I had been surfing the internet, looking for a volunteer opportunity that would allow us to stay in Buenos Aires for a couple weeks. We thought it would be good to get our hands dirty again, stay in a place for a while, and meet some fantastic people. We were right!
We saw the website http://www.ecoyogapark.com/ and thought we’d give it a try. From the name, it was a little risky, here are my immediate, unfiltered thoughts: eco – will we have warm showers? Will we be allowed to wash our clothes with detergent, are we going to be surrounded by pot smoking hippies Yoga – sounds good, we spend a lot of time on the bus it will be nice to stretch out a bit. I’m with Leah, so I won’t be the creepster at the back of the class. Park – Park like i need to bring a tent and we are camping in Yellowstone? Or park like there will be a water fountain, pigeons, and a slide?
Me in the Tree House
A world away from Buenos Aires, nestled in a small farming community is the yoga eco park. Our taxi drove a mile down a dirt/mud road to bring us to our yoga sanctuary. It was pretty late by the time we arrived, so the guy who ran the place Thankur. (ta – coor) ta like ta-da i pulled a rabbit out my hat and coor like coors light. He is extremely friendly, and proud of the eco yoga park he has been managing and building for 6 years.
We got to our treehouse late Friday night, took a shower, climbed up our ladder, and were instantly relaxed and excited at the same time. Relaxed to be away from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires and excited to see what was in store for us the next two weeks. We got up early, 7:30am and went to the restaurant to see if we could help. Instead, Thankur took us on a tour of the property. There was our tree house, 6 other dormitory houses were other guests could stay, a restaurant, a cinema, a huge organic garden watched over by 2 more completed tree houses and 2 under construction, and a temple. Wait what? A temple? Don’t worry no kool-aid, no Nike shoes, and no sermons =)
Leah in the Tree House
This yoga park, and many others like it, are operated around the globe by people of the Hare Kirshna faith. They are basically a fact of Hindu that got lots of publicity from the Beatles. You can read more about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_Krishna
But the core beliefs will squander most of your wandering minds thinking we joined some crazy cult for 2 weeks:
No illicit sex
No eating of meat, fish or eggs
No intoxication (including alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and other recreational drugs)
So those are the basics of it, and the basics of why I didn’t convert, too many no’s. They had philosophy classes a couple of times a week, and hare kirshna music playing in the kitchen all the time, but that was as far as they went.
We stayed for a total of two weeks. Each morning we worked roughly from 8:30am to 1pm. The evenings were open for yoga classes, field trips to the nearby town, and relaxing. There were animals everywhere! Dogs, cats, chickens, cows, and ducks.
We had a great two weeks at the park, and I’ll follow-up this post with a couple additional stories about the park.
The Yoga Temple