Santosa Blog | In Conversation with...

Catching up with Maija Kovalevska, Reiki teacher and practitioner and our very own Santosa Sanctuary Manager:

What brought you to Scotland from Latvia?

Actually, there was Cumbria between Latvia and Scotland! I lived there, in the middle of nowhere almost for three years, changing my life and retraining. Mean while learning English. English in Cumbria... hmmm, I don't think you can hear real English there but it certainly makes it a lot easier to understand any UK accent!

Finally, after completing my UK diplomas, I had to choose what next and where to go. My soul suggested Scotland. The nature of this beautiful country with such landscapes, mountains and lakes... Here I feel a very strong connection with nature – almost a part of it. And of course I love Edinburgh, the history, architecture and the people - cosmopolitan and welcoming. I feel at home in Scotland.

Is it true that managing the Santosa Sanctuary is a little like 'herding cats?'

Well.... I cannot tell a lie!! I have managed the Santosa Sanctuary since the very beginning – joining the team before the re-fit was complete, before we opened even. Experiencing the energy of Santosa, watching as it started to build. So many yoga teachers and therapists and each practice is very different, as is each person. All are here to bring people an awareness of mind, body and spirit. And it makes this place very special.

I love working with all the teachers and practitioners here. We always support each other and learn from the unique skills and experiences each brings. I would like to say thank you to those therapists and teachers who have joined me supporting Maggie's Centre last year. Our collective intent to help others and our compassion creates this amazing Santosa energy.

Tell us about your personal journey with Reiki?

We have to go back to 2009, the year of my own unexpected life changes. This was when I first started working as a massage therapist and I looked for something else to complement my treatments. I could feel that working only with the physical body isn’t enough. Even after a great massage, after a while people return with the same issues. Stress, anger, worry … all deeply affects the body and I wanted to learn how I might help on this deeper level.

Difficult to believe, I started learning Reiki without having even tried it myself, knowing just a little, trusting my intuition… finally it opened up to me an amazing world that I realised I was already working with in my life. Reiki is not just a healing system - it is a great tool for self-development with infinite possibilities for your life changes.

Having built up a successful massage therapy practice in Edinburgh, it must have been a difficult decision to stop?

Yes, it wasn't easy at the beginning. We humans don’t like changes because they take us out of our comfort zone. I knew sooner or later I would have to choose between practicing as a massage therapist or as a Reiki practitioner. My desire was to develop a Reiki School and being so busy with my massage practice I didn't have time enough to focus on that.

Since May of last year I finished my massage journey to make a space for this new one and now it's growing gradually. Of course I miss my clients - with some we had a long-term supportive relationship. But it is exciting to have a new challenge!

You have a strong connection to Maggie's Centre - how did this come about?

Reiki is always about compassion. The connection with the energy opens up your heart, practicing unconditional love and with a strong will to help others. Why exactly Maggie's? I first learned about Maggie's from one of my regular massage clients. Initially coming for a massage after a tough period - having been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and a long fight with chemotherapy and surgery.

When we first met she was recovering but her body was exhausted. She became one of my regular clients and step by step we worked to restore her physical condition. She told me that during that hard period she had regular Reiki sessions and it helped her so much to keep her stress levels lower, to feel more calm and protected.

She had amazing support from Maggie's Centre and that was the beginning of the idea to bring Reiki to Maggie's. And then a chain of magical transformations: Santosa supported and offered a free space, some of our therapists joined me and we started to offer Maggie's Centre Therapy Days for the people supported by them and their families.

We held three events in 2017 and received such positive feedback from those who came. We realised that many people are not aware of complementary therapies and how much they can help them. This year, we are offering more therapy days and are developing other ways to support people who are living with cancer.

The Reiki School offers more than just qualifications doesn't it?

Yes – the Reiki School is building a community here, supporting every level of Reiki training, those who haven't practiced for many years as well as those working as practitioners. The Reiki School is a place where you can come to practice with others, ask questions and continue your further professional development by joining different events and workshops.

This year we are offering Reiki Retreat Days. A Reiki Retreat is a meeting of like-minded people, a rest for your soul and an opportunity to experience this deep energetic and spiritual practice.

Maija Kovalevska Reiki Master

Maija regularly volunteers at Edinburgh's Maggie's Centre, offering her therapy treatments to clients and their families. She is also available for treatments at the Santosa Sanctuary.

You can join her at Santosa:

Reiki Retreat Day on 29th April 2018.

Relaxing with Reiki Meditation and Relaxation every Thursday at 7 pm

Reiki I and II Practitioner Courses

Find out more from:

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Reiki Retreat Day At Santosa

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