I went with limited expectations, hoping only to capture a bit of the legacy of the legend Ann Wigmore. I spent two weeks fully engaged in a thoroughly comprehensive course in nutrition and healthy living. How often are our expectations surpassed by experiential affirmation and intellectual credibility? For anyone in need of a holiday, dedicated to healthful survival in these times of over-consuming madness, the Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute on the west coast of Puerto Rico is a learner's paradise... a mecca of applied 'self-empowering' simplicity.
Despite the beach front facilities, sunrise Yoga, and diversities of therapies (Colonic, Chiropractic, Feldenkrais, Deep Tissue Message, Reiki, Reflexology, Trager, Life-style counseling, and Raindrop Essential Oils Technique, to name a few) this institute is not a spa. People come here to detoxify their body and spirit, and to learn intently all they can.
Our manageable class size of about two dozen students represented a thorough cross-section of American diversity. We ranged in age from teenager to our late sixties and came from Japan, Finland, coast to coast USA, and the Caribbean. In our class the majority, an ethnic smorgasbord of New Yorkers, lent a street-wise credibility to our collective goal, the eventual application at home and work of these newly learned eating skills.
There was always a friendly folksy humor in this sortie of sophisticated urbanites learning composting, bean sprouting, and enema physics. Thankfully the staff came from the same mean decadent streets as us and compassionately held our hands through the acclimation and detoxification process. Since our meals were the raw blended regiment of our historical task master 'Doctor Ann' Wigmore, there was an initial hell to pay. As we cleansed 'outside and in' we suffered the usual detox symptoms.
Yet all miraculously, in just two weeks, came to shine in our skin and bounce in our steps. I lost 5 kilo adding to the 20 kilo weight loss since my march back to health earlier in the Spring. I received the hands-on training I had hoped for, supplementing the home study course I had taken from another Wigmore legacy, the Creative Health Institute of Michigan.
I went to Puerto Rico with my two young teens and was pleased how much they too learned. Heaven knows how much the nutritional training in our contemporary schools is lacking. A chance to both bond and learn together with my children was a godsend.
Talk of expanding the program beyond the two week intensive for returning graduates is in the works. If so, I look forward to again dancing the salsa and samba, a recreational advantage of being in the Caribbean with such a wild bunch of self-motivated 'movers and shakers.' Wiggies (as the students are sometimes called by their neighbors) are a powerfully motivated, attractive, and awe inspiring cadre, who know how to dance!
One couldn't ask more from a two week training program. And according to those in the class who have tried the other programs available elsewhere in the Ann Wigmore tradition, the heart and the healing here in Puerto Rico is well worth the journey.