want to spend our hard-earned holidays and weekends on a trip that will take us on an inner journey. I happened to spend my last Christmas in Sydney at Nirvana Spiritual Retreat, on the doorstep of the World Heritage-listed rainforest of Barrington Tops National Park. Their cabins are nestled in bushland where I experienced the beautiful hymns of lyrebirds, wallabies, and wombats. The nearby Dilgry river is considered one of the cleanest in mainland Australia. I related to their idea of “Just Be” and captured my own essence. I went for a yoga walk that allows me to take an inner journey while walking a bush trail. I took their “Walk of Gratitude”. This Yogawalk is about being grateful for the bounty of life. The walk took me through the rainforests of the Barrington. It was an enriching experience. Gratitude is an immensely powerful force that we can use to expand our happiness, create loving relationships, and even improve our health. There were signposted walks that were designed to encourage connection and reflection. This walk engaged my mind and body and increased mindfulness and inner peace. I pen down all my thoughts in “passport” which they provided me. The nirvana passport allowed me to capture my experiences which later became the workbook of my life when I returned to my real world. I captured the essence of nirvana in the festival of Christmas in Sydney. That time is coming again. The time to bring hope, transformation, and fulfillment into the advent of our lives because our life is a constant advent season. We are waiting to become, to discover, to complete and to fulfill. Christmas is all about giving, forgiving and sharing with each other. I shared my experience of staying in Nirvana and what I believe can benefit others too. This year too I am visiting Nirvana Spiritual Retreat to relive that magic and get inspired to not “Just do” but to “Just Be”.
A day to take a temporary break from daily routine. With the guidance of Abhishek Guru of yoga sadhana, we organized a day of intensive camp of yoga retreat for teaching yoga asanas. Our yogis learned the art of getting away from distractions as they immerse themselves in asanas, meditation, and pranayama practice. There were lessons by Sadhguru by our ISHA certified Abhishek guru. The retreat also focused on healthy satwick food with no alcohol in a clean and pure environment. This retreat was attended by 20 guests who got the opportunity to reconnect to themselves, deepen their yoga practice, connect with like-minded people and nourish, restore and reset the body, soul, and mind. What was different in our yoga retreat was a lot of sharing, a lot of bonding, a lot of interesting and stimulating conversation, a lot of spiritual learning and of course, a healthy amount of yoga! One effect our yogis felt at the physical, mental and emotional levels was the purification process.
Yoga retreat brings in the rejuvenation we need. Some people go for expensive getaways and resorts, which is usually a whole lot of laziness and eating. When they go back to daily routine, they may feel lethargic for not treating their body properly. When people attend a yoga retreat, they are taking good care of themselves. They are immersing themselves in things that are only good for the mind, body, and soul.
Our guests also went for yoga walks. A bush walk with a twist. Each Yoga walk explores a certain aspect of Spirituality while exercising your limbs and heart. A yoga retreat is an ultimate option to strike the perfect coordination among your body, mind, and soul. For meditation newbies, retreats are a great way to learn a new technique, while seasoned practitioners can go deeper and strengthen their practices. This yoga walk is about being grateful for the bounty of life. The walk takes you through the rainforests of the Barrington. This Walk is all about discovering our inner Shanti, or ‘peace’. Many of us are plagued by restless or distressing thoughts, which is why it’s important to bring a sense of control and stability to our thoughts and emotions.
The benefits of a yoga retreat in itself are immense. When we dedicate ourselves to daily practice during a retreat, we begin to truly feel all the benefits that people have experienced for hundreds of years.
This is a blog about forest. This is also a blog about me. My life is full of ups and downs. It doesn’t matter who I am and where I come from. In my daily life, there are always moments when my heart is broken, burnt or hurt. I had to face a lot of failure and rejection in my job. I wake up early, go to college, finish up with my assignments and then rush to office for my part-time job. Some decisions go wrong and then I get a lot bashing from my employer. My brain is full of stress. Further my desires and distractions of social media- scrolling through Facebook feeds, checking stories on Instagram and chatting on Whatsapp doesn’t give the brain the required rest it deserves. The continuous chatter in my head often goes out of control.
