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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The problem with Disposable Coffee Cups

The problem with Disposable Coffee Cups

Disposable Coffee Cup Recycling (infographic)

 

 Are you a coffee lover?  Do you take your coffee on the fly?  Have you ever considered what happens to all those disposable coffee cups?  It hadn’t really crossed our minds, ’til one day the guys over at Cater4You sent us an infographic on the subject…and well, we were shocked!

 

Do the world a favour and check out this infographic, you will be amazed at the impacts and issues created by all those coffees!  Did you know that coffee is now the second most popualr drink in the world, second only to water!  We need to get this issue sorted!  Hats off to all those suppliers offering an alternative to old school disposable coffee cups.  Please do your part and help alleviate this massive waste and recycling issue!  It should make you think twice next time you’re chasing a shot of liquid intelligence!

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Leave No Trace in Nature

Leave No Trace in Nature

 

 Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethics programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.

At Crann Og Eco Farm we actively promote the seven codes to our guests to ensure the preservation of our ecofarm and the surrounding woodlands and wetland areas.

 

Here are the Crann Og Eco Farm Leave No Trace Codes of Conduct:

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Know the regulations and special concerns for the area. Visit in small groups. Repackage food to minimize waste. Travel & camp on durable surfaces. Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Pack it in, pack it out. Pack out all trash & leftover food. Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.

Leave What You Find

Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry.

Use only designated fireplaces at Crann Og, do not light fires in the woods. Use only wood supplied by Crann Og, do not collect firewood from the forest.

Respect Wildlife

Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed animals. Control pets at all times, or leave them at home. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud noises.

And why would we follow and support those principles?

Nature plays an important part in our daily lives and impacts us positively whether we are aware of it or not. Preserving the natural environment is one of our missions here as we are located next to protected woodlands and are advocates of reconnection to nature for education and health.

Following these principles is also a requirement for our Gold Certification with Ecotourism Ireland, the national ecotourism organization, ratified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Get more info about our Leave No Trace & Conservation Values.

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Food Forage in Ireland September 2016

Food Forage in Ireland September 2016

Food Foraging - Going Wild

 

 Wild Food Foraging in Ireland with Mary Bulfin at Crann Og Eco Farm.  A charming group of folk joined us for a very interesting and informative day out. Mary led the group from all walks of life through the farm and woods to forage for edible wild plants and fruits.

What a feast! We learned about mushrooms, big ones, tiny ones, tasty ones and poisonous ones… Looking in the hedgerows, wandering over the fields of Crann Og Eco Farm we found many weeds that turned out to be tasty and medicinal as well!

There were plenty of wild berries and plums to pick and eat, especially blackberries, so many blackberries! We also learned about the health benefits of nettle seeds, they are rich in minerals, great for skin and hair, as well as the kidneys and urinary system.

Yes, eating weeds is definitely possible and probably the most sustainable way to get rid of them – or at least use them! Eat them in salads, pestos, soups, bake them into bread and cookies or make tea out of them.  Remember…they are actually Wild Foods!

But before you go out, remember to inform yourself about edible plants in your region, read books or better – attend a course!

The next Wild Food Day in late autumn will be on October 22nd. Starts at 10am and finishes around 4pm. Mushroom hunting, making preserves and much more!

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Wintry Renovations 2015/16

Wintry Renovations 2015/16

New & Fresh

It’s been a busy winter for us 2015/16 renovating our Long House cabins and bathroom.  We have renovated and redecorated the cabins, replaced the beds and all new linen.

We have replaced one of our showers and added econo-taps to our showers and basins to further enhance our sustainability, reducing our water consumption yet further.

In addition we have renovated the main house and Yoga studio in preparation for a very busy year ahead.

We look forward to giving everyone a very warm welcome to Crann Og Eco Farm in 2016.

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