How does Meditation = Happiness?

How does Meditation = Happiness?
That big H word is all the hype these days. I’ve read copious amounts of articles with various titles such as:
How to achieve Happiness
What happy people do everyday
Do these 10 things and you will be happy….. Really? It’s that easy? Happiness these days seems to come with an instruction book!
The word meditation is floating around loads as well, but this one I can vouch for. It’s effective. It deals with what’s real, what’s happening NOW. It strengthens the team effort between your mind & body, the best ‘business’ partners you will ever encounter. When we live in the past it brings on depression, the future brings on feelings of anxiety and stress, the present equates PEACE. I think it’s a no brainer as to where we all want to be….
Happiness is a work in progress, a life long journey that is sometimes present and sometimes not. Meditation teaches us to sit with that. Meditation allows us to sit with whatever we are feeling and to feel that emotion and every layer of it with open arms. I’m big on using visualization techniques, when I ‘sit’ I like to pretend I’m an astronaut discovering my ‘inner space’.
So how can meditation make you feel happier?
I’ve been meditating pretty regularly for 8 years now. On average I do 30 minutes / day. In saying all of this please keep in mind that everyone’s experiences are different. That’s what makes us who we are. That’s what makes us feel happy. Being true to you. Not striving for perfection, but honouring honesty. Connecting with who we are, how we feel and what we believe in. We follow all of those things to be sure we are living a life that sets our soul on fire, that feeds our passion.
Meditation heightens your instincts & helps you find more security within yourself and what you want for yourself. It makes you feel calm because you’ve given the mind & body some time to listen to what they’re saying & how they’re feeling. No distractions. Through meditation we discover ourselves by developing this intimate relationship between your mind & body. The breath is all about that connection. If there’s no breath there’s no relationship.
I was dumbfounded when researching the effects the mind has on our whole lives that Western science has only JUST starting studying the effects of the mind on the body 50 years ago. Ayurveda ( based on the idea Hindu tradition of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing) started their studies with the mind thousands of years ago. These ancient traditions stand strong & wise.
Many people have all of these ideals around the whole subject of meditation. All it’s about is being PRESENT. Sitting & committing to some silence and listening. Listening to all things PRESENT cause that’s where we find PEACE. You listen to the sounds around you, to your breath & to your body. You sit and LISTEN as if you were with your best mate. Ears wide open. This is a mindful meditation technique which is more practical and grounded, it’s very useful in our everyday lives. Most people’s lives have become so busy, so unconnected with the use of social media and the focus on where we’re going as opposed to where we are. The mindful meditation practice allows us to observe where we are and to learn to flow through life’s waves, finding a balance between the action & the stillness. The ironic thing in my experience of teaching meditation is that people find it the hardest thing to do, when all they have to do is NOTHING.
You can do 5 minutes/day, you can do it while waiting in a que. Make your time work for you. It’s part of the self care we need in this day & age. I can’t sell this technique, you have to find the courage to stick through the unravelling of the mind and come out the other end with more space & freedom. It has to be tried & tested.
“There’s so much noise in the world today that we’ve forgotten to hear the beautiful sound of silence”
 Presence brings peace….what are you choosing?
Thanks for taking the time to read, all the knowledge in the world means nuthin without practice….
Shanti, Shanti
*Meditation mornings will be starting up @Lily Agius Gallery this coming Spring.
 For further information please email me:

Yoga & Sailing Holiday / Malta to Sicily / May 16-23 // May 23-30th 2015

A Mediterranean adventure: discover the beauty of the Sicilian and Malta coasts! In a week immerse yourself in two countries, hundreds of years of history, blue Mediterranean sea, amazing food and wines and … yoga on the beach every day!

Costs & What’s included:

  • Double en-suite: £1,537 per person
  • Single en-suite: £1,999 per person

What is included in the price

– Accommodation in a double-bedroom cabin with en-suite bathroom. Or single occupancy of a double bedroom.

– All yoga sessions.

– All activities

– All meals in local amazing restaurants to discover the real Mediterranean cuisine (Breakfast on board)

– All drinks: herbal teas, mineral water, when on board.

– All transfers

– Tour manager 24/7

– Professional skipper and crew

– Professional yoga teacher


What is not included in the price
– Extra Wines and Drinks during meals

NB: In each yacht there are only 4 en-suite double bedrooms, so it would be easier and cheaper for our guests to have a friend/partner to share the room with. I hope our guests understand that this kind of accommodation is pure luxury and it is for a limited number of people.

