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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Exploring Nature: Educational courses at Crann Og

Exploring Nature: Educational courses at Crann Og

Exploring the educational side of Nature

 The 24th March marked the beginning our Nature School 2018 at Crann Og. With a well attended class and a beautiful afternoon we couldn’t have asked for more. Plenty of fun was mixed with educational aspects as the children practised new skills. There was an introduction to compass reading for the older children and a hand drawn discovery map, marked with symbols, for the younger ones.

We welcomed back some familiar faces and a few new ones, too. It is fantastic to see this great interest in our own back garden! We hope to see a continued rise in interest in Forest and Nature School at home and around the world.

Ireland is home to the youngest population in the EU. With 25% aged 18 or under. Of this 25% it is estimated that 80% do not meet the Government Physical Activity Guidelines. Unchecked this will lead to serious impacts on the emotional, physical and mental well being among the youth.

Ireland has a diverse array of flora and fauna and a rich historical connection to nature. Forest School allows children to gain confidence for exploring and discovering the interconnectedness of their surroundings. Rebuilding this connection will have numerous and long lasting benefits for us as a society and also for the natural environment.

Certified Forest School Leader, Marion-Edler Burke will be hosting more classes over the year, with all dates here.

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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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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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Nature Therapy Benefits – Feel Good Factor

Nature Therapy Benefits – Feel Good Factor

Back to Nature

 

 The Connacht Tribune has run a feature on Crann Og Eco Farm promoting the importance of Nature and the positive effects it has on our daily lives.

Connecting with nature through guided Nature Therapy Walks, Nature School and ReNature Retreats helps us slow down and relax, reduces stress, strengthens our immune system and lifts our mood.

We have been talking about nature therapy benefits since 2004. Visitors and participants emerge from Crann Og reconnected, restored and relaxed. Their shoulders drop, their smiles broaden and they sleep deeper.

 

 

It was fantastic to have such a lengthy feature written about Crann Og and Marion, helping to promote the cause of getting people back to nature for well being and health, emotional and physical. Many thanks to Judy Murphy of the Connacht Tribune for such a good article!

Marion will be giving an introduction to Nature Therapy Walks at the BurrenBeo Landscape Symposium on 10th – 12th March 2017.

Get more info about our ReNature Retreats here.

Follow this link for Nature Therapy Walks.

Read the online article here.

 

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