Meditation is quickly becoming a mainstream trend, but for Dr. Hildur Palsdottir and Adina Dabija, meditation is a way of life. After running workshops at Joe Iadanca’s The Living Room located at 12 Irma Ave., behind Om Sweet Om, the two decided to embark on their own adventure and founded Sol Center in the fall of 2017 with the help of Om Sweet Om’s new owner Roopali Gupta, who is a licensed Yoga for the Special Child Practitioner and brings yoga therapy to those with special needs and physically challenged children and adults.
“When [Joe] moved, Adina and I and Roopali, who now runs Om Sweet Om, took over the space,” said Palsdottir. “We didn’t want to stop doing what we were doing here.”
Sol Center offers a variety of meditation classes including mindful awareness meditation, Qi Gong, reiki, acupuncture and yoga for those with special needs.
“This is a place where people find refugee and commit to their true being or self,” said Dabija. “People always say this is a magical place. We said Sol because it’s about tending to you inner light. It’s a play on words because of our soul and we believe in a top-down approach. So we always start with resetting the mind.”
With the stress of today’s world, Palsdottir teaches meditators to become aware of their thoughts, so they can create space between their thoughts and actions, allowing for a more resilient person. Mindfulness and Reiki meditation allow people to take a step back from their busy lives and make sure their emotions do not get the best of them.
“It’s sensory relief,” explained Palsdottir of Reiki-meditation, which she offers weekly at the Port Salt Cave on Fridays at noon.
Of mindful awareness meditation, Palsdottir said, “I encourage meditators to connect with their breath, to pay attention to their breath in order to quiet the mind and connect to self. The average person has about 70,000 thoughts a day and that’s a lot to deal with. Importantly, we’re not always consciously connecting with our thoughts. They’re just hitting us. At times we can get hi-jacked by emotions. I see emotions as thoughts that gain too much fire power and can then erupt as emotional reactions and take over your entire body. Instead of feeling out of your mind, meditation helps you return your mind to your body and find comfort in the everyday experience of life. We learn to pay attention to our mind and apply acceptance and nonjudgement when we can.”
While the two offer classes at their studio, they also offer classes around Port Washington at the Sands Point Preserve and Port Salt Cave throughout the each week.
“We offer much more than bodywork and meditation,” said Dabija. “We also host nature walks. Many different philosophies observe nature and realize there is a wisdom out there. It’s not only that you meditate, but we try to connect with the bigger picture. When people feel connected, there’s an opportunity for healing.”
“And you are nature,” added Palsdottir about why the nature component is so important to
meditation. “Your body is organic. You are not an alone, separate entity. You are receiving breath from the natural world, so you are breathing with the trees and the ocean and with the out breaths you are giving back. You are completely part of nature, you never left.”
While nature is an important part of meditation to the two members of both Full STEAM Ahead and the Port Washington Monarch Butterfly Alliance, both Dabija and Palsdottir believe meditation is also a journey one may take throughout their life. Instead of just offering a one-time stress relief session, they offer programs of healing. The two work one-on-one with some of their clients to support them on their journey of self discovery. Palsdottir even compared the meditative journey to the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly.
“The caterpillar grows out of its skin a few times before finding the place to transform and when it finds the perfect place, the chrysalis is formed and the caterpillar body self-destroys,” said Palsdottir. “The meditative process is like metamorphosis in that we digest harmful habits. You can destroy the mind habits holding you back from growing wings. Sometimes it can feel painful because you may have to destroy parts of your existing emotional body, but within the body of a caterpillar are just a few cells that contain all the information needed for a butterfly body, imaginal cells. Likewise, we hold great potential. Imagine, you can look at creating new mind habits and grow emotional wings towards lightness of being.”
For more information about Sol Center, visit www.sol.center.