This Unique WOC Healing Retreat Company Focus On Ancient Holistic Plant-Based Living And Was Created Because The Founder Wanted "Black Women To Know What Human Rights Feel Like"
Wellness retreats are becoming increasingly trendy. However, we wanted to connect with a person and/or company who is curating retreats that focus on inclusive holistic health experiences as well as ancestral land healing. So we chatted with Satya who is the founder of Women Of Color Healing Retreats.
When and why did you start "Satya & The Women of Color Healing Retreats"?
When I first arrived in Costa Rica, I volunteered at a butterfly garden. At the butterfly garden, I was able to really connect with myself and with nature. I felt the kind of peace that every black woman and human being should experience. I started Satya & The Women of Color Healing Retreats because I wanted to have a space for women of color to travel outside of the United States and immerse themselves in nature, holistic wellness, self-care, and yoga. I wanted black women to know what human rights feel like. What began as something I worked on a bit every day, became my brand of almost 4 years.
How do you define wellness?
Wellness is a key component to life. It is the connection of the mind, body and spirit. It’s an honest ongoing process of change and growth, wellness does not have an end goal, it is a lifestyle and a journey. Wellness is all things connected to growth, spiritual wellness, environmental wellness, physical wellness and so much more. Implementing healthier habits into different aspects of personal wellness incites spiritual awakenings that promote continuous transformation. Wellness is also honoring your culture and intentionally healing your ancestors, current, and future generations. Wellness is a lifestyle and it takes work. Like everything in life, you receive from wellness what you put into it.
How has traveling changed your perspective as a Black women?
What was the most magical place you visited and why? When I first decided to head to specifically Costa Rica, it was for a vacation. Now I consider Costa Rica a home, so I would say traveling changed my perspective on the world globally. Traveling made me realize that we limit ourselves even in the environments we settle in. So many black people limit themselves to the United States without realizing that an entire world awaits them. Traveling also has just allowed my spiritual journey to blossom without restriction. Being in a foreign country with an abundance of nature in fresh air is a space for constant transformation for just about anyone. I’ve been to alot of magical places, but one of the most magical places that I have ever been to is Ometepe in Nicaragua. Surrounded by a huge lake, Ometepe neighbors one of the most beautiful volcanoes I have ever seen. Swimming in a lake with a volcano surrounding me is one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. I still go there often because it’s just so peaceful.
Do you think Black culture has been disconnected from the land? If so why?
Yes, black culture has been disconnected from the land, because most black people don’t own land. Statistically speaking, the 5 largest white landowners own more land than all black people combined. This is a huge problem for the black community, because if you don't own land, then you pretty much don’t own anything. If black people do not own land then they can not control their own education, economy, and structure. Land represents freedom and revolution. The disconnect from black roots enables black disconnect from land. Honoring one’s roots is the path to connecting and honoring the earth and land.
Why is it so important for Black people (across the diaspora) to establish/re-establish a relationship with land?
It is important for black people to re-establish a relationship with the land because land is the basis of all foundation and independence. Additionally, black people are people of the Earth. We must discipline our own egos and realize that the land/Mother Earth does not need us—we need her. She provides freely all that we could EVER need to survive and thrive.
How exactly are your retreats healing? How is the experience of your retreats different from others?
The retreats placing healing at its core. We are a yoga-based wellness space. Yoga is an ancient healing tool that spiritually and scientifically uses the nervous system to heal. Many people are not aware of the healing benefits of yoga, Because of the way yoga has been presented in the media, many people are not aware of the healing benefits of yoga—but we are changing that! The meals we provide are 100 percent vegan. Meat and dairy are the leading causes of illness in black communities, so we intentionally provide nourishing vegan meals to introduce women to a healthy wellness lifestyle. Our workshops and activities are healing, they foster a sisterhood built on loving the self and one other. It is also a sacred space to unwind from the psychological trauma of being without human rights. Our retreats are completely different from other wellness spaces because we embody the lifestyle. We do not just say “plant based living is great.” We actually live the lifestyle. So our knowledge also comes from experience not just from something we think seems good to do. We also don’t promote drinking. Most other wellness retreats encourage and allow alcohol, which is the complete opposite of healing. Our retreat is a completely different space. We compost, we connect with the Earth, and we actively live and promote kindness. We want folks to eliminate the mindset of being cruel to one other. We want to promote the mindset of finding love and humility for self and the world.
You host Women of Color Self Care Retreats retreats in Costa Rica - tell us a little bit about that.
Yes, I do! It’s a mini self-care retreat. I created this specific retreat because I wanted to provide black women with a place to reset from everyday life in an intimate setting. The retreat is an action-packed retreat with a meditative atmosphere. The retreat is all about rejuvenation and relaxing. During the retreat, I, with no more than five women, stay in a beautiful jungle house rather than a retreat center. I personally host the women as we enjoy candlelit dinners, yin yoga, amongst other self-care practices, to foster an improved connection to the body, nature, and humanity.