Ibiza wellness: Soul Adventures – Healing from the heart
Soul Adventures is the creation of Trish Whelan, a Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher, sound healing therapist and healer who boasts a well-earned reputation as one of Ibiza’s strongest forces of bliss and blessings. Now based in an amazing new location, Xuclar Beach House – a spacious home (licence number: 0350T) cut into the mountainside with incredible views of the glistening sea and sunset, near Portinatx, in Ibiza’s far north – the retreat company’s vibe radiates more strongly than ever.
“The air is so clean up here,” says Trish. “The location is just wonderful and it’s a great space for healing – there’s a magic here. Where we are, it’s really the dream. And it’s powerful – big things have been happening here.” The gorgeous hillside home is a stylish zen-den for Soul Adventures retreat guests, designed to facilitate healing, relaxation and rejuvenation, with just five bedrooms (in addition to Trish’s own) ensuring only very intimate groups are hosted at one time. “The minute I’m not living here and there are more than eight people staying… it’s over,” she says thoughtfully of her ethos for personalised experiences. “I’m not interested in having a hotel. I’m interested in the healing.”
A plunge pool and sundeck complete with that awe inspiring Mediterranean vista complements the tranquil open-air yoga deck and numerous chill out spaces nestled within a pine forest. Disco balls dangle delicately from the trees, beside dream catchers and garlands, while deities casually take their place in the grass. A cosy indoor yoga shala and treatment room (with that same view) provide additional soulful spaces for reflection, while the funky shared living spaces are peppered with eclectic wall hangings and art, 70s-esque mosaic tiles and an abundance of glittering crystals. Bedrooms are chic and simple, radiating peace. Above all, it feels like home. “It’s kind of like a little village,” Trish says as she looks to the multiple terraces, balconies and garden areas. “I just adore its quirkiness.”
Recently likened to a ‘shamanic fairy godmother with swag’, Irish-born Trish – who ditched her fast-paced life in rock and roll for the good vibrations of a lifestyle rooted in healing in 2006 – has been opening her Ibiza home and her heart to help others nourish their souls and transform their lives via Soul Adventures retreats since 2013. Life experiences have given Trish a unique understanding of the pressures many of her guests have in their lives, which has enabled her to create a variety of retreat packages that speak so well to those living in a stressful and disconnected way.
All Soul Adventures retreats are based on Kundalini yoga – a powerful practice Trish describes as radiant. With thousands of ‘kriyas’ (classes working on different elements), she chooses the right class to suit the group, knowing it will give students maximum benefits. “It’s just brilliant,” she says of the healing practice she first discovered in 2008. “It’s a really nice energy to be in.” Trish also credits Xuclar Beach House as contributing to the success of her retreats. “The land is exceptionally powerful here,” she continues. “And it’s so peaceful. We are situated between two massive points of the mountain, we have those killer sunsets… I can really feel the healing growing.”
In addition to the powerful teachings of Kundalini yoga, the full schedule of Soul Adventures retreats (ten in total in 2018) incorporate meditation, shamanic healing and gong meditations, a variety of workshops and healing treatments, however each has its own individual approach and theme that packs a powerful punch – always with lots of love, laughter and support. Trish says the ideas for each retreat come to her spontaneously – often in the middle of the night – and are always inspired by what she feels her client’s souls are seeking. “I just think… what can I do to heal the soul?” With almost 50-percent of Soul Retreats clients being repeat visitors, it’s obvious Trish is tapping directly into those needs and providing the healing they really need.
The flagship retreat, Vibrate at your Highest Frequency, offers a seven-day, deeply transformational experience, focusing on a different chakra each day of the week, taking you deep into the centre of your soul and clearing energy blocks so you can feel balanced, calm, energized and happy. Those feeling dulled by the pressures of life – but with less time to spare – may prefer the long-weekend Return to Radiance mini-retreats. These four-day immersions are designed to clear toxins, clean the organs, remove energetic blocks, relax the body and quiet the mind, leaving you to feel refreshed, radiant and ready to return to the world.
The five-day Soul Medicine Retreat is designed to bring you back to your purpose and reconnect you with your intuition – the experience providing a guiding light to help you plug back into your higher purpose. To celebrate the long days surrounding the powerful summer solstice, the weeklong Summer Solstice Retreat tunes into the power and energy of the longer days so you can shine even more brightly. Finally, at the end of the season, a very special four-day program entitled the Wild Aquarian Woman invites guests (female only – all other retreats are open to one and all) to reconnect with themselves, explore their inner vision and look deeply into what it means to be a woman in these interesting times we live in.
A typical day on all retreats starts with hot water and lemon followed by fresh juice, then it’s all bodies on deck for a 90-minute Kundalini yoga session with Trish – who describes her teaching as open, honest and from the heart. A delicious, nutritious breakfast follows, with a break for relaxation and swimming before daily workshops, meditations and group work before lunch. Afternoons are free time to explore the surrounding area, and guests have access to Trish’s extensive little black book of healing contacts (“the old guard healers of Ibiza”) for all types of authentic, healing treatments during this period. As the sun begins to set, another magical Kundalini session takes place and then it’s all back up to the house for an amazing communal-style meal around the big table before bed.
Trish sees the cuisine as another facet to the healing vibe at Xuclar Beach House, with nutritionist and fellow Kundalini yogi Melanie Atkinson on kitchen duties. Think beautiful soul food – vegetarian, gluten-free and often vegan – made from locally sourced fresh, organic ingredients. “There is a wonderful sociability around the table,” Trish says. “It’s really quite beautiful to watch people relax and make friends – that Ibiza magic happens for people. They have a healing, then they can return home with the tools for successful living. Then they can start changing the world.”
Seeing people transform is Trish’s favourite element of hosting retreats. She says she sees nothing short of miracles on a daily basis – a testament to her abilities and the potency of each retreat program. “With Kundalini yoga, there’s a doorway that opens and more miracles can happen, faster,” she says. Understanding not everyone can take the time for a retreat, or that some may prefer to go at their own pace, Trish also opens up Xuclar Beach House in the month of August to guests for a Kundalini yoga B&B experience dubbed Mi Casa Su Casa. This includes a daily yoga session and breakfast and is open to couples, families, friends and those flying solo. Everyone is welcome.
Not wanting to limit her magical space just to holidaymakers or retreatgoers (“Why should people be penalised for living here?” she laughs), Trish also welcomes island residents to her daily classes (during retreat periods – see the Soul Adventures website for full details). She also hosts three dedicated drop-in classes per week which have become quite a destination for those in the know. “We host a lot of nice things, like sound baths, cacao ceremonies and Kirtans, with some great guest teachers throughout the year.” With her teensy, tiny pooch Snoop Dog (who even has his own hashtag on Instagram #snoopdogibiza), by her side, Trish blissfully hosts, heals and welcomes you home – an experience unlike anything else in Ibiza.