Formed: 2003 Established: 2003
This page last updated:9/26/2012
GaiaYoga Gardens is a permaculture homestead, holistic culture experiment, and fledgling intentional community on Hawaii’s Big Island. We’re dedicated to living in harmony with the Earth, connecting with Spirit, engaging personal growth and healing, fostering cooperative community, and developing holistic and sustainable life patterns. We practice and teach Permaculture and other sustainable food systems, Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication, natural diet (including raw foods / raw meat and Instinctive Eating / Primal Diet), connection parenting, cooperative living, and spirituality.
Our lifestyle includes:
1) Living simply, sustainably, and close to nature - rurally and off-grid in low-impact eco-dwellings; growing food; operating eco-businesses; and trading for goods and services.
2) Cultivating a healthy self through eating an organic & (optionally) raw diet; having an active work/service life; engaging personal growth work; balancing autonomy and interdependence; having a life-affirming orientation toward sexuality; and being clothing-optional.
3) Establishing a land-sharing community that's intimate, caring, and feels like family. This includes practicing cooperative decision making, nonviolent communication; cooperating relative to resources and land development; having community businesses; sharing childrearing; and having fun together!
4) Integrating spirituality into our communal life through morning circles, prayer, hatha yoga, rituals, shamanic journeying, rites of passage, and spiritual study, all according to individual preferences.
Our dream is for GaiaYoga Gardens to be a beacon of light and love and a living example of the kind of world we want.
GaiaYoga, itself, is a vision and practice that is being pioneered at GaiaYoga Gardens intentional community. It is the integration of many other teachings into a cohesive consciousness and lifestyle that is intended to support a person in living from their deepest humanity. More than an individual practice, it includes developing bonded-human-social-structures (cultures, tribes, clans, and families) that express our true nature as human beings. GaiaYoga is in many ways the antidote for the predominant culture designed around unchecked capitalism, fantasy, car-and machine-based human settlements, dysfunctional family-systems, emotional illiteracy, fear and oppression of nature, chemical dependence, absence of integrity, and broken relationships.
GaiaYoga goes much broader and deeper than most “yogas” which primarily address an individuals’ body-mind -- supporting inner peace and connection to Spirit. GaiaYoga is a dynamic and holistic “yoga” that addresses Spirit (realizing, integrating, and enjoying the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine), the Self (including the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental bodies), Community (including the intimate, personal, local, collective, and universal spheres of community), and Earth (developing strategies to sustainably live as an integrated “cell” of The Earth, individually and culturally).
GaiaYoga is a holistic practice that is modeled after the cultural and spiritual wisdom of many of the indigenous cultures of the world, who lived sustainably for untold generations. Sadly, these indigenous cultures have mostly “lost their battles” (literally) with the current “beast” that is running the world. Most of us were raised by this beast and intentionally or not we continue the pattern. To change direction and make life work naturally and be sustainable, we require a new vision, teaching, and daily practice that can heal and transform our lives and our cultures. GaiaYoga provides a way to emerge out of the world that we see now, and create something that has the beautiful elements of indigenous cultures, and knows how to wield the new power that’s been found through technological and social evolution, without losing touch with our true humanity. It’s a “take the best and leave the rest” approach.
What does it take for us have the kind of world we want, and be the kind of people we want to be? How can we grow through the huge pile of compost left by previous generations and find our way to the sunlight, creating both a healthy and full expression of our individuality, and a “container,” a culture, a community for us to live in? For this we need a holistic cultural template. Truly, humans are no different than dolphins, or wolves, or bees, or ants, or giraffes, or apes, or even banana or bamboo: we are naturally “designed” to live in-and-as a bonded social organism. Our full human expression is to live as a unified multi-generational people. Call it a tribe, or a community, or a clan, or a kin, or whatever.
This is a huge aspect of the yoga we all need to do to create a beautiful and abundant and peaceful and Spirit-filled world. We need to take the energy of yoga – of unification – and bring it to culture. This is a big “stretch” for someone who grew up in a city, or the suburbs, or a fragmented and dysfunctional family. There’s lots of healing, lots of new skills, and lots of buttons to be pressed and worked through. How can we do it safely, directly, and effectively? This is part of what practicing GaiaYoga offers.
Using GaiaYoga as a “hub,” we integrate particular practices, “spokes,” in dynamic relationship with each other, and create a strong, balanced “wheel” that rolls well. GaiaYoga is also like a computer operating system (it works in the background) that’s loaded with the finest programs (teachings). It integrates Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communiation (NVC); Guy Claude Berger’s Instinctive Nutrition; Aajonus Vonderplanitz’ Primal Diet; Re-evaluative Co-counseling (RC); The ManKind Project (MKP); Permaculture and other sustainable energy and agriculture teachings; The Tantric Transmission of the Shivalila Kinship Society; the rich wisdom of the Dagara people as shared by Malidoma and Sobonfu Somé; Saniel Bonder’s Waking Down spiritual teaching and practice; Piankhy’s Integral Science; The Michael Teaching; Taoist and Tantric sexuality teachings; as well as an assortment of other new and old teachings and practices that grow sustainable-and-holistic consciousness and culture.
Want to find out more? Ready to get started? Look over the website and come visit or participate in one of our residential programs at GaiaYoga Gardens.
Community location is placed at the center of the zip/postal code, city/state, or city/country (not based on street addresses)
Oh Weary Traveler - GaiaYoga Gardens
This page last updated:9/26/2012
(The cocobar is open!)
