Abu Dhabi - Venezuelan expat Sonia Gonzalez and Philip Evan Cowlishaw from the US are opera singers and practise spirituality and meditation.
A Venezuelan-American pair will be hosted by the Indian Embassy to mark the fifth International Yoga Day in the UAE on Thursday. The Abu Dhabi residents will combine experiences to cast a healing spell on participants with the prayer 'Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu' at Umm Al Emarat Park.
Venezuelan expat Sonia Gonzalez and Philip Evan Cowlishaw from the US are opera singers and practise spirituality and meditation, and believe it can lead to peace and harmony in the world. The duo is confident about the healing power of spirituality, music and meditation. And this isn't without a reason. Seven years back, Sonia was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease. An opera singer and reiki practitioner, she used vibrational sound therapy to completely recover from her illness.
"I was diagnosed with this autoimmune disease. I thought it wasn't possible to reverse it but I started meditating. I was into spirituality and a reiki practitioner. I focused on how these forms of energy healing could help me. As I was an opera singer, I decided to study sound healing. Soon my energy level changed and I was more vibrant. In due time, my disease reversed and I recovered completely."
And then she decided to dedicate her life to show people the power of sound healing. Sonia is looking forward to performing on Thursday. "We are here to create and express ourselves. This is about spreading peace and love to everybody else," said the sound alchemist who offers healing journeys at Manarat Al Saadiyat.
Cowlishaw, meanwhile, is engaged in spirituality, yoga and meditation for close to 30 years. He is a follower of Advaita Vedanta - a path to spiritual realisation. He is passionate about non-duality and oneness, and shared space with many gurus that led to new beginnings in life.
"Spirituality is very internal, intimate and interesting practice. It's like interacting with something greater than ourselves."
Cowlishaw learnt martial arts Tai Chi and transitioned to yoga. "I start my day with 30 minutes of yoga. It wakes up my mind and body. Yoga incorporates your whole being," said Abu Dhabi-based school teacher who plays harmonium. "Music helps to open our hearts and fills body with energy and positivity. We hope to do that with our short performance on Yoga Day," Cowlishaw said after a rehearsal.
Sonia and Cowlishaw will bring all their experience and experiments combined with different aspects of meditation, spirituality, yoga and sound in their performance. They will be complemented by Jitendra Gangani, who plays tabla. Gangani, a seventh-generation musician, has done his PhD and Master in Performing Arts. He is a music mentor at Abu Dhabi Indian School.
The celebrations of Yoga Day will start at Umm Al Emarat Park on Thursday from 7pm and entry is free.