Visiting GaiaYoga Gardens
We greatly enjoy having people experience what we're doing at GaiaYoga Gardens - our permaculture homestead and fledgling intentional community on the Big Island of Hawaii. So, we've designed several ways for that to happen. These have changed over the years, as we adapt and grow.
We are open to people just checking us out for a few hours. We are open to people looking for education, tranformation, healing, and growth. We are open to peers who are ready to join a community and who think we might be the one. And we are open to folks who are exploring Hawaii and want to stay in our community for a few days to a month as an eco-renter.
For people who want to see our place and get a feel for us as a community you can come by in the morning for a project, a tour, and a meal. We call this Landance-and-Lunch.
For people who are interested in an either an internship-like experience (being educated in sustainable-and-holistic living, and having a growthful and challenging immersion into our way of life) or want to directly explore joining our community we offer GaiaYoga 101 Immersions multiple times a year. This is a powerful, transformational, guided, month long initiation into our lifestyle. (We used to have two separate programs for this, but we've redesigned them so they can be the same program, regardless of the intention of the person coming to be here.)
For people who want experience our place and have a base to check out the island as well, we offer Eco-Rentals.
Many people have found their contact with GaiaYoga Gardens to be inspiring, transformational, and healing, and we’re happy to share our wealth of knowledge, skills, and resources with others.
Here's what some people have had to say after staying with us:
"My longtime desire to live sustainably in community drove me to visit Gaia Yoga Gardens. The short week I spent there impressed me greatly; Ano and Melekai were so welcoming and well-grounded. There, I found hope for the possibility to truly live in harmony with others and nature. At GYG, the seeds for sustainable community are being mindfully tended, although the process is not an easy one. Now that I have left GYG, my main desire is to return as soon as possible, for as long as possible. GYG has renewed in me a joy for the present, and hope for our future."
- Aisha DaCosta, Phoenix
"Ano and Melekai are amazing leaders and teachers. Their knowledge and positive energy have created an enlightening place to live and work, and I recommend visiting it to everyone."
-Kelly Kokaisel, Minnesota
"I've loved the structures here of the landances and the feeling that we're all equals in this together. If and when I'm back on the Big Island I'd love to stay for longer!"
- Ivy, Massachusets
"It's been a very spiritual place and people for me. I never experienced before."
-Sven Sommermeyer, Germany
"Everyone who has not been here yet should experience the beauty of that place!!! Life is so "clean and harmonious." I loved that!"
-Magdalena Gorecha, Poland
"Be sure to communicate your needs and things you like and don't like to do. It (GaiaYoga Gardens) is as flexible as you are."
-Lucas Orton, Washington
"Even though you have everything already figured out, GaiaYoga 101, challenges you to go beyond that comfort to grow into the person you want to be, the person you can be."
-Michael, World Traveller
"GaiaYoga has been a life changing and beautiful experience."
-Mae D., Canada
"GYG IS THE BOMB YO!!!!"
- Morganna, Canada
On weekdays by appointment, from about 9 am - 2 pm, we offer a Landance-and-Lunch at GaiaYoga Gardens. It's a time that people are invited to join in on our life. Might include a community meeting, doing a project, hanging out and talking-story with residents, and a delicious, organic lunch of coconuts and local fruits. While you're here, you'll get to meet us and get a tour of some of our land and infrastructure - including our eco-structures (which we call "tropical breeze houses"), coco-bar, plant nursery, solar and water catchment systems, composting toilet, and enjoy the overall ambiance of our land.
If you're interested in coming by for a Landance-and-Lunch, e-mail us and we’ll send you more information.
GaiaYoga 101 Immersion:
GaiaYoga 101 is for people who want come to GaiaYoga and dive in and experience our lifestyle and the vision beneath it. You'll get to live simply and close to nature in a secluded setting; eat fresh & organic foods; and practice ecological sustainability (through growing and foraging for food, living off-grid, building eco-structures, etc.). Participants will go through a comprehensive program, run by the members and residents of GaiaYoga Gardens that exposes you to many of the aspects of GaiaYoga, including nonviolent communication (NVC), instinctive eating - raw foods diet, shadow-work, sustainable homesteading (Permaculture), the nature of Hawaii, and participation in our emotional/spiritual processes and social events.
You will have ongoing opportunities to learn about and practice tropical permaculture, as well as experiencing cooperative interdependence in communal living and being transparent (open & honest) in relationships. We offer GaiaYoga 101 four times a year, once in winter, spring, summer, and fall. The program lasts 1 month and a whole group will go through it together.
