“We are all healers. We are all made of the same stuff, the core of who we are is the same.”
Name: Vanessa Sadaghna
Place of birth: Blackburn, Lancashire
Do: Co-founder of Ibiza Zendays. Yoga teacher
What does the word “retreat” mean to you?
A retreat for me is a chance to disconnect from what’s going on externally so that we can reconnect to what’s going on internally. I feel quite often we are living disconnected from ourselves, so retreats are a chance to connect back in. We live in our heads far too much, many of us left feeling stressed and anxious. Time for ourselves is very much needed right now. Retreats are a chance to sink back into our bodies and listen to our hearts, very much like the practice of yoga. Yoga gives us the opportunity to get out of our heads and really feel. A chance to just simply be with ourselves.
Tell us about Ibiza Zendays concept of retreats.
Zendays is a one-day retreat that we bring to you, in your own space. You don’t need to move an inch to experience a day on retreat. It’s hosted by myself, my sister Cami and our mama Lizzy. We have combined all the things we love and created something truly magical. The days involve yoga, music, massage and delicious food. It’s unique, fun and we absolutely love hosting them.
What’s your personal connection with yoga and how does it manifest in teaching others?
Yoga has been a beautiful journey so far, a real a gift to myself. It’s so much more than the time I spend on the mat, it moulds everything in my life. It’s a practice that allows me to connect to myself–to who I really am–which allows me to live from a place of truth. I fell in love with yoga some years ago. At first the feelings were subtle but the more I practiced, the more connected I became. Now I love to help others feel this sense of connection This feeling of freedom, expansion, faith and trust in life exactly as it is. I share what I know and I share from my heart. I don’t claim to know it all. I will always be on the yoga journey.
What’s the most powerful yoga flow you experienced?
I thought I was going to a regular Vinyasa flow class by a teacher called James French. At the beginning of class he told us that we were going to breathe a yogi style breath, which is with a slight constriction at the back of the throat, normally breathed in and out through the nose with the mouth sealed. But instead we were told to breathe in and out through our mouths for the entire class. It made the class so much more powerful. At the end James performed a guided mediation and asked the class to imagine ourselves as 5-year-olds. He asked us if we felt like we needed a hug back then. I spent the entire Shivasana crying; a cry from somewhere so deep. It felt good. We hold on to so much inside ourselves. We don’t release enough and this is one of the many reasons I love yoga. We are able to create a space for us to feel and let go of anything we need to. I cried all the way home. Back then I was riding bike around the city. It was quite funny really, cycling around Shoreditch, crying my eyes out but super happy!
Do you think some people are natural healers, or can healing be learned by anybody?
We are all healers. We are all made of the same stuff, the core of who we are is the same. But I do feel that some people are more connected to this magical part of themselves. A healer is someone who is present. We can all be present. I feel some people are able to tap into this place more easily, but we can all heal ourselves and each other. Sometimes healing is as simple as just holding space and listening to someone while they talk. There are many different types of healing, it doesn’t have to be something way out there.
“In a way I’m searching to be able to stop searching and just be happy and present moment-to-moment. Life is short and we are blessed to be able to have this experience. I am constantly aware of this brief time so want to live to the max and be grateful for it all.”
What’s the most healing thing on the island?
Hands down it has to be the incredible nature. We are blessed to have so many breathtaking spots and the vast healing sea we are surrounded with. The people here are also pretty special and healing in their own way.
Tell us about your relationship with your Zen sister Camilla.
My sister is my world, my inspiration, my shining light. I could talk forever about Cami. I am so proud of her and she inspires me daily. I am truly lucky to have this special sister relationship. It’s rare to be this close to your blood sister. We are so different but we fit together perfectly. I don’t like to imagine life without her ever. We are meant to be here, journeying together. If I ever needed any proof that things are the way they are meant to be, she is it. Thank you Cami, I love you beyond space and time. I am also lucky to have my Mama on the island too and that’s a blessing. She has always supported us and we are both so grateful to her. Next on the list is our Dad, we want him here too!
Do you think what brought you to Ibiza is the same thing that keeps you in Ibiza?
Yes, definitely. I have always felt at home here and now it really is my home. This island has always felt magical for me and I think many people they feel the same. It was the music that drew us here all those years ago but it’s actually so much more than that and always was. This island is magnetic, she is a super powerful place I feel blessed to call my home.
What are you searching for? How much of it have you found?
I suppose I am searching for myself a little. We are programmed through society, so learning to drop it all and just be myself is a big part of this journey in order to find out who I am. In a way I’m searching to be able to stop searching and just be happy and present moment-to-moment. Life is short and we are blessed to be able to have this experience. I am constantly aware of this brief time so want to live to the max and be grateful for it all.
If the island could speak to you what would it say?
“You are safe.” And I would reply to her “Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything. I have endless gratitude for your magic. I love you.”