Availability and booking

Please give us a ring or drop us an email to check availability and request a booking form.

Please email me on: for further information.

This is your itinerary:


– 1.00pm Airport private transfer service collects you from Catania or (even closer) Comiso airports. Transfer to Marina di Ragusa where the yacht is moored.

– 5.00pm Welcome Meeting with Yoga Instructor and organizers
+ info about activities
– At 7.30pm A delicious, vegetarian Welcome dinner & early night if you need to recover from an early start/flight

– Night tour of the Baroque town of Ragusa Ibla

– 1.00am Starting sailing overnight and waking up near Malta!!! Awake to a refreshing, cleansing fresh lemon & ginger tea before the uplifting morning Sun Salutation yoga session.

– 8.00am Yoga session in the Blue Lagoon beach in Malta. Amazing!!
– 9.30am A nourishing breakfast of fresh juices, sun ripened fruits, eggs, cheeses, cereals, yoghurts, bread, croissants and herbal teas.
– 10.30am All day to relax, sun bathing, swimming, snorkelling, meditation, reading…basically feeling that Life is good!!

– 4.00pm Yoga session
– 5.30pm Sailing to La Valletta
– 7.30pm Dinner in one of the typical restaurants of La Valletta

– 8.00am Each day begins with the morning tea ritual of lemon & fresh ginger tea to help you awaken from your slumbers. Morning tea is always followed by an inspiring, uplifting Sun Salutation and yoga session in one of the beaches nearby.
– 9.30am Breakfast
– 10.30 Sailing back to La Valletta, Full-day sightseeing around this amazing city
– 6.00pm Yoga session on the beach
– 7.30pm Dinner in one of the typical restaurants of La Valletta

– 8.00am Yoga session.
– 9.30am Breakfast.
– 10.00am Sailing to the small island of Comino.

– A dip in Comino fantastic beaches. Time to relax, snorkelling, sea swimming, ….. usual ‘Life is good!’-feeling day!!
– 6.00pm Yoga session on the beach
– 7.30pm Dinner in one of the typical restaurants of Comino


– 8.00am Yoga session.
– 9.30am Breakfast.
– 10.00am Sailing to the island of Gozo.

– A dip in Gozo fantastic beaches. Time to relax, snorkelling, sea swimming, …..usual ‘Life is good!’-feeling day!!

– 2.30pm Visit of Victoria the ancient capital of Gozo
– 6.00pm Yoga session on the beach or on the boat
– 7.30pm Dinner in one of the typical restaurants of Rabat.

– 8.00am Yoga session.

– 9.30am Breakfast.
– 10.00am Sailing around the island of Gozo to discover amazing bays, coves and secluded beaches

– A dip in Gozo fantastic beaches. Time to relax, snorkelling, sea swimming, ….. usual ‘Life is good!’-feeling day!!
– 6.00pm Yoga session on the beach
– 7.30pm Dinner in one of the typical restaurants of Gozo

– 8.00am Yoga session.
– 9.30am Breakfast
– 10.30 Sailing back to Sicily
– 4.30pm Arrival in Marina di Ragusa
– 6.00pm Yoga session on the boat

– A stroll around Marina di Ragusa
– 8.30 Aperitifs and goodbye dinner in a typical Sicilian restaurant

– Leaving day: rise & move slowly, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a final wander into this little town before our airport return transfers. Bet you feel fantastic!
– Transfer to Catania/Comiso Airport after breakfast




Yoga & Meditation Weekend Retreat // GOZO // March 13th – 15th 2015

If you’re feeling like you need to break away from it all and indulge in a bit of self care & peace then this weekend has your name all over it.

Our Schedule:

*3pm onwards ARRIVALS
*6.30pm Vegetarian dinner
*8.30-9pm Guided meditation

*9-10.30am Yoga (Vinyasa & Kriya practice)
*11am Healthy Breakfast
(massages can be booked if interested)
*5-6.30pm Yoga & 30 min meditation
*7.30pm Healthy vegetarian dinner

*9-10.30am Yoga
*11am Healthy Breakfast
*3-3.30pm Guided Meditation
*Check out 4pm

*300euros/ sharing
*350euros/ single

Our accommodation is simply stunning. Set in the quiet village of Gharb, overlooking the sea, sunset and a lovely garden. If the weather permits we can do our yoga outdoors by the pool.

Yoga mats and blocks are provided. The accommodation also provides towels and bathrobes which is all included in the fee.

