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Safe Spaces

By: Evan Upchurch

The global rise of the wellness industry is undeniable. What some may have called a trend years ago now feels like a profound shift in consciousness. During difficult times, we’re learning that to thrive we must find the practices that bring us peace from our inner thoughts and the tumultuous outer world around us. More and more people are seeking out experiences that bring about lifestyle changes while addressing the root of their problems, whether physical or emotional. 

At Habitas, we believe that healing and growth can best happen in safe spaces guided by practitioners rooted in love and authenticity. For us, it is important to feel connected to those who are paving the way for healthy, happy living in the communities in which we reside. We sat down with Eva Ullmann and Hesed Najera, owners of Aureo, a wellness center in El Pescadero, Baja California Sur, to talk about their heart-centered paths as healers and what it means to create a space for transformation for themselves, their family, and community. 

For Argentina-native Eva Ullmann, movement has been ever-present. A gymnast since age four, she trained at a high-performance level throughout her early life. A severe injury would stop her from competing in the Olympics, but Eva would go on to work as a gymnastics teacher for kids. She says, “While teaching, I realized that transmitting movement was my life path and had been the only path I’d known.” In 2007, Eva came to Baja California Sur for vacation and never left. She explored the worlds of dance and acrobatics before settling into her path as a Pilates and yoga teacher. Today, she has over 15 years of experience teaching and expanding her knowledge.  

Originally from Mexico City, Hesed Najera moved to Baja California Sur in 2001 to complete a degree in Marine Biology and later completed a Master’s in Sustainable Development. In the wake of his academic life, Hesed found himself searching beyond the promising scientific career he had envisioned for himself. He began working in the hospitality industry before settling into his love of therapeutic massage and energy work. Hesed reflects, “My parents met while practicing yoga and meditation. When I made that connection, everything made sense, and I felt like I had a more profound mission in the world.” With more than a decade of experience, he has studied massage worldwide, notably in India, and is a certified Reiki Master. 

Married in 2019 and with a baby boy due this November, the couple looked to create a safe space where they could build a home and combine their reputable wellness careers developed in Baja California Sur for over a decade. The result: Aureo. They immediately got to work and began construction in February 2020, just one month before the onset of COVID-19. Eva recounts, “We felt solid with the foundation we had built. For us, it was a great lesson. Things can be falling apart on the outside, but we can be sustained by our path.”

In Spanish, el número áureo refers to the “golden ratio.” From the spiral arrangement of leaves to snail shells, this mathematical ratio represents an equilibrium and order found in nature. Hesed explains, “We wanted Aureo to be a place people could come and implement the tools we teach them to return to their own perfection, to their own balanced way of being.” After a soft opening in October 2020, Eva and Hesed began receiving clients and adapting to their new space, steadily building community even during a pandemic.

Today, apart from serving as the couple’s home, the wellness center consists of a yoga deck, Pilates room, treatment room, outdoor bathtub, and open spaces used for ceremonies and rituals. Eva offers private yoga, Pilates, and intelligent movement classes, while Hesed practices several different types of massage, bodywork, and Reiki sessions. As a team, Eva and Hesed organize ceremonies and rituals, such as sound bath with Reiki, wedding ceremonies, cleansing rituals, and full/new moon ceremonies. 

The area of El Pescadero and Todos Santos is a place where the powerful forces of nature create an electric energy that empowers people from around the world to make changes in their lives. Eva and Hesed believe there is no better place for them to practice their disciplines. Eva says, “When I decided to move to the Pacific side of Baja California Sur, I asked myself why I had chosen to be here. I would sit in front of the ocean and feel the wind from the Pacific pass through me, cleansing me. If you come here with a dream, that strong Pacific wind helps things materialize quickly. It impulses you forward.”

For Eva and Hesed, Aureo is a long-term project they hope to see transform over time. Eva points out, “We would like to create a center in which people can come together and share their knowledge as a way to nurture the community, our own children, and future generations to come. It may not be this exact space, but whatever and wherever it is, it will continue with the soul of Aureo.” 

True wellness is an overall alignment of self, propelled by a unique set of tools that allow us to thrive in our inner and outer worlds. The safe space that Eva and Hesed have created reminds us that reaching out for support is the ultimate way to return to the teacher within. 


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