The Nature of Relaxing: Yoga and Permaculture in Practice

The Nature of Relaxing: Yoga and Permaculture in Practice

Permaculture and Yoga – Finding balance at Crann Og

  I ’m laying on my back with my knees bent, right leg crossed over left, pulling with my right knee to coerce my lower body to twist to the right, towards the ground, while my torso and upper body twists to the left. Ouch. My tender knee is flaring, my back is pinching, my bruised hip is not happy. My mind is frustrated and agitated and I’m judging myself for everything I’m doing wrong, which is, of course, basically everything.

For me, this is the real yoga. This is the moment of truth: What do I do? How do I relate to my body in this moment? When I’m uncomfortable, what choices do I make?

For me I remember my breath. I take a few deep breaths, and I start to soften a little. I ease out of the pose a little bit, until I’m in a position where I can relax and breathe. I’m still in a twist, but my body is no longer protesting. As I breathe here, allowing myself to stop trying so hard, accepting my body’s limitations, and just breathing into the spots of slight tension, something amazing happens: My legs start naturally dropping closer and closer to the floor. My breath deepens, my mind slows, my muscles and fascia unwind; the pose deepens. I feel spacious. I’m there.

How often is it that I’m trying too hard to make something happen? Where in my life might I be able to relax, back off a little, take some deep breaths, and allow things to unfold a little more slowly? Might my mind slow down, might I feel more spacious? And actually, while we’re at it, what IS the difference between forcing and allowing something to happen?

In Permaculture, one of the guiding principles of design is that we follow the design of nature. We design gardens, water and energy systems, buildings, and communities based on the way nature designs things. The inherent understanding here is that every element in an ecosystem has a function that it is perfectly designed to do, and if we put the structures in place to support those functions, we will have a well-functioning system with much less energy input and much less waste…a healthy, thriving ecology. In other words, we design the system to allow things to unfold as they were designed to by nature. We don’t force things to happen. We don’t ask cabbage plants to hurry up and produce us cucumbers. We don’t get mad at squash for growing on the ground, while the runner beans are busy climbing up a trellis. We don’t judge the tomatoes for needing warmer water than the lettuce, or the chickens for bathing in dirt. We just make sure everyone has what they need, to do what they were meant to do.

But for some reason, when it comes to humans, we tend to be our own harshest critics. We seem to think that there are endless achievements required of us, endless tasks to be completed, and impossible standards to live up to. I’m not saying we should give up all efforts to get anything done, but I’m wondering…if we recognized the places where we were trying to force something that feels a bit unnatural or even painful, and instead we slowed down, took a step back, took a few deep breaths, and gave ourselves some space to unwind…might we find that there are better ways of using our energy? Might we find the avenues of effort that are more naturally suited to us, that more naturally bring things to fruition?

Here at Crann Og, we believe that spending time close to nature is a really important–maybe essential–thing to do. That’s why we are here. Maybe you want to come hang out with us a litte? If reading about yoga or gardening makes you go, “gah, I wish I had time to do that…” then I strongly invite you to consider coming out for one of our ReNature Retreats – reconnecting to nature through Yoga and mindfulness practises. Or maybe you could just use a weekend away, unplugged, to remember what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing. Or maybe your whole company or community could use a week away, unplugged, to remember what you’re good at and enjoy doing together.

We’re all designed to do something beautiful and brilliant, to be an important part of the ecosystem. Sometimes a step back, and a few deep breaths, can bring us much further than all the hard work and effort in the world.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ANNA FOLLOW THIS LINK

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Meet Crann Og’s Animal Therapists

Meet Crann Og’s Animal Therapists

Animal therapy and back to nature eco-holidays

  T ake time to reconnect and meet our Animal Therapists this summer! From 3rd July – 4th September we will be open for Eco-Tourism at Crann Og Eco Farm, welcoming people from all over the world. You can choose from hand crafted off-grid, luxury accommodation, camping pitches and also our on-grid Long House Cabin.

To see all available options have a look here.

Specially created activity bundles will run on a weekly basis, Wednesday – Sunday. Our bundles will include; Yoga (family and adult only classes), Nature Therapy, Forest School, Woodland Walk followed by Campfire Storytelling, opening and closing circles.