Visitor Process: People can do a day-visit with us by doing a Landance-&-Lunch. For overnight to a couple week stays, we offer eco-rentals. For those considering residency we have GaiaYoga Gardens Immersions, for those wanting an in-depth learning experience, we offer our GaiaYoga 101 Initiation-Internship Program. For more information, go to our website or email us.
Fellowship for Intentional Community
Statement of Housing Non-discrimination:
Our community does not discriminate in regards to housing based on race/color, national origin, religion, sex/gender, family status (i.e. having children, not having children, or being pregnant), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, source of income, age, creed, personal appearance, political affiliation, HIV infection, military/veteran status, unfavorable military discharge, gender identity or expression, receiving public assistance, or being the victim of domestic abuse.
Members(adults and children):
(2 Permanent, paid in members + 2 young children of those members.)
(Fluctuates, with an additional 2 participants who live nearby but spend a large amount of time on the land for social reasons and to use the facilities.)
(Decision-making is based in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) process: creating a quality of connection in which everyone's needs matter and are met by natural giving. Some decisions are consensus, some are made by the current owners. Sociocracy is our overall goal/vision for decision-making.)
(Ano, the only person here from the beginning, is the de-facto leader.)
Leadership Core Group:
(The people who are committed to being here make most of the decisions.)
Labor and Money
Partial income sharing
(By choice. We cooperate a lot with money, but at this time we don't share income among the entire group, though this aspect could change.)
Open to Members with Pre-existing Debt:
(Members participate in 16 hours/week minimum or contribute an additional financial amount to the community.)
($35,000, plus $3,000 to $20,000 for a home-site. This amount can be paid all at once, over time, or through sweat equity. You can stay here for over a year before considering joining.)
(During the first 3 months, fees are higher as you acclimate to the community and develop the skills necessary to contribute effectively to it, potentially participating in classes for those purposes. The 1st month's residency fee is arranged individually based on your skills & experience and which classes you'll be taking, and ranges from $300-$750. The 2nd & 3rd months' fees are $250 and $150, respectively. After that, there is a $75/month ongoing residency fee. In addition, there is a $10/month fee if you use the shared internet connection. Also, any food you eat that must be purchased is not included in these fees.)
Land and Buildings
(Beautiful, agricultural/jungle/alternative lifestyle area on wet [east] side of the Big Island of Hawaii.)
17.8 acres (7.2 hectares)
(All neighbors have large acreage too.)
Land Owned By:
A subgroup of community members
(We intend the community to become the landowners in the future, but at this point the land is co-owned by Ano & Melekai. We're actively creating an LLC to own the land.)
Number of Residences:
(Our structures are tropical breeze houses, which are sophisticated tarp-roofed structures. It's easy to make more living spaces.)
Percentage of Food Grown:
(We intend to grow all of our food, but all of our trees won't be mature for several years. We already have abundant avocados, bananas, jackfruit, abiu, lilikoi, guava, and certain greens. We also forage/trade for about 1/3 of our food, including all-you-can-eat coconuts. We have a milk cow which will soon provide lots of dairy products.)
Share Community Meals:
(People eat together here and there, but we don't have a lot of sit-down meals because many of us eat a mono raw food diet and just eat when we're hungry, though smaller groups of people frequently collaborate on particular meals. We have a shared kitchen and often 2 or 3 people eat at the same time. We share food freely with each other.)
Dietary Choice or Restrictions:
There are some dietary restrictions
(We want people to eat only organic foods and to maximize whole, fresh, local, unprocessed foods. We teach instinctive eating, which involves only raw foods including raw meat and dairy, and encourage that eating style and those similar to it, such as the Primal Diet / raw paleo.)
(Dietary practices include raw foods diet, usually including raw meat, or natural diet of raw & cooked, indigenous-style foods. We practice individual choice relative to being omnivorous, vegetarian, or vegan. Our focus is on natural, organic, local diets that are optimally supportive of health for each individual, and we emphasize practicing tolerance, respect, and support relative to individual dietary choices.)
(Very seldom used. Most of us don't drink at all.)
Common Spiritual Practices:
(There's not one unified way we handle our spritiuality. We have a regular time of silence and prayer together during our morning circle.)
Which Spiritual Traditions(s):
Eclectic (integrates pieces from many religions)
(Drawing from Tantra, Taoism/Daoism, other Eastern traditions, paganism, shamanism, Waking Down and Nonviolent Communication.)
Private school off the property
(There's a sudbury-style school down the road operated by close friends of ours that nearby children attend. Unschooling or homeschooling are also frequently practiced in the area.)
Become an Editor
Click an image to see it full size.
Current editor(s): gaiayoga
Add Your Comment on GaiaYoga Gardens
We encourage comments from those who have first hand experience with a community so that others may benefit from your experience. Please share information you think will be useful to other users of this site, in a clear, concise, and polite manner. Each community can choose to display all comments, display selected comments, or not to display comments (more info). Communities will be shown email addresses of those who comment so that they might communicate with you if they choose.
We reserve the right to edit or delete any comment.
You must be logged in to add a comment. Login here or if you have not yet registered on our site Register here.
More Info on Display Options
Communities can choose one of three options for how reader comments are displayed.
- Display all reader comments.
- Do not display any reader comments.
- Display only comments selected by the community (this is the default value).
Communities may have a variety of reasons for choosing these options so we encourage you to not be quick to judge.