Lana Almulla is a certified Nutritional Therapist, Yoga teacher, Reiki and sound practitioner. She has completed a 3 year diploma at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Biomedicine and Nutritional Therapy, and is a member of The Yoga Alliance having trained in depth with Sarah Powers. The founder of Nourishing Earth, she works with clients to recognise the body and mind as a whole, creating integrative packages that merge modern science with ancient wisdom, to optimise holistic health and healing.
Tell us a little more about how you came to found Nourishing Earth
Nourishing Earth is the brand and body that is home to all of my practices: nutritional therapy, yoga, sound, reiki and permaculture. The vision for it started as I was studying Naturopathic Nutrition in 2011.
Share a little more about the kinds of retreats you run and what you love about these
At the moment I hold one day retreats here in Dubai, with my blood sister Shereen and soul sister Sevine under the brand name Wahi, which in Arabic means revelation. They are a blend of all our practices. I offer food throughout the day which includes breakfast, lunch and a light dinner, as well as a Yin Yoga practice for winding down in the evening.
Shareen offers sound healing using the ancient Gong and various other instruments, as well as a planting and soil workshop at mid-day. Sevine offers somatic movement, kundalini yoga, breath-work and meditation. All of our events are listed on our website at wahi.life.
I love that they offer a variety of practices for mind, body and spirit. Working as a team helps bring different ideas, inspirations and energies to the table, which has been my favourite part.
What has, and hasn’t, worked for you on your personal holistic healthcare journey?
Guilt-free eating! Not obsessing about what we understand to be healthy eating, or what is sold to us as ‘healthy living’. Incorporating a balanced lifestyle for both play and work. Seeing a psychotherapist. Taking time out just for me, and being comfortable on my own. Spending time in nature. Giving thanks. Spending time with family, friends and loved ones. Spending less time online and more time in the real world. Physically connecting with others. Having a daily spiritual practice – for me this is Sufism (Islam) and my daily practice includes prayer, meditation and chanting.
What kinds of complaints have clients come to you with, and what have you found certain practices most and least helpful for, with reference to these complaints?
They vary so much – from general fatigue to digestive issues, skin ailments, chronic conditions and disease. I believe once the symptoms have reached the physical body, we must work to heal them on a physical level. Nutrition has shown me that this is the most effective way to start. We can then move onto herbs and energetic practices such as Qi gong, Tai Chi, Reiki and so on.
What does spirituality mean to you?
Spirituality to me means connecting to the creator / source, which is all around us. It is a daily practice of gratitude, surrendering the ego, living from the heart, and working through anything that stops us living authentically from this space.
Usually on our journeys, if we are willing to, it includes a lot of deep emotional healing work, trauma release and grief work, breaking down the barriers we have built up around our hearts, moving closer to love, god, or the source. Having a spiritual practice reminds us that through this growth we are always held, loved and divinely guided.
Did you fundraise for your business or is it bootstrapped?
What difficulties have you faced and how did you get around them?
Opening a wellness space in early 2019 and having to shut down earlier this year due to COVID. It can be painful to incur great losses. Having to close down was not a failure, but a redirection to a greater purpose, working with a greater intention more aligned to my truth. It was a bit of blessing in disguise. Reminding me of what is important of my role here on earth. We don’t fail when we quit, but when we stop trying.
Ultimately for me, it has been about questioning what life I want to create for myself, what the gifts have been that have helped me on my journey, and how I can deliver these to others.
What have been your most effective marketing channels?
So far social media and staying engaged with my audience and clients / people who have joined me at events. Developing a human connection. Connecting with people at other similar physical events. Advertising my services in other wellness spaces.
What’s the smallest change that’s given the biggest return?
Sharing my stories, practicing vulnerability. In a world where we are seeing more online connection, we are also experiencing a great human disconnection. Sharing our common vulnerabilities and human experiences immediately speaks to others who feel the same way.
What motivates you?
Injustice, racism, lack of indigenous rights, food sovereignty.
What’s been your biggest achievement in life thus far?
Being human, living life awake to all its ups and downs, seeking the support I can to grow, evolve and live in truth.
And biggest lesson?
Disconnecting from my own inner wisdom and body, depending on others to guide me, not remembering that we already have all the information we’ll ever need, if we are willing to tune in deeply enough and listen.
What’s more important to you – process or outcome?
The journey / process.
Do you have a mentor or people you turn to for advice?
Typically, when I need answers, I go within. Doing this has allowed me to trust myself and my intuition. When I feel overwhelmed, being held or heard by a trusted practitioner, friend or family member who is able to hold space for me offers great healing.
What percentage of your time do you keep unscheduled?
If you weren’t running your business what would you be doing?
The same thing. I see my work as my purpose and without it, I’d be living without purpose.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths – creativity, weaknesses – business!
How has what you do changed you as a person?
My growth started before I decided to offer what I do. It started with a childhood of ill-health, and years of depression and anxiety. Hitting rock bottom and desperately seeking a different life and finding support is what changed me.
If time and money were no object – what would be on your to do / to-see list?
The goal is to live off-grid in a homestead, somewhere with a warm climate. This would also double up as an educational space for others to come and learn about food as medicine, how to grow their own food, get back in touch with Mother Nature, learn about building sustainable homes, and receive a variety of healing practices that honour and give back to indigenous communities. It’s so important to keep these cultural traditions alive.
(header image credit: @sarashakeel)