The ripple effect: my latest trip to India and Goa-n Samata Holistic Retreat Centre

In a world of six billion people, it’s easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain. Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.

I personally experienced such a positive difference earlier this year when my work brought me back to my beloved incredible India. After a couple of very productive and quite exhausting days in Rajasthan, where my producers come from and work on my Happy Holi Mirror Clutches and Himalaya Vests, I flew to Goa, where an one week yoga retreat with the most amazing Tara Judelle was awaiting me. The location: Samata Holistic Retreat Centre – located in the peaceful village setting just behind Arambol Beach. They specialize in yoga retreats, yoga holidays and teacher trainings and also have the strongest holistic clinic presence in all of Goa offering Chinese doctors, acupuncture, Tibetan medicine, Ayurveda, Vedic astrology, and a range of body work and massage. Their breathtaking organic garden grows all the food you will eat at Samata for your Yoga in Goa experience, and the chefs will keep your mouth watering.

But the most beautiful fact behind Samata is their quest: this retreat center and most of all the so incredibly inspiring people in the background fundraise the  Dunagiri Foundation for Himalayan Herbal Research and Yogic Studies. The clinicians and managers of Samata reside in Goa during the winter and migrate to the Himalayas in the summer to do their work: in the Himalayas are some of the most precious medicine plants on earth, used for millennia in traditional Asian medicine. Now, many of these rare species are threatened and endangered from over-collection and climate change. To preserve these rare medicinal plant species Dunagiri helps through education, sustainable cultivation and distribution. They cultiavte herbs in some of the highest villages in the Indian Himalaya, train farmers in sustainable cultivation and herbal processing, create a symbiotic, ethical trade between farmers, healers and patients and work on global education in Himalayan herbal medicine and ecology.

I was and am still impressed by this project. It shows how one act of charity, one thoughtful deed, or even one positive thought can pass from individual to individual, snowballing until it becomes a group movement or the ray of hope that saves someone’s life. Every transformation, just like every ripple, has a point of origin. And I am so grateful for having had the possibility to experience such an origin – and that in combination with Tara and a group of amazing souls that came together. At the right time. At the right place.

Tara, your words are still dancing through my mind and I am thinking of you and Embodied Flow a lot. Thank you for one of the most amazing and energy-fulfilled weeks! Ham Sa!


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