Creating a Sustainable Retreat Center in France
Projects and Ideas
Sustainability is a major part of Hridaya Yoga France’s center. Personal transformation and global sustainability naturally go hand in hand: as we learn to take care of our body and mind, we become more aware of the importance of living in harmony with nature. Through the practice of yoga, we become more sensitive to the interconnectedness of thought, energy, and action. We learn to cultivate a deeper respect and reverence for the give and take that is inherent to our existence. By addressing this exchange from a yogic perspective, the sustainable projects undertaken by our retreat center offer insights into the ways that yoga can help to bring our bodies and the Earth into harmony.
Sustainability is also in the front of our minds when it comes to renovating and running the center. How can we have the least impact on the environment and move this historical property towards an eco-friendly future? We used ecological insulation and materials when possible, installed an eco-friendly sewage system, and furnished our home mainly with second hand and recycled furniture. When our budget permits, we are planning to install a rainwater collection system
Growing towards a respectful & purposeful use of the land
The Earth is abundant, and when we work with its natural cycles and biodiversity, we can grow food for ourselves, our families, and our community without harming it. Permaculture is the art and science of sustainable care of the land, in which we do not take more from the Earth than we give back. It is an intelligent agricultural system that begins to reproduce itself over its lifetime, like a natural ecosystem. That means it is a closed system where energy is captured, used, and re-used. A permaculture system integrates land, resources, people, and the environment to bring consumer waste back into the cycle.
Food grown all year long through permaculture design
At Longeval, we aim to grow enough food in all seasons to feed ourselves year-round. We work together with nature and give back as much as we take–and a little bit more–to minimise the costs to the surrounding environment. We are planning to grow a wide variety of crops, such as vegetables, herbs and medical plants. We will also have a flower garden with edibles. Down the road, we hope to use part of our forested land to grow a food forest and to create a green house to have food year round.
Ecological Sewage System
Harnessing the power of nature through phytodepuration
Our retreat center must be able to treat the water used by up to a hundred visitors each day. So, we decided to choose a completely natural solution called “phytodepuration,” an effluent water purification system which uses plants (particularly reeds) as filters for the elimination of the polluting substances found in used water.
Based on the idea of an ecological, self-sustainable, and natural system, this process uses sand and plants in big tanks to purify the water with microorganisms, as happens in nature. With only a little knowledge and technical skills, we can restructure the water system, using nature to clean our wastewater and then returning perfectly clean water to the river.
Trainings and Workshops
We offer 6- to 12-day Permaculture Design Courses
At Hridaya, we love to be able to share our knowledge and educational resources. In addition to Hridaya Yoga Retreat Modules and Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats, we offer workshops and trainings on permaculture and sustainability. Join us yearound as a volunteer to help in the garden: Apply to join our team of permaculture volunteers!
Ecological Heating System
Using locally renewable sources of energy
We are planning to modify our heating system into a sustainable system using local and natural resources to create heat instead of our current system based on fuel, a cheap combustible that is not very environmentally sound.
This particular project requires us to change our two main boilers and renovate part of our heating system’s infrastructure. This is a rather big project and we are actively looking for financial support to bring it to life. Feel free to contact us if you feel inspired to contribute. We fully appreciate any assistance we can get!