Vibrating at our highest frequency on a Soul Adventures retreat on Ibiza
Selda Goodwin reviews a healing yoga retreat on Ibiza run by kundalini maestro and shamanic practitioner Trish Whelan and finds hope and inspiration for her year ahead.
It’s my 39th birthday and I’m on the party flight into Ibiza. I’m ready to hand myself over to kundalini maestro and shamanic practitioner Trish Whelan for her healing and transformation programme, ‘Vibrate at your highest frequency’, an express healing retreat that aims to rebalance my body’s energy fields or chakras in just seven days. I’ve worked as a London based yoga and meditation teacher for 10 years, but feel disconnected to UK living more than ever, and hope this retreat will offer me some clarity.
The north of the island near Portinax is home to Trish’s peaceful Spanish beach house. On arrival a strawberry smoothie softens my hardened edges, before a 6pm kundalini class – the yoga of awareness – which takes place on a dedicated platform in the Mediterranean garden. Poses are performed seated on sheepskin rugs, or standing with minimal movement, whilst eyes remain closed. I’m tired and wobbly but the class works deep and slow, focusing on kriyas (action/breath practices) to help my body stabilise. There are already a few tears and some laughter as guests begin to relax and release. According to Trish, whose spiritual name is Tara Kaur, crying is the key to unlocking grief. ‘Tears are gold,’ she says, looking at us with her poetic eyes.
Huge, precious and calming crystals perch on every corner, and in the yoga room the window ledges are lined with rose quartz for the heart. I’m deeply touched when Trish gives me a hug goodnight on my first night, and I head to my suite feeling welcomed. My room is modern, minimal and rather like a childhood dream; I access my bathroom via the wardrobe, sleep like a babe in Egyptian whites, and rise early to heart breaking Romeo and Juliet views of orange blossom, olive trees and healing pines pouring over the sea.
There are five of us on the retreat, inspiring professional women from our 30s to our mid 50s, many with an understanding of mental and emotional wellbeing, some of whom have worked tirelessly for decades and are now taking a pause to reflect on their lives. Within days, an immense trust is formed. I also fall for Snoop, the charming teacup terrier, who has a penchant for face licking and bird chasing.
During our classes we work through each chakra, beginning at the base of the spine where the body and its energies are heavier, and working towards the head, the lighter and more spiritual end. All food is made loving by Katie James and created to compliment the body part being worked on.
Mornings begin with Trish’s homemade juices to kick start digestion, followed by yoga accompanied by impressive playlists. Moloko helps me unleash stored up frustrations as I air punch my fists in time with my breath. There is such relief as I begin to transmute the energy by putting feelings into action.
By day three we are working on the area of the solar plexus and I sob through a confronting breath work session led by Annabel James. In midday workshops we share our journey and Trish teaches additional meditation techniques to implement into a home practice. The classes become more sensory as we move towards the throat, said to be the area of our truth.
On the ‘throat’ evening, we paddle board to a secluded cove and chant mystical mantras into the open sea. Eyes closed, I can only hear myself, and I begin to release my untold stories. Sounds bounce off the rocks and into the air. It’s peaceful and liberating, and more tears of truth pour forth.
Later in the week Elaine Mary Collins shares her 40 years of tarot reading experience with me in the indoor studio which doubles as a treatment room. Initially I am a little sceptical, until she highlights my current life situation with clarity and precision. Gini Scott offers her clinical reflexology treatment with care and tenderness. It is powerful, working deeply into the organs and nervous system.
Supporting every transition and encouraging me to find whatever greatness lies within, Trish has supreme grace and is more than just a teacher, mentor or healer. Wisdom and heart guide her classes as she forms sacred spaces where our emotions are given permission to be heard and seen. She creates ambience with her music, crystals, Peruvian multi coloured blankets, hanging garlands, frankincense from India, and shares hugely entertaining life stories over mealtimes.
True healing and transformation takes guts. By the end of the week I’ve met my shadow self face to face and caught a glimpse of my soul’s true destiny shining back at me. I leave feeling balanced and full of hope for the year ahead.