Yielding Results

We are loving the growth we’re experiencing right now. I have personally felt like this is a time of growth and transformation for some time. And I feel like we’ll see our efforts paying off sooner than later! Now this is evident as we prepare to erect our new roof. Right now we can look through the structure of our roof and see the stars, and it’s so beautiful to see! We really feel like we are protected even though we don’t have a roof over our heads, we did the work in preparation and now we watch as we yield our results. It’s fantastic! It’s an interesting place to be at in our Sadhana (spiritual practice). In some ways we can’t wait for it to get back to normal. But it’s interesting putting energy here and there while the bulk of our yoga and healing space is being used up in construction!
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Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor delivers this CAN’T MISS TedTalk about the two sides of the brain. Jill was a brain scientist who had a rare opportunity to study the brain from the inside when she had a stroke and lost the use of her left brain. She discovered a profound connection to energy in the “la la land” state of her right brain. and she barely lived through this experience. It took her eight years to fully recover, and you won’t want to miss this mesmerizing account of crisis and healing.

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On At The Ashram Playlist

Hey everybody, make sure you check out
Lots of music to discover, we’ll keep you posted to whatever we’re listening to, to save you some trouble at least, because we listen to what in our humble opinions is good music. Some of it will be mantra music, not all of it! I hope whatever it is you get as much from it as we do!

Chaya Garden Ashram, Yoga Belize

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Silent Meditation

Silent Meditations have become a staple at Chaya Garden Ashram. We acknowledge the power of yoga asanas, mantras, and mudras, but it is equally important to sit in silence and let the mind be free to expand and soar to new heights.

Meditating in this way was one of my first real commitments to yoga, and this is a renewal of that commitment. All that’s needed is to create some sacred space, by burning an incense, saying a few prayers of thanks to the creator for this time, and this blessing; and clearing the mind of any and all things that the mind attaches to.

The best way to utilize this technique is to do it along with someone else. This way, when you begin, and your mind is prone to wander and wind up your meditation too early, you can look over and see someone else still meditating with you. This really works because it forces you to pay attention.

I learned this technique from a friend, and we would always meditate on the patanjali sutras, the first two; “Now is the time of yoga”, and “Yoga is the cessation of the misidentifications with the modifications of the mind”. Using this technique, I’m able to quiet the mind, and the mind turns into a movie camera, projector, and screen.

Silent meditation is not just about silence, it’s about listening…. WITHIN!

Often we would meditate to great jazz, techno, downtempo and dub music. Without the mind using it’s previously known tricks of distraction and disguise, the music would sound very different, revealing new things about itself. It got to be the point where we could meditate with any music and achieve the same result.

Meditating here in silence at the ashram is even more beautiful; in correct posture, with fresh air, and the sounds and spirits of nature are delightful. The Garden is a presence here that can be felt in that silence. I’m so glad that I am doing this here now, a skill that is applicable whether you meditate in a cozy apartment or an amazing ashram.

And this is a meditation that was brought to us by our sweet friend, Sweetwater Charlie. We loved sharing silent moments, and Charlie really seemed to love and understand our Ashram. Thanks Charlie!

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Osmosis: jungle herbal hydrotherapy

up from the center

the layers of the cosmic onion

reach for the light

through the crown of my head

and I lie as if dead

now i know nothing

now I am everything

divine wisdom has always been nowIMG_4997

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these just in…stuffed poblano in a delicate spelt crust

 

Happy holiday!

this is how I have fun

roasted poblano peppers,  mildly spicy

roasted poblano peppers, mildly spicy

stuffed with a mixture of mashed potato and breadfruit with fried onion and garlic

stuffed with a mixture of mashed potato and breadfruit with fried onion and garlic, fresh parsley

ya, just like that baby

ya, just like that baby

how perfect is that?

how perfect is that?

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ready to party, served with raita, (cucumber and yogurt), and dash of the chili garlic hot sauce

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Our greatest desire is that everyone give yoga a place in their lives

join us in this practice

Most of our current practices come from this awesome manual, which we acquired with a few others in a most random fashion, you might say an Act of God. This is an original from 1978. We are so thankful to have it.

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R-SIZE 2 (640x480) Kundalini yoga starts with this mantra.

ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO

Repeat it at least three times. It means and bestows Infinite Creativity and Divine Wisdom. This mantra also creates each one of us as our own teacher, our own guru. Through the chanting of this mantra we each are linked to the Golden Chain, becoming our own teachers in Divine Wisdom, that which comes from the higher self. In Kundalini Yoga, we are self-initiated, directly linked to Divine Wisdom without the need for a middle man.

This is not to say that the guidance of a teacher is not important, but to say that your yoga comes from you, so go ahead and give it a try. This mantra will protect and guide you on your journey.

