Yet again, many moons have passed since my last blog post and much water has flowed down the Ganges. But here we are enjoying the first week of August.
Projects we have completed at Suryalila, since my last post, include the completion of our new Moroccan Pagoda, which is a gorgeous nest of embroidered pillows, providing a front row seat to enjoy the glory of the magnificent sunset.
The new Moon Shala’s path and surroundings have been cleaned up and finished. We still need to do a little more landscaping, but not till after the heat of summer subsides.
We have also added three more hot showers to our growing glamping area. These showers also supply water to a bunch of banana trees and flowering shrubs next to them, thanks to our Permaculture team.
A number of new murals grace our walls, including a beautiful Moroccan doorway between the kitchen and the dining room, this was a joint project of Tony (local artist) and Thea (designer of the Dome Art). Many of the houses and rooms are now graced with Moorish style murals. The Shakti boutique also got an entryway facelift.
The main project we have been working on is the initiation of a property-wide Permaculture project, which, in time, will lead to regeneration of our soil, preservation of water, a food forest, more landscaping, serious composting and an overall enhancement of the natural beauty of our property. We have taken back the seven hectare wheat field from our neighbours, who were farming it, and will begin to regenerate the soil there, eventually turning it into a food forest. We will be using something called key-line ploughing and already had a consultation with Jesus (common name in Spain) who is an agricultural engineer, who has started this process.
The Permaculture Project is being led by Doug Crouch, who is an American expert in permaculture design. He is designing the project and is mentoring our new permaculture project manager Jacob, and a small team of volunteer farmers.
Doug is also going to be running Permaculture Design Courses at Suryalila, one Advanced Course in December and a foundational Permaculture Design Course in Feb/March 2017. I am so excited to be working with him. Over time it will be lovely to see our land flourish, and also to inspire others as to what is possible. This is obviously a long-term ongoing project. It will take a few years to begin to see serious results.
Since I last wrote we have many more animals. Coco and Habibi, two of our alpacas had babies, Ziggy and Joey, so now we have five enchanting alpacas. We also bought two more donkeys, one mare called Daisy and her young son, Romeo. Daisy is pregnant but it will take another 6 months before she gives birth. We also have a sweet baby goat called Canela. And one more toy poodle puppy, to be a friend for sweet Rishi. Our new apricot toy poodle is called Kumari and she is now everyone’s darling. There is no shortage of babysitters. Rishi thinks she’s a live toy, and they already are inseparable. So our zoo continues to expand and delight.
Our Amrita Juice Bar is one of my favourite new additions. As well as many great juices and smoothies, we now serve iced bullet- proof coffee, golden milk(made with turmeric and other spices) and Sangria.
Bookings at Suryalila are looking very good since many months now. 2017 has been pretty much fully booked out for a while, aside from a few winter weeks. 2018 is now booking full steam ahead. Tiffany Cruikshank-super big yoga superstar, has booked three weeks for next year and has asked that to be a standard booking every year. Donna Farhi, another very well-known Yoga teacher, has just booked for 2018. Bryan Kest, yet another Yoga giant, tried to book for next year and we had to turn him down, due to no room. We are currently booking him in 2019. In terms of bookings, I can happily say, we have made it. Hallejujah! For all of this, I am eternally grateful. Our vision and hard work is bearing fruit. Thank you so much to my lovely team here at Suryalila, without whom it would not have been possible.
I am very happy to have my lovely niece Mary living here right now and running the juice bar. I am also happy to have my dear friend Lisa working here as Harry’s assistant, replacing Somesh who is away for a few months. It’s really nourishing to have more family around.
This year, and next year my travels will be limited as I plan to stay home a lot more to work on sustaining and perfecting all systems here. My yoga career continues to blossom, I am now being featured on an online Yoga Site: www.movementformodernlife.com. I have also become a regularly featured writer for Om Yoga Magazine.
This October, I plan to study for a weekend with James Swartz, my friend Harry’s Vedanta teacher. He is going to be in Ghent in Belgium and I am looking forward to a little spiritual infusion.
More later. Hasta Luego!