umagaia.org During these uncertain and down times, I felt the need to re centre myself and get to know more about spirituality and wellbeing. This is why I have participated in a wellness retreat week end with the beautiful Olivia Panella, holistic health practitioner and founder of Uma Gaia, which guides you to feel more empowered, more connected to your body, mind and spirit. Last week end, she introduced us to intuition, a fascinating subject! On that Occasion, I’ve asked her a few questions to get to know her and her spiritual world a bit better! As you might know already, all of us are intuitive, intuition is something you’re born with, yet it is up to us to choose to develop it or not. But what is intuition? Let’s discover it with Uma Gaia! Where are you from and where in the world are you now? My family is from New York City, most of them came into the Americas via Ellis Island actually, however I was born in New Hampshire another State in the North-East about 4.5 hours North of New York City(by car). At a young age I knew I wanted to live in NYC and that I would move there for university and so I did, from the age of 18-30 I lived in NYC. It is my ‘stomping ground’ as it were. But voyage called my name, and in 2017 I left NYC and America and set off on solo journey around the world, I was ready to bring myself and UMA GAIA to new borders. Five months into my endeavor, I landed in London and met my now husband. He was living in London but is French, and now we live in the South of France in a Mas between the sea and the mountain. For now we will continue to cultivate here but there are many places that have our heart and that we will return to… How did you get into spirituality? There wasn’t a moment in my life that I wasn’t connected to the conscious, the spirit, everything beyond the physical. Some people are naturally good at math, I was always naturally good at seeing, feeling and being in tune with energy and everything spiritual/conscious. These are our innate gifts we all have them and they are all unique to us. So what is intuition to you? Intuition is so many things, so many – but if I had to share a little; Intuition is the Spirit voice inside of you; that is always loving, guiding and supportive, it is your divine-self, it is the freedom from the physical/mental. It is your inner compass. Do you have some tips on how to fight a low mood during the pandemic? Here are two tips I would love to offer you; Every morning before you even get out of your bed, state something you are grateful for, but something within side of your being, not something outside of yourself. For example: I am grateful for my two hands. Start with you, start with all the things you are grateful that are already within you, after doing this for a few days or weeks then you can move to other areas of gratitude. Use this time to go within, to reflect on all that you have created in your life so far, really go deep with this. Then after, see the areas you want to nurture more or the areas you are ready to shed, and gently open up to this transition and self-expansion. What is your must have kit? Hmm, there could be so many ideas here, I am constantly creating kits for my students, it all depends on what you want to work on and connect with, but for me and my personal favorites that I always travel with and have nearby would be: One of My Marcel Vogel Hand-cut Quartz Crystal My Holistically-Inspired Thieves Protection Essential Oil Blend Ethically Sourced Palo Santo Wood One of my Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls An element from Earth, Air, Water and Fire My Aurora Spirit Smudge Feather Oh and finally, what does sustainability mean to you? Sustainability is shifting your thoughts, habits and patterns to better support your mind, body, spirit and then beyond yourself; honoring others, Nature and the world. Curating the best route to uplifting all aspects of our life and experience. Would you like to develop your intuitive sense? Olivia has shared with us some beautiful tips! Mirror Work for Third Eye & Crown: Look at yourself left eye to left eye in the mirror (literally don’t use your right eye). And say out loud: “one of your intentions” (4 times). One intention is in the first person, is in the present moment and is short and concise. For example: “It is easy for me to release fear and embrace love”, “At all times, I’m connected in conscience”, … Crown Chakra Awakening Pose: Mountain Pose. Keep your feet hip width apart. Extend your spine tall and fix your gaze forward. Breath in and lift the right leg and place the sole of your right foot on your inner left leg. Lift the torso up, take a deep breath and raise your arms up. Joining hands in Namaste Mudra, turn your gaze upwards and take 5-7 breaths there. Repeat on the other side. Massage Throat & Third Eye: Wash your hands. Find a comfy place to sit and place your hands in prayer in front of your heart, call in your higher-self and any loving guides you are working with. Smile, thank yourself and them. With ease and gentleness, massage behind your ears, massage your ears, massage your chin, cheeks, under eyes, temples, forehead and then crown. Shake hands out and release the energy you have moved, then repeat this exact process 2 more times. Once you have finished all three cycles, again take your hands in prayer and thank yourself and all loving guides, smile. Painting Exercise for the Third Eye: Still with yourself in meditation, have all your paints and canvas or paper ready. And then paint what you see in your Third Eye, even if the painting comes out with some shapes here and some darkness there and some imagery over there, that’s what we want. Tune into your Third Eye and just paint, create intuitive freedom with your art. This sequence will breathe new room and confidence into the Solar Plexus but also the Third Eye. The Healing Crystal to use: Lapis Lazuli The essential oils to use: Basil and Frankincense. If you need more guidance, feel free to contact Olivia via her website! Credits: Photography: Olivia Panella by Caitlin Mitchell Shop consciously with Ipseity and our ethical and sustainable designers!