VIRTUAL TOUR AROUND THE WORLD – YOGA AT BEAUTIFUL PLACES

Now that we are all in lock down and forced to stay at home there is no way of thinking of our next holidays. We will all be lucky to come out of this crises as healthy people and we all hope not to lose loved ones. There are a lot of ways to cheer us up and I thought to bring you a virtual tour around the world where you can do yoga at the most stunning places on earth. Hopefully we can go there in the near future and see these places in reality but for the moment we need our imagination and to programme our minds through yoga and meditation to have a near real experience. 

The most beautiful places to visit in our minds

We will prepare ourselves by starting with yoga poses and meditation and then we can travel in our mind and feel the excitement to be in another world.

Start with these poses:

Mountain Pose

  • Stand with your feet flat on the floor, heels slightly out
  • Bring your hands in front of you, stretch your arms, palms closer together
  • Inhale and stretch your spine. Raise your arms up above your head and stretch as much as you can, lift your ankles and stand on your toes
  • Look up and take some slow breaths
  • Hold for 30 seconds and exhale slowly back to normal standing
  • Try to repeat 5 to 10 times and increase time as much as you feel comfortable

Tree pose

  • Stand on one leg
  • Bend your other knee
  • Put the sole of your foot on the inside of your knee
  • Balance and keep your hands together in front of you
  • Try to sway like a tree in the wind

WARRIOR I
Warrior I

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, arms at your sides
  • Step wide apart
  • Right foot out 90 degrees, left foot inwards at 45 degrees
  • Front heel aligned with the arch of your back foot, pelvis toward mat front
  • Press down through your left heel, bend your right knee over your right ankle
  • Reach up through your arms
  • Gaze up at your thumbs, shoulders away from ears
  • Press down with your back foot, back leg straight
  • Hold for up to 1 minute
  • Release by pressing your weight through your back heel and straighten front leg, arms lowered
  • Repeat on the opposite side

WARRIOR II

Warrior II

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, arms at your sides, turn left
  • On an exhalation step your feet wide apart, heels aligned with each other
  • Right foot out 90 degrees, toes pointing to top of mat
  • Back toes at 45 degrees
  • Lift through arches of your feet, rooting down through your ankles
  • Raise your arms to shoulder height, parallel to floor, palms facing down
  • Bend your front knee, knee over front foot, sink your hips
  • Press down through your back foot, back leg straight
  • Torso perpendicular to floor, head over tailbone
  • Gaze out across the tip of your middle finger, drop your shoulders, chest lifted, belly drawn into your spine
  • Hold for up to 1 minute
  • Come out and repeat on the opposite side

Corpse Pose

  • Lie down with your face upwards, keep your feet slightly apart and stretched out
  • Keep your hands on either side of the body, palms facing upwards. Close your eyes
  • Inhale and exhale deeply, allowing your body to relax completely
  • Stay there till you feel your body is back to normal

A short guide to mediation:

This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation techniques.

First, find a comfortable place where you can sit without distractions for at least 15 minutes.

  1. Sit comfortably with your back upright and without back support, if physically possible.
  2. Close your eyes and focus within.
  3. Focus your attention.
    • You can focus your attention on your breath and breathing. Breathe in and out. Just watch the movement of your in and out breaths.
    • You can repeat an affirmation (a positive statement about yourself and life).
    • If you use an affirmation, try to feel what it means to you.
    • You can focus on your heartbeat.
    • You can use any other method with which you feel comfortable.
  4. If you notice your mind thinking, that’s okay, just bring your focus back to your technique.

NOW LET’S BEGIN OUR JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD!

Places in Central Europe

Ibiza – Spain

Ibiza has everything you could ever dream of: breathtaking nature, incredible cuisine, fabulous hotels, culture, spiritualism, retreats, and lots of like-minded people.

      

       

Provence – France

Provence in the south of France has always been associated with scenic charme and a beautiful landscape, peaceful hills resounding with the song of the cicadas, lavender fields, olive trees, scrubland with the scents of thyme and rosemary and not to forget world class canyons, secluded creeks and sandy beaches.

