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Kundalini Yoga and Organic Farming in the French Alps

 

By Gurujagat Kaur, France

Nestled in Mother Nature’s lap between mountains and river, our Kundalini Yoga center in La Fontaine was named by Yogi Bhajan: The Guru Ram Das Institute for Health and Happiness. Bought in 1993, the GRD Institute for Health and Happiness is a beautiful 3HO-Europe property in the French Alpes village of Barret-sur-Méouge between Sisteron and Grenoble. Here the 3HO yogic lifestyle and bio-dynamic organic farming join to create an ecological and simple yet powerful Kundalini Yoga center.

 

Working in the garden

Though it is situated in the mountains with wonderful forests and mountain tops all around, the land here is sunny and open. Some even say it reminds them of magical New Mexico, the home of 3HO’s Mother Ashram. The water is best quality mountain water, and the nearby Méouge River at the foot of the mountain is a lovely place to bathe in the summer.

 

Tipis in La Fontaine

The center hosts Kundalini Yoga students and teachers from around the world. We offer seminars and vegetarian/non-smoking/yogic camping open to all. The property includes a kitchen, a winter garden greenhouse, a large yoga room, and lots of space for teepees, tents, or trailers. Anyone interested in Kundalini Yoga, natural living, hiking, healing, organic gardening, and great pranic food is invited to come for holidays or as work exchange.

The center sustains itself by selling the extra produce from the garden, and from guests who come for green holidays. Most of the berry crops (we have 600 plants of different types of berries) are used for making jams (1500-2000 jars/year!). The autumn harvest (apples, pears, quince) are transformed into dried fruits, juice, and apple or pear sauce for the winter. From May to December La Fontaine hosts about 10 to 60 people daily. Some come to La Fontaine for holidays, some participate in workshops, and others come to do seva, helping in the garden or kitchen, chopping wood, or fixing things around the property.

 

Soubagh Kaur

La Fontaine is run by a committed core group of Kundalini yogis and yoginis living in or near La Fontaine. Subagh Kaur is the “mother” of the ashram. You’ll find her all over the place: in the garden caring for the plants; in the kitchen feeding family and guests with her wonderful solar cooked meals and delicious homemade bread, yogurt, and jams; or cooking on a solar cooker, an art of alignment with the Surya energy that she masters. You might also find her in the “Bergerie,” a renovated stone barn transformed into a yoga room, where she keeps the flame of a constant sadhana going. During the snowy winter she knits woolen socks by the fireplace.

Jan, our tall and smiling bio-dynamic gardener, is in the fields or in the greenhouse. From early morning to nightfall he ploughs the soil with his horses, soughs seeds, weeds, irrigates, and harvests vegtables, cereals, and fruits. During morning sadhana he accompanies the chanting with his cello.

Summer workshops:

Mother Earth: Women’s Summer Camp with Subagh Kaur in July 2011

Green Week: A detoxifing yogic monodiet of raw and cooked green foods, with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, hiking, and a visit to a spirulina farm. With Hariang Kaur (Holland) and Gurujagat Kaur (France) August 7-14, 2011

Non Violent Communication and Kundalini Yoga: with Simran Kaur (Germany) and Guruhans Kaur (France) in August 2011

 

Solar cooker

 

Two Projects for 2010-2012

 

The summer heat may make us forget the harsh mountain winters of Provence. The sun is generous but the temperatures go down below -15° Celsius (5° Fahrenheit) at night and the land is covered with snow from December to April! The permanent members spend the cold winter days in the “Bergerie,” the only heated area, but sleep in trailers as real yogis. Our project is the construction of a new “multi-purpose” building, providing more comfortable living space and a hosting facility during the winter, and serving as seminar space and dining room during the summer. The plans are made and construction will start shortly.

The second project aims at planting trees, creating an orchard of ornamental and fruit trees, dedicating a different type of tree for each of the ten Sikh Gurus. Trees are living entities. They will outlive us and will be the witness of our love and service to our teacher, Yogi Bhajan, and his teachings. When grown, they will provide shady space in the summer, give fruit, and offer meditative spaces. Our children and grandchildren’s generations may come and sit and meditate on humbleness, devotion, service, and courage and be inspired. It is an orchard where our ashes can be dispersed, so that we may nourish the land that has sustained us.

For both projects we call upon your help. If you have expertises and experience in building, farming, or planting trees; if you have some time; or if you would like to make a donation, we will be happy and grateful for your help.

Co-founder of La Fontaine, Gurujagat Kaur has dedicated her life for 35 years to sharing the Healthy, Happy, Holy lifestyle. She is a Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer and created the Yoga-Doula program (Conscious Pregnancy and Doula training). www.yoga-doula.eu For further information contact: [email protected] or visit our website www.3ho-lafontaine.org