The Body & Mind experience in Sri Lanka offers you the chance to indulge yourself in a week of relaxation. This programme combines a mixture of yoga and meditation with Ayurvedic treatments that will send you on a journey towards a fitter and more positive you.
This gap volunteer week-long experience in Sri Lanka is designed to not only teach you the basic skills needed for yoga, but also the human body. It will help you make beneficial lifestyle and dietary changes. The Ayurvedic treatments, for instance, can help you with physical aches and pains while the yoga and meditation techniques can assist with your ongoing health.
As with any form of exercise, yoga is not a magic formula. The benefits gained through it result from practice and a conscious decision to change your lifestyle.
The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit ‘Ayur’, which means ‘life’, and ‘Veda’, for ‘knowledge’. It is an ancient Indian practice which some claim has been used for as long as 7000 years.
The idea of Ayurveda – ‘knowledge of life’ – is to teach the ‘art of living’. The practice is aimed at showing you how to live without being held back by physiological or psychological ailments.
Yoga is another word derived from Sanskrit and means ‘union’. It is a practice designed to create unity between the body and mind. It involves developing stances, learning new breathing techniques and taking up meditation – all to help alleviate daily stress and strain, as well as anxiety.
During this experience you will learn Surya Namaskar, also known as the Sun Salutation. Surya Namaskar actually involves 12 postures, or Asanas. It is the only Yoga practice undertaken consecutively, and helps people dramatically increase their flexibility.
Before moving on to the second stage of Yogasana, it is essential that students complete Asanas. Students who manage this and achieve full competency in the Surya Namaskar will be taught several more Asanas.
Meditation is a process of focusing the student’s mind. The idea is to control your thoughts and search for inner peace. Through this practice you can develop a far better understanding of yourself, as well as improving flexibility and overall fitness.
Monday to Friday
Mornings start early during this gap volunteer experience in Sri Lanka, with students generally rising before sunrise to follow a guided meditation session, followed by a Yoga lesson.
The afternoons will consist of Ayurveda learning sessions and detox treatments. The evening will also have a guided meditation session where students will learn and practice breathing techniques.
Beginner students will be taught Surya Namaskar, also known as the Sun Salutation or Sun Vitilation.
Successful students who succeed in learning the Surya Namaskar will be taught several more Asanas or postures.
Pranayama – Yogic breathing
Those students who complete the advanced stage can also learn about the various breathing techniques, which include body cooling and heating techniques, as well as ways to improve concentration.
During the Ayurvedic treatment, students will experience a traditional massage with herbal oils and a body scrub designed to help blood circulation, whilst also revitalising the skin.
Students will also receive a Dhara Treatment, where warm oil flows through a vessel straight on to the forehead at a slow pace; this helps soothe the forehead and allows sinuses to clear themselves of obstructions.
During the week you can also enjoy the local area, going for walks in the gardens or simply relaxing. All food served will be vegetarian and include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, with the menus carefully selected to help you to feel as relaxed and refreshed as possible.
Participants are advised to refrain from smoking or consuming alcohol during their stay, as either practice can impede the effect of yoga.