Wellness Retreats Boast Unprecedented Attendance By Black Women
By Mitti Hicks
One of the latest trends among tourists involves detoxing from our connected and complicated world through wellness retreats.
A study from the Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as, “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. It goes beyond mere freedom from disease or infirmity and emphasizes the proactive maintenance and improvement of health and well-being.” And while the wellness industry continues to grow exponentially, there is lack of diversity when it comes to “wellness” for women of color.
But as usual, when people of color are excluded from the mainstream, we create our own. That’s why Satya X created Women of Color Healing Retreats (WOCHR), the first retreat created for black women by black women. And now she’s not alone. Platforms like Omnoire and Curvy, Curly, Conscious celebrate the beauty of black womanhood while also venturing to heal physical and emotional pain through travel, yoga, pampering, and real talk.
Here, we talk to Satya X about why she founded WOCHR, what she hopes women get out of it, and what people can expect in the future.
Travel Noire: What led to the launch of the Women of Color Healing Retreats Community?
Satya: I created Women of Color Healing Retreats out of the desire to see black women focus on their wellness, and to inspire black women and people to travel outside of the United States. I have been traveling and living in different countries for years now, yet it’s still very rare to encounter black Americans abroad. The United States has falsely conditioned us to believe that the world starts and ends there, limiting our ability to dream outside of their national borders.
I felt it was important to provide a sacred space for black women to be able to heal and unlearn so many of the things we are taught about ourselves. I also believe that we can’t heal ourselves in the same environment that contributed to our mental, physical, or spiritual illnesses and oppressions.
TN: What do you hope women will get out of your retreats?
Satya: One of the biggest benefits of our retreat is community. We love providing a sacred community. In many ways, even when amongst other people of color, black women may feel as if their voices aren’t heard. Here at WOCHR we provide an environment for black women to share their narratives, heal themselves and their communities.
During the retreats, participants form community with people who mirror them: one of the most important healing resources of all.
TN: What can people expect at your wellness retreat?
Satya: People can expect to learn about holistic wellness! Holistic wellness is a lifestyle that allows women of color to achieve an inner balance of mind, body and spirit, using natural healing methods such as yoga, meditation, plant-based living and self-reflection. During the retreats the women dive into their holistic wellness journeys, and they began or continue to heal themselves. They also have political workshops where they can unlearn and liberate themselves which aids in the de-colonizing process.
The retreat is a program with a set fixed schedule that allows the women to dive into their spiritual journeys and to heal from the psychological trauma of systemic racism, all while building community and sisterhood, and the women also go on adventures in the jungles of Costa Rica!
Satya said that the WOCHR relaunch is scheduled for March 2019. Find out more information here.
Interview condensed for brevity.