Healthy Minds Don't Ignore the Body
"Ten years of psychotherapy was useless compared to that one week at Olive Retreat." ~ Thomas
Whether you feel you are mentally healthy but would like to get rid of certain undesirable feelings and cultivate more desirable ones, or if you believe you may have mental health issues that you are seeking to heal, such as depression, mood swings, anxiety, sadness, anger, shame, guilt, etc., we are here for you. In all instances we believe we have created the perfect atmosphere for whatever you hope to achieve, or believe you hope to achieve.
We offer solid and trustworthy support, but in a very different way than one normally finds in other programs. The best way to describe our way is that we don’t try to control the process, rather we let it unfold naturally by doing what we know to be healthy. We start with the premise that there is no right, wrong or normal (though there is pain), but an opportunity to understand and learn from our feelings, and not judge them. All emotions are welcomed - the painful and the enjoyable ones - and all are valid. In fact, they are our best teachers.
We full trust your body and it's story. We allow you the space to express freely (should you wish to), and support you as you grow into the person you long to be (should there be one, and should that be your interest). We do this through combining education, research, experience and -
- lots of advice based on more listening, talking and learning,
- meditation, contemplation and breathing,
- healthy exercise and yoga,
- the healthiest vegan, body and mind diet,
- chemical free, 100% outdoor venue,
- the ultimate airy, safe and cozy sleep situation,
- nature, beaches, mountains, temples, cafes, forests, village life...
- and all our methods are vetted through our PhD clinical psychologist advisor.
If we are known for anything it would be that we were the first to use the Mind Detox and that it is still our main focus. At O·live we believe that the body needs attention and care, but the mind is what sometimes needs a new download or 'operating' system to figure out what it wants as opposed to what it has been told to want.
A dialogue on the subject of our minds and our mental health in general is a big part of the program, depending on what you want. Every day, as an integrated part of our meditation program, we review the world of thought and feeling in a set of dialogues that include insights from the scientific and spiritual worlds. We call it our O·live 8 (O8) Mind Detox Dialogue. With them you’ll understand why we think the way we think.
The O·live 8 (O8)
1. Properties, not principles (is there a right or wrong in the universe or is there only cause and effect?)
2. You are a process, not a status (is there a true us in time and space?)
3. Body chemistry is boss (how much of my feeling is physical matter?)
4. Humans are just another species (what does it mean to be another living being?)
5. Words are like maps (who are we outside of the language we use to talk about ourselves and to ourselves?)
6. Become better than "God" (what do religions expect from us, any other authority?)
7. Imagination is the first solution (are health and creativity correlated, and what can I do to heal?)
8. Have faith, everything's going to be ok (the power to believe, or not to believe is key for healing)
Key Components in the O·Method
Meditation - of course.
It is said that meditation is one of the most powerful ways to become healthy, and we agree. Meditation boosts our immune systems, raises our energy levels, alleviates or eliminates anxiety and depression, raises our sense of self esteem, helps us make decisions, lowers inflammation, brings awareness, peace and tranquility, rejuvenates, boosts creativity – and more! We therefore combine meditation with a fresh look at ourselves in light of modern research, and roll this all up into a creative lifestyle with the best vegan diet, fresh air, good yoga, healthy exercise, beauti(ful) sleep, love and a few other essentials like friends and this and thats.
In Khao Tao we are in the core of the Theravada Buddists, and enjoy a well known temple and it’s meditation centre. We review various historic forms of meditations and awareness and then quickly jump to the O·m, a more modern and creative practice to get the most of our connection with the universe to support our health. We don’t force anything, especially our minds. We allow them to roam the history of our existences and settle into a peace and acceptance with what the universe has given us. To learn about yourself you can experience our Creative Meditations (Cm).
O·yoga - detox your mind
The Yoga (or stretching if you like) with the O·method for everyone, advanced or beginner, will teach you how to connect to the body and mind, of which you are neither, and how to go deep in order to “diagnose” oneself with this unique practice. Learn how rocking and self-reflexology with specific acupressure points enhances the mental healing process in a natural, instant and very healthy way. The body is the best pharmacy and it will produce all the "medication" you need if you know how to help it to do so.
A flexible and relaxed body and mind is more likely to be a happy body and mind. We teach the ancient teachings of Yoga, the Ashtanga (the 8 limbs of Yoga), which tells us how Yoga is as much a mental exercise as a physical one. This is when students finally 'get it' and love it. The body and mind and spirit become one and they feel it. No competition, no struggle, just the experience of being a living organism in flow with the universe.
Every morning we start the day with a sunrise O·yoga in the canopy of trees on our Shala. We adapt to your needs, flexibility and strength. All levels of experience are welcome and the sessions are followed by breathing exercises, or Pranayamas, and meditation or relaxation. Extra afternoon sessions are offered for those who wish.
O·food - it will become you
Food is very important not only for physical health, but also for mental health as proven in multiple scientific articles. A quick review of the health conditions in developed countries with poor diets will reveal how terrible we feel when we eat poorly and are physically sick. At O·live we make and serve a fast-made, delicious, homemade, nutrient-packed, all vegan diet as nature produced it (non refined) without sugar, gluten, yeast, etc.
Why only plants? Because the data is clear that it's simply the best food for every part of you. You won't be hungry, tired or sluggish - the contrary. We teach you to read your own nature, your body and mind, to restore and maximize your health on all levels. You will be delighted by our colorful food, we promise. Read what the media and testimonials say.
Once upon a time we hosted a food critic for The Independent who specializes in French food and wine. She said that her week with us was “the best food week of my life.” In another case, the most successful restaurateur in Ireland said, and still says, our food is “the best I’ve ever had, like.”
O·Exercise - aerobic and anaerobic
Exercise is an essential part of being mentally and physically healthy, not only to lose weight which many would benefit from today. You have probably heard of the dopamine effect and the happy hormones such as endorphin and serotonin but it also strengthens the muscles and as such detoxes us through the lymphatic system. It helps your heart pump oxygen and nutrients around. It clear your respiratory system from toxins and even the microbiome and the gut love exercise, and the skin love a good sweat form it. The eyes get natural light making you sleep better and the vitamin D levels go up if it its done outdoors which is always the case at O·live. The kidneys and the liver (our "washing machines) are helped and the bones get stronger and the liquid in the joints returns. . . we could go on forever on why O·exercise - a gentle caring practice - of anaerobic and aerobic exercise ultimately increases the likelihood of being happier and healthier, living longer and better, and leads to greater peace of mind instantly.
Health exercise doesn’t imply breaking any endurance records (not so healthy as many think) on the contrary. We integrate exercise in all we do so that you won't even notice that you have done it. We bike to the pueblo to get tomatoes, we hike up the mountain for a sunset meditation, we explore the temple on the hill, or you might like shopping at the evening market, run at the beach, or swim after the morning yoga. Whatever you like is what you are going to keep doing back home. Know thy self and make it simple!
It was a gift from my daughter and I didn't know what to expect... This is the best I have ever done. I can't even remember all the silly questions that occupied my mind before...all my life. They are all so irrelevant now. The O8 made them go 😅