As the sun set on the first night of the Quarter Life Health Project in Benahavis, ten women in their twenties and thirties gathered with Kundalini yoga teacher Aimee Rai in a circle under the stars to share their stories. Aimee lead the way, sharing how her troubled past riddled with alcoholism, addiction, eating disorders, self harming, depression and severe anxiety had actually turned out to be the blessings which lead her to discover Kundalini yoga, the practise which helped her to gain a life full of balance, health, peace and purpose.
Everyone had different motivations for attending the retreat. Some issues were severe and some were just small stumbling blocks which were inhibiting progression in certain areas. But whatever the ‘limitations’, Aimee assured everyone that by the end of the retreat each person would be better equipped to manage them or even eliminate them completely.
As a further ‘ice-breaker’ we paired up and danced a special Kundalini dance whilst chanting a popular Kundalini mantra. We were given strict instructions to never break eye contact with the person we were paired with. After dancing through one mantra with our partner we then switched to a new one and repeated this sequence for about 15 minutes. It was a bizarre experience which felt very natural at first..! But the awkwardness didn’t last long as we each realised that our own comfort starts from self-acceptance.
This first night set the vibe for the rest of the retreat. We were all open, honest and accepting and this created an atmosphere of trust and support, which can be uncommon within competitive city environments like London. Each of us were there to learn and grow and support each other whilst doing so.
Photo via The Holistic Health Project