I used to ignore these signs because I feel things are not going wrong. I used to drink alcohol just to relieve my stress. I saw my friends who were in the same cycle resorting to medicines and expensive treatment. One fine day I was checking my account and found that most of my earnings are going up in alcohol and I am spending most of my time on social media. That day I decided to find the root cause of my problems. But how do I pick myself up from this situation? One of my friend who is into a lot of trekking and going on long trips asked me to read about the Japanese concept of forest bathing. He asked me one simple question.
“What is the source of my health?” I reflected my mind and replied food! I mean that’s the obvious answer I can think of. But he just shrugged me off and said: “It’s the nature”.
“Reconnecting with nature is like resetting your brain”. He further said that friend you cannot escape the ups and downs of your life. But you can find calm in nature, the comfort and clarity in the company of woods.
That moment I realized that the path of healing lies inside me. I had to learn to carry the forest within me. My healing has to begin from this basic step. But what should I do? I asked my friend.
“Doing nothing but sitting still and taking in the sights, smells and sounds of nature”.
Amazing I can do that and guess what? This is forest bathing in its purest form.
I started searching for some retreat near NSW and then I came across Nirvana Spiritual Retreat. Nestled deep in the New South Wales wilderness, away from the hustle and bustle of it all, this peaceful escape of cottages is my oasis for healing and nourishment. I relate to their concept of Just Be! It guides what I can do and how I can do it. It works its magic in our relationships and inspired me everyday to not just ‘do’, but to ‘Just Be!’. It is simple, profound, and tremendously effective.
Being in Nirvana has opened my eyes to something. Something I have never realized it before. For me, its been an amazing detox away from things and reconnecting with nature which I haven’t really had as much in Sydney. Being connected with nature results in some amazing changes inside my head which began to calm and soothe my nerves. My body picks up these signals to boost my immunity and healing abilities.
Coming back from Nirvana Spiritual Retreat, I witness quite a few changes in me. Instead of swiping through Facebook and Instagram I spend my time shooting things, watching sunsets, go around talking to random people. I Improved my sleep cycle and reduced my blood pressure.
Losing thought in the unknown mysteries of the forest, instead of social media feeds. Maybe it is the smell, the sounds, and the noises. There is something about Nirvana Spiritual Retreat that changed me.
Story of one of our guest – Daniel Williams
Here is my story of powernap – my perfect way to attain energy. Slow, low on energy, lethargic, sad and worried are some of the words my long time friends described me now. I never used to be so. I’m a student doing a course in Management, and my life is full, really full. Between my classes, work ( I’m self-funded), assignments and domestic chores, I skip on something that is critical – Sleep. I hit the bed at 4 AM, out of sheer exhaustion, and don’t wake up for another 5 hours. I have turned into an Owl! The sleep does not seem to satiate me, but that is a luxury, I don’t seem to have.
Anxiety, stress, and depression are some of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. I turned to caffeine, a few cups of strong, extra shot espressos to tide over. They left the barista richer and me hyper – nothing good came out of it instead I am suffering from sleep apnea now. I started snoring as well.
Life moved on – classes, exams, assignments, no sleep – life going down a negative spiral.
Robin has been my friend for a while, He is a doctorate student and I would describe him as a bright-eyed bushy-tailed, always on a roll. I often joke, that he may have fallen into a tub of Redbull, while he was a baby! I use Robin, regularly to bounce of ideas, and seek his inputs for my assignments. It was on one of these instances, he pauses, and, Mate, I get the feeling something is wrong with you? Is everything ok?” Everything is fine, I say, forcing a smile.
Well, you look lost, feel free to let me know if I can help you in any way. Just don’t ask me for money. I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel too.
Robin, I said, coming clean, “its that everything is overwhelming, I don’t seem to have the energy to do anything. I have tried coffee, a fancy diet, and few other fads, nothing seems to get my energy up.
Sleep, that’s a luxury. I barely sleep for 5 hours a day.
Mate, the quality of sleep is equally important. Maybe you should try, what keeps me going – Power Nap.
