About Us

Belgian doctor and portuguese dentist met and decided to share happiness.

Michel already started his personal revolution and went from working 7 days a week between hospital, private practice, university department director, doctor of the Ghent football team to combine his private medical practice with sailing (www.seaspirit-stories.com) and horse riding activities. As a natural entrepreneur he is always searching for new projects and always looking for ways to develop new skills on him and for others.

Manuela worked as a dentist for more than 15 years, but she always felt she was not going to do it forever. When she was working in Belgium, she attended a workshop of “Mindfulness in the dental practice”.  After that she attended courses and retreats, read and studied about meditation, spent one month in Africa doing voluntary work, and started the mindfulness teacher training. She stopped dentistry to dedicate herself to design and plan Âncora Retreats.

One of their first trips together was to the Pyrenees.

Michel went already there and was impressed by the beauty of the place, by the horses and by the people.

He had a feeling of peace and relaxation. Manuela had no experience in horse riding, she did it there for the first time. At their first walk, they went for one hour in a trail in the mountains. She couldn't believe she had done it and how easy it was. They repeat it every day that week, and she even went on trote and galope. They go there every time they can. Its not only about the horse riding but also about the feeling of peace, of slowing down, the overwhelming  beauty of the mountains and the noble simplicity of the people.

Their second trip was to the Alentejo coast: Comporta, Porto Côvo, Milfontes, Odeceixe and Amoreira beach. It was pure energie. Horse riding in that landscape is an experience you don't forget and want to repeat.

Âncora Retreats was the natural step. They had to share this with other people. All the magic that can happen when you leave your comfort zone and follow your gut feeling.

How empowered you feel when you take control of your life and you realize you have choices.

The name Âncora represents the link between the sea and mindfulness meditation.

Behind Âncora retreats is Seaspirit with all the experience, joining forces, dreaming and planing more adventures to come in the future.

Their third trip  was to the Caribbean…

Manuela Rodrigues

Degree in Dentistry, worked as a Dentist for 16 years

Mindfulness meditation practitioner and enthusiast. After years of own meditation practice, courses, retreats and studies followed her intuition and decided to became a Mindfulness meditation teacher and share it with others.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher in training by UCSD - Mindfulness based Professional Training Institute- California University of San Diego.

Saying yes to happiness and growth. Trying to be authentic and whole, while at the same time accepting me just as i am.

Michel Rousseaux

Degree in Medicine, specialist in sports traumatology, and currently works in Belgium.

Founded Seaspirit and made it a reference in team building and sailing events. He has the diploma of sailor instructor and the diploma of "randonneur équestre".

Speaks Nederlands, French and English.

Natural entrepreneur, sports lover and life enthusiast. Trying to live life on the moment connected with nature, always curious about everything.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

Michel's Testimonial

I experienced my (too invasive) professional life as a continuous succession of stressful situations

As a specialist in sports traumatology daily involved in trying to find solutions for the medical problems of highly demanding elite sportsmen, I experienced my (too invasive) professional life as a continuous succession of stressful situations.

Moreover the fear of making mistakes, the fear of to be not qualitatively corresponding to what my patients expected me to be, made me acting as a rough, unfriendly, pretentious and unfriendly person…

I became aware of this way of acting by my son suggesting me to google myself on internet and to read the comments about a ‘qualitative excellent medical doctor but  a little bit unfriendly (about "ego"...)’.

Anyway it was like my life was programmed to work more and more and harder and harder...

A few months later however, due to the sudden death (massive stress related heart attack) of my colleague and dear friend, I decided to take a break… taking more time for myself.
Sailing and horse riding being part of my favourite sportsactivities, I had in this period the great opportunity to meet two ‘mentors’ who played a crucial role in the "change of my life-style"…

The first one is Ronan (www.seanergie.fr): man of the sea, high level professional sailing skipper who learned me every skills concerning solo ocean racing and who’s basic life principle is: work to live instead of live to work…

The second one is Jean-Louis (www.lafermecouhet.com): the horse whisper of the Pyrenees, one of the best horse rider I ever met, impressing me also through his incredible charisma always predicating the true deep human values.

By initiating me in horse riding tracks through his marvelous region of the ‘Pyrénées-atlantiques’, he learned me how to disconnect and reconnect making me discovering my ‘true me’…

So on, I decided to progressively slow down my medical activities and to create a little french company called Seaspirit (www.seaspirit-stories.com) specialised in organising team building events through sailing in south-brittany and meditation retreats combined with horse riding in the Pyrenees.


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