I never worked with anyone who wasn’t delighted by seeds coming up, even vegan organic market gardener Tolly with over 40 seasons of growing, or (perhaps especially) volunteers hardened by life on a Brixton housing estate, or some very sophisticated metropolitan folk in an RHS Cerficate evening class. With the seed something magic happens. There’s new life. The life force (prana) is irrepressible. This touches our spirit. It is good to be reminded, and feel its movement.
Planting out, meditative watering and weeding then harvesting: this tending offers an expression for our tender care. Loving comes from looking and a green finger is really a practice of looking, listening and tuning in. Grounding – what a great word! Excellent companion for yoga that does exactly the same!
And this is also my story: the simple pleasure of the allotment (and a yoga class) after hard job in higher education, childrens’ needs and money worries. Yoga and food growing come together in Viveka Gardens Yoga Farm. Join me for Yoga and Food Growing retreats in May and July, and usually some part of any day or weekend retreat here. There are also opportunities for work exchange.
Yoga and food growing retreats feature in 2019, the Joy of Germination! Did you know that touching the earth reduces inflammation more than any amount of antioxidant superfoods? Eat those too, though.
Yoga and the allotment were my twin sources of joy, relaxation, energy and creativity as a single working mum in London. These two practices supported my mental and physical wellbeing over 20 years or so, and spiritual growth. My passions have become my profession, way of life and mission to share the simple connection that both bring, re-connection to self, land, others and wider consciousness…and it starts with popping a bean seed in some compost as we’ll do on the Gentle Retreat, planting out on the second May Bank Holiday retreat, and have the Honour of Harvesting end of July.
Great food and sitting round a table together with like-minded people; the peaceful vibe, quiet and fresh air here; the comfortable beds, the simple, restful space and really getting away from it all. Oh, and yoga, yoga nidra, group meditation and walks.
- Gardening burns calories: 3-4 hours gardening = 1 hour in a sweaty, no-fresh-air, plastic-filled gym
- Exposure to sunlight and Vitamin D, essential for bone health and healthy immune system
- Reduced risk of stroke and heart attack, report in the BMJ
- Osteoporosis risk reduced through physical repeated tasks
This article links to research showing that when you touch the earth the transfer of negative ions from the ground reduces inflammation way more than eating any amount of antioxidants but also stimulates the parasympathetic rest-and-relax part of the nervous system (read the VG blog here for more info). We have all (I hope) experienced being in nature and how later you may feel tired but energised, more healthy (if a little stiff from exertion) and refreshed.
Do you have a passion that could become your profession? Coaching gave me the courage and vision to make my Yoga Farm dream come true. I so benefited that I upped my skills with an Advanced Diploma training (recognised by the ILM) to launch Sankalpa Coaching. Let me be alongside you to support you in your transition to living life in alignment with your true self.