Barefoot Sanctuary is honored to be participating in the EarthGratitude.org project, a global event phenomena that includes the contributions of Deepak Chopra, Elon Musk, the Prince of Wales and many more. Visit EarthGratitude.org to receive their free e-book and unlimited access to the 14-Day Virtual Event.
Why leave the most fantastic, plastic city in the world – Las Vegas – to be immersed in the heart of the wilderness? Two years ago, we led a yoga retreat in the Sacred Valley of Peru where the native people exuded an authentic connection to the Earth. At a farmer’s market one day, we admired mothers with armfuls of wild food, plant medicine and vegetables – like an endless parade of Earth’s treasures. In Las Vegas, food comes wrapped in layers of plastic.
“Nature isn’t a model separate from us. We are part of the natural world, complete with all its complexities.”
– Lynne Twist
We had an auspicious feeling about heading north into the wilderness of Western Canada. We followed a calling to find land that spoke to us and found a beautiful slice of the forest where we could continue teaching our passions in yoga, circus and protection of the environment. We now live off-grid gathering rain water, drinking from wild springs and being powered by solar.
There is a respect that arises when you see yourself no longer as a user of a resource and more as a partner with nature. We are learning to become guardians for Earth Mother for the sake of our child, the children of the future and our inherent connection to the planet.
For us, nature is a foundation for all movement. We find our inspirations in nature, a rejuvenation in deep woods of the forest and a renewal of spirit by the rushing waters of the river. We infuse all our teachings with a sense of nature, as reverence to our first teacher, the Earth.
The notion of wholeness in mind and body imbues our classes and retreats. Disease can be thought of as separation of ourselves from our environment. By infusing nature with the art of movement, we bring ourselves back in harmony with our mind, body and spirit and ultimately, the world.
A contribution towards greener living can start with a single, simple action, and it and can start with each one of us. When we feel cleaner and healthier, when we feel in touch with our bodies, we can also begin to make an impact on sustainable living in a lasting, authentic way.
We were living in Las Vegas in the midst of a concrete urban jungle. Our realization one day was that we lived in a city in the middle of a desert which by no means has the natural resources to support the amount of water we used daily. It was a rude awakening to what our habits were, even though we considered ourselves “aware” and environmentally conscious.
Our decision to move to the forests of southern British Columbia was driven by our value that “you have to live it to give it”. As yoga and circus teachers, we believe strongly in being able to do what we teach. So, as we move into this phase of our life, we knew that living the values of a sustainable lifestyle had to be more than just a casual conversation. It had to be a real experience that we could truly learn from, share and inspire others to give their contributions to a greener world.
There are many routes to an off-grid lifestyle but we took the one that afforded us the greatest speed because we moved onto a piece of land at the tail end of winter, without utility hook-ups – or even a driveway! We elected for an RV with a gas generator to start with, followed a week later by two 270 watt solar panels. Our non-potable water comes from the sky, 40 gallons of rainwater collected in two garbage pails. We built a simple housing for a wood stove and extra storage. And the toilet? It’s a bucket with sawdust that we carry out everyday.
Our off-grid experience has just begun but we’re already seeing the other benefits of this choice. We huddle around the fire, as a replacement to television, snuggle a little longer and closer when it’s cold outside and take more time to do the menial tasks, like washing dishes or gathering firewood. Our son is content with the toys of nature – rock collecting, carving sticks or playing with the wheelbarrow and shovel. We are learning skills that we never thought we would – building, wildcrafting, chopping wood. This decision to live sustainably has set in motion for us a spiral of other unexpected and amazing experiences.
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