This stretch, usually done with the toes pointing toward the face, was totally different and really refreshing with the toes pointed away from the body. People in class commented that it was a completely different feeling than the usual sciatic stretch. It’s effect was quite profound in terms of movement of energy within the body.

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Bow Pose with Breath of Fire  This one was tough for me. I just moved in and out of the pose as I reached my maximum. Give it your best, and come back to it as you can, resting when needed. It makes for a long two minutes. Breath of Fire is a breath in and out through the nose, activated at the navel point by pumping the navel with each breath rapidly. To get the hang of it, you could start by breathing through your mouth, and “pant like a dog” with your tongue stuck out.R-SIZE (640x480)

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Hope you enjoyed the practice! Join us at the ashram by making a donation to our Indiegogo campaign, you can share just by clicking the share button under the video, it’s so easy and we really need to expand our outreach. Give your friends the opportunity to support an excellent cause, the continuation of the ashram under a dry roof, and the unlimited sharing of yoga at a price all can afford.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/10-000-leaves-indie-ashram-needs-new-thatch

If you share or make a donation or both, you will receive a video of the Long Time Sunshine Song, which is the formal end of the practice.

thanks for joining us

Laine and Evan, Directors, Chaya Garden Ashram

 

Continue reading

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Check Out Our Newest Logo!

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How Could 10 000 Leaves Possibly Cost $20 000?

“For us, spiritual fractility is the utmost facility.”
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This is the projected cost of replacing the 45 ft wide thatch over our heads, and an outline of the scope of the project:
total leaf cost = $10 000 usd
total leaf transport = 10 loads at average of $500/ load = 5000 bz = $2500 usd
leaf transport permits = $1000 usd
total cost of leaves = $13 500 usd

5 men on site and poles:
taking down thatch 2 days
assessment of structure 1 day
remove rotten poles 2 days
source and harvest and transport of up to 50 poles, 8 days
harvesting lathe 2 days
rebuilding structure with new poles, skinned 7 days
total days= 22 days x 5 men x $55/day = approximately $6000
total labour $3000 usd

contractor/foreman on site x 22 days x $150= 3300 bz =
$1650 usd

total project cost $18 150 usd
remainder $1850 usd re: unforseen expenses
which are generally inimical to construction and renovation projects

Our objective is to be adequately funded in this project to ensure it’s completion at the highest standard possible. To secure the thatch is to ensure the continued survival of other elements of the building which it overshelters.

Existing are 56 roof poles, 28 supporting poles, and 14 poles supporting the circumference, there being 98 poles in total in the roof structure.
about the poles:
14 roof poles are about 40 feet long continuous length
14 roof poles are about 32 ft long continuous length
28 roof poles are about 20 ft continuous length
14 supporting poles are supporting the upper circumference at about 6 ft length
14 supporting poles on the lower circumference at about 12 ft length

Each pole must be sourced out of the jungle, and only certain types of wood are suitable. The very long poles are difficult and time consuming to procure. The right tree species, the right length and the optimal straightness that it must have to be suitable for the structure are all traits which must be adhered to. The tree must be of a specific width at top and bottom as well. At this time we have no idea how many poles must be replaced. At a guess, according to the proximity to bad leaks, and judging by the growth of fungus and lichen, and the visible presence of insect damage, (indicated by holes in the poles drilled by boring wasps) it seems reasonable to estimate that up to half of the poles will need replacement.
The poles, as well as the leaves and the lathe material, which comprises 21 concentric circles graduating in size from the center pole down, must all be collected within 5 days before and 5 days after the full moon. If this is done without fault, these materials will last up to 20 years, and the poles may last 30 or more years, according to the old timers and thatch contractors I have consulted in my research. The specific reason for this is not folklore, but plant knowledge. It is at the full moon that the sap rises in the trees, and out to the tips of the leaves. It is the resin loaded leaves and poles which are resistant to insects, mildew, and rot. As well, when the leaves are good, the poles stay dry, and the whole structure should last a very long time.IMG_1543
Leaves, you say, why not just rake them up from the lawn?
The most durable leaves available in Belize which are suitable for a round conical structure, being themselves a roundish fan shape, are leaves of the Bay Leaf Palm. The leaves must be graduated in size from the top of the center post down, starting with leaves about 2 1/2 feet long and 3 feet wide, to the leaves which finish the outside edge and are 5 to 6 feet long and about 4 to 5 feet wide.
Once again, these leaves come from a specific palm, are harvested from the jungle at a specific time of the month as outlined above, and are cut by hand and hauled out of the jungle in bundles of 50 by foot and on the backs of the men who harvest them. The leaves must be in prime condition. This means they must be sourced from dense jungle where the growth is most healthy. These leaves cannot be found by the side of the road.
In light of this, we will have to source leaves from diverse locations in different districts of Belize, adding the cost of transport to our total budget. A one ton truckload of leaf can cost up to $700 to transport from one district to another. The reason for the high cost of transport within Belize is the generally terrible condition of the roads. Even though the country of Belize is only 170 miles long, and at it’s widest, 68 miles wide, it takes 5 hours to drive just half the length over bad narrow highways, and mountainous twists and turns.
I hope this “brukdown” (as they say in Belize) of costs helps give you a rough idea of the scope of the project, the skilled labour involved, and the associated costs like transports and permits. Truly, a thatch roof is definitely not the cheapest way to go, but it does demonstrate and preserve traditional knowledge, employ local skilled tradesmen, provides the best shade and insulation from the intensity of sun and heat in the dry season, and when well done, is watertight and lasts for many years.
According to the teachings of Vastu, sacred architecture, the aura is unlimited when a person is surrounded by natural materials. For us, spiritual fractility is the utmost facility. Hope you can come to Chaya Garden Ashram and experience it for yourself.

