“I found a house in the end, but it was too expensive. So I started to rent rooms and people who came were dedicated to these healing arts. And that is how the Healing House came to be. A place where we practice different types of yoga, reiki, ecstatic dance, taichi and chi gong, among others, and where teachers of different ancient disciplines come to teach us”, she says.
Niki defines the Healing House as essentially a “house of light”, a center for the study and practice of ancestral traditions of wisdom. In its seven years of existence, the Healing House has become famous among visitors and residents; it offers a place not only for the communion of mind, spirit, and body but also for promoting a lucid and holistic lifestyle.
The energy of the city that captivated Niki, did the same to Jorge Cereceda, a young musician conceived in Rioja but born in Chiclayo. After a life of traveling around Peru, learning the mysteries of medicinal plants and the importance of local sounds and their close connection with the cosmovision of the Andes, he settled in the Sacred Valley. At home with his wife Magaly and children Mayu and Sol, he heads a project called Healing Sounds (Sonidos que Curan).
“At the end, we work in silence and then describe what we felt and give thanks if there is a reason to do so. Each person is a different world”, he adds.
Interest in the art of meditation in Peru has grown rapidly. Although there are no figures to measure its popularity by, Monica Paz, a teacher at Lima Yoga certified since 2011, believes we are seeing a boom in the practice and in healthier lifestyles. “This fact has persuaded people to choose yoga and meditation because they make you feel more relaxed and happier, with lower levels of anxiety. I remember that when I started in 2006, in New York, I came to visit Lima and almost nobody knew anything about the subject. When I decided to become a teacher there were only two studios in Lima, including Lima Yoga. Today you only have to walk around the city to see the words ‘yoga’ or ‘meditation’ somewhere.”
And even though Lima, the capital of Peru, is probably the city with the largest number of practitioners of this activity, many want to escape the metropolis and seek somewhere more suitable for a full and harmonious life. Daniel Grisolle and Andrea Calderon are two of such people, a couple who, with the arrival of their daughter a year ago decided to leave the capital and move to Mancora on Peru’s northern coast.
“We love yoga. It became part of my life in 2011 and Daniel discovered it later” says Andrea. “I love it because when you think you’ve reached a point of understanding you realize that in fact, you don’t know anything, that you’ve started again from the beginning and it’s time to row in another direction and explore new possibilities. There is no end to yoga, it is delicious, self-exploratory and above all, it shows things in their purest and plainest form.”
A normal day for them starts by being woken early by Emma, their daughter just over a year old, and having a hearty breakfast. “Then I give yoga classes or practice yoga. I feel a need to bathe in the sea with Emma to refresh and recharge ourselves with energy” adds Daniel. Today the Grisolle Calderon family live where they can eat fresh fish and fruit juice; they have started their new restaurant, called Tokuyo -Peruvian and Japanese fusion cuisine- and are building a healthy family life together. There is no doubt that it was meditation, lucidity and a clear mind that led this couple onto the right road.