*If you have any special dietary requirements please advise me upon booking.

This retreat is kept intimate with a maximum number of 8 guests. Full payment secures your space.

For bookings and/or further information contact:

Shanti Shanti

108 Sun Salutations / Spring Solstice / Saturday March 21st @ 13.00

Why 108 Sun Salutations?

* To find FLUIDITY in repetitive movement without having to pay too much attention to instruction which allows us to draw inwards more
*MENTALLY you will feel more focused, disciplined, resilient, and committed to your yoga practice & self development
*PHYSICALLY you will feel stronger, more capable, more fluid and the connection to your body & mind will be much stronger
*ANAHATA (HEART) CHAKRA: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.
*DANCE: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions.

( for more information read this article: )

Myself and Dini Martinez will be guiding the sun salutes and keeping count as we all tune into the same rhythm. We will begin with a warmup and then dive into the salutes. The ‘class’ will end with a bit of a cool down and a restorative meditation session.


********DAY 1*****2 **** 3 **** 4 *** 5******6

WK 1: *4sets*****8 *****12****16 ***20****24

WK 2: *24 ******24 ****24 ***24****24 ***24

WK 3: *36 ******36 ****36 ***36 ***36 ***36

WK 4: *48******48 **REST **4 ****54 ***54

***DAY 7 : REST WEEK 1, 2 & 3. WEEK 4 do *54 Salutes.
( I can’t seem to get the chart straight so hope you can make it out ok!)

This event will be donation based and 50% of funds will be donated to a charity ( we are still deciding on which one!)

*To be announced

*Saturday March 20th

*13.00 – 15.00

*Please bring your own mat. If you don’t have one please let us know and we will bring one for you.
*This event is best suitable for those with an intermediate level of practice, not suitable for beginners.

Be sure to bring some cosy clothes to relax and feel warm in. Once we start moving the heat will build up. Keep in mind that we will be in a glass structure so nature is in view all around us. As is the colour GREEN, the heart chakra’s colour, inviting in all that LOVE for 2015.

1 = Higher Truth
0 = emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice,
8 = infinity or eternity

2015 – WE SALUTE YOU 🙂 Hope you can all join us. Please spread the word! We have a very large venue in high hopes to get lots of practitioners together to welcome Malta’s first 108 Sun Salutes!

An interview by Dini Martinez @ The Sailing Yoga Family

11TuesdayNov 2014

 Wowza! What a weekend. First, survived another 50 knots past our mast during a cozy hot chocolate and movie night with the boys down below. Then productive morning (last spurt of internet before it left us) handing in my final exam of a five year spectacular Ayurveda course and finished editing another fantastic Happy Dancer video (next post… watch out!). Featured in a local video shootage. Fullmoon promenade walk en famille. Sunday morning, lectured 70 psychology students on mindfulness at the University of Malta, followed by a beautiful Yin Yoga class at the Gallery, as usual, on a Sunday after-noon. Couldn’t ask for more.

While honouring its rich history and intriguing culture, Malta feels so alive and contemporary. I’m keen to share it’s aliveness with you, not only through our own experiences, but also by portraying inspirational local people and businesses of the kind that follow their hearts, dreams and passions. The kind of people you meet who make you have hope in the world. The kind who make you feel warm in the heart. The kind who make you go home and pursue your passion also because the sparkle in their eyes is a living prove that life doesn’t need to be mediocre. Life can be ANYTHING you want it to be.

Every Monday when I feel it, I will be asking someone the same seven questions from this i-spot of civilisation in the midst of the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. What a better person to start this series off with than beautiful Michelle Bartolo, my yogini in crime who I will be running next week’s booked out blissful Yoga retreat on Gozo with.


You in a few words
I’m have been an active type of person most of my
life. I’ve always enjoyed working in health & fitness and then that led
into yoga very naturally. It was time to find some peace in my life. Yoga
has taught me more than my years off the mat has. I’m so glad I followed
that path.

Your business in a few words

I host classes, workshops & retreats on Malta & Gozo and have been
teaching now for 10 years. I don’t feel like I’m ‘working’ as such and that
is something I’ve always wished for. There is never a day that passes
where I feel like I’m doing something that I really don’t want to do. My
passion for this ‘work’ has lasted more than other job I’ve had in the
past. You work on a very personable level with people and it can be
incredibly intimate, energising and somewhat overwhelming at times. That’s
the reason why I love it so much.

