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Ibiza has always been known as much for its night life as its spiritual side. The hippies flocked to the White Island in the 60s, following hot on the heels of the Phoenicians, who lay claim to Ibiza in 654 BC, dedicating it to Bes, the Egyptian deity dedicated to fortune, fertility the arts and just about everything good. In a nutshell, if you want to understand Ibiza, go and discover Bes. Es Vedra, the mighty imperfect pyramid that seems to hover, like divinity itself, on the blue of the Med, is said to be magnetic and no doubt is what draws us all in and back again and again.
You might not be able to get a home delivery pizza in Ibiza but you’ll certainly find five practitioners prepared to mainline you vitamins within a 5k radius. When I overhear the holiday makers on the plane the split between those coming to revel and those coming to be healed is pretty even. In Venn diagram terms, there is also a sizeable chunk in the centre who are members of both clubs: week one is for bars, clubs and restaurants and week two for yoga, juicing and early nights. Yin and yang alive and well.
In a country where doctor is still king Ibiza offers a veritable counter-culture in the world of health and well-being. There are wonderful, heart-felt projects, like Open Space, run by a married couple in a purpose built zen-like studio in the grounds of their family finca, on a not for profit basis. They have created a packed program of singing circles, moving mediations, and yoga classes. So, these are standard Ibiza fare but Open Space moves far beyond the norm by offering wonderful creations entitled ‘New Moon Circles’, ‘Dolphin Dream Evenings’ and something called ‘Divine Consciousness’ (yes please to that one). I have no idea if these classes will soon be available down your local Virgin Active or if they will remain uniquely of Ibiza but they sound pretty amazing to me. Ironically, Open Space takes a break over the summer season. There’s that yin and yang again…
There are amazing yoga, pilates and other ‘body restorative’ classes (yes to those too, please) held in the curves of the behind scenes shopping spaces of Galeria Elefante, on the approach road to Santa Gertrudis, with a range of teachers. (Would it be wrong to imagine the perfect morning as a kundalini yoga class followed by a spot of I just have to have that kimono/pair of silk shorts/gem encrusted bangle set?)
I have known people with chronic conditions made new again by healers and I have seen people who never knew they had the courage to face their fears, in therapy. (It is a small island and whilst I’m not one to doubt the integrity of therapist/client confidentiality, it does tickle me knowing how many friends share their therapists!). Perhaps we are a self-selecting group or maybe there is something hard wired into the bit of the earth’s core that underpins Ibiza, but people get healed here. They get dry, they change life paths, they cure their health problems and alleviate their relationship ones. I can’t say I’m deeply into all this stuff and I’m not here to advocate for daily meditations, or family yoga or singing circles but I’ve been resident in the shadow of Es Vedra for a decade and I have never felt so calm or at peace. Perhaps it is the possibility of combining mind and body nourishment, with a spot of shopping?