[Not a valid template]Staying close to nature’s heart and connecting to the pulse which runs through all of ‘Life’ is fundamental to Yoga at the School of Sacred Arts (SOSA); for it is the same heart and the same pulse that courses through and guides our lives too! ‘Yoga’ means union and to see and honour our co-dependence on the green ones that nourish us through the prana they produce for us to breathe, and also the life force they give us as food embodies this union on so many levels.
For this reason Nutrition, Fasting and Cleansing and Ayurveda have been firmly on our curriculum since SOSA began now a decade ago in order to convey food as medicine for both body and soul to our students. It is also a similar value system that the microcosm of the Yoga Barn holds in Bali where we hold our 200-hour yoga teacher trainings. What many people may not know is how important food is to our friends at the Yoga Barn and that they have their own farm that supplies their beloved Kafe and their other restaurants in Ubud. During our recent program in April we had the exclusive privilege of taking our students beyond the hustle and bustle of both Yoga Barn and Ubud and into the vast, lush, green spaciousness of Bali’s countryside to explore the (Yoga) Farm for the first time.
The farm is the only organic farm in the area and even the scraps from their restaurants are not wasted and go back into the land as fertiliser to nourish the crops in a resourceful cycle of reducing waste. Their service doesn’t stop in just taking care of the crops and the land but also the local people and animals too. During the Agung evacuation last November, the farm took in many refugee families and gave them somewhere to live as well as work on the land. It also took in numerous livestock, who otherwise may have perished. As we walked around you could feel the deep, heart felt, respect and kindness which resonated through every person and every plant.
After our tour of the land we held a traditional Balinese fire puja – offering thanks to Mama Bali (Ibu Pertiwi in Bahasa!) for holding us and allowing us to run our trainings on her fertile soil from which so much nourishment and growth has been planted and grown in our and our student’s souls as well as thanks on a bodily level for the incredible and delicious food she provides for us here.
Serenaded by a chorus of Balinese crickets, and frogs and with a distant light display of fireflies dancing on the winds of the dusk the evening was rounded off with a phenomenal meal grown right from the ground upon which we stood. In the world in which we live this is sadly a rarity and the farm is embarking on a new project; ‘The Yogis Garden’ which will operate as an Ashram of sorts, giving people the opportunity to unplug themselves from the materialist world and reconnect to nature and delve deep into the roots of the land which are so entwined with those of Yoga. We’re excited to see what sprouts up there with this new and beautiful venture.
Photo credit: Martino Wayan[Not a valid template]