What Is GaiaYoga?
A Holistic Vision for Living Sustainably As Spirit, Self, Community, and Earth
GaiaYoga is a way of living that is being pioneered at GaiaYoga Gardens (GYG) intentional community. It is the integration of many other teachings into a cohesive practice that is intended to support a person in living from their deepest humanity, and to develop bonded human social structures (cultures, tribes, clans, and families) that express our true nature as human beings. GaiaYoga is in many ways the antidote for the dominant culture based on capitalism, fantasy, car and machine dominance, dysfunctional family systems, emotional illiteracy, fear-and-dominance of nature, and broken relationships.
GaiaYoga goes much broader and deeper than most “yogas” which primarily address an individuals’ body-mind, supporting inner peace and connection to Spirit. GaiaYoga is a dynamic and holistic “yoga” that addresses Spirit (the realization and integration of both the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine), the Self (including the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental bodies), Community (including the intimate, personal, local, collective, and universal spheres of community), and Earth (developing strategies to sustainably live as an integrated “cell” of The Earth, individually and culturally).
GaiaYoga is truly a holistic practice that addresses and includes all areas of the human experience. It is modeled after the lifestyles and spiritual understanding of many of the indigenous cultures of the world that lived sustainably and holistically for untold generations. But these indigenous cultures didn’t/ don’t know how to handle the current “beast” that is dominating the Earth and tame it and bring it into balance with all of Life. For that, we need a new medicine and a different kind of understanding and practice. GaiaYoga is a practice and vision for how to emerge out the world that we see now and create something that has the beautiful elements of past indigenous cultures but has learned to wield the new power that’s been found through technology and science, without losing touch with our true humanity.
What’s it going to take for us have the kind of world we want and be the kind of people we want to be? How can we grow through the huge pile of compost left by the previous generations and find our way to the sunlight and create both a healthy and full expression of our individuality and create a “container”, a culture, a community for us to live in? Truly, humans are no different than dolphins, or wolves, or bees, or ants, or giraffes, or bonobos, or bananas, or bamboo: we are naturally “designed” to live in and as a bonded social organism. Our full human expression is to live as a unified multi-generational people. Call it a tribe, or a community, or a clan, or kin, or whatever.
This is a huge aspect of the yoga we all need to do to create a beautiful and abundant and peaceful and Spirit-filled world. We need to take the energy of yoga – of unification – and bring it to culture. This is a big “stretch” for someone who grew up in a city, or the suburbs, or a dysfunctional family. There’s lots of healing, lots of new skills, and lots of buttons to be pressed and worked through. How can we do it safely, directly, and effectively? This is part of what practicing GaiaYoga addresses.
GaiaYoga is a powerful vision, practice, and template for finding one’s own deepest humanity and to live that on and as Gaia (the living entity known as the Earth). GaiaYoga is standing on the shoulders of many great wisdom-teachings in many areas of life. It integrates Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Guy Claude Berger’s Instinctive Eating, Aajonus Vonderplanitz Primal Diet, Re-Evaluative Counseling (RC), the international men’s group The ManKind Project (MKP), Permaculture and other sustainable energy and agriculture practices, Abralut’s Tantric Transmission of the Shivalila Kinship Society, the wisdom of The Dagara people as expressed by Malidoma and Sobonfu Some, Saniel Bonder’s Waking Down spiritual teaching and practice, Piankhy’s Integral Science, The Michael Teaching, Neil Cohen’s Integrative Awakening, Taoist and Tantric sexuality teachings, as well an assortment of other new and old teachings and practices that support sustainable and holistic living and culture.
Wanna find out more? Ready to get started? Check out www.gaiayoga.org. You can also read Ano’s Magnus Opus, True Human Freedom: The Inspiration and Argument for GaiaYoga™ Culture (see Merchandise Page). Better yet, come visit or participate in one of our programs at GaiaYoga Gardens. GYG is a 17.75 acre, sustainably-designed homestead, holistic cultural experiment, and teaching and healing center located in Puna, on the East-side of the Big Island of Hawaii. We are pioneering this way of life and are looking for people to join us at many levels: as a guest, resident, long-term community member, or as cross-community teammate linking GaiaYoga to other places in the world.
GaiaYoga is the lifework of Ano Tarletz Hanamana. He walked away from the culture he was born into in the early 90s, when he was in his early 20s. He has spent the last 30 or so years of his life healing himself, learning, practicing, and teachings skills that support GaiaYoga lifestyle, unlearning a whole lot, and bringing this vision to life with others! In 2001 he co-created the GaiaYoga teaching with his ex-partner, and in 2003 they co-founded GYG. In 2009, after separating from her, he re-founded GYG with Melekai Courtney Matson. In 2018, they transferred the title of the land into a religious non-profit so that there was a social/economic/legal structure that supports true community.
One thing we’ve learned from Permaculture is that most problems, especially recurring ones, can be traced to design errors. In other words, if you start out with a bad design, no matter how much energy you put into tweaking it, you’re still going to end up with problems. The same is true of lifestyles and cultures. The reason that most of us are stuck in various ways in our lives is due to poor design, not an inherent problem in us as humans. (We consider this good news!) It’s about the seeds we planted. Plant a different seed, get a different result. GaiaYoga is a seed that can bring the results people are looking for through all their hard work and seeking. It fundamentally re-designs and re-orientates our lives for wholeness, balance, and sustainability, so that we can actually have all our needs met.