Why GaiaYoga?

Connection.  Harmony.  Health.  Sanity.  Joy.  Pleasure.  Security.  Community.  A Beautiful Thriving Planet.

Are you longing for these things?  Well, you are not alone.  Many of us are plagued by a gnawing sense that our lives, and our impact on our earth, could be A LOT different.  In fact, it’s become increasingly obvious that if we don’t make radical changes, we’re not going to grow beyond our current ecological and social crises into a way of life that’s truly sustainable in every way.

Do you feel overwhelmed when you consider the enormity of what’s required to make this shift happen?  Is there anything one person can do to really make a difference?

We believe there is.  In fact, we believe there’s A LOT we can do.  But to do it, we must root our lives in a whole different understanding and intention and then gather the support and resources we need to manifest that intention.  This is what GaiaYoga is all about.

At GaiaYoga Gardens, our intentional community on the Big Island of Hawaii, we integrate many world-class teachings in numerous areas of life into a cohesive consciousness and culture that supports a person in living from their deepest humanity.

We think GaiaYoga, the philosophy and core values our community is based on, is more than just a good idea.  We’re convinced that living holistically and sustainably is an essential part of our human nature. What that means is that we all need the living integration of Spirit, self, community, and Earth if we’re going to be truly fulfilled and happy.

Here’s how we came to this understanding.  For many years, we engaged in cutting-edge philosophies and alternative ways of living.  In the process, we learned and grew and healed tremendously.  But even so, we never hit upon a way of living that wholly satisfied us.  Over time, this became quite discouraging and caused us to take a deep look at what was missing.

Eventually, we came to see that the foundation of where we were coming from was fragmented.  We were focusing on one part of life (such as spirituality, diet, agriculture, communication, economics, etc.) as if it was ALL of life.  It was like we were treating one or two spokes of a wheel as if they were the hub, and then wondering why the ride was so bumpy.  This didn’t mean anything was “wrong” with those spokes – we just couldn’t use them as a hub.

GaiaYoga Market Booth (circa 2009)

That understanding was the birth of GaiaYoga.  We realized that we absolutely needed a hub, and that it consisted of making holism our central focus. In other words, we needed all the facets of human life to be present in a balanced, sustainable, and sustaining way.  And we defined those primary facets as Spirit, self, community, and Earth.

Throughout most of human history, people have lived connected to the Earth, in some kind of community structure (be it tribe, clan, village, or whatever), sharing some form of spiritual beliefs that informed their daily lives.  It’s only been in the last century that our world has changed so dramatically, and at incredible speed, leaving most of us living divorced from the Earth, each other, Spirit, and even ourselves.

Yet we’re not suggesting that we “go back” to the ways of the past.  Why?  Because the human world is different than it’s ever been before, and the old living patterns and cultures have consistently fallen prey to the greater strength and mesmerizing appeal of modern civilization.  Our present-time situation requires new solutions that take into account things we’ve never faced before, such as ever-developing technology, the globalization of our world, the tremendous expansion of the human population and of urban centers, the world-wide ecological crisis, the breakdown of cooperative community and family structures, and our generally increased level of intellectual sophistication.

Moreover, we believe there’s an evolutionary process going on, both at the individual and the community level, that’s allowing us to make wiser (some might describe it as “higher”) choices as to how we want to live.  Along with this, we have access to vast amounts of information about how other people and cultures have lived.  Many of us have also been exposed to cutting-edge ideas and social experiments, based on relational, spiritual, or environmental teachings, that have opened us to new possibilities and choices.  All of this is coming together at this time, enabling us to design custom-made lifestyles and communities, based on the best of what has gone before, the choices of today, and our own creativity and direction.

The Mana Hut: Our new Tropical Breeze House women’s dorm

One of the things we’ve learned from Permaculture is that most problems, especially recurring ones, can be traced to design errors.  In other words, if you start out with a bad design, no matter how much energy you put into tweaking it, you’re still going to end up with problems.  We think the same is true of lifestyles and cultures.  We believe the reason that most of us are stuck in various ways in our lives is due to poor design, not an inherent problem in us as humans.  (We consider this good news!)  GaiaYoga is a tool for looking at the structure of our lives, accounting for all of our needs, and starting to make different choices by re-designing our lives for wholeness, sustainability, and total integration.

There’s no ONE WAY to practice GaiaYoga.  It can be implemented in cities, in rural situations, by one person, or by a group of people.  All it takes is hunger – for an integrated, sustainable, whole life.

So, why GaiaYoga?  Because we want to have it all, and we want it to work for everyone.  We’re convinced it’s possible.  And we don’t think we’re going to be satisfied with anything less.