Volcanic sensory immersion

Potholing & Meditation

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Meet Sebastien and Aitana

Awaken your senses in a lava tunnel in Réunion.

  • Reunion Island is: For Aitana and Sébastien : a magical and intense island.
  • Your perfect day: For Sébastien: a day at the volcano. For Aitana: it begins with a delicious sweet and savory breakfast followed by a sun salutation.
  • Your favorite place: For Aitana and Sébastien: the wild south.
  • Your passion: For Aitana: warrior yoga. And for Sébastien: nature, volcano and mountain.
  • Your favorite dish: For Aitana: a good buddha colorful bowl. And for Sébastien: a "rougail saucisses".
  • Your favourite artist: For Sébastien: Bob Marley. For Aitana: Aria Crescendo, my trainer. Little glance at her.
Meditation dans un tunnel de lave

In the heart of the piton des Neiges.

Today, we are going to meet Sébastien and Aitana. He’s a potholing instructor and she’s a qualified yoga instructor. An unexpected pair, they guide us to the volcanic depths of Réunion for a unique sensory journey… Helmets firmly on and senses ready, the kingdom of darkness and absolute silence awaits us!


The Bassin Bleu lava tunnel in L’Epéron: a volcanic backdrop for learning to meditate!
Located just minutes from the lagoon on the west coast, the tunnel in the Bassin Bleu is the result of a lava flow from
piton des Neiges and offers one of the largest underground areas on the island.

Dating back about 400,000 years, it is one of the oldest lava tunnels in Réunion. With many rooms and different
atmospheres, geological diversity, a palette of colours ranging from red ochre to intense black… Visit the lava tunnel in the Bassin Bleu. It’s absolutely enchanting!
It is also the setting of an unusual experience for us, with our small group of friends and Sébastien and Aitana.

After a quick climb to reach the entrance of the tunnel, we are almost instinctively immersed in a peculiar atmosphere.
We turn off our lights and allow our senses to develop freely. The first sense that is very quickly emphasised is
our hearing
. We hear the strange tick-tock of the hundreds of Mascarene swallows flying over our heads in darkness that is already absolutely complete.
Fresh air blows around us. It feels pleasant. Our senses are awakening...and it's just the beginning. Sébastien knows
the area like the back of his hand and we benefit from his explanations about the origins. He also takes the
opportunity to tell us about the wildlife living here. That’s right. The Bassin Bleu is inhabited.


From the Salle des Etoiles or the “star room” to the Salle des Pluies or the “rain room”: a sensorial journey with meditation!
We continue on our path. After a narrow passage where we thread around walls of lava with multiple layers of colour,
we discover several rooms with huge vaults where it is easy to stand.
In the first one, called the Salle des Etoiles or the “star room”, Aitana suggests we raise our heads to understand
why. Above our heads, by the light of our headlamps, the sky seems to shine with a thousand sparkling splinters.
It’s magic. This is where Aitana invites us to start working on our breathing for the first time. We close our eyes and are suddenly aware of our senses. Truly. Completely.

After this first meditative pause, we venture further into the volcanic bowels of Réunion. That’s when we arrive in one
of the biggest rooms in the lava tunnel.

It is several metres high. We feel a few drops of water gently sliding over our skin. The noise of the drops multiplies
with echoes around the immense vault. You are in the Salle des Pluies, the “rain room”. Lights off. The
atmosphere is suddenly almost mystical.



Welcome to the Salle d’Ancrage or the “anchoring room” for a meditation session several metres below the
ground.

Here we are, finally settled in the Salle d’Ancrage. It’s like a small nest, dug deep into the rock, where we are about
to experience a unique meditation session. Aitana has prepared the room. We are greeted by soft music resonating
around us. We settle ourselves comfortably for a unique meditation session - the only one of its kind in the world.

The silence is absolute. Aitana invites us to join her in some breathing exercises. We become aware of our body, our senses and the energy within us. We are transported by her voice and the volcanic energy of the piton des
Neiges. 
Our bodies relax, our minds voyage, and our senses are awakened. We feel all the energy of the
surroundings in the depths of a volcanic island. Gradually, Aitana helps us to become conscious of our bodies at our
own pace.

Our meditation interlude is coming to an end. We feel calm and relaxed. And connected to each other. We slowly
return to the tunnel exit where we observe the ballet of Mascarene swallows greeting us for the last time.
The sensory experience ends in this basalt universe, in the heart of the Piton des Neiges and Réunion. An
ephemeral episode where time stands still. It’s unforgettable.
 

A unique experience. 
Immersion in the bowels of piton des Neiges.
A combination of potholing with awakening the senses by meditation.
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