Meditation and mindfulness: the same or different?

Within minutes of sitting down to start writing this blog about meditation and mindfulness I was distracted by a pop-up ad for a furniture brand I must have searched for on the internet earlier. Naturally, I switched my attention from meditation and mindfulness to sofas in a matter of seconds.

I’m currently dealing with bereavement and multiple freelance projects which combine to mean sleepless nights and a struggle to focus. Meditation and mindfulness are the recommended solutions but for me, there is some confusion over two terms which are often used interchangeably.

There’s meditation, mindfulness and, yes even, mindful meditation. So are they the same or different? Let’s start by defining each term separately. Read more…

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  • Best UK spa break offers

    Embracing the change in season, as the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, can be helped by a UK spa break offer for the ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation with an added extra.

    The annual National Spa Week, from 30th October until 5 November this year, aims to raise awareness of the benefits of the physical, mental and emotional benefits of going to spas on a regular basis. Here at Neal’s Yard Holidays, we also understand a thing or two about the importance of a good spa break, whether for relaxing massages and exercise or more mindful practices such as meditation and yoga. We’ve rounded up the best UK spa break offers with availability this autumn and winter – so no flying or airport queues – all in tranquil settings offering a combination of healthy meals, relaxation and exercise.

    Restore and recharge in the tranquil English countryside with one of these special UK spa break offers:

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  • Posted in Wellness retreats
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  • New wellbeing holidays: is one of these your next escape?

    Some of our cherished Neal’s Yard Holidays devotees recently told us they’d like to browse our new wellbeing holidays without too much fuss.

    And why not? If you’ve been on a few of our retreats already, or if you’re simply pushed for time and want to know the latest destinations on offer, being able to see our new wellbeing holidays at a glance sounds like a pretty good idea. Of course, we couldn’t help but listen.

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  • Ryanair flight cancellations: What to do if you are affected

    Unless you live on the moon, you’ll be familiar with the furore over Ryanair’s recent flight cancellations. You may even be affected by them yourself.

    The Dublin-based budget airline has said that 315,000 customers have been affected so far, reportedly due to issues over pilots’ leave. Ryanair’s website states that: “Up to 50 flights per day (less than 2% of flights) have been cancelled for the next six weeks. Your flight is operating as usual unless you receive an email.”

    The full list of cancelled flights up until the start of October can be found on their website and include departures from Barcelona, Lisbon, Brussels and Dublin. London Stansted, the third busiest airport in London, is one of the worst hit airports as it is a major hub for Ryanair, with more than 255 flights cancelled so far. Read more…

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  • Posted in Retreat Travel Tips
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  • How to pack perfectly in six simple steps

    Before my sister went on her year abroad to Granada I helped her pack a year’s worth of clothes in her student rucksack by rolling everything into neat cigar shapes. This simple method stops creasing and packs a lot in a small space.

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  • UK wellness retreats for summer 2017

    Many of us are looking for rejuvenating UK wellness retreats this summer. Whether it’s due to uncertainty over Brexit or for environmental reasons, there are many benefits to staying on home soil.

    Choosing wellness retreats in the UK certainly fits in with the new Make Holidays Greener campaign from ABTA, the leading association of travel agents and tour operators. Aiming to encourage us to be more environmentally aware this summer, participants can select from 15 pledges, including carbon offsetting and eating and drinking locally, with the chance to win a GoPro camera. Here’s our pick of the best UK wellness retreats for summer 2017: Read more…

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  • Quick guide to the best retreats in Europe

    It’s time to book this year’s summer break to rejuvenate your mind and body. You’ve decided on short haul, but where are some of the best retreats in Europe?

    According to ABTA’s annual report, the hot European spots this year include Croatia, with its idyllic islands and Sardinia for its captivating beaches and wild interior. While off some people’s radar, away from the larger cities, coastal Turkey continues to offer dazzling beaches, scenery, and cuisine (see the latest FCO advice and note that Thomas Cook has seen a rise in the popularity of Turkish resorts including Dalaman and Antalya).
    Now, what type of retreat? Do you want to stay in a villa for a home-from-own feel or a hotel with the service that brings? Do you want to practice daily yoga or mindfulness – or both!? Read on for our selection of the best retreats in Europe:

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  • Wellness trends in 2017

    Wellness trends come and go, but the array of wellness breaks and treatments available range from meaningful experiences to soothe your mind to taking care of your body or pure relaxation.

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  • Free inflight meals could be a thing of the past: is this so bad?

    Free inflight meals used to be an essential part of flying. Possibly born from boredom and hunger, as opposed to a love of them. National carrier British Airways recently hinted that it may no longer provide economy passengers with free inflight meals on long-haul flights, following recent comments by Chairman Alex Cruz. This remains unconfirmed, however in January of this year their short haul flights ceased to provide a free meal. But BA didn’t partner with just any catering firm… it was M&S’ on-board range.

    Free inflight meals RIP?

    On the back of this news, flight search website Cheapflights was quick to compare 22 of the most popular airlines used by British travellers flying short-haul, finding that two thirds now charge for inflight dining, with average prices ranging from £11.80 to £13.60 for a sandwich and a hot drink.

    While BA’s decision is certainly giving less to its passengers, for those of us with dietary restrictions, or who just find the high-altitude snacks overpriced and unhealthy, what are the options? Read more…

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  • Electronics ban: what gadgets can you travel with and where?

    Our reliance on electronics and desire for constant connectivity means it’s rare to travel without at least one gadget. Technology has silenced our children’s cries of ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ and with summer approaching, the skies will be full of children glued to their devices. We adults are no better with very few of us embarking a plane without a gadget.

    Following new rules set in place by Donald Trump, last week the UK government introduced new security measures concerning travelling with larger electronic devices from six specific countries. So let’s talk about the rules regarding devices.

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