“It’s not a yoga studio or a clinic. It’s a way of life we want to share,” says Sadhana Works’ founder, Mariana Salinas. I have arrived at the Healthy Hub; a soothing, scented space located in Bendinat. It’s a project created by a group of holistic practitioners who have a wealth of experience and skills between them.
There are three parts to the operation: Healthy Hub, Experience and Homes. ‘Homes’ refers to the portfolio of wellness real estate they’re working on. ‘Experience’ is for the events they intend to hold. Their first guest will be the bestselling author and alternative medicine advocate, Deepak Chopra, on 4th September. Not a bad start.
But I’m not here to listen to a talk or buy a sustainable home. Not yet, anyway. I’ve come to try out a Kundalini Yoga class. I pendulum between open-mindedness and skepticism as I lower myself onto the mat. Once upon a time Kundalini was only taught to upper class Indian men. It was believed, and indeed still is, that practicing it alters your level of consciousness and brings about deep transformation. “It will change your ideas,” Mariana says, “things that really bother you won’t bother you anymore.”
We rub our palms together and place them on our hearts. So far, so familiar. Then Mariana lets out a guttural chant which seems to rise up from her very core. The chatter in my head subsides. “Close your eyes,” she says. Taking the time to connect with my body makes me aware of all its aches and pains. I feel as flexible as a piece of toast. Thoughts about the position of my office chair are cut short by our instruction to inhale and exhale vigorously.
Breath, movement, mantra… It’s unlike any yoga class I’ve ever been to. The breathing is rapid and accompanies equally quick movements. We’re given a mantra to quiet our minds. So’ham, So’ham, So’ham… It means, ‘I am’. Thrusting my chest forward and back to the rhythm of my breath, I feel like I’m being given the opportunity to redefine all that I am and all that I can be.Later, as we relax on our backs, we feel a growing tremor. Mariana is sounding the gong. The vibrations ripple through our bodies. It feels utterly relaxing and energising at the same time. I don’t want it to end. Fortunately, a Meditation and Gong Bath, is on the Healthy Hub weekly schedule along with many other intriguing classes.
To complete our experience at the wellness centre, we are treated to a colourful and nutritious lunch by Natural Chef and Naturopath, Rosario Calvo. The beautiful strawberry topped tart sums up the experience; sensual, stimulating and surprisingly good for you.