International Women’s Camp takes place at Guru Ram Das Puri in Española, New Mexico, about 25 miles north of Santa Fe. This land is sacred to the Pueblo Indians and is located in the Jemez Mountains at an altitude approaching 7,000 feet.
An ancient spiritual gathering place, Guru Ram Das Puri is surrounded for miles by pristine wilderness of extraordinary natural beauty. To step upon this land is to breathe the spirit of ancient Native American traditions, to deeply connect with Mother Earth, and to celebrate Yogi Bhajan’s vision for a healthy, happy, and holy humanity.
Acclimating to the High Desert Terrain
In the high desert, days are hot and dry, but temperatures can drop dramatically in the evening and early morning. At this altitude, it is very important to use sun protection. Protect yourself as you would if you were at the beach on a very hot, bright summer day.
It often takes two or three days to acclimate to this environment and the best way to manage your adjustment is to remain well hydrated. Bring a water bottle and carry it around with you. Water is not always sufficient to keep hydrated so, especially during the first days on-site, make sure you drink our special electrolyte drink throughout the day. Please also remember that water will help your body assimilate the emotional and physical changes you will be experiencing.
The temperature during the day is usually in the high 80s and low 90s°F (28-35°C). In the evenings, the temperature cools down considerably to the low 40s and 50s°F (15-20°C). You will need warm clothes for morning sadhana which takes place in the Tantric Shelter, so we suggest you dress in layers. Sudden rainstorms can occur so be sure to bring rain gear.
For more information about how to survive and thrive in high altitude, see Staying Healthy in High Altitude.
An Ancient Native American Tradition
At the first 3HO Summer Solstice in New Mexico in 1970, a delegation of Hopi elders met with Yogi Bhajan. The elders explained that, for a hundred thousand years, huge spiritual gatherings took place over a vast territory stretching from what is now New Mexico, south to Mexico, and east to Missouri. Tribal and religious leaders, wise women, and warriors traveled from as far away as South America and from across the Bering Strait from Asia to attend the gatherings. They all shared the belief that the spark of Spirit lives in everyone, and that by coming together, the Unified Supreme Spirit could be made to manifest more clearly.
The Hopi elders told Yogi Bhajan that these spiritual gatherings took place once every 108 years, so that the people who came to each meeting had heard about it first-hand from someone who had actually experienced the last one. However, the last such meeting had occurred more than 2,000 years ago, when a shift took place: it was determined that the forces of discord—in the form of disharmony and disrespect for nature—were gaining power at such a tremendous rate that the Unified Supreme Spirit needed to be protected. The Hopi people were chosen to be the keepers of the Unified Supreme Spirit. Because of this, Hopis became a very mystical, spiritual limb of the Great Tree, as they called it.
The Hopi elders told Yogi Bhajan that it had been foreseen that just before the forces of discord reached their full power, a white-clad warrior from the East would arrive and create a white-clad army to protect the Unified Supreme Spirit. The Hopis said they had determined that Yogi Bhajan was the white-clad warrior whose coming had been predicted, and therefore they were entrusting him with the duty of keeping and protecting the Unified Supreme Spirit. This was a solemn trust that Yogi Bhajan took very seriously.