https://www.indiegogo.com/campaigns/10-000-leaves-indie-ashram-needs-new-thatch

igg.me/at/10-000-leaves

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Letter to Supporters!

 Yoga’s Ark sending out a plea for assistance! Don’t let our ashram be swept away this rainy season!
In the rainy season, we receive up to 5 months of rain. Last November, our creek rose 20 feet in a few days. This is a lot of rain and we truly need your help to stay afloat! 10 000 leaves get’s us a new roof.
Please help us continue to develop Chaya Garden Yoga Ashram as a unique and affordable international destination for yogis of all ages, levels, and incomes.

We are the directors of Chaya Garden Ashram, a place to heal and restore, a place to explore, the inner cosmos and the heart of Ancient Mayan civilization. At Chaya Garden Ashram we are a self initiated, non-affiliated, independent yoga ashram with a mandate to share our practice with as many people as possible at the most affordable price we can offer. This is an intimate experience of self-knowledge in an incredible natural environment brimming with biodiversity in all seasons.

My name is Laine Hoogstraten. Evan Anderson and I have built this concept from the heart for the last two and a half years, from an abused and abandoned property to a thriving yoga community! We have accomplished all this entirely from our own resources and resourcefulness, inventing this amazing place by the grace of the Primordial Master and our Divine Wisdom, that which is inherent within every human being on the planet.

Jungle, waterfall, yoga, veg cuisine, mudra, mantra and meditation… everyone of any age from anywhere can join us here in breathtaking Belize, Central America, for only $35 US per day. We are proud to offer a karma yoga program at only half our regular amazingly cheap rate so that no one who is genuinely interested in the spiritual technology of yoga need be turned away.

But! We’ve had our fill of buckets, bowls and pots catching downpours, streams and drops! We need a new roof! We have been blessed with a gorgeous but badly leaking thatch roof over our second floor open air yoga deck.

All about the thatch…Our thatch roof is over 40 feet in diameter and has about 10 000 leaves. The thatch is at the end of it’s life, and the entire roof structure needs to be assessed and addressed. We are committed to maintaining the natural vibe of the ashram enhanced by the thatch, or palapa, as it is called here. A well done thatch roof lasts up to 15 years, and is the perfect way to live in Belize. It provides a breathing yet insulated layer against both sun and rain, built entirely of local organic materials. Everyone in Belize knows that nothing is cooler and nicer than thatch.

Local Belizean contractors skilled in the ancient art of traditional thatch roofing estimate $20 000 US for the job which involves harvesting leaves from deep in the jungle and transporting these leaves in bundles of 50 at a time by foot and on back, to where they can be picked up by truck and delivered to the site. This also applies to the bushsticks which will become the umbrella-like support structure, and the specific vine needed as lathe for the leaves to be woven through. It is a big job and can only be undertaken according to the season and the phase of the moon which is most optimal for cutting the leaves and poles. Traditional builders know that it is only for a week around the full moon that the sap rises to the tops of the trees and the tips of the leaves. When the materials are cut full of sap, they will last for many years as the resin preserves the leaves and poles from the invasion of insects and damp. This ancient technology is preserved today by only a few highly skilled craftsmen in our neighbouring village. Every palapa built in Belize helps to preserve the knowledge of this organic traditional way of living.

Help us sustain and grow the dream of unlimited sharing by making a contribution to our Indiegogo campaign, and equally important, by sharing this letter of introduction with everyone you know. We have fantastic perks lined up for all levels of contributor.
Donate to our cause in a spirit of partnership, confident that your support will see the successful blossoming of a lifetime commitment come to fruition.

With heartfelt thanks,
Laine Hoogstraten and Evan Anderson
Directors of Chaya Garden Ashram

http://igg.me/at/10-000-leaves
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/10-000-leaves-indie-ashram-needs-new-thatch

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