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17 Jun 2019 14:55
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  •   Home > News > International

    Rescued Hawaiian yoga teacher Amanda Eller says being lost in forest was a 'spiritual journey'

    Rescued yoga teacher Amanda Eller says she was forced to choose between life and death after she went missing in a Maui forest for 17 days.

    A Hawaiian woman who survived more than two weeks lost in a forest has described the experience as a "really significant spiritual journey".

    Amanda Eller, a yoga teacher from the Maui town of Haiku, went missing on May 8 after setting off for a 5-kilometre walk in Makawao Forest Reserve, where she was found 17 days later, according to the New York Times.

    She was found with a leg fracture, abrasions on her ankles and severe sunburn.

    In a video posted to Facebook she said: "The last 17 days of my life have been the toughest days of my life and it's been a really significant spiritual journey that I was guided on".

    "There were times of total fear and loss and wanting to give up and it did come down to life and death and I had to choose, and I chose life.

    "I wasn't going to take the easy way out, even though that meant more suffering and pain for myself."

    "But this is just a tiny little blip of my story and my life and it serves a much, much bigger purpose.

    "Seeing the way that the community of Maui came together — people that know me and people that don't know me — out of the idea of helping one person make it out of the woods alive... it just warms my heart.

    "Just seeing the power of prayer and the power of love when everybody combines their efforts is incredible. It can move mountains.

    "At some point, I think we all thought that was lost in the world and it's beautiful to know that it's not only [not] lost, but it's so prevalent.

    "If we allow ourselves to tap into that side, to open our hearts, to be open to one another and see each other as just brothers and sisters instead of people we should be scared of, we're helping each other, we're all part of the same community, we're all part of the same purpose of being here on Earth.

    "That's what this was all for. This was all about us coming together for a greater purpose, of community and love and appreciation for life."

    Ms Eller also thanked those who had searched for her, and the people around the world who donated money to her cause, who "somehow wanted to be part of this for the greater good, outside of themselves".

    "It's just [been] such a beautiful exchange of energy among people for all the right reasons," she said.

    In an interview with a local TV channel, Ms Eller said she survived by drinking from streams and eating berries and guavas.

    Her car was found in the forest parking lot with her phone and wallet inside after she went missing.

    She was eventually spotted in a creek bed by a search helicopter.


    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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