Visiting GaiaYoga Gardens
We greatly enjoy having people experience what we're doing at GaiaYoga Gardens - our permaculture homestead, holistic cultural experiment and intentional community on the Big Island of Hawaii. So, we've designed several ways for that to happen. These have changed over the years, as we adapt and grow.
We are open to people just checking us out for a few hours. We are open to people looking for education, tranformation, healing, and growth. We are open to peers who are ready to join a community and who think we might be the one. And we are open to folks who are exploring Hawaii and want to stay in our community for a few days to a month as an eco-renter.
For people who want to see our place and get a feel for us as a community you can come by in the morning for a project, a tour, and a meal. We call this Landance-and-Lunch.
For people who are interested in an either an internship-like experience (being educated in sustainable-and-holistic living, and having a growthful and challenging immersion into our way of life) or want to directly explore joining our community we offer GaiaYoga Immersion Exprience multiple times a year. This is a powerful, transformational, guided, 16-day long intensive initiation into our lifestyle.
For people who want experience our place and have a base to check out the island as well, we offer Eco-Rentals.
We are also planning on putting on shorter workshops and retreats in the near future, but we haven't fully developed these programs yet.
Many people have found their contact with GaiaYoga Gardens to be inspiring, transformational, and healing, and we’re happy to share our wealth of knowledge, skills, and resources with others.
Here's what some people have had to say after staying with us:
I stumbled upon GaiaYoga Gardens and it turned out to be a perfect place for my healing. We are all on different paths, with different missions so I can not say what GYG is, but I can say what it meant to me in this time of my life. It was a place full of love, understanding, a space to grow and a safe container for trying things and leaving old habits behind. I am grateful for meeting the people of GYG, for getting introduced by Ano to Nonviolent Communication, for getting guidance in Instinctive Eating and for the possibility to establish my self-confidence and to get a new perspective. Plus the fruits of the gardens tasted oh so sweet ;)
- Ingo Suppan, Austria
"My longtime desire to live sustainably in community drove me to visit Gaia Yoga Gardens. The short week I spent there impressed me greatly; Ano and Melekai were so welcoming and well-grounded. There, I found hope for the possibility to truly live in harmony with others and nature. At GYG, the seeds for sustainable community are being mindfully tended, although the process is not an easy one. Now that I have left GYG, my main desire is to return as soon as possible, for as long as possible. GYG has renewed in me a joy for the present, and hope for our future."
- Aisha DaCosta, Phoenix
"Ano and Melekai are amazing leaders and teachers. Their knowledge and positive energy have created an enlightening place to live and work, and I recommend visiting it to everyone."
-Kelly Kokaisel, Minnesota
"I've loved the structures here of the landances and the feeling that we're all equals in this together. If and when I'm back on the Big Island I'd love to stay for longer!"
- Ivy, Massachusets
"It's been a very spiritual place and people for me. I never experienced before."
-Sven Sommermeyer, Germany
"Everyone who has not been here yet should experience the beauty of that place!!! Life is so "clean and harmonious." I loved that!"
-Magdalena Gorecha, Poland
"Be sure to communicate your needs and things you like and don't like to do. It (GaiaYoga Gardens) is as flexible as you are."
-Lucas Orton, Washington
"Even though you have everything already figured out, GaiaYoga 101, challenges you to go beyond that comfort to grow into the person you want to be, the person you can be."
-Michael, World Traveller
"GaiaYoga has been a life changing and beautiful experience."
-Mae D., Canada
"GYG IS THE BOMB YO!!!!"
- Morganna, Canada
On weekdays by appointment, from about 9 am - 2 pm, we offer a Landance-and-Lunch at GaiaYoga Gardens. It's a time that people are invited to join in on our life. Might include a community meeting, doing a project, hanging out and talking-story with residents, and a delicious, organic lunch of coconuts and local fruits. While you're here, you'll get to meet us and get a tour of some of our land and infrastructure - including our eco-structures (which we call "tropical breeze houses"), coco-bar, plant nursery, solar and water catchment systems, composting toilet, and enjoy the overall ambiance of our land.
If you're interested in coming by for a Landance-and-Lunch, e-mail us and we’ll send you more information.
GaiaYoga Immersion Experience:
The GaiaYoga Experience is 16 days long spanning from an arrival on a Friday, through the next two sets of weekdays and 3 weekends. It is for people who want come to GaiaYoga and dive in and experience our lifestyle and the vision beneath it. You'll get to live simply and close to nature in a secluded setting; eat fresh & organic foods; and participate in our current level of ecological sustainability. Participants will go through over 24 classes and other group focusses, run by the members and residents of GaiaYoga Gardens. The immersion exposes you to many of the aspects of GaiaYoga Culture, including the GaiaYoga teaching itself, True Human Freedom, Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication (NVC), Instinctive Eating - raw foods diet, light on shadow, sustainable homesteading (Permaculture), holistic intimacy and sexuality, the nature of Hawaii, and participation in our emotional/spiritual processes and social events.
