“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
A few weeks ago, I received a message on Instagram from Farah, who runs Snoopy Wellness. She asked me if I’d like to facilitate at their next retreat “Embracing Change”. We spoke and I instantly felt a connection with Farah’s vision.
Also, I absolutely love Snoopy Island (this is a rock formation off the coast of Fujairah in the UAE – the name was given to it because it looks like the iconic picture of Snoopy the Dog lying on top of his kennel). I was totally in!
I decided to join for the whole weekend and took my friend Mel along as my guest for the experience. From the moment we arrived the event was seamless. The friendly front desk staff handed over a bag of treats for Mel – which included a yoga top and vouchers for extra activities – and we were shown to our room. The room was a perfect size and the view out of the large window was remarkable, as we looked out to Snoopy Island itself nestled strategically between two palm trees.
We went straight out to the restaurant to meet up with rest of the group for dinner, a specially curated menu just for us, which included tasty vegan options consisting of one of my all-time faves, lasagne! Then it was time for bed as we were due to be at sunrise yoga in the morning.
Morning came and Mel and I arrived at the Small Shala for a wonderful meditation and Hatha yoga lead by Dalia. Following Dalia’s smooth instructions, we manoeuvred our limbs into each asana as the sun rose above Snoopy Island. It was a magical way to start our weekend of embracing change!
Breakfast was a delicious buffet just for us on a terrace overlooking the beach, and then it was time for our Poi spinning lesson with Suhail. We all met on the grass and began swinging our Pois. Suhail taught us the basics and as we gained confidence, and maybe a few bruises, we were all spinning and swinging our Pois in all directions. It was a lot of fun! By the end of the session, I had a blister forming on my left hand. When I asked Suhail if this was normal, he said, “well done, you are now a spinner!”. Hurrah!
Time for some R&R on the beach, drifting away to chilled out tunes. There are plenty of water sports available at the resort including paddle boarding and kayaking. We opted for pure relaxing as we had a day packed full of activities.
Lunch was served in the Big Shala and afterwards we were treated to a nutrition talk by Nadine, where she imparted useful information about how food can impact our behaviour. I was pleased I hadn’t gone for that extra plate of food at lunch time!
Then it was time for my session! A special ‘Let’s Shake and Flow into Change’, followed by a Yoga Nidra for Embracing Change. I got mic’d up and as the music started pumping out of the speakers, I began to get very excited! The energy was electric as we all shook the Big Shala! After shaking and flowing we went into stillness, connecting to our energy that had been fully awoken from the experience. I then lead the group with a Guided Meditation, which took them on a journey of connection within, and they met some animal messengers along the way. These messengers were a Fox, a Butterfly and a Peacock, chosen due to their significance with change.
The Fox represents our response to change and helps us to make decisions by tuning into our True Selves. The fox has a keen sense of awareness, and according to Yoga Nidra philosophy, our True Self is Awareness.
The Butterfly represents transformation, endless potential and vibrant joy. It is a special symbol for change as, from its egg, the butterfly starts life as a caterpillar. It then retreats within the chrysalis where it undergoes a complete transformation. After around 12 days it leaves the chrysalis and is reborn as a beautiful, winged butterfly.
The Peacock represents beauty and wisdom and has the ability to give us the courage to overcome all challenges on our path of change.
It felt incredibly special to share my passion with such beautiful souls.
Dalia took the group on a powerful Vinyasa journey for sunset and then it was dinner on the beach under twinkling lights and beautifully decorated tables. The bonfire roared as some of the retreat-goers settled in front of it after dinner. We opted for an early night after a day I will never forget.
We woke early on Saturday for Power Yoga, and Dalia lead us through a dynamic and vigorous session which made us all feel pretty awesome! When we finished, some of us went into a calming meditative state whilst others were super active doing headstands on the stage. I loved it!
Breakfast was served and we took our time savouring the last meal of the retreat. The last session of the weekend was a journey into our Akashic Records with Maria Leanord. Maria explained how this was going to work, as we wrote down our intentions for the Meditation. She then lead us through a Guided Meditation and into our metaphysical library, where we delved into the past, present, and future identities of our soul.
And then it was over! Thank you, Snoopy Wellness for a wonderful weekend filled with activities which opened our minds up to embracing change.