Himalayas in the Maldives

By Savitri Jugdeo and Rabindra Sahu

Inhale the fresh island air. Slowly exhale as your muscles relax.
Witness the flow of breath and mind, as you dive deep deep down into the state of Meditation.

At the end of May 2016, the Maldivian island of Kunfunadhoo, the tropical hideaway of the magical Soneva Fushi Resort, welcomed the Himalayas when Rabindra and Savitri arrived to bring the teachings from the Himalayan Tradition.

The owner of the Soneva Fushi resort, Mr. Sonu Shivdasani met Swami Veda in June last year; just one month before Swami ji's Mahasamadhi, and agreed to arrange a Meditation retreat at his resort to share the teachings of Himalayan Tradition with the yoga and spa instructors in the Maldives.

Consequently, a six day Yoga Meditation retreat on “How to teach Meditation” was arranged and we took off to the Maldives with the program outlined by Swami Veda.

We were happy to have 16 participants from different faiths (Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists), and resident guests of Soneva from many cultural backgrounds. It was indeed a fulfilling experience to be able to share the teachings of the Himalayan sages with people from many different faiths and cultures.

Though the program focused on the basics - Joints and Glands, proper sitting, breathing and relaxation, and meditation - we introduced the philosophy as well as the scientific aspect of the teachings of the tradition. We taught the foundational practices that lead one to a state of meditation, and supported by the natural setting we were able to dive deeper within to recognize  and embrace the outer natural environment as one with the inner environment.

Soneva Fushi takes its environmental and social responsibilities very seriously. The resort has managed to retain and preserve the ecosystem through its intelligent use of sustainable materials, its recycling program, and its method of conserving and filtering its own water etc., therefore providing the perfect setting for this meditation retreat. We felt that we were in unison with the thinking at Soneva, which is to allow all levels of one's being to connect and reconnect with one's essential nature. Soneva provides that opportunity by its concept, design, policies and tranquil environment that are so intuitively crafted so it can help one to explore and journey within.

We took advantage of the 'no news, no shoes' policy to give participants an experience of contemplative walking as we stepped barefoot on the natural sandy surface of the grounds. On the last day of the retreat, we even had an outdoors asana class on a jetty where we immersed our awareness in the warmth of the rising sun, the sweet smell of the breeze blowing through our entire being as we stretched and finally letting the waves beneath the jetty soothe our breath and mind into a gentle yet dynamic flow.

Most of the participants are still in touch telling us how the 6-day experience has broadened their knowledge and practice of yoga meditation, and that they would like to further pursue the 'training' either at the Maldives or at our very SRSG.



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