I am writing this blog from Yasodhara Ashram in BC Canada, after extending my stay due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. You can find out more about the Ashram and Karma Yoga in my previous post or on my Youtube Channel.
This unprecedented global situation has made inroads even into this secluded Ashram. We are social distancing, isolating if we have symptoms and washing our hands frequently enough to begin reacting to the soap! Apart from these necessary annoyances, I know that many of us are thinking even more about sustainability, the future and global security.
For me, living in an Ashram community where 20% of the food comes from the garden has given me pause for thought on these issues. I have been lucky enough to enrol in a 3-month Ashram 'Learning Residency' - a course based around selfless service and self-led learning in an area of my choice. I have decided to split my time between the Garden and Preserving Kitchen - two areas that are well-linked and to me are of importance in terms of sustainability.
The Ashram's Food policy is one of the main reasons I was interested in this course - from buying local, organic food to reusing and repurposing as much of the food as possible - the Ashram sees food as part of a larger and interlinked system supporting the community. I am interested to observe the systems of how to grow and preserve my own food - something I think is linked to our practice of yoga - cultivating a garden is akin to cultivating a yoga practise - it needs consistency, patience and an understanding gaze.
Until July, I will be learning about organic small-scale farming and crop management, soil health and different ways to effectively preserve the food that is grown here. Our current system has little space for us to engage with our food like this; our only option if we live in a city is to buy our food from a supermarket.
I hope that by understanding the whole process, from soil to plate, I can create a more sustainable attitude to food for myself, and fully respect its wonder. I will be writing a series of blog posts about my experience in the Learning Residency in the garden and preserving kitchen, as well as releasing two new Youtube videos (one adult and one for kids) each Friday. You can keep up to date and support me by subscribing to my channel here.
I feel very grateful to be living in a community of 50 people when much of the world is in isolation, and humbled by the opportunity that I have been given in this special place. I hope that as you are reading this, you too are well and can find something to be deeply grateful for in your life.
Let me know if you have any questions, comments or anything else by contacting me on Instagram (@tashyogaspace) or via email.