Inner Seed founder Laura-Helene Kopinski grew up in the capital and has obviously seen some major changes on the urban landscape in her time here. Yet along with all the new buildings and business, she’s seen people grow more curious about all things wellness and holistic.
“I think people are getting more educated, more self-aware on what health and wellness is, it’s not just going to a gym and eating good food,” she says. “It’s much, much deeper than that. And understanding that it has to do with their emotions and how they’re truly feeling.”
To address that demand for knowledge, products and providers, through starting the lifestyle/wellness hub Inner Seed in 2014, Kopinski is organizing her largest-yet free community holistic wellness event in Shakbout City this weekend.
“We’ve done events focusing on mindfulness or stress release or just yoga or just meditation,” she says. “This is the first time I’ve done something as big and as broad.”
Finding your ‘inner seed’
Kopinski, who began volunteering with special needs children six years ago, left her corporate job when she realized she didn’t want a future in banking.
After traveling solo, she found her real purpose, which was rooted in an interest in teaching she’d felt since childhood.
“I wanted to teach people what mindfulness is, what happiness is,” she says. “You know, find the light whenever it’s dark, how to express yourself, how to be yourself.”
And that’s the “inner seed” in her company name.
The Paris-born Kopinski, who has trained as a yoga teacher and life coach, offers yoga classes, workshops, wellness camps, corporate wellness options and international retreats through Inner Seed.
“Whenever we put workshops out there you see them excited to find out and to learn and to understand more of who they are as human beings, which is amazing actually, especially in the Arab world,” says Kopinski. “They are still understanding what yoga and meditation is, it’s been there for so many years in Europe and North America. You know? But this is still new to the UAE but it’s growing so fast: there’s so much demand and so much interest.”
UAE women in particular are being increasingly drawn to yoga, meditation and other practices, something Kopinski found difficult to convey in her early days.
“Now people are very, very much interested and want more of the whole holistic approach,” she says.
Saturday’s event is women’s only and will be held outdoors. It includes a range of talks on everything from healthy eating to inner healing, with free sessions involving a range of activities including Fitness First’s 6D workout, communal painting by BlankCanvas Community and sound healing from Abu Dhabi light worker Laila Mohamed. There will be tasty organic food on hand to sample, from Coffee Architecture, Moni’s Healthy Choice, Slim ‘n Lite and Simple cafe, and mani-pedis from Sugar Beauty Lounge.
Just getting out of your comfort zone for a few hours and meeting like-minded women, says Kopinski, can be a great way to get a break and reset.
“You’re going to share your day, your experience and you’re bound to meet someone who is in the same place,” she says. “And you can just be there listening or you can be there trying out things.”
- Inner Seed’s Holistic Wellness Event is Saturday, January 12 from 9.30am to 4pm. Ladies only; outdoors. Check out the full schedule first, wear comfortable sports attire and if you have a yoga mat, bring it along.
Featured graphic courtesy Inner Seed