A big hit with the children is our daily animal feeding rounds, 8am & 6pm – everyone gets to meet and feed the farmyard animals!

We are pleased to offer packages and accommodation for groups, individuals and families. Crann Og Eco Farm is all about reconnecting to nature, unwinding and spending some quality time with your friends and family.

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Spring is Coming 2018 | A beautiful day at the farm

Spring is Coming 2018 | A beautiful day at the farm

Warming up to Spring 2018

A warm hello from Crann Og!

With the days getting longer, our bones warming (just a little) and the life popping out of every corner of the farm it feels like spring has arrived – allowing all of us here at the farm to be out reconnecting and soaking up the sounds of nature.

We have just hosted our first workshop of the year and would like to take the opportunity to thank all the participants of the Living Willow workshop who braved the elements and brought the laughter with them – thank you!

We have a busy year planned with our Forest School, Nature Therapy, ReNature Retreats and Eco Holidays all focusing on returning guests to their roots through connecting with the animals (domestic, farm and wild), breathing the fresh country air and taking the time to unplug and slow down in to the rhythm of nature…

We are currently building a database aimed at all the music lovers out there, or in other words, everyone out there! The surrounding regions are rich in musical tradition and 2018 has some festivals that are worth stamping our feet about… and we want you to have the craic and dance along with us! This will help any Crann Og guests to plan their stay around the happening festivities.

Watch this space!

We are set for the coming year and hope to welcome you down on the farm.

All the best,

The Crann Og Crew

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Eco Glamping & Camping | Natural Holidays & Packages

Eco Glamping & Camping | Natural Holidays & Packages

Eco Glamping & Camping Natural Holidays

 Have you seen this cool feature article in the Kerryman Newspaper about Glamping and Camping in Ireland?

It was fantastic to be featured in such good company! Glamping and Camping are both great ways to experience Nature up close and being comfortable exploring the outdoors.

Here is an excerpt:

Glorious glamping…have you tried it yet?

The great outdoors and luxury aren’t exactly a perfect match in most people’s minds but when it comes to sampling the delights of nature and scenic beauty, you’ve got to try this. Glamping is the newest trend to hit the outdoor activities market where you can have all the luxury you need while enjoying a night under the stars.

Glamping is basically the evolution of an old favourite (camping) and it certainly seems to be taking the tourism industry by storm with outdoor accommodation in the form of log cabins, microlodges, reworked Romany caravans and bell tents – many of which include quirky bedsits and furniture, Wi-Fi, and lovely porticos and decking areas. While the names, and style of accommodation is certainly novel – even bordering on the chicly absurd – the experience is an amazingly unique one.’

Here at Crann Og we offer the ‘old school’ pitch-your-own-tent camping but also more luxurious and cosy Glamping options. Choose between a Romantic Eco Cabin, a spacious Bell Tent and two newly built and tastefully fitted Yurts, our Cosy Yurt and Luxury Yurt. All of these are perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway, nature lovers, friends and families. Provided for your comfort are solar lights, solid fuel stoves and handcrafted outdoor furniture for alfresco dining right there at your door.

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We have created a beautiful paradise of 14 acres of natural gardens, trees, sculpted willow fedges, arches, domes and tunnels for you to discover. Facilities are hand crafted from reclaimed and recycled materials, avoiding use of potentially toxic building materials. There are additional areas for camping, retreating, playing and many friendly animals.

At Crann Og we limit the number of guests on-site at any one time to guarantee peace and tranquillity, and that all who come and stay have plenty of personal space to relax without feeling crowded or disturbed by others if peace and quiet is a priority for your stay with us.

Build A Yurt Series:  Part 3 – Cord work

Build A Yurt Series: Part 3 – Cord work

Build a Yurt Part 3: cord work

 

 Welcome to Part 3 of a series of posts showing you how to build a Yurt.

The new yurts we are making will be available to stay at Crann Og Eco Farm during the spring, summer and autumn months as part of our ecotourism experience in the Irish wilderness.  In Part 1 & 2 we prepared the wall lattice slats and the roof poles. Part 3 is all about the actual building of the wall lattice structures.

We are using 4mm diameter hemp cord to tie together the lattice slats and make loops in the end of the roof poles.  The cord was precut into 17cm long pieces to give us sufficient working length for knotting and threading of the slats  The roof pole loops were precut at 25cm length. As hemp is a natural fibre it can not be melted to stop the ends fraying, which they will do immediately.