You will have ongoing opportunities to learn about and practice tropical permaculture, as well as experiencing cooperative interdependence in communal living and being transparent (open & honest) in relationships. We offer GaiaYoga 101 four times a year, once in winter, spring, summer, and fall.
The next 16-day immersions will begin:
Winter 2017: January 21st - Feb 5th
Spring 2017: March 18th - April 2nd
Summer 2017: TBA
Fall 2017: TBA
Gathering beach rocks for making "Au'au Heiau" (The Bathing Temple)
Here's what The GaiaYoga 16-Day Immersion Experience includes:
- 2+ classes/meetings per day ($800 value), including instruction in:
- Instinctive Eating / Primal Diet: our (optional) way of eating all raw foods including raw meat, dairy, and eggs as well as fruits, vegetables, and nuts - served to you in our distinctive Instinctive Buffet
- Permaculture: our ways of working with the land to produce food (with influences from Mollison & Holmgren, Fukuoka, BioDynamic Mini-Farming, and Korean Natural Farming)
- Non-Violent Communication (NVC) / Compassionate Communication basic skills course: connecting and fully engaging with each other using this language/consciousness
- GaiaYoga: The original big-picture view of our the holistic practice that the community is named after
- True Human Freedom: The updated unedited cultural vision from the Ano's most recent book.
- Light On Shadow: Our communities approach to healing, "opening up the hood of our own vehicles" to deprogram ourselves and see what is running us from the unconscious. A combination of Re-Evaluation Co-Counseling (RC), ManKind Project (MKP) practices, NVC, and indigenous wisdom.
- Holistic Intimacy and Sexuality: Sex is the source of all life. It is is beautiful, sacred, and perhaps the deepest drive in most people. How can we manifest this potent energy in a healthy, holistic, and joyful way? Let's explore this together in a safe environment.
- Heartcore Meetings : deepen our connections & container, access our shadows, resolve polarities, and make decisions
- Orientation to the intensities and pitfalls of island life, dense jungle life, and community life
- Tour GaiaYoga Gardens and see what we've created so far.
- Access to all the food we forage or grow on our land, including:
- All-you-can-eat wild-foraged young and mature coconuts (up to $100-$400+ monthly value)
- Raw (unpasteurized) grass-fed milk and cheese (up to $200 monthly value)
- Occasional wild pork or pastured chicken (up to $50 monthly value)
- Seasonal tree fruits, including avocados, 30+ varieties of banana, papayas, oranges, tangerines, jakfruit, abiu, rollenia, mulberry, mamae sapote, ross sapote, rambutan, 3 kinds of lilikoi, guava, and more, with MANY more on the way as fruit trees mature (up to $100 monthly value)
Bananas from the land.
- Opportunities to learn how to forage for and produce all the above food
- Perennial and garden vegetables (up to $50 monthly value)
- Tropical breezehouse accomodations ($300-$500 monthly value), dorm-style or some private rooms available
Our women's dorm circa 2011. "The Beduoin"
- Shared use of communal spaces that are maintained and cleaned by the entire community (saving you several hours/week of personal work - though please do your part to pick up your stuff and clean up your messes):
- "The Kasbah" (classroom, yoga, music, chill space in a peaceful screened-in breeze house)
- "Au'au Heiau" ("Bathing Temple": shared bamboo-secluded covered sinks, showers, and bath featuring solar- and propane-heated hot water)
- "The Landing" (kitchen, living room, and library in a cozy screened-in breeze house)
Showers at "Au'au Heiau" (Bathing Temple)
- "Power Sharing" (laundry and utility room with shared washing machine and line-drying)
- "Shop Port" (shared workshop for carpentry and repairs)
- Shared Garden Space, personal garden spaces available
Tomatoes in the garden.
- "Zappa Crappa" (Zen-like open-air composting toilet space)
- "Coco Cabana" (open-air coconut chopping, consuming, and storage bar)
- Perrenial Peanut Lawn and Fire Pit (sublime sunbathing, badminton, and campfires)
- Rides into Pahoa (nearest small town) and/or Hilo (nearest city) a few times/week ($20-$50+/week value)
- And more! Solar-heated hot tub + cold plunge pool
- Book access from our library (featuring hundreds of titles on permaculture, spirituality, communication, community, sexuality, personal growth, and more - $20/month value)
Additional Amenities (some optional as indicated, incurring an additional charge):
- Purchased communal food for the first week of the GaiaYoga Immersion ($160 required deposit per person)
- Shared satellite internet via ethernet or wifi
- Airport Pickup in Hilo
Our requests of you for the GaiaYoga Immersion Experience:
- Commit to the 16-days of the immersion or up to 1 month (including two weeks after the immersion). After that, if you like us and we like you, you can potentially stay for longer (and even become a full member/owner/steward of our community)
- Arrive on the Friday before the start date of The Immersion
- Pay for your immersion using one of our plans which might or might not include Landance (our word for work on the farm and in our buildings) Types of Landance commonly performed:
- Cutting tree leaves and grasses for cow food
- Feeding chickens
- Planting, fertilizing, and clearing around fruit trees
- Harvesting fruits and coconuts
- Weeding the Perrenial Peanut Lawn
- Maintaining and creating paths and trails
- Structurally and functionally maintaining buildings
- Erecting new buildings and other carpentry / "tarpentry" work
- Clearing guavas and other vegetation around structures
- Domestic chores and infrastructure maintenance
- And much more! A lot depends on the skills and interests you bring.