The next programs will be:
Spring 2013: March 14th - April 13th
Summer 2013: Not yet scheduled (probably beginning mid-June)
Fall 2013: Not yet scheduled (probably beginning mid-September)
Winter 2014: Not yet scheduled (probably beginning mid-January)
Gathering beach rocks for making "Au'au Heiau" (The Bathing Temple)
Here's what the GaiaYoga 101 Immersion includes:
- 3-5 classes per week for a month ($400 value), including instruction in:
- Instinctive Eating / Primal Diet: our (optional) way of eating all raw foods including raw meat, dairy, and eggs as well as fruits, vegetables, and nuts - served to you in our distinctive Instinctive Buffet
- Permaculture: our ways of working with the land to produce food (with influences from Mollison & Holmgren, Fukuoka, BioDynamic Mini-Farming, and Korean Natural Farming)
- Non-Violent Communication (NVC) / Compassionate Communication basic skills course: connecting and fully engaging with each other using this language/consciousness
- GaiaYoga Holistic Culture: big-picture view of our vision
- Community Meetings / Tribal Councils / Affinity Meetings: deepen our connections & container, access our shadows, resolve polarities, and make decisions
- Orientation to the intensities and pitfalls of island life, dense jungle life, and community life
- Access to all the food we forage or grow on our land, including:
- All-you-can-eat wild-foraged young and mature coconuts (up to $100-$400+ monthly value)
- Raw (unpasteurized) grass-fed milk and cheese (up to $200 monthly value)
- Raw-food-fed chicken eggs (up to $20 monthly value)
- Occasional wild pork or pastured chicken (up to $50 monthly value)
- Seasonal tree fruits, including avocados, bananas, papayas, oranges, jakfruit, abiu, rollenia, 3 kinds of lilikoi, guava, and more, with MANY more on the way as fruit trees mature (up to $100 monthly value)
Bananas from the land.
- Perennial and garden vegetables (up to $50 monthly value)
- Opportunities to learn how to forage for and produce all the above food
- Tropical breezehouse accomodations ($300-$500 monthly value), dorm-style or some private rooms available
Our women's dorm circa 2011. "The Beduoin"
- Shared use of communal spaces that are maintained and cleaned by the entire community (saving you several hours/week of personal work - though please do your part to pick up your stuff and clean up your messes):
- "The Landing" (kitchen, living room, and library in a cozy screened-in breeze house)
- "The Kasbah" (classroom, yoga, music, chill space in a peaceful screened-in breeze house)
- "Au'au Heiau" ("Bathing Temple": shared bamboo-secluded covered sinks, showers, and bath featuring solar- and propane-heated hot water)
Showers at "Au'au Heiau" (Bathing Temple)
- "Power Sharing" (laundry and utility room with shared washing machine and line-drying)
- "Manta Ray" (shared workshop for carpentry and repairs)
- Shared Garden Space, personal garden spaces available
Tomatoes in the garden.
- "Holy Shitter" (Zen-like open-air composting toilet space)
- "Coco Cabana" (open-air coconut chopping, consuming, and storage bar)
- Perrenial Peanut Lawn and Fire Pit (sublime sunbathing, badminton, and campfires)
- And more! Solar-heated hot tub on the way! (just needs some final plumbing) + cold plunge pool
- Rides into Pahoa (nearest small town) and/or Hilo (nearest city) a few times/week ($20-$50+/week value)
- Book perusal and rental from our library (featuring hundreds of titles on permaculture, spirituality, communication, community, personal growth, and more - $20/month value)
Additional Amenities (some optional as indicated, incurring an additional charge):
- Purchased communal food for the first week of the GaiaYoga 101 Initiation-Internship ($80 required deposit per person)
- Opportunity to participate in our communal food acquisition program on an ongoing basis (optional but highly encouraged, costs an average of $30-$50/week per person for potentially all the rest of your food not from our land - probably 50%-90% of your diet - and saves you several hours/week as it's picked up for you in Hilo)
- Shared satellite internet via ethernet or wifi in the Landing (Optional, costs $10/month per person)
- Airport Pickup in Hilo (Optional, costs $20 on a Wednesday or $40 on another day)
Our requests of you for the GaiaYoga 101 Immersion:
- Commit to a minimum stay of one month - if you like us and we like you, you can potentially stay for longer (and even become a full member/owner of our community)
- Arrive on the scheduled start date of the GaiaYoga 101 Immersion (or no more than a month before) and stay at least until it's over (to create and maintain a strong container for that process)
- Landance (our word for work on the farm and in our buildings) for 16-24 hours every week (see below for different options). Types of Landance commonly performed:
- Cutting tree leaves and grasses for cow food
- Feeding chickens
- Planting, fertilizing, and clearing around fruit trees
- Harvesting fruits and coconuts
- Weeding the Perrenial Peanut Lawn
- Maintaining and creating paths and trails
- Structurally and functionally maintaining buildings
- Erecting new buildings and other carpentry / "tarpentry" work
- Clearing guavas and other vegetation around structures
- Domestic chores and infrastructure maintenance
- And much more! A lot depends on the skills and interests you bring.
