The idea originated in Berlin (Germany) in 2010, when Kim set-up a yoga collective in an economically deprived neighbourhood of the city offering classes on a donation-basis. The experiment worked well and expanded to a second location in 2013, proving that collective organization and non-profit motives can be economically successful and of high quality.
Some of the teachers, part of the collective, are now involved in Healing in the Willows, whilst others are some of the best teachers Kim met while traveling around the world. The common denominator bringing the teachers together is the authenticity of their practice and the embracing of ‘Yog’ as a way of life.
The name ‘Healing in the Willows’ was inspired by Kenneth Graham’s children’s classic fairy-tale “The Wind in the Willows“, as the first retreats took place at Hardwick House (Oxfordshire, UK) where Kim was living under the patronage of the Rose Family and which had inspired Graham for many of the locations and characters in the book, such as ‘Toad Hall’ (Hardwick House) and ‘Mr Toad’ (Sir Charles Day Rose).
The Willow is also a powerful symbol of healing and purification in Eastern traditions as its roots naturally detoxify the soil – the Boddhisatva Kuan Yin, for instance, holds a willow branch in her hand to heal the World’s weeping souls. Moreover, trees in general have become a symbol of the ecological crisis we face today and the connection we have lost with Mother Nature.