A power nap is a sort of super-efficient sleep, which has big results in a short time. So how does a power nap works, I asked Robin. During a power nap, we use different stages of a complete sleep cycle as effectively as possible. A sleep cycle takes 90 to 120 minutes. The ideal powernap time is 20 minutes, we will wake up energized again as we only enter the first sleep phase. A power nap also makes us more productive, happier, less stressful, increases our memory and we can improve learning. A power nap ensures our brain works better for the whole day.
Ok, But how do I ensure that I enjoy the best power nap, I again asked Robin. Any quite place he just said where no one can disturb you, he further added. He asked me to use a sleeping mask as darkness helps to promote the production of melatonin in the body, a hormone that causes sleepiness for a good powernap time.
So, I started using this practice. My first attempt was bizarre, I slept for around 2 hours. But slowly and steady I got the habit of it. Wow it did wonders to my lifecycle. Not only I wake up fresh and full of energy after this power booster nap, it has also improved my fatigue level. Lack of sleep or fatigue may also cause sleepwalking. I feel quite refresh with this power nap and now I practice it every day. It is a good cure of hypersomnia aswell. I didn’t believed in Robin’s theory initially but it certainly worked. Not only that, napping is good for our heart, blood pressure, stress levels, and surprisingly, even weight management. And one of a good snoring solution. Time to spend less on caffeine and cash on the power nap.
Meditation is an accessible, budget-friendly practice that everyone can try along with powernap. Guided meditation for sleep problems and insomnia is very important.
This is my story of power nap and how it proved beneficial for me. Do you also got some experience to share with us? Share your story in our comment section.
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We mentioned in our previous blog that meditation is one of the most effective ways to practice mindfulness and build your familiarity with the philosophy on a subconscious level.
However, you can still apply mindfulness on a more informal level as you go about your day.
Below are 10 practical ways in which you can implement mindfulness and enjoy its immense benefits.
1. Communication. As you speak with another person, draw attention to the sound of their voice and your own. Do so without losing focus on the meaning of the conversation, and kindly remind yourself to acknowledge and let go of any distracting or irrelevant thoughts and feelings.
2. Walking. When you walk, whether it be long or short distance, pay attention to how you feel as you do so. Notice the sensation of your feet as they effortlessly move and make contact with the ground, and bring your attention to the sights, smells and sounds of your journey.
3. Exercise. Just as you do when walking, you can practice mindfulness during more intense physical exercise – such as at the gym. While you may welcome distractions form the physical effort, strain and fatigue, allow your mind to focus on your body and the immediate environment.
4. Working. No matter what you do for a living, there are bound to be times that your mind wanders off into a more pleasant place. Instead, keep your attention on the task at hand without overly exerting yourself to concentrate.
5. Driving. If anyone says they have never day dreamed behind the wheel, they are lying. Next time you hop in the car, focus on driving as safely as possible and to the best of your ability. If your mind wanders a little, gently bring it back to the task at hand.
6. Traveling. A holiday is one of the easiest times to practice being mindful, as it’s often the time you are most looking forward to. However, you can still get caught up thinking about what you need to do when you return or even the next holiday, so take this opportunity to truly experience the moment. Breathe the air. Sit down and watch the world go by. Just be.
7. Waiting. Traffic, queues, trains, waiting rooms – you’re always going to face periods of waiting at certain points in your life, and there is nothing to be achieved by allowing yourself to be overcome with frustration. Acknowledge, accept and let go of these feelings if they arise, and take a moment to observe the immediate environment or practice some informal mindfulness of breath.
8. Music. How often do you sit down and listen to your favourite music without any distractions? Music is a wonderful gift, but it’s often put on in the background while we focus on other things. Try getting comfortable in bed or in your favourite chair and just listening – what instruments can you hear? Are they loud or soft? Just like your breathing meditation, remember to gently bring your mind back to the music if any thoughts float on by.
9. Learning. We often struggle to live in the moment when we do things as second nature. Learning something knew – whether it be through reading, practising a skill or anything else – is a wonderful way to keep yourself present and self-aware. Remember to bring an attitude of curiosity!
10. Acceptance. Pay attention to the people in your life and accept their human nature. Allow yourself to forgive mistakes, accept apologies and maintain a more open mind with those you may disagree with.