- Provide some money upfront and every month (see below for different options) to cover our costs and compensate us for the investment we're making in teaching you skills and orienting you to our community. Everyone pays the following upfront:
- $100 Refundable Damage Deposit
- $50 one-time Administrative Fee
- $20 one-time Book Rental Fee
- $80 deposit for your first week of food
- A monthly Residency Fee (see Pricing Plans below)
Pricing Plans (all figures are per adult - email us for couples or family plans) - choose whichever suits you best:
- Minimal Cash Plan - great for those willing to contribute more through Landance to cut down on their cash costs:
- No additional cash upfront, just the $170 listed above ($100 of it refundable) + $80 deposit for first week's food / No Residency Fee in 1st month
- $75/month Residency Fee in 2nd and later months
- 24 hours/week Landance for your first 3 months
- 20 hours/week Landance in 4th and later months
- Balanced Plan - a hybrid of the other two options:
- $200 upfront in addition to the above for a total of $370 ($100 of it refundable) + $80 deposit for first week's food
- $150 Residency Fee in 2nd month, $100 in 3rd month, $75 in 4th and later months
- 20 hours/week Landance
- Standard Plan - our traditional way of having people start out in staying with us:
- $400 upfront in addition to the above for a total of $570 ($100 refundable) + $80 deposit for first weeks' food
- $200 Residency Fee in 2nd month, $150 in 3rd month, $75 in 4th and later months
- 16 hours/week Landance for your first 3 months
- 20 hours/week Landance in 4th and later months
More about Landance: Most of the Landance people do during their first month(s) here is of the "chop wood, carry water" type: it's mostly "unskilled" labor. Ano likes to call much of what we do here "ant work." It's not glamorous, but it's essential for our survival and to maintain order and beauty. We call it "Landance" to remind and encourage us to find enjoyment in doing all of this repetitive, cyclical bodily labor and to bring the realization that we are interacting with our environment to both experience our body, sculpt out our home and food supply, and physically harmonize with the natural world. It's a big part of our life here: it's not all of our life, but it's an essential core element.
If people arrive here with lots of skills already, they might use them, but it takes a while on any homestead to get the basics down so that you can become more creative and do more "interesting" projects. Depending on what's happening on the homestead, you might be involved in a bigger creative project like building a structure or creating a new garden, but that might or might not happen.
Think of homesteading as a martial art: you'll be working on your white or yellow belt here, getting a lot of the foundational moves down -- swinging a machete, using a hammer, drill, shovel, digging bar, sickle, pushing a wheel barrow, learning to identify all of the different plants (weeds vs. not weeds).
Who do we want to participate in the GaiaYoga 101 Immersion?
We're looking for people who:
- feel excited about our way of living and want to take on our lifesyle
- want to contribute to what we're creating at GaiaYoga Gardens
- value communicating openly and honestly about themselves and receiving that from others
- want the personal and spiritual growth that participation in our life-practices offers
- take responsibility for their emotions and actions
- act dependably according to their word and value integrity
- want to be supported in all of these areas.
We appreciate people with skills in:
- natural foods preparation
- healing arts
- domestic management (house cleaning)
- and more!
If you have skills in the above areas, please let us know.
Most importantly, we're looking for people who are ready to fully let go of their previous life and go through the shamanic process of being reborn here with us and make this their home. Many people come here and want to believe they're ready to let go, but find out they're not, and that can sometimes be an unpleasant experience for all of us. Usually it's because GYG or Ano or Melekai or someone else somehow doesn't match their expectations, and trust and commitment is lost. While we can't stop people from doing that, we'd like people to realize that we are opening and accepting "you" just as much as "you" will be with us. We're going to work with you, "warts and all," and we truly expect the same from people in the Immersion program.
For an application to the GaiaYoga 101 Immersion, please e-mail us.
GaiaYoga Gardens Accomodations:
Everyone shares a communal kitchen/living room; communal yoga/recreation space; phone & high speed internet access; outdoor hot shower; composting toilets; washing machine and clothes lines; coconut bar; the ambiance of the surrounding forest; and fun.
Bedroom Options Include:
1) For a couple: We have a few different private eco-structures that people can stay in. All have screened in beds, some are fully screened in rooms.
2) For singles:
- Dorm-style, a 10 x 10 ft. screen-tent or a mosquito net, furnished with futon bed and electricity, covered by a large tarp & surrounded by forest
- Or potentially (depending on availability): dorm-style (shared room) or single (your own room) in a breezehouse.
A wonderful alternative to an impersonal hotel or an expensive vacation rental. Stay in a men's or women's dorm under a mosquito tent on a futon bed or in a tropical breeze house (depending on availability), and enjoy the beautiful, tropical environment.
1 Night: $30/night for singles - $50/night for couples
2-5 Nights: $25/night for singles - $40/night for couples
Weekly: $150 for singles - $250 for couples
Monthly: $500 for singles - $750 for couples
Family rates are also available.
We also have a beautiful Balinease 12x12 hut that people can stay in. It's the only structure on the land we didn't build ourselves, we brought in whole and used a crane to set it place!
Fees for eco-renting in "Chateau Bali:"
Chateau Bali - weeks after it literally landed on our property. It was craned into place!!!
1 Night: $40/night for singles - $60/night for couples
2-5 Nights: $30/night for singles - $50/night for couples
Weekly: $180 for singles - $300 for couples
Monthly: $600 for singles - $900 for couples
For more information, please e-mail us.
Crew that created "phase 1" of Au'Au Heiau (Bathing Temple)