    


     


Cornwall – England

Cornwall is a county on England’s rugged southwestern tip. It forms a peninsula encompassing wild moorland and hundreds of sandy beaches, culminating at the promontory Land’s End. The south coast, dubbed the Cornish Riviera, is home to picturesque harbour villages such as Fowey and Falmouth. The north coast is lined with towering cliffs and seaside resorts like Newquay, known for surfing.
Crumbly Yarg cheese, meat-stuffed pasties, clotted cream. The endless list of Cornish delicacies literally rolls off the tongue. Work up an appetite surfing off Atlantic coves, ambling across granite moors or striding out on the South West Coast Path across sandy beaches and wild flower-strewn clifftops.

  

   

Douro Valley – Portugal


The Douro Valley could easily be called the enchanted valley with its beautiful and magic landscapes. Departing from Porto, where the river flows into the sea and where the Douro wines (table wines and Port wine), produced on its hillsides, also end
up, there are various ways to get to know this cultural landscape, listed as a World Heritage Site: by road, by train, on a cruise boat and even by helicopter. None will leave you indifferent. The Douro Wine Region is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.


  

 

Chiemsee – Germany

The image of the Chiemsee Alpine region is characterised by impressive Alpine foothills, nature reserves and conservation areas, rivers and lakes, orchards and forests as well as upland moors and marshlands. Herrenchiemsee Palace built by King Ludwig II and the Fraueninsel, a picturesque little gem without the noise of any traffic are particularly charming. The fascinating mountain world of the region can be discovered on various hiking trails and using mountain railways. In
addition to the refreshing mountain and sea air, natural remedies such as peat or iodised thermal brine are synonymous with healthy living in the region.

  

  

Places in the Mediterranean

Mykonos – Greece

Famous for its minimal Cycladic architecture, Mykonos, the island of winds, is full of traditional whitewashed houses and blue domed churches. The trademark of the island, though, is the beautiful traditional windmills in Little Venice, where you can also enjoy the magical sunset and capture the colorful light washing up the island’s old capital. Its climate is characterized by hot, dry summers, mild winters and low rainfall. 
Mykonos is an island that guarantees that its visitors will have fun, no matter if they are worshippers of night
life and intense emotions or the kind of travellers that wish to get to know the place, to visit sights such as archaeological sites, monuments, churches, picturesque settlements and familiarize with the tradition and life of the residents. 

  

  


Catania – Sicily

Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands, separated from the Continent by the Strait of Messina and surrounded by the Ionian,
the Tyrrhenian and the Mediterranean Seas. The exceptionally beautiful island has it all: mountains, hills, incredible colors, clear water and wonderful beaches, unique and intense sceneries, scents and flavors of a uncontaminated nature, not to forget the great vulcanoes which give this island an outstanding beauty and uniqueness.


  


  


Izmir – Turkey


With over 8,000 years of history, a spectacular setting on the Aegean Sea and the buzzing cosmopolitan vibe of Turkey’s third-largest city, Izmir is a remarkable destination that appeals to visitors with diverse desires. The region boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, incredible archaeological museums, beautiful sandy beaches and numerous harbors
with opportunities for water sports and boat trips. Izmir also gives visitors the chance to embrace Turkey’s vibrant culture and delicious cuisine, which blends influences of the east and west, ancient and modern. Year-round sunshine and great natural beauty add immeasurably to its appeal.

   

  

Places in the Rest of the World

Maui – Hawaii

Maui, known also as “The Valley Isle,” is the second largest Hawaiian island. The island beloved for its world famous beaches, the sacred Iao Valley, views of migrating humpback whales, farm-to-table cuisine and the magnificent sunrise and sunset. It’s not surprising Maui has been voted “Best Island in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler readers for more than 20 years.
Today, Hawaiian culture may hold many of the answers sought in a rapidly changing world. The spirit of aloha – being in the presence of and sharing the essence of life – teaches us lessons of peace, kindness, compassion and responsibility to future generations. These lessons are expressed through chant, music, arts and cultural practices and through the warm, genuine greetings that are a hallmark of Hawaiian hospitality.

