Ekaterina Sky is a wildlife conservation artist from Los Angeles, California.
With her art she inspires love for animals and raises awareness about the impact humans have on different species. Through the connections they feel when they gaze into the animals’ eyes, she intends to awaken the viewer to how his or her actions affect the environment and animals.
What is body positivity?
Body positivity means accepting your body just the way it is–easier said than done.
We all know we should love ourselves no matter what our shape, size, age or skin color, but living in a heavy media-consuming world can make it tricky. We see the slogans: ‘beauty is on the inside’ and ‘love your body,’ but often other subconscious messages and social expectations overpower these.
We’ve all heard the proverb that laughter is the best medicine, and more people are beginning to realize that this may actually be true! Something called laughter yoga is quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
What is laughter yoga?
In 1995, a family physician in Mumbai, India, Dr. Madan Kataria, wrote an article titled “Laughter – the best medicine”. Impressed by the findings of his research, Dr. Kataria decided to start a “laughter club” in his local community. Over time, and with the input of his wife, a Hatha Yoga practitioner, the “laughter club” evolved into a new form of yoga, one which integrated laughter and yogic breathing exercises: laughter yoga.
With so many styles of yoga on offer, it’s hard to know which to choose. The best way to find out might be to just try them all, but here’s a breakdown to help get you started. The word ‘yoga’ means ‘union’ or ‘oneness’ and is an ancient Indian practice involving physical, spiritual and mental practices. It can promote good health, wellbeing and help raise self-awareness and consciousness. Teachers often have vastly different approaches, even when teaching the same style. If one doesn’t work for you, then maybe try another until you find a class that suits.
A detox is a way of clearing the body of toxins. It can be hard to avoid toxins in the modern world–they can infiltrate our bodies in many ways such as via contaminated food, medication, and even cosmetics. These toxins can make it more difficult for your body to function properly. A detox retreat can help clear your body of harmful parasites, chemicals, acids, mucus and even negative emotions. Your body then has the chance to rebuild its cells: a fresh start, as it were.
Here at Wonderland Healing Center on Koh Phangan in Thailand, simply eating vegan food and doing yoga and meditation classes is a detox for some, but for others who choose to fast or limit their food intake, help is available throughout the whole detox retreat.
Don’t worry, we’re not here to tell you to go vegan but there’s no doubt there are benefits to a plant-based diet. Here are five reasons to give it a go:
1. Nutritional value
Taking meat and dairy products out of your diet may seem like you’re limiting the nutritional value, but that needn’t be the case. A vegan diet can offer all the goodness you need for a healthy life, especially with the addition of nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. Vegan diets can provide more fibre and antioxidants, plus a higher potassium intake. Plants contain nearly no cholesterol, so they can lower your risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol and decrease blood pressure. A plant-based diet can even work out easier on the wallet! Support your local greengrocers and get your seven-a-day for a fraction of the price offered at a supermarket.
Written by Aly Hazeltree
Rise and Shine
For some, a 90-minute vigorous Therapeutic Vinyasa Yoga class is the perfect way to wake up the body. For guests looking for an easier start to the day, there are plenty of gentler options to choose from, including a 90-minute Hatha Yoga class, Pilates or gentle Yin Yoga. All of our classes are suitable for beginners, with mindful guidance given by expert teachers on variations of poses, suited to all levels of practice. All classes are also optional, so you can build the perfect yoga retreat for yourself.
After class, guests can head to our restaurant for a delicious vegan breakfast buffet that offers daily favourites such as homemade toasted granola and dried fruits, fresh breads and spreads; not to mention a varied salad and fruit bar for those wanting to stick to a raw diet. Additionally, we add a daily specials dish, such as our renowned vegan banana pancakes and maple syrup, traditional Thai rice soup, or vegan shakshuka and turmeric bread. Our guests seem to particularly enjoy creating colourful chia seed and coconut milk breakfast bowls garnished with fresh tropical fruits, nuts and seeds.
1. Always have a phone with a local SIM card for making emergency calls and using the internet, and remember to keep it topped up. This has saved my bacon on many an occasion.
2. Take screenshots of map locations and hotel reservations in case the Internet won’t load or you can’t access email confirmations on your phone.
1. I’ve learned that wherever you go, there you are. No truer words have been spoken, there’s simply no escaping yourself. I naively thought that community living could be the answer to my problems, might soothe the lifelong solitude in my soul, but was rapidly disavowed of this notion. ‘Turning towards’ oneself and coming into a deep acceptance of the nature of solitude is where true peace lies.
Yoga means union or oneness, and is essentially an ancient science which utilizes the body to advance our evolutionary process. ‘Ha’ means sun and ‘tha’ means moon, meaning there are both “hot” and “cool” postures to bring balance to the mind, body and spirit.