So we dipped the ends of all the precut cords into melted wax and then shaped them by fingers.  This stops the cord fraying and creates a needle like end for easier threading through the 5mm holes in the slats and poles.  The pieces for tying slats were dipped to 2.5cm in wax at both ends, the roof pole loops approximately 6cm at either end.  This is very time consuming work, but the time and effort put into dipping and shaping the precut cords makes the construction of the lattices so much easier.  This is a long process and tedius so anything one can do to make it easier is very, very wise!

Next step is to lay out a number of lattice slats and commence tying together by tying a knot in one of the 17cm long cords, threading through two overlapping slats and then knot on the opposite side.  This leaves quite a bit of excess cord, but it is neccessary in order to have enough cord for tying the second knot, especially if you have big fingers.  The excess is then trimmed off for tidiness.  The lattices consist of 3 sections of 11 overlapping pairs of slats for the 4.2m yurt, and 3 sections of 13 overlapping pairs for the 5.5m yurt.

The final step in the wall lattice construction is to correctly fashion the ends of the sections to make perfectly fitting joins of two sections, such that they come together in a way that makes the join difficult to see.  Trust me, the first one you make takes an age to get right and understand, but once you have it then it’s really quite simple.  Like everything else, you need to do it to really learn it, and it seems terribly difficult at first and quite frustrating.  But the end product is worth the mental gymnastics!

To finish off this post it’s then time to make the roof pole loops, which is simply the case of threading cord through the holes in the butt ends of the roof poles and tying them such that it is still possible to comfortably loop over the wall lattices without too much effort.  It’s handy to have an off-cut of the wall slats to slide into the loop cord as you tighten it up to get the correct length.

Coming up soon in Part 4 is the roof crown and door frame assembly!

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Build A Yurt Series:  Part 2 – Roof Structure

Build A Yurt Series: Part 2 – Roof Structure

Build a Yurt Part 2: roof structure

 

Welcome to Part 2 of the Build a Yurt series. This post is all about making the roof poles which will slot into the roof crown and rest upon the wall lattices. This section shows the jig for processing the poles, chamfering and tapering poles with a power planer and end sanding to protect the overlying canvas.

Our two yurts will be of two sizes, one 4.2m (14ft) and one 5.5m (18ft) diameter. For the 5.5m yurt the poles are 2.735m long and for the 4.2m yurt they are 2.08m.

 

The roof poles started out as 2’x2’s, which were planed down to fit neatly on top of the V-notch between wall slats and slot into the holes in the central roof crown. Paul modified the Jig used for processing the wall lattice slats, enabling the edges of the poles to be chamfered uniformly, making two passes with the planer set to maximum depth. Planed edges and finish detail were then all hand sanded.

At the butt of the roof poles where they join the wall lattices, two 5mm holes were drilled, 20mm and 40mm from the end of the pole, through one of the chamfered edges, terminating in the opposite edge. These are for the hemp cords that will loop over the wall lattices when the roof poles are positioned correctly, to stop them slipping away as the yurt is erected.

The butts were then tapered first by power planer making successive cuts at 1.5mm while rotating the pole, and then finished off on the upturned belt sander for shaping and rounding. The ends were then finished lovingly by Flor by hand, to ensure a round and smooth finish to protect the canvas roof.

The jig was again modified to allow uniform tapering of the pole tops where they will slot into the roof crown. Exact and uniform tapering is performed by making a series of planer cuts of 1.5mm at 100mm, then 200mm, then 300mm, 400mm and finally 500mm from the top end.

Each planer cut goes all the way through to the top of the pole, the successive cuts resulting in a tapered end. The planing is performed on four sides of the pole, the edges then planed off with a light cut until a roughly circular end is created.

Then it’s back to the sander to shape and smooth the top ends of the poles bit by bit, checking them for correct diameter in the crown holes, until they are a perfect snug fit. In the case of our larger roof poles the absolute ends were shaped by hand with a sharp knife to make them cylindrical, before final sanding, again finished by hand sanding.

Coming up soon in Part 3 is the construction of the wall lattices and making the funky lattice section joins.

 

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