  

   

Alberta – Canada

Alberta is a province in Western Canada. Its landscape encompasses mountains, prairies, desert badlands and vast
coniferous forests. It has more than 600 lakes, and rich mineral deposits. In the west, the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks have glaciers in the Columbia Icefields. The Waterton Glacier International Peace Park is a biosphere reserve that straddles the southern border with the USA.

The well known and renowned 3 day Banff Yoga Festival is a boutique wellness festival
specializing in all things yoga, meditation, self-care, green cuisine,
and outdoor adventure. UNFORTUNATELY DUE TO THE CORONA PANDEMIC THIS YEAR THE FESTIVAL WILL NOT TAKE PLACE.

   

   

Agadir – Morocco

To the west of the country, facing the Atlantic
waves, Agadir is one of the pearls of Morocco. Whatever the season, the
sun smiles down on the city and it enjoys a pleasant climate that the
trade winds soften further. Above all, its 10-kilometer long seafront
offers tourists magnificent views of the blue of the ocean and the
opportunity to relax in the best conditions imaginable.

As the country’s main coastal resort, the city
boasts 300 days of sunshine a year and bustles with activity. Cafes and
restaurants open onto the waterfront, introducing you to the local
cuisine and offering their specialties for the informed judgment of your
taste buds!

  

  

Rishikesh – India

    The
    celestial city of Rishikesh is a hermit’s hermitage, a sage’s abode and
    an adventure lover’s hub. This lively city is among the holiest places
    of Hindus. The tranquil and sometimes raging river of Ganges flows in
    eternity in this holy city, providing nourishment and life to many the
    earthly beings. After having a rendezvous with Rishikesh, the river
    Ganga leaves the Shivalik hills behind and flows into the plains of
    northern India. 

    The word Rishikesh literally suggests the ‘locks or hairs of a sage’. The city is famously known as the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas‘ and the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’.
    Many locals, as well as foreign tourists, visit this place in the quest
    for spirituality and peace. Rishikesh is also a commercial as well as a
    communication hub that lavishly sprawls over the suburban area of the ‘sands of the sages’.


         

       

    Ubud – Bali

    Ubud is one of those places where a holiday of a few days can easily turn into a stay of weeks, months or even years. The size of the town’s expat community attests to this, and so do the many novels and films that have been set here, creative responses to the seductive nature of this most cultured of all Balinese towns. This is a place where traditional Balinese culture imbues every waking moment, where colourful offerings adorn the streets and where the hypnotic strains of gamelan
    are an ever-present soundtrack to everyday life. It’s also somewhere that is relentlessly on trend – a showcase of sustainable design, mindfulness, culinary inventiveness and the very best that global tourism has to offer. Come here for relaxation, for rejuvenation and to have what may well be the most magical holiday of your life.

       

        


    Lijiang – China

    Lijiang, an attractive tourist destination in Yunnan Province, is considered a fairyland blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snowy mountains and an undisturbed landscape inhabited by friendly people. It exercises jurisdiction over four counties and an Old Town District.
    The city has a history of at least 800 years and may date as far back as the Song Dynasty. It guards the division of the Jade River into three streams, among which canals and waterways were cut to flow along the old town streets. A book by an American commissioner brought the town some fame in the 19th century and foreign tourists began to return soon after
    China liberalized its visa policy in the 1980s. Local people began restaurants and cafes and then came to domestic and international attention following a 1996 earthquake. Amid the destruction, China’s people were drawn to the lifestyle and excellent environment around Lijiang and began pouring in. Domestic movies and TV shows have made it popular.

