**This article was originally printed in British YOGA Magazine**
Let your soul shine in Ibiza with Trish Whelan
I had no idea whether this yoga retreat was going to change my life or not, but I certainly hoped it would (my long-suffering friends hoped it would too). I’d read ‘Eat Pray Love’, I knew how it went, broken heart, nervous breakdown, the road to self-discovery, eternal deep found happiness and then true love?
Admittedly Liz Gilbert spent years of hard work and devotion to achieve this, and I was only attending a four-day retreat in Ibiza, but still, I hoped for great things.
As described by The Kundalini Research Institute “Kundalini is considered the most comprehensive of yoga traditions, combining meditation, mantra, physical exercises and breathing techniques; it is a Raj Yog, encompassing the eight limbs of yoga into a singular practice of excellence and ecstasy.”
On the island
Radiance retreats are held all year round on Ibiza and run by Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Shamanic Healing Practitioner and Sound Healing Therapist, Trish Whelan. Trish told me “They are an invitation to relax, retreat for a moment and go deeper into your connection with your true self.
This focus allows our true beauty to show as our soul starts to shine from within, making us radiant and ensuring we glow from the inside out working on the body, mind and soul, and incorporate the ancient technology of Kundalini Yoga, Gong Meditations, Shamanic practices and Energy Healing.”
A country residence
Trish picks me up from the airport in a vintage convertible and gives me a welcoming hug. We drive to the ‘Casita Sol’ residence, on a biological and ecological estate in the countryside, overlooking orange groves and surrounded by lemon, olive and pomegranate trees.
It is a beautiful place, I feel at home straight away, and it feels instantly calming. Trish is warm and welcoming and I’m made to feel like I’m part of the family.
A delicious lunch is waiting for us on the sunny terrace, avocado, garlic flower and wild rice salad accompanied by fresh coconut water, all freshly prepared by the chef, Anne Marie from ‘The Ibiza Kitchen’. She explains to me that all of the food on the retreat is individually designed to enhance the Radiance experience by detoxifying the body, cleaning the liver and balancing the body’s PH using only the finest organic ingredients and local produce. Interesting stuff, I’m intrigued.
It’s been a long day, and Trish suggests that I have a rest and encourages me to lie down on the big double bed outside. She brings me a choco chilli tea and a blanket, and I fall asleep under the fading sun, surrounded by nature and wildlife, utterly content and at peace.
The evening yoga session starts at 7 pm. Trish’s warm, rich and velvety voice engages me immediately and complements the Kundalini practice perfectly. The music is spiritual, soulful and compelling all at the same time. It's a powerful and profound experience. A gong healing session follows the practice.
Trish explains: “The gong contains all the sounds of the universe and as the sound goes into the body it balances all of the chakras on a vibrational level.” Afterwards, I feel like I’ve experienced something special and I sleep well that night.
From garden to glass
Every morning there is a fresh juice and hot lemon (from the garden) before Kundalini. Breakfast is porridge made with almond milk, cinnamon, bananas, and cactus syrup. It tastes lovely, and there’s something very comforting about it. The food here really is exceptional, and I find myself excited and looking forward to every meal time.
There are two sessions a day of yoga, one in the morning and one in the evening. It takes place in Trish’s tiled studio, and the room has sheepskin rugs, soft blankets, crystals and good energy. The Kundalini is intense, and after the first session, I’m not sure if I can manage another. As I struggle with some of the sets, Trish is very supportive and tells me: “There’s no change without challenge”.
I choose to enhance my Radiance experience with a range of therapies. I have a luxury organic facial by Marion Stone who uses healing and relaxation techniques to fully engage me with the treatment and its deep and restorative powers. Dee Netto gives me a full body massage and reflexology session, and this works alongside the Kundalini and enhances the detox. Dee is intuitive, and I can feel the release of tension and emotional stress. I have a fascinating and positive Tarot reading from Elaine Nicholls. I’ve never had one before, but I find I’m open to trying new things.
Each evening there is dinner and deep conversation afterwards, and we laugh a lot. I’m not one for hugs as any of my friends will tell you but Trish hugs me every night before bed, and it feels perfect and honest.
A magnetic place
When I ask Trish why she chose to settle in Ibiza, she tells me: “When Ibiza calls, it calls. There’s something about the energy on the island that amplifies everything, whether that’s healing, yoga or even partying; it’s very powerful.” I must say I agree with her. From the moment I could see the island from the aeroplane I could sense it. One afternoon Trish takes me to the beach next to Es Vedra, a mountain surrounded by myth and legend and some say is the third most magnetic spot on the planet. We lie in the sun and feel the energy coming off the mountain.
On the final evening, Trish gives me shamanic healing, and it is one of the most intense experiences I’ve ever had, and I can feel my heart aching afterwards. The morning after we have my last Kundalini session and later I feel happy and wholly content but also rejuvenated, inspired and uplifted. I feel completely healed.
How do I feel about going home? Well, I have no desire at all to leave, I could happily stay forever, my mind is so still and content here. And although I haven’t missed home at all or even thought about it much, I’m excited to go back. Sat Nam.
Please go to souladventures.co.uk for more information.
I'm Hannah Anstee.
A Women's Empowerment Coach & Writer.
My mission is to help women stand-alone and enjoy life as much as possible.