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spirituality In touch Festival fever First in a series of reports from Valerie Delffori

I caught the festival bug this summer! Having spent time with many like- minded people in amazing surroundings at three Mind, Body & Spirit festivals, I’m officially hooked and want more.

gatherings, made all the more perfect by the tea and cake stall which was open all day and sold chai in the evenings. There was a full and well organised

Chakras and marmas

Chakras are centres of force through which energy flows into and out of the human energy field, or aura. Just as air comes into and out of the mouth as we breathe, energy from the world around us flows into and out of the chakras. We process this energy on every level; physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. The chakras are where all of these different aspects of ourselves come together. There are seven major chakras and

hundreds of mini chakras throughout the body. The major chakras cross the brain and spine. Energy from the world around us funnels in at the front and out at the back. Smaller chakras do not cross the spine but instead they cross major energy pathways, arteries, joints and muscles and can more easily be treated by therapies that use touch or pressure, as in marma massage, in which the Chinese systems of acupressure and acupuncture have their conceptual origins. In Ayurvedic medicine, over one

hundred marma points are thoroughly documented and are used remedially, like acupressure points. These marma points are also important in Indian martial arts, targeted in combat to weaken opponents and to inform defence manoeuvres. Marma points are mini chakras situated along the nadis– the meridians of the body that run hidden within us, much like utilities cabling which runs underground, connecting our homes and workplaces to the grid. Irregularities at points along these

energy routes (nadis) register in the corresponding chakra, just like faults in the network are registered at HQ. Sometimes we need to tackle local


issues at the marma points, working on different layers, from the subtle body to the gross physical skeleton, using light, prana, pressure or puncturing the skin to reach deeper skeletal tissues, such as bones. Today, chakras are becoming

integral to popular culture. The chakra concept crops up in many therapeutic systems, from holistic treatments to psychotherapy and psychodynamics. Low-level chakra therapy using gemstones and colours is commonplace, if not fashionable, and although chakras are not visible or tangible to most of us, the concept makes logical and intuitive sense. Also, while we look to the medical profession for radical or invasive treatment to pacify major illnesses like cancer, we can help ourselves to heal with energy therapies and to rebalance and feel whole again following disease. For those of us seeking harmony and balance on a deeper level, working with chakras can be used like a diagnostic system to reveal a path to health and focus our efforts.

Sian Bentley-Magee

Sian teaches yoga and meditation and practices pranic healing and reiki. Also a passionate Indologist and writer, Sian teaches group classes and one-to-one sessions and practices ashtanga yoga. 0793 263 4558

I began 2014 with the intention to

get out more, experience life, fresh air, music and generally have more fun. My first two ‘Fests’ in May and August were in Brighton and Devon. Small, intimate gatherings with plenty of music, dancing, therapies, stalls and workshops providing everything a person with a thirst to grow spiritually could want for. I came home wondering why I had

no previous knowledge of these wondrous events. Trying to put aside thoughts such as ‘ageing hippy’ and ‘mid life crisis’, I set off for what was to be the last and best Fest of the summer – a small gathering in a beautiful setting. Modestly named The Clophill Centre (, this little piece of heaven has been lovingly created and run by Richard and Katarina Diss since they bought the land near Bedford in 2001. Over time they have built an amazing spiritual meeting place for workshops and events. On arrival I could see that Roz and

Addie, the organisers of the Earthdance Festival, had done a fantastic job setting up the space. There was a healing zone for therapies, many tipis, a yurt, an underground chamber, stalls and a lovely café which provided veggie food all day. There was also a stage set up for evening music and a fire space for chilled out

workshop itinerary for all three days. The Earthdance Festival kicked off with an opening ceremony on Friday and from that moment onwards, until Sunday tea time, it was like being in another world. Rushing from workshop, to sound bath, to dancing, gonging and much more, it was incredible to receive such a wealth of knowledge and healing. During my personal journey I had many realisations, much healing and met some very knowledgeable and special people. My fellow ‘festies’ cried, laughed,

smiled, danced, connected and reflected, as they too were on their own personal journeys and everyone gave space and respect to their respective new friends as and when they needed it. It was truly magical for me and something that I will never forget. The energy of lightness and laughter was contagious and it was like medicine for the soul.

I feel that these happenings are like

pop up communities, where people who have similar views and mindsets get together to connect, have fun, learn and heal, then deconstruct and go home. These events build good energy and leave you feeling that the world is actually a great place with much to be grateful for. And guess what? It’s happening all

over again at the same time next year! If you have a yen to try something new, if you love nature and would enjoy connecting with like-minded people, why not give it a try? For more info contact Roz:

Valerie Delffori is a Transform Healing Practitioner and Psychic Consultant. See her advertisement on page 21.

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