Why I choose to combine movement and sustainability. . .

People often ask me “so what is this permaculture thing?”  – that can often end up being a really long conversation. So I’m going to challenge myself whilst writing this and try to keep this article as short as possible.

The shortest way to sum up the philosophy of permaculture in a way  that the most people might understand is :

“it’s a holistic land management design tool, where we use nature as our guide”

Simple right? So why would you need to spend 2 weeks learning that?

The concept is simple but applying that principle is a skill, and learning new skills this takes time and practice and it takes a team of teachers to show you different examples and to challenge you to progress …

Does this sound at all familiar ? have you ever tried doing a yoga class?

ex-rugby playing/ mountain biking Kiwi bloke, who loves adventure and new challenges. I really struggled with many aspects of yoga and of the Permaculture course… Sitting still during meditation or class was a big one, my back would get sore, my core would get tired, my mind would wander off. I would lose concentration and connection with the conversation and with my breath.

My body’s movements lacked the  flexibility for me to perform swan or pigeon pose, without my mind really fighting back,  and I would find my mind being like  it would say: ”whoa your way to tight for this nonsense, i’m not build for this”

I would struggle to be able to “rest” in downward dog pose, as sweat was pouring like a waterfall off  my forehead and down my nose.  My balance was terrible, Tree pose (when you sand on one leg) was a real challenge to this most “simple” of ability.

So what’s the connection between permaculture and yoga ? ,

You will notice that many of the names of the poses/ movements or asanas are taken from nature:  downward Dog, Pigeon, Tree.  

We share two things in common:  We all get challenged, and we all breathe.

Yoga could be described as:  

A holistic body and mind management tool, where we use nature as our guide…
The practice of unwinding our bodies physical tension, strengthening weak muscles, developing skills we lack. I believe creates a flourishing of our untapped ability to BE different to think and act differently ultimately to be more connected with our part in nature.

So what better practice to undertake as we look deeply at our connection to how we utilize the resources that nature provides. As we realise that we are not separate from our environment but deeply connected to it.  As we question: how we give back to nature and work as a part of the ecosystem , how we choose to live sustainably or judge when we are not ? 

trees hands 1

The challenge has been getting comfortable with the uncomfortable to push myself to be a little less.  Less tight in my body, to be less in my mind, and live more in my body.

And that change has been reflected in how I choose to show up in the world, open to new expectations of myself, possibilities of what I wish to create in this world, ways of living and what inevitably I wish to leave behind me for the generations to come.

The permaculture yoga retreat is designed to heal on many levels :

One of the biggest challenges we face today as I’m sure many generations have struggled with,  is:  “how do we live in community ? how do we relate to and interact with each other ?

During the pdc a mini community forms, a community of people from very different backgrounds from all over the world. This diversity offers a range of experiences, opinions , abilities, skills. These can show up as gifts and challenges for us all. Perhaps this 2 weeks is a chance for you too see where you fit into that community. A chance to experiment with community living and working and to see if that is that for you ?  

So why  should you choose the jungle oasis permaculture retreat for your experience ?

The 72 hr pdc is offered in many places around the world, in many beautiful locations with many beautiful teachers. The pdc at the Jungle Dance in March 2018 has been designed to offer the participant a chance to change. To drop into a space where they can learn to change their bodies, to change their minds and to change the part they play in nature and their communities.

Not only is the location fantastic, 10 mins from the beach by scooter, or 20 by bus, the site is surrounded by nature beautiful, set upon a pool, to relax that body as it develops from the yoga, the kitchen produces delicious food to nourish the body.  And the teachers guiding that process are outstanding.  if this speaks to you then get in touch with us and enquire about your place. 

Ill sum this up with my reflection on what the process life and of putting the project together over the years has taught me that the most challenging activity for my mind is to be still, unmoving in calm, non-judgemental self reflection… just as nature does.

Joseph Devlin,

Ireland November  2018


trees looking up


Author: Joseph Devlin

Active Recovery & Manual Therapist

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