Immersions, Work-Trade, & Eco-Rentals

We greatly enjoy having people experience what we’re doing at GaiaYoga Gardens – our permaculture homestead, our sanctuary for developing holistic cultural and our intentional community on the Big Island of Hawaii. So, we’ve designed several ways for that to happen. These forms 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, transformation, healing and growth. We are open to peers (of all ages) who are ready to join a community and who think we might become their home. 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.”

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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 & Lunch.

For people who aren’t sure they want to participate in the immersion, but want to stay with us for one to three months we offer Work-Trade (this includes people approaching us through Wwoof, Help-X, and Work-Away).

For people who are interested in 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 Experience multiple times a year. This is a powerful, transformational, guided, 16-day long intensive initiation into our lifestyle that includes more than 20 classes in many areas of sustainable and holistic living

For people who want to 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.  Let us know if you’d be interested in a Thursday – Sunday format so we can let you know when we schedule them.

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.


Landance & Lunch:
On weekdays by appointment, from about 10 am – 2 pm, we offer a Landance & Lunch at GaiaYoga Gardens. It’s a time when people are invited to join in our life. This 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 you get to enjoy the overall ambiance of our land.

If you’re interested in coming by for a Landance & Lunch, e-mail us and we’ll send you more information.


Work-Trade:

Individuals, couples, and families can stay with us for a minimum of 1 month and for a maximum of a few months (we allow people to stay here through one immersion that they don’t participate in, but then we require work-traders to participate in the second immersion that happens during their stay or move on to another situation.)  We have several work-trade options that vary from 20 to 25 hours per week along with contributing a minimum of a $100 damage deposit and no other cash outlay up to a maximum of $175 initially and $75 month ongoing residency fee.)  Work-trade people can handle their own food or be in on our communal food plan.

We meet with work-traders (and most of the rest of the community) every weekday morning at 9am to coordinate the days activities.  Work-traders are free to socialize as is natural with everyone, but our not able to come to our Heartcore meetings until after they’ve completed the immersion.  If we have enough work-traders at the same time, we open up a second kitchen for them to be their primary kitchen.

Work-traders fill out the same application as those who are interested in the immersion, and can easily transfer into taking the immersion whenever they want.


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 to more than 24 classes and other group meetings 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 experience cooperative interdependence in communal living and being transparent (open & honest) in relationships. We offer “GaiaYoga 101” four times a year in winter, spring, summer and fall.

The next 16-day immersions will begin:
Summer 2017: June 10th – June 18th
Summer 2017: July 29th – Aug 13th
More TBA

Here’s what The GaiaYoga 16-Day Immersion Experience includes:

  • 20+ 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 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 community’s 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 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, jackfruit, 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)
    • Opportunities to learn how to forage for and produce all the above food
    • Perennial and garden vegetables (up to $50 monthly value)
    • Tropical breeze house accomodations ($300-$500 monthly value), dorm-style or some private rooms available
    • Shared use of communal spaces that are maintained and cleaned by the entire community
    • Tutu’s Cottage” (our beautiful main communal space: kitchen, living room, dining room)
    • 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 internet zone in a cozy screened-in breeze house)

      The Landing from above

    • 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
    • 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/pond
    • 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 may or may 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 or sheep food
    • Planting, fertilizing and clearing around fruit trees
    • Harvesting fruits and coconuts
    • 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 food
      • Fees for the immersion itself and housing

Pricing Plans: all rates are per adult. When you email us and ask for an application we will give you more details, including couples or family plans. You can choose whichever suits you best (note the sponsored and balanced plans require more time commitment and require 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 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 may or may 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 value 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 participate in our community, we appreciate people with skills in:

  • The Mana Hut

    natural foods preparation

  • permaculture
  • carpentry
  • gardening/orcharding
  • healing arts
  • communication
  • domestic management (house cleaning)
  • parenting
  • 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 someone at GYG doesn’t match their expectations, which leads to a loss of trust and commitment. 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 contact 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 may or may not be available at any given time.

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 – (We only offer this if all are other beds are full)


Chateau Bali when it first landed at GYG circa 2010

Eco-Rentals
A wonderful alternative to an impersonal hotel or an expensive vacation rental. Stay in a gendered dorm or a private 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 12×12 hut that is sometimes open for stays. It’s the only structure on the land we didn’t build ourselves. We brought it in whole and used a crane to set it place!