It is 4:45 on a peaceful Friday morning in mid-May. The sound of prayer makes its way into the courtyard and sneaks through the window into my picturesque Fatima room. Each room has been creatively designed to express different cultures, art and meanings. My friend stays nearby in the Sufi room. We meet in silence in the courtyard at XVA Art Hotel at 6 o’clock in the morning for our ritual drink to cleanse and prepare ourselves for our intense schedule. It is so quiet that you forget that you are in the middle of downtown Dubai. Everything feels just right.
I am so grateful to be a part of this unique retreat endowing me with the opportunity to tap deeper into my womanhood through self-enquiry, yoga and meditation. For the first time, I really feel that I listen when I ask myself the questions, "Who am I? What role do I play as a woman?"
Furthermore, I am surprised by how committed and focused the women, 17 in total, are at maintaining their vow of silence until breakfast, after completing our Japa meditation and fluid Yoga practice. The breakfast is filled with an array of fresh fruits and healthy vegetarian options. It’s an atmosphere that invites calmness and solitude – a place to disconnect and re-enter into a space of creativity and femininity, while surrounded by inspiring art, nature and yoga.
In the evening we sit in an open space under a vast sky of bright moonlight and limitless stars. Here we are guided through a full moon meditation. Time stops in this meditative space. We finish and I am immediately ready to find my bed. We all leave in silence in the same manner that we began our day.
The next morning I awaken in eager anticipation for what the last day will bring. For the past two days myself and Melissa Ghattas created a safe platform inviting each person to grow through practises of self-inquiry, different forms of meditation, writing, sharing and silence, Yoga Asanas and communication through listening and breath. As the last day culminates, we relish in our newfound power, our stillness and our strength. I feel ready and re-energised to live my life with more awareness, self-love and purpose.
Melissa is an experienced E-RYT 500 Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor and is currently an Ambassador for Lululemon in Dubai. After completing her first teacher training in 2009, she has been teaching Vinyasa flow both in India and the UAE. Melissa guides students of all different levels within a Theme-based flow for private clients, corporate and public Classes at Zen Yoga. Melissa’s devotion to yoga continually leads her to explore the practice in its diversity and is open to new ideas of integrating this philosophy in everyday life.
May-Britt is a Danish Naturopath, Holistic Life Coach, Personality Consultant and Yoga Teacher. She has been working in the field of Natural Healing and Personal Development for the past 23 years and has work and life experience in nine countries around Africa, Europe and the Middle East. May-Britt uses a variety of techniques in her practice such as Chakra Balance, Kinesiology, Yoga, Nutrition and Coaching all of which support the journey towards optimal health and wellbeing.
Revive the Goddess Within will take place from November 10 to November 12 at XVA Art Hotel, Al Fahidi Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai and will be led by Melissa Ghattas and May-Britt.