- Provide some money upfront (see below for different options) to cover our costs and compensate us for the investment we're making in teaching you skills and orienting you to our community. Everyone pays the following :
- $100 Refundable Damage Deposit
- $100 one-time Administrative/Training/Book Fee
- $160 deposit for your first week of food
- Fees for the immersion itself and housing
Pricing Plans all figures are per adult. When you email us and ask for an application will give you more details, including couples or family plans. You can choose whichever suits you best (note the sponsored and balanced plan require more time commitment and arriving (weeks to a few months) before the immersion to do your work-trade):
- Sponsored Plan - great for those wanting to contribute more through Landance to cut down on their cash costs:
- Balanced Plan - a hybrid of the other two options:
- Standard Plan - no landance exchange for immersion, just cash (between $1050 and $1200 depending on a few variables):
More about Landance: Most of the Landance people do during their first month(s) here is of the "chop wood, carry water" type: it's mostly "unskilled" labor. Ano likes to call much of what we do here "ant work." It's not glamorous, but it's essential for our survival and to maintain order and beauty. We call it "Landance" to remind and encourage us to find enjoyment in doing all of this repetitive, cyclical bodily labor and to bring the realization that we are interacting with our environment to both experience our body, sculpt out our home and food supply, and physically harmonize with the natural world. It's a big part of our life here: it's not all of our life, but it's an essential core element.
If people arrive here with lots of skills already, they might use them after the immersion, but it takes a while on any homestead to get the basics down so that you can become more creative and do more "interesting" projects. Depending on what's happening on the homestead, you might be involved in a bigger creative project like building a structure or creating a new garden, but that might or might not happen.
Think of homesteading as a martial art: you'll be working on your white or yellow belt here, getting a lot of the foundational moves down -- swinging a machete, using a hammer, drill, shovel, digging bar, sickle, pushing a wheel barrow, learning to identify all of the different plants (weeds vs. not weeds).
Who do we want to participate in the GaiaYoga Immersion?
We're looking for people who:
- feel excited about our way of living and want to deeply explore our lifestyle and the consciousness behind it
- want to contribute to what we're creating at GaiaYoga Gardens
- value communicating openly and honestly about themselves and receiving that from others
- want the personal, relational, and spiritual growth that participation in our life-practices offers
- take responsibility for their emotions and actions
- act dependably according to their word and value integrity
- want to be supported in all of these areas
After the immersion, if people stay on and partipcate in our community, we appreciate people with skills in:
- natural foods preparation
- healing arts
- domestic management (house cleaning)
- and more!
If you have skills in the above areas, please let us know.
Most importantly, we're looking for people who are ready to fully let go of their previous life and go through the shamanic process of being reborn here with us and make this their home. Many people come here and want to believe they're ready to let go, but find out they're not, and that can sometimes be an unpleasant experience for all of us. Usually it's because GYG or Ano or Melekai or someone else somehow doesn't match their expectations, and trust and commitment is lost. While we can't stop people from doing that, we'd like people to realize that we are opening and accepting "you" just as much as "you" will be with us. We're going to work with you, "warts and all," and we truly expect the same from people in the Immersion program.
For an application to the GaiaYoga 16-day Immersion, please e-mail us.
GaiaYoga Gardens Accomodations:
Everyone shares a communal kitchen/living room; communal yoga/recreation space; phone & high speed internet access; outdoor hot shower; composting toilets; washing machine and clothes lines; coconut bar; the ambiance of the surrounding forest; and fun.
Bedroom Options Include:
1) For couples and families: We have a few different private Tropic Breeze Houses that people can stay in. Might or might not be available
2) For singles, couples, and families: Dorm-style, (shared room) Tropical Breeze House, furnished with bed, storage bins, electricity, covered by a large tarp, screened in, surrounded by forest
3) Covered Camping
A wonderful alternative to an impersonal hotel or an expensive vacation rental. Stay in a men's or women's dorm under a mosquito tent on a futon bed or in a tropical breeze house (depending on availability), and enjoy the beautiful, tropical environment.
1 Night: $40/night for singles - $70/night for couples
2-5 Nights: $35/night for singles - $60/night for couples
Weekly: $200 for singles - $320 for couples
Monthly: $600 for singles - $1000 for couples
Family rates are also available.
We also have a beautiful Balinease 12x12 hut that is sometimes open for people can stay in (sometimes residents are living in them). It's the only structure on the land we didn't build ourselves, we brought in whole and used a crane to set it place!
Chateau Bali - weeks after it literally landed on our property. It was craned into place!!!
For more information, please e-mail us.
Crew that created "phase 1" of Au'Au Heiau (Bathing Temple)