Oku Ibiza is located on an archipelago east of Spain and is perhaps the best place on the island to experience the sunset. With its minimalist rooms in earth tones and the largest pool on the island, it is the kind of soothing luxury expected of a retreat of this caliber. Across the retreat, each day’s agenda follows a theme. Connect Sah D’Simone (July 7-11) and Balance Holidays to explore the theory and practice behind each of the following components: dance, spirit, mantra and meditation. His infectious enthusiasm for healing is a revolutionary combination of ancient Tantric Buddhism, modern contemplative psychology, meditation, respiratory protection and integrative nutrition, all delivered in his own accessible and playful style. A spiritual guide, meditation teacher, transformational speaker and international best-selling author. Sahs clients include Kanye West, Google, MoMa, American Express, Cannes Lion, United Nations, New Balance and Bloomingdales.
Tell me about the Sah method – how did you develop it and why? It started with just sharing videos of me dancing on Instagram. At that time, it had no name. But it felt like a spiritual training – a way for me to creatively express theory in practice. I danced unrestrained from a place of inner silence and connected with my breath.
During my early studies in India and Nepal, I misinterpret the teaching and got the impression that suppressing my individuality to convey an image of “peace” and “tranquility” was the path to freedom. But it all felt clumsy and false to me.
So the more I studied, I had a revelation: the key to a true awakening is not the heavy seriousness or “zombie zen” that we often mistakenly attribute to the “spiritual seeker.”
These early Instagram videos demonstrated a fresh, avant-garde and inclusive way for people to practice. My videos caught the eye of Deepak Chopra’s team, who invited me to further develop the ideas and share this practice with his community upon his retreat. So I took this formula that worked for me and made it more accessible for sharing with others.
How do you help participants carry what they learn on the retreat into their daily lives in the future? Retirement days are divided into segments of theory and practice. First, we will understand the Buddhist psychological approach behind the method. Then we practice twice a day what we have learned and go to the dance floor to fully experience the power of these two components.
I know you have spent time in India and Nepal and you bring Eastern traditions into your practice – tell me about some of the most important experiences you have had on your travels and a few of the most important local traditions you have picked up , and how do you use them in your practice now? Early in my studies, I participated in a 30-day quiet retreat that really changed things for me. There I spent a lot of time meditating on death and contemplating my own mortality, which aroused me to want to live a better life.
Another highlight was visiting sacred caves in the Solukhumbu Valley – sitting in spaces where holy saints have meditated, practiced and had spiritual breakthroughs was profound.
Finally, it was the first time I received instruction from His Holiness the Dalai Lama that I had enough concentration and clarity to recognize that a person’s presence has the potential to non-verbally communicate security and ease. All he had to do was go in, and immediately the psychological temperature of the room changed for the better. He makes you feel like your best self – completely relaxed and calm. I remember saying to myself, “You are in the presence of a saint. Remember how it feels. ”
The last year has been an extreme attempt at mental health for many people – what have you learned about protecting mental health? In fact, I do not think that mental health is about protection; it’s about daily hygiene. Just as we take a shower, brush our teeth and eat … we need to tend to our minds and inner lives because our inner world dictates how we relate to our outer world.
How do you maintain balance? For me, balance is rooted in ritual: repeated action with intention. You can turn everything into a ritual with focused attention. Whether you are making your morning coffee, folding clothes or meditating, every action has the potential to be anointed as sacred through your mindset. I know I’m in balance when I can take care of other people while taking care of myself.