Photo credit: Claudia Wiens
I am so pleased to share with you below, an interview with Claudia Wiens, as our first guest interview blog! Happy reading and be sure to visit Claudia on her two websites!
Claudia, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello! I am a freelance photographer and artist since 1995. I have a masters in photo design and work for international publications, NGOs and companies, have regularly exhibitions and published three books. But I am also a yoga and meditation teacher for about 10+ years. During the past couple of years I have done several trainings in sound massage and with big gongs and offer sound massage since the beginning of 2018 and I am just starting out to give public gong baths. I am originally from Germany but have lived the past 20 years outside of my home country. 10 years in Egypt, seven in Turkey and for the past three homes I call Seville, Spain my home.
Where have you attended yoga retreats as a participant?
I have attended yoga retreats in Turkey, Cambodia, Thailand and Spain.
Would you describe the yoga retreats you have led as an organizer or teacher?
For many years I have led photography workshops. This year for the first time I developed a retreat/workshop where I bring yoga/meditation/sound and photography together. In October I led this 5 days retreat, that is only for women, in Seville, Spain. A workshop in which we use yoga, meditation and sound as tools to set creative processes in motion, to create ideal conditions for inspiration and to train our visual perception.
How/why did you choose Spain as a retreat destination?
Because I am living here. So it makes sense to try places that are close to home. Andalucia is a beautiful part of Spain and there is lots of nature and peace to be found.
As a participant, what are the top three things you look for in a retreat experience?
The most important thing is good teachers/instructors who have a profound education and can deliver safe classes, create a welcoming atmosphere and are able to hold space. Also important is the food. It should be healthy, vegetarian and prepared with love. Last but not least the place itself. It should be suitable for the retreat, peaceful, clean. In general all details should be mindfully arranged and things should be coming from a good place in the heart.
As a participant, were there any aspects of a past retreat that were missing from your experience?
The ones I attended in Spain were good. The ones in Thailand and Turkey as well. But in Cambodia I was unlucky, the teachers were unqualified, the space itself completely run down. Normally I research very well before I attend a retreat, so I am usually not having really bad experiences.
As a retreat leader or teacher, what do you consider to be your biggest challenge and/or responsibility on a retreat?
My biggest responsibility is definitely to teach/lead in a very safe way, physically but also
emotionally. I think it is very important to create a peaceful atmosphere where everyone can feel relaxed, welcomed and respected as one is. It can be a challenge if people are extremely different and have very different needs. If you try to satisfy everyone you are in danger to lose yourself. So this is a delicate "dance“.
For more information, you can visit Claudia at:
www.everydaysustainable.org (yoga, sound)
Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope you enjoyed meeting Claudia!
Peace and light,
Founder, Yummy Retreats
Where Yum Meets Om