The Yoga Forest

From Appropedia

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

The Yoga Forest is a sustainable living community located on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. By the implementation of the practice of permaculture, the Yoga Forest is able to create a community that is completely self-sustained. Courses are available onsite to teach people the practices that the Yoga Forest implements and allows them to create and put into practice their own ideas. In addition the Yoga Forest offers Volunteer Opportunities for people interested in providing their services to the program. The practice of Yoga is performed in the community but is only used as a form of relaxation rather than a part of the community[1].

Project Description[edit | edit source]

The Yoga Forests mission is to see that its residents and students are cognizant about their effect on the environment and through the philosophies of yoga and permaculture create a more sustainable living environment. They seek to create a better environment for everyone by showing natures importance. Living as a community they harvest their own food, cognizant of their environment of course. Yoga is added to the residents schedules in order to provide balance to not only the individual but the community as well. However the roles for all the residents are not set in stone the idea behind having this sort of utopian community is appealing and they are still looking for volunteers [1][2]

Permaculture[edit | edit source]

Permaculture is the implementation and upkeep of an agriculturally productive environment that resembles the factors that the natural environment would have. It concentrates on the interactions between all the aspects of the environment rather than just its individual parts. Landscapes are developed to absorb rainwater as much as possible because this prevents erosion of the land and allowing the water to be maximized by the environment. Building structures out of local materials is another key point in permaculture, this provides sustainability without bringing in outside material to create structures[3]. Rather than implement large and complex systems into the environment permaculture uses simple and small ones which produce more outcomes. Composting is a big factor in helping prevent any waste that does not get reused. Animals and insects are a big help to the environment of permaculture. Their interactions with environment provide a stable cycle to the stability of the whole system[4].

12 Principles of Permaculture[1][4][edit | edit source]

  1. Observe and Interact
  2. Catch and Store Energy
  3. Obtain a yield
  4. Apply self-regulation
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use of small and slow solutions
  10. Use and value diversity
  11. Use edges and value the marginal
  12. Creatively use and respond to change

Sustainable Living[edit | edit source]

With Permaculture as it’s forefront, the Yoga Forest uses these principles to create a more sustainable community for it’s residents to stay conscious. The principles are simple and values sensible decisions and the management of resources available in the area to create less work for the community and much less waste. By using Permaculture and Yoga as their main philosophies, the program influences its residents to become more aware of their effect on the environment. It also influences its residents to become self proclaimed “yogis/yoginis” that are cautious of their impact on the environment by growing their own organic food, and making stronger sustainable relationships with the environment they live in [1]

Courses[edit | edit source]

The practice of Yoga alone will not create a sustainable environment, the Yoga Forest also demands its residents to participate in courses to become a certified Permaculture Designer. With this entails is getting an internationally recognized certification to design Permaculture projects as well as Sustainable landscapes. Guaranteeing an ability to make land designs, create grey water and composting systems, and the skills necessary to create your own production of agricultural systems for yourself and your community. The courses cover a range of subjects from aquaculture, natural building - traditional guatemalan techniques and theory, design strategies for the tropics, maintaining animal systems, earthworks and keyline landscapes, temperate climbing strategies, design process theory and techniques and over 25 other courses. Along with a wide variety of sustainable courses all the facilitators have degrees in either Zoology, Sustainable Food and Farming, and Social Anthropology[5]

References[edit | edit source]