Aloha! We’re very happy to say that we’re well underway in growing GaiaYoga Gardens (GYG), our 18-acre evolving permaculture homestead. We are a nature-based tribal family community and holistic health and healing center. We are devoted to cultivating and enjoying a truly free culture and consciousness. We are creating GaiaYoga Gardens as a sanctuary for developing sustainable & holistic life patterns, which include living in harmony with the Earth; connecting with Spirit; engaging personal growth and healing; and participating in deep and authentic relationships within cooperative community.
GaiaYoga Gardens is located on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii (in Kapoho, near the town of Pahoa). We’re nestled in a rural, alternative-lifestyle area where many people are living off-grid and doing their best to live outside “the system.” There are a number of communities, organic farms and cooperative homesteads in this area, many of which we have ongoing supportive relationships with.
Below is what we’re aspiring to at GaiaYoga Gardens…
As a learning center, we see GaiaYoga Gardens as a place where adults and children can learn about holistic and sustainable living — through classes, workshops, eco-rentals and especially through experiencing our lifestyle first-hand in a 16-Day GaiaYoga Gardens Immersion Experience. We currently offer instruction in sustainable homesteading (permaculture, off-grid technology, sustainable agro-forestry, etc.); Nonviolent Communication; GaiaYoga; natural diet (including Instinctive Eating, and maximizing local and raw-foods in one’s diet); shadow work; holistic intimacy and sexuality; cooperative community living skills; and physical training in how to work on the land efficiently and effectively. Of course, we expect our strengths to expand as others join us with their particular talents and skills.
As a residential community, we envision GaiaYoga Gardens as having a day-to-day life rhythm that’s rooted in the integration of Spirit, self, community and Earth. Some of the highlights are:
- Living simply, sustainably and connected to nature. This includes living in harmony with the natural cycles of the earth; enjoying the quiet of our surroundings; living off-grid, using solar and wind power, water-catchment and composting toilets; living in low-impact eco dwellings; growing, foraging or trading for as much of our food as possible; and climbing and harvesting coconut trees every week.
- Living a lifestyle that cultivates a healthy self through eating an organic, natural diet of raw foods or foods based on indigenous diets (i.e. the Weston Price diet, the Primal Diet, Instinctive Eating); having a positive, life-affirming orientation toward sexuality and being clothing-optional; actively engaging in personal growth (including “shadow” work); maintaining a balance between autonomy and cooperation; and being active in one’s work and/or service life.
- Establishing a land sharing community that’s intimate, caring and feels like family. This includes using Nonviolent Communication; supporting each other in our individual and collective growth; cooperating relative to resources and land development; operating community businesses; and having fun together!
- Integrating spirituality into our communal life through shared activities such as prayer offerings, hatha yoga, Earth-based Spirit-rituals (e.g. solstice & equinox rituals, land blessings, full moon gatherings, etc.), shamanic-journeying, healing work, rites of passage, spiritual study, etc.
Though GaiaYoga Gardens is still in it’s first generation, we have great faith in what we’re creating and the wisdom behind it. If you’re inspired by this and would like to explore and co-create this way of life with us, we’d like to hear from you.
One last thing we’ve observed; when people come to GaiaYoga Gardens they’re often amazed at how much we’ve accomplished and disappointed that it isn’t the utopia of their dreams. We want to be clear that we’re a work in process, not a finished product.
DO NOT EXPECT ALL OF THIS TO BE FULLY MANIFEST, FULFILLING YOUR EVERY COMMUNITY FANTASY. We’re working on it with the resources (internal, external, material, social, financial) we have available to us. We’re devoted to manifesting our vision. But we’re also human beings with humble limitations. We imagine that those coming here are similar to us. We ask that people keep this in perspective when they consider joining us.
This above paragraph cannot be overstated. We are so far from being the mature, multi-generational, truly holistic culture we want. Our ship is going in that direction, but sometimes we steer poorly, sometimes all it seems like all we’re doing is bailing water. And it’s so easy to be critical of our short comings and miss the dedication and the difficulty of what we’re doing. Again, We are not fully manifesting our visions, nor always living up to our ideals. We are working on it. We need support, more members, your help to make this place what it can be. A handful of people does not make a culture or community.
Many people come here and get disappointed that they don’t have a ready-made, just-add-me-into-it dream community or that people here don’t live up their expectations. We are an easy target for those looking to criticize rather than contribute and bring their gifts. PLEASE don’t come here and bring that energy. We are sincerely growing the world we are describing in this website, but we are first-generation people without elders who have been living this way for generations. We’re doing something very challenging, without all the resources we need to do it perfectly. We’re just grateful we have the chance to create our dreams and have a sanctuary to grow and heal.
For folks wanting to experience the process of creating a sustainable homestead, developing a holistic lifestyle and doing personal growth and healing within that context, we’re currently offering several ways of Visiting Us (including Landance & Lunch;” participating in a 16-Day GaiaYoga Immersion Experience; or staying here as a short-term Eco-renter). For those interested in becoming a member of GaiaYoga Gardens, we have a comprehensive Community Vision Statement, which describes what we intend to create in detail. We’ll be glad to send you a copy upon request.
Please e-mail us if you’re interested in any of these options, and we’ll send you more information.
(This is an unedited video taken of Ano giving a tour of GYG in 2015.)