With our founder’s background in international development it has always been an important part of our work to support local economies. When we work abroad we seek out locally owned venues and we work alongside local teams, skill sharing and learning from each other in a culturally sensitive and engaging way.
There is no “them and us” – we are all one team. Sometimes when we work in a new location, our local teams think we are a bit odd, especially if they haven’t encountered yoga before. So we take the time to involve them in what we do, hoping they will understand why we spend hours making strange shapes in a room and eating food that is sometimes quite different to what they eat!
We absolutely love getting to know our local teams: How they work, what makes them tick, how they deal with challenges and what makes them laugh.
There is so much to learn from everyone, and we experience great joy in sharing our yoga retreat journeys.
Some memorable moments from 2016 yoga retreats: Herding yaks on horseback with local herders crying with laughter at how rubbish we were, (secretly) watching a proud and stern camp manager be moved to tears during kirtan, local kitchen crew proudly posting photos on social media of new dishes they have created and styled, a local massage therapist beaming with pride having her brilliant feedback translated, endless banter with Italian and Indian taxi drivers, having long weather chats with Icelanders in hot pools…
Our other sustainability policies relate to purchasing and waste. We purchase our food from local suppliers and avoid supermarkets wherever we can. Our chefs create menus where they can recycle leftovers into the next day’s meals if needed. We choose locations where we can use water from a spring (UK), a well (Mongolia) or use clean tap water (Italy and Iceland) and strongly discourage the purchase of plastic water bottles.
Below are some images of our brilliant Mongolian team 🙂