It was both personal and journalistic curiosity that had me sitting in front of my computer recently, waiting for the Zoom webinar “Euphoria Healing Journey Through the 5 Elements” to begin.
I thought that if this online seminar could really do what it promised, I’d welcome the results. Perhaps it could help me fight the recurring feeling of suffocating anxiety that I’ve been experiencing in self-isolation.
Okay, obviously I knew it was naïve to expect a 45-minute virtual seminar to completely alleviate my anxiety. However this particular seminar was organized by Euphoria Retreat, Greece’s first holistic well-being destination spa, and hosted by its founder, Maria Efraimoglou. I’d read that she’s an expert in emotional and physical transformation through self-knowledge.
If nothing else, I thought, I might hear some interesting things, and hopefully some of it would help.
Over the first 25 minutes of the seminar, Efraimoglou explained that wood (the material which turned out to be the focus of this particular seminar) is connected to spring and to the color green, to growth and progress, but also to Artemis, the ancient Greek goddess of hunting and the wilderness. The organs in the human body that relate to wood are the liver and gallbladder, and therefore walks in the forest, among the trees, in combination with brain exercise, are particularly good for those organs.
Listening to these and more interesting facts, I felt as if I had been placed in an advanced dance class, and asked to do pirouettes. How might a person that normally relies on the logical left side of their brain suddenly ballet leap into thinking that there is a direct link between nature and the body and health?
And so when finally, in the second half of the seminar, the sweet spiritual mentor of Euphoria, Mary Vandorou, asked us to close our eyes for a quick meditation session, I felt like a neurotic and sarcastic Woody Allen.
“Imagine yourselves walking among the trees. Find your favorite tree and embrace it… You are one with the tree,” she instructed. “Oh, Ms Vandorou, if only I was in the Peloponnese right now, hugging a tree,” I thought, “but no, I’m here, stuck inside my house for the past two months – thanks for the reminder.”
Yes, I had jumped in at the deep end and, no, my anxiety wasn’t cured. Yet somehow, somewhere in that mass of incomprehensible information, I did feel like there was something I should be taking to heart, something that moved me. And I have to admit I’m flirting with the idea of joining the upcoming webinars as well, even if I’ll have to do both pirouettes and pliés.
For more information about the webinars, visit euphoriaretreat.com