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Changes at Suryalila

It’s a new era at Suryalila Retreat Centre in Southern Spain.

Yesterday I officially became the CEO or Administrator of Suryalila.

Four years ago opening a Yoga Retreat Centre was a big dream that I had. Today it’s a wonderful reality with unlimited potential. My business partner and former CEO, Peter Simmons, has just left Suryalila, and I am extremely grateful for everything he has done to make this dream a reality and to set a good foundation for the business. I am thrilled to be in the pilot seat of my creation now, as I still have so many aspects of this vision that I desire to manifest.

We have had a glorious Spring here and I am so loving my home. It is a joy to wake up to the profound natural beauty we are surrounded with, and I am grateful for every single day here.

We have such a fabulous team of people living and working here right now. This includes our little Dutch family, Harry(our intrepid Retreat Manager), Mirella (Shakti Boutique keeper extraordinaire) and Leela (our little wild child and mascot) who live next door to me in a very sweet house that feels more like a temple inside. Then there is Thea, my fun, creative and upbeat PA, Jessi, our lovely sweet and talented, Office Manager, and our three fabulous cooks Gemma (an English Belle), Caroline (a sultry, tattooed German) and Javi (our token Spanish raw food hippy sweetie). Richard is also here, supporting Harry and tirelessly cleaning the pool! We also have a few more wonderful Spanish members on staff; Tanea (what would we do without her) in the office and doing book keeping; Encarni, tirelessly keeping Suryalila clean, and Manuel taking care of our gorgeous gardens.

At the moment Paul and Sarah are here doing massage. Our massage therapists usually do three-month stints. Paul is a returning Thai Massage practitioner. He has been so busy since he arrived that I haven’t had a chance yet to get a booking with him.

Last, but not least, we have a rotating crew of amazing volunteers. So many smiling faces and good vibes, always ready to help out, wash the dishes, sweep the courtyards, teach Yoga, give massages. Altogether, a high energy and lovely crew of happy people, all thrilled to be living in a place of such peace and beauty.

The new era is about sustaining and preserving. We have created something extraordinarily beautiful and now we have to sustain it. In the Hindu trimurti Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the Sustainer and Shiva the Destroyer. So you could say we are in our Vishnu stage!

Sustaining doesn’t mean kicking back and resting in this stage of our business, it means rallying the forces, perfecting our systems and hanging in there really well. For me this also means expansion, continuing to grow and get better and more interesting.

One of my goals is that each time a teacher comes back with a group she/he is pleasantly surprised at the great changes that have happened since they last saw the space. For example, we finally were able to upgrade the pool area and create a deck, shade and buy some wooden bed-chairs with mattresses and big pool towels. This immediately made the pool area so much more inviting and chic.

Pool post makeover – picture yourself here!

Our next big project is to build a massive Sacred Geodisic Dome, which will become our new Yoga Hall by August. We have great plans for the Dome. It will have an under-floor heating and cooling system as well as solar fans. We will build two large curved walls inside for practicing inversions. These walls will be painted with beautiful murals of Tibetan Goddesses and poetry and sacred symbols. My assistant Thea will be heading up that art project.

Artists Impression of the Om Dome at Suryalila

The outside of the Dome will be made to look like a Nepalese temple with a cupola on top and the Buddha eyes painted on the outside as well as beautiful decorative features around the doors and windows and strings of Tibetan prayer flags cascading down from the pinnacle. This beautiful Yoga temple will be nestled in our olive view with gorgeous all round views. We will also expand our accommodation, so we can hold up to fifty people.

This project is pretty far along in planning and we are now moving to the second stage of the project, which is fund-raising. We have chosen to launch our first crowd-funding Project with Indiegogo to finance the construction of the Dome. We are a few days into the fund-raising now and it is going well, as well as being really time-consuming and a little nerve-wracking. I put my first deposit on the Dome today!

We have many plans to draw publicity to our BE ONE OM DOME Yoga Project, including having a Weekend Yoga Festival at the end of June and a Yoga Flash Mob in Seville in the middle of June. Stay posted for more news about that I am really happy that in April I held our first detox retreat with my dear friend Katherine Miller. It went really well and I was very happy to have Martin Clark from Om Yoga Magazine on this retreat. Martin has written a lovely article about Suryalila, which is coming out in the July/August of Om Yoga Mag. So please look out for that. He has also written an article on crowd-funding, and has mentioned our OM Dome Project. That will be in the same issue. I am going to start writing philosophy articles for Om Magazine and lastly I am going to be featured in the September issue. I am so grateful to Martin for this exposure.

In a few days my summer training at Suryalila is starting and we have a full house. I plan to do the flash-mob in the middle of my training, with my trainees, so stay posted for that.

After that I am heading to the USA to Omega Institute to teach an Envision Yoga Weekend Workshop with my dearest friend and colleague, Jennilee Toner. Then straight on to Bali for another massive training! Its all systems go in my life! I just have to remember to breathe and to pinch myself when necessary-which is most of the time!!!

Please check out the wonderful BE ONE OM DOME PROJECT here:

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