Learning about wellness at Chez Mahmadi

Chez Mahmadi wellness centr

Art exhibition room at Chez Mahmadi wellness centre, Nairobi.

Photo credit: John Fox | Nation Media Group

The other day, I was learning about another kind of safari. ‘Begin your journey to a better life’ is the promise of the Chez Mahmadi wellness centre. I went there with my wife, who knows the centre well, having participated in yoga sessions there.

My own participation in yoga was a long time ago and very brief one. I joined a yoga class that was advertised as for both genders. But at the first session, I found myself as the only man there. I stayed but found a position at the back of the group. I was getting along quite well and enjoying the physical practices until the teacher said, “Now ladies, your husbands or boyfriends are going to love this exercise – it makes very sexy bottoms.” Clearly, this yoga class wasn’t meant for me.

I’m sure the yoga at Chez Mahmadi goes beyond the physical, however stretching or relaxing. It will also be fun and uplifting. I now understand there are different kinds. From Chez Mahmadi’s online entries, I see it offers opportunities for at least four:Hatha, Ishta, Kanga and Restorative. I now understand that some of these are mainly physical; some involve meditation or are essentially spiritual.

But when I went to Chez Mahmadi’s lovely house at 3.2B Kitisuru Road, Nairobi, I was immediately impressed by the comfort, style and serenity of the place. We were welcomed by Sabrina and Derrick – both young, both enthusiastically articulate about Chez Mahmadi’s facilities and programmes.

Mix of art

First, Sabrina told us about the range of services – a wellness mix of art, counselling, therapy and energy healing. The list of activities is quite long; it includes art classes, sip and paint sessions, pottery, sewing and quilting, Afro-Latin dance, yoga sessions, mandala art therapy, sound therapy, psychotherapy, reiki and metaphysical coaching. A number of the art and craft sessions are also for children, sometimes in the form of art camps.

We talked over coffee and biscuits in the large and well furnished reception lounge – a room with easy chairs, paintings on the walls, and sculptures dotted around. Then Derrick showed us the rest of the house. We went through the art gallery, where they have a sequence of exhibitions by local artists; we saw the yoga studio and the space for dancing. We visited Alia’s room for counselling and her shop with books, crystals and incense. We walked across the veranda and down to the garden, where there is the Beyond Body studio and a scatter of tables and chairs for outdoor meetings.

Back in the house there are other rooms that can be hired for workshops and group discussions. Also, Chez Mahmadi welcomes bookings for team building, parties, receptions, group lunches and high teas, and wine tasting. As their brochure says, ‘This is a multifunctional space, where guests can feel at home while they relax and unwind over a cup of lovingly brewed tea or coffee, eat nourishing and delicious food in beautiful and natural surroundings’.

Utmost importance

The brochure also states the values that underpin all activities: ‘It is of utmost importance to us that our clients feel that we have provided them with an environment for growth, we have respected them, as well as shown compassion and empathy in our services’.

The visit has made my think about trying yoga again, and it has made me curious to revisit Alia’s studio to experience the sound bath of her Singing Bowls and the healing effect of her assorted crystals

If your own interest has been stirred, you can reach out to Chez Mahmadi by phone at 0784 490269; by Instagram @chezmahmadi; by email [email protected]. Even better, you can attend the Open Wellness Day on Sunday, September 24. Its theme will be Heritage, by showcasing Yoga, Qi Gong, Sound Bath and many other activities.

John Fox is Chairman of iDC