       

       


    Ishigaki – Japan

    Ishigaki Island is the commercial hub of the Yaeyama Islands, in Japan’s southwestern Okinawa Prefecture. It’s known
    for beaches and sites for snorkeling, diving and surfing. Within Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park lies the Shiraho Reef’s rare blue coral.
    In the interior you can visit Mt. Omoto and other peaks. On the northern Hirakubo Peninsula lies the Fukido River, a mangrove forest habitat.
    Ishigaki offers several nice beaches
    and good snorkeling and diving in the surrounding coral reefs.
    Snorkeling can be enjoyed at nearly every beach on the island, while
    diving is offered through the numerous dive shops with tours available
    for all experience levels. If diving, be sure to check out the island’s
    famed manta rays which congregate in large numbers around Manta Scramble
    near Kabira Bay.

    Ishigaki’s rivers, while not quite as wild as those of nearby Iriomote, also offer a jungle like scenery and are nice to explore by kayak. Ishigaki also has the highest mountain in the Okinawa Prefecture as well as various hiking trails throughout the island’s hilly interior.

    Ishigaki island is the best place to try  a new type of yoga, SUP yoga (stand up paddle board yoga) is practicing yoga on a stand up paddle board in the middle of a body of water. For SUP yoga you need a clear and flat ocean with calm water.

       

      


    Queensland – Australia


    Queensland is an Australian state covering the continent’s northeast, with a coastline stretching nearly 7,000km. Its
    offshore Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, hosts thousands of marine species. The city of Cairns is a gateway to the reef and tropical Daintree Rainforest. The capital, Brisbane, is flanked by the surfing beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest and longest coral reef system, stretching for 2,300km from the tip of Cape York in the north to Bundaberg in the south. Comprising 3,000 separate reefs and some 900 continental islands and coral cays, it’s one of the world’s great natural wonders. Home to over 1,500 species of fish, abundant marine life and over 200 types of birds, it’s also one of Australia’s greatest conservation successes. A World Heritage Area since 1981 (the world’s first reef ecosystem to be recognised by UNESCO), it is highly protected and one of the best-managed marine areas on Earth.

       

      

    How yoga and meditation can let you travel

    I hope that by reading my article you can feel coming away from all the worries about lock down and corona virus and believe that we will come out of this ordeal unscathed, stronger than before and hopefully with the insight that we cannot carry on as before – we have to change, not only to save our planet but also to save our souls.

    4 thoughts on “VIRTUAL TOUR AROUND THE WORLD – YOGA AT BEAUTIFUL PLACES

    1. betieshair Reply

      I heard yoga is nice to the mindset, don’t mind me, am a very realistic person, sometimes, I feel yoga is more spiritual than we think. am here to be corrected though. according to my gym coach, we wanted to go yoga but I find this thing uncomfortable. Do you think I am making a mistake for not doing yoga?

      • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

        Thank you for your comment on yoga in general. If I understand you correctly, you find yoga poses uncomfortable? This should definitely not be the case – if you are a beginner, try out the very easy poses – you can check my chair yoga poses on my website and also a lot of poses for beginners, or even the kids yoga poses. I think yoga is great for body and mind and can be done by everyone. Let me know if you have tried and how you feel.

    2. Tania40 Reply

      Hi Angelika

      As a person that practices pilates on a daily basis, I always thought that meditation was not for me so I shied away from yoga as it went hand in hand with medication. After reading your articles I thought that it might be possible as I was reminded of the things I liked doing best in the world. Travelling and Pilates. 

      Do you think I can also include Yoga in my routine so that I can just imagine travelling to the rest of the world, as I don’t think I will be able to travel this year with the coronavirus in “giro” of the world?
      Fabulous article!
      My Best Tania

      • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

        Hello Tania

        thank you for your comment and question. I definitely think that you can incorporate yoga and even a bit of meditation into your daily routine, just pick the poses you like most – and with time you can extend to other poses as well.

        Sadly this year I think travelling will not be feasible with the corona pandemic still under way – that is why I thought to show some of the nicest places on the planet and let our imagination do the travelling.

        Good luck and stay well!

        Angelika

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