Your greatest inspiration

My greatest inspiration is humans themselves. We are amazing creatures
and so different in many ways. Through the retreats I meet many people
from all over the world and it never seizes to amaze me all of the
different things people do. I feed off my clients as much as they get from
me, it really is a two way road. I have always ‘felt’ a lot, and somehow
the connections in classes turn into this pretty magical jam session where
we are all involved creating a song as we learn to move to different
beats. Watching how everyone does the same move different and how they
flow in different ways always amazes me. Without them I couldn’t do what I

Your biggest dream

Dreams, ah yes I have lots of those. To pinpoint which is the biggest
dream is the hard part 🙂 I really want to take my teaching to another
level, and am currently trying to get it implemented into the kids
physical education system here in Malta. I just imagine what it would have
been like to grow up with all of this mind & body awareness. That’s top of
my dream’s list as well as taking it to troubled countries where the
people could really use the techniques to find some peace on the inside.

Your favourite quote

My favourite quote…ohhh again, I’m full of clichés. But I think this
one lies very close to the top
idea who’s words they are though)

Milestone moments on the path to get where you are today

My first yoga class. It connected me to something I hadn’t connected to
before. I was 27 years old at the time. Once I found the teacher who
really resonated with me I knew it was what I wanted to be doing. It was
more clear than anything in my life has ever been. There was no question
about it. That meant a lot to me cause I was always so unsure of what I
was going to do. I just floated with lots of freelance gigs but there was
no focus. The practice really made me feel grounded and that for me was a
milestone I had been searching for. Yoga has always been my answer since

And the future?

Ahh the dreaded question of the future….
I’m very much a here and now kinda gal. I just want my health on a
physical and mental level. To have close friends whom I can trust and
family that I love around me. To continue doing what sets my soul on fire
no matter what.



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More on Michelle and her yoga at


Vegetarian Retreat Recipes November 2014


Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup:

  • 2 x sweet potatoes (peeled, washed and chopped into cubes)
  • 1 x squash (peeled, washed and cut into cubes)
  • 1 x small piece of ginger (finely sliced)
  • 2 x cups vegetable broth
  • 1 x can coconut milk
  • 1 x tablespoon Thai Curry paste
  • 1 x teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 x teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 x tablespoon coconut oil
  1. Place sweet potato,squash and ginger in a large soup pot with just a tiny bit of water at the bottom
  2. Add coconut oil and let the veg simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add in all spices
  4. Fill up the pot with water until the veg are just covered
  5. Add in vegetable stock & thai curry paste
  6. Place on medium boil until veg are soft.
  7. I like my soup a bit chunky so I use a potato masher to mash them up just a bit, you can blend it all as well if you prefer something smooth and creamy
  8. Add in coconut milk
  9. Dry pan fry a handful of both sunflower & pumpkin seeds, sprinkle in a bit of tamari and stir. Toast for 3-5min and use as a garnish on your zupa!

Est Viola!  A nice warming, satisfying & slightly spicy comfort soup.


Healthy Breakfast Cookies:

  • 1/2 bag of plain oatmeal
  • 2 x ripe banana’s
  • 1/2 cup of soft (melted) coconut oil
  • 1 x teaspoon honey
  • Get creative by adding in any of the following: nuts, seeds, raisin’s, dark chocolate, goji berries, cinnamon, orange and/or lemon rind.
  1. Preheat oven to medium heat
  2. Mix the coconut oil & the honey together.
  3. Add the banana and mash it up
  4. Add in the oatmeal and stir it up
  5. All other ingredients can then go in.
  6. Grease a baking sheet and spoon out your cookies. Flatten them with a fork just a wee bit before you pop them in to bake for 15-20 minutes, until desired crunchiness is achieved 🙂



Vegetarian Frittata

  •  6 x eggs
  •  1/2 cup of milk (of your choice)
  •  pinch of garam masala, salt & pepper
  •  bunch of finely chopped parsley
  • 3 x  finely chopped tomatoes
  1. Beat the eggs & add in the milk
  2. Add in all other ingredients and spices
  3. Pour into a frying pan over medium heat until the top starts bubbling.
  4. Place the frying pan under the grill until the top turns a golden brown

A nice eggy like pizza 🙂



Bliss Balls

  • 1 x packet (500grams) ground almonds ( or you can grind up any nuts which you prefer)
  •  2-3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  •  2 x tablespoons raw cocoa powder
  •  1 x teaspoon honey (optional)
  •  Play with any additives you please, here’s some ideas: grated ginger, grated lemon or orange rind, chillies, goji berries, sea salt, dates, figs ….
  1. Place ground nuts into a bowl and fork out any lumps
  2. Add coconut oil & stir.
  3. Add in cocoa powder
  4. Add in any other ingredients.
  5. Shape into balls.
  6. Sprinkle of cinnamon & refrigerate
















Release & Restore Yoga Workshop / Sunday November 30th – Malta

Dini Martinez & I will be hosting a workshop infusing hip opening sequences for releasing and long held seated yin poses for restoring. This workshop is suitable for all levels.

