Ayurveda Corner5
projects

Yoga Retreat

Tuscany, Italy

In 2018, sankalpa provided partial bursaries which enabled two students to attend a week long yoga retreat in Tuscany. The financial contributions were provided to individuals who would not otherwise be able to attend; Abbas Naji – a mental health and homelessness charity worker and Silvia Storchi – an independent researcher working in rural communities in Kenya and South Africa.

The week long Tuscan retreat, led by sankalpa changemaker Laura Hancock, offered students the opportunity to really deepen and develop their own personal practice of yoga, meditation and self-enquiry. Far away from the distractions and responsibilities of daily life, students had the chance to focus entirely on their own well-being.

‘Working as a support worker for a homeless charity and mental health charity, being calm and collected in my own thoughts, as well as having the capacity to empathise with a wide range of people, is essential for me to fulfil my role and to truly help my clients. Before the yoga retreat, my capacity was certainty running on empty. While we have good support at work, being able to just be, providing space to reflect and process the past year, in a supportive and peaceful environment, has had real positive effects on my own well being and my ability to care for my clients since returning. Hopefully with a clearer mind and all I learnt from Laura and the other Tuscany Yogis I am better able to help my clients and those around me.’
Abbas Naji, Mental Health & Homelessness Charity Worker

'The bursary from sankalpa allowed me to participate in a yoga retreat where we were guided and encouraged into an exploration of movement to reconnect with our deepest self and intuition. The retreat provided an incredible safe space where I was able to let go of tension, recharge and express myself freely. I left the retreat with a new sense of wholeness, empowerment and agency, and the embodied experience that support is always out there whenever needed. I am very grateful for the opportunity.'
Silvia Storchi, Independent Researcher working with rural communities in Kenya & South Africa

sankalpa allows me to continue to provide accessible holistic care to the entire community. Oxford is an incredibly difficult place to get by in, and so many of the people I work with are struggling financially, and are giving so much of themselves to support others, and those in need. With just a bit of space, and unconditional support and compassion, those that are exhausted and feel like they’ve lost themselves, can feel resourced, regenerated, and feel a greater sense of self and purpose.

sankalpa is more than a helping hand. It shines a light on the positive values and contributions within a society that so often go unnoticed, or are abused and taken for granted. sankalpa provides opportunities for compassionate projects to grow, to interconnect, and in time flourish.  The world needs more guardians like this – who can identify worthwhile causes, and elevate them to a wider reaching position of effectiveness. There is a lot of love and trust that comes from sankalpa, and in turn, more love and trust is offered out into the world.

Laura Hancock, Founder of Ayurveda Corner
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