Permaculture & Sustainability

Permaculture is an important way of life here at MYF. Finding balance and reconnecting humans with nature through revived techniques of rural living, delicately woven together with the most up-to-date and appropriate technologies, is the objective.

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture as we know it today is a philosophy developed in Australia by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

This philosophy is “consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food and energy for provisions of local needs.”

Permaculture seeks to answer the question: “Are there ways to live within nature’s limits while providing a secure future for our children and justice for everyone?”

Here at the Mystical Yoga Farm, we actively seek out ways to practice these principles while balancing the needs of the farm. This beautiful philosophy can be seen in many ways throughout the land. A great example is our zero waste policy.

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Following permaculture principles of Bill Mollison, we have outlined our community needs into zones, describing the relationship between our people and the land around us.

The first zone outlines the hub of our living space – the things that we need, and the things that need us. Our zone one includes our communal kitchen and dining space, bathrooms, yoga studio, and kitchen gardens including frequently harvested crops such as herbs, lettuces, and salad vegetables.

The outer zones comprise more of our hardy crops, such as coffee and fruit trees, as well as more private living spaces and additional yoga spaces.  We are currently designing more energy efficient living spaces, cool in the heat of the day and comfortable in the chill evenings, which will form the temple and heart of the farm. These designs are as multi-functional as possible and all built with the help of local workers using local materials.

We have an established composting system that enables us to recycle nutrients from food and garden waste back into the land.  We enjoy practicing and experimenting with some of the many different methods of composting for soil improvement. Our “laboratory” and experimental practice draw methods rooted in Biodynamics, Biointensive farming, Permaculture, and Vermaculture.

The 12 Principles of Permaculture

The Permaculture movement is based on 12 principles:

  • Observe and Interact
  • Catch and Store Energy
  • Obtain a Yield
  • Apply Self-regulation and Accept Feedback
  • Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services
  • Produce no Waste
  • Design from Patterns to Details
  • Integrate Rather than Segregate
  • Use Small and Slow Solutions
  • Use and Value Diversity
  • Use Edges and Value the Marginal
  • Creatively Use and Respond to Change

Through following such principles wherever possible, we are able to truly bring our yoga to the earth.  As well as being a practice of sustainability, it is also a method of developing relationships between the community and the land we live on, as well as feeding the healthy relationships between each of the elements living on the farm.

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We aim to create ZERO waste!

Every week we have Trash Tuesdays at the farm, when all volunteers gather for lake and trail clean ups, and at The Resource Center to sort trash, repurpose materials, stuff eco-bricks and create art!

Eco-bricks are a great way to re-purpose plastic that would otherwise be "trash" into sustainable building materials for creating structures with methods like cobb. You can utilize many kinds of plastic bottles, stuffing them with clean soft plastics until they are full and hard enough to be used in your structure.

The Resource Center was brought to the farm in 2019 by our former farm managers Shir & Dylan. At the farm there was already a “Permaculture Zone” and some efforts in place such as stuffing Eco-Bricks to reduce waste. Shir & Dylan had previously lived at an intentional off-grid community in Costa Rica, Finca Morpho, where a ZERO WASTE policy and an active Resource Center was in place. With their passion for the earth, sustainability & turning trash into resources, they were inspired to help create a “Resource Center” at MYF to further the process of becoming a fully zero waste space. The Mystical Yoga Farm community embraced and supported this vision fully, gathering eagerly and often to create a clean and resourceful space in the Permaculture Zone. With Shir's years of working in waste management and experience leading similar projects, combined with Dylan's building skills, bamboo knowledge and an affinity for stuffing Eco-bricks, they started to turn this dream into reality. We now have an organized zone with separate bins for every type of material and ideas for how to utilize them, including turning milk cartons into wallets, broken glass into murals, and much much more.

The farm is still in a transition period, we are substantially lowering our plastic consumption and making sure no trash leaves the farm. Everyday we come up with new creative ways to deal with our waste. In the future we intend to acquire a plastic shredder for more efficient waste processing and creating art and to reach a point of NO waste entering or leaving the farm at all. It all may be utilized!

Come visit the farm to learn more, and follow us on instagram to follow our Journey to Zero waste see what else you can do to help the earth wherever you are.

Spiritual Sanctuary & Retreat Center

Escape the distractions of daily life and surround yourself with the natural beauty of our mystical sanctuary on the shores of Guatemala's magical Lake Atitlán. Conscientiously built to exist in sustainable harmony with this sacred land, the Mystical Yoga Farm is the perfect place to heal your spirit and reconnect with your true self.

© 2018 Mystical Yoga Farm