I will be leading a warmup followed by hip opening sequences. Here is some information on the hips:

*Most often a place for a woman’s centre of gravity, this reflects a deeper connection to this area and the emotions it can hold. For men, the pelvis is the seat of directive movement in the human body, imperative to proper alignment, balance and posture. Our peripheral nervous system, involved in the stimulation of emotional response in addition to other functions, establishes connections in the hip area to promote survival in times of emotional stress.

In Yoga we often refer to the HIPS as the ‘junk drawer’ of the body, whatever we don’t want to deal with goes there. Through deep opening hip postures we can find some release which initiates a calming effect.

Dini will be leading the YIN practice. If you’ve never heard of YIN yoga here is further information:

In Yin Yoga we reach out to the lunar, feminine, cooler and passive side of our beings – countering and balancing the hectic activity of every-day life.
During the session seated poses are held for up to five minutes, letting go of any muscular tensions and alignment issues. This allows the body to release traumas in different koshas, or layers, which have possibly been stored there for years or even decades. As the yin areas of the body like
our connective tissue, ligaments and bones, are accessed in the serene stillness of a yin practice, we open our whole selves up to boundless opportunities and endless possibilities.

Letting go of old stresses and sorrows you no longer need, be prepared to leave this practice feeling profoundly relaxed and at peace on a physical,mental and emotional level.

Right in time for the Christmas hussle!! :))

Date: Sunday November 30th
Time: 15.00 – 18.00
Cost: 30 euros
Location: 54 Cathedral St, Lily Agius Gallery (Exposed Art)

For bookings contact Michelle Bartolo:
mob: 99280664

To find out more about us:

Dini Martinez

Michelle Bartolo Yoga

Full Moon Yoga Tune / Wednesday October 8th

Hello moonbeamers!

Our next full moon class:

Date: Wednesday October 8th @ 19.30

Location: Chalet Pier, Sliema

*Donation based class

*Please reserve a mat if you need one


Yoga & Wellness Weekend Retreat / November 7-9th, GOZO

I’m happy to announce a weekend retreat up and coming November 7-9th by popular demand.

Your weekend will include yoga, meditation, healthy meals & tranquility. The aim of the weekend is to help you ground again after the summer and set the body up for the winter season ahead.

There will also be plenty of free time for you to book a massage, hike and/or explore the island. Groups are small to ensure proper instruction through the classes, focusing on alignment and safety as well as breath & presence.

Your wellness weekend will include:
* accommodation
* welcome meal
* meditation session upon arrival ( 30 min)
* 4 x Yoga classes of 1.5hrs each, which also include meditation (Blend of Vinyasa & Kundalini Yoga)
* energising breakfasts & healthy light vegetarian dinners (all meals prepared by )

* 300euros / single occupancy
* 250euros / shared occupancy

*Full payment is required to secure your space

A wellness retreat will help you impliment some healthy ways of being into your daily life. Through the meditation sessions you will learn how to relate to your mind and notice how your thoughts leave you feeling. Always teaching ourselves that what we put inside through what we say, think and eat all have an effect.

I will also send you home with some healthy recipes that are easy for anyone to make and some simple yoga techniques to help you develop a regular practice.

We can achieve what we wish on the inside, just as we have on the outside.

Building strength, clarity & peace from the Inside Out

Tune In

*For bookings email:

Photos of our weekend retreat home:

Michelle Bartolo's photo.
Michelle Bartolo's photo.
Michelle Bartolo's photo.
Michelle Bartolo's photo.
Michelle Bartolo's photo.

Full Moon Yoga Tune / Tuesday September 9th

The moon is full again Tuesday September 9th and we’ll be beaming in.

Location: Chalet Pier/Sliema

Time: 20.30

*Class is donation based

*Please bring your own mat & if you need one please let me know

Making waves, opening up & letting go.