I spent the final week of my two month trip at the Krishna Village Ashram in the city of Eungella in NSW Australia. The ashram covered a 100 acres in a lush forest within a volcano caldera. The premises had a temple, village, farm, two lakes, school, goats, and cows.
I signed up to do the Karma Stay meaning I get a 2-up shared room (made from a shipping container, divided into thirds) for AUS$340 for the week and get all three meals a day, plus twice daily yoga classes, daily kirtan, and yogic living class. I was also expected to volunteer 20 hours a week or I’ll lose my AUS $50 deposit.
The daily schedule is:
- 5 - 6am morning vinyasa yoga
- 6:15am - 8:30 am volunteer session 1
- 8:30am breakfast at the temple
- 9:15am - 12pm volunteer session 2
- 12:30pm kirtan
- 1pm yogic living classes
- 2pm lunch at the kitchen
- 4:15pm - 5:15pm evening yoga
- 6pm dinner at the temple
- 7pm wellness talk
- 9pm lights out
It wasn’t until the week before my stay that I realized it was a Hare Krishna ashram and I didn’t know what exactly that entailed until I got there. It means that the ashram, practices paying respects to the Hindi god Krishna and his wife hare. We did prayers before eating vegetarian sattvic food and sang the Maha Mantra multiple times daily.
"Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare"
The devotees of the temple had mala prayer beads and would recite this mantra 1,728 times (108x16) a day, this would take about 2 hours.
I had such a great time in my one week at the Krishna Village and can have easily stayed there longer if I wasn’t so homesick after being away for so long. I would definitely recommend Krishna Village to anyone, religious or not it was just a wonderful place in nature surrounded by great people.
We arrived in the evening and Henrike gave us a tour of the grounds. Then we headed to the temple on the hill for dinner. The food is vegetarian here and so delicious we had a salad, vegetable pasta, rice, sweet rice, cooked vegetables, and Dahl.
My friends drove to Spirit Fest in Byron Bay and I stayed behind at the ashram. It was my first full day here and I wanted to get grounded, settle in, and take classes.
I woke up at 4:30am and attended the morning vinyasa flow yoga at which was really well led. Then I met for my 6:15 volunteer meet up where I was assigned village kitchen help. I spent the morning chopping fruits and vegetables for the lunch meal. James the kitchen cook showed us different healthy vegan recipes to make at home.
This followed up with breakfast at the temple then a yogic living course about the Values Pendulum. This was followed up with a restorative yoga then dinner. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep by 9pm.
DAY 3 & 4
I signed up for the Balinese massage 22 hour certification course. This was taught by Karen and Dee, this was a wonderfully thorough physical, spiritual, and emotional experience. We learned how to give a 75 minute full body massages with oil.
Intuitive Balinese Massage combines a variety of classic whole body massage techniques with the practitioner's ability to tap into their intuition and create a meditative state of relaxation and healing for their client. The program gave us massage therapist accreditation by the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT),
The first day we learned how to do the warmup (5 minutes), back of legs (10 minutes each) and the back (30 minutes).
The second day we did the front of the body, legs (2.5 minutes each) front of body (15 minutes), and our final the full 75 minutes.
This was such a wonderful class where I was able to learn new massage techniques and meet new friends. I’m unsure if I will ever use my new massage license, but it can’t hurt to be certified. This class inspired me to signup for a reiki healing course where I’ll be getting a level 1 & 2 certificate.
The following days I was so sore from massaging so many hours over the weekend and my head was nauseas due to receiving so many massages. I ended up skipping morning yoga for the rest of my stay at the Krishna village.
The following days I was assigned volunteering duty in the temple kitchen. Working in the temple was a job only given to volunteers they trusted to follow the temple rules. It was quite an honor to be assigned this position and during breakfast & lunch I served the meals. Guests were not allowed to serve themselves the food, I believe this was to make people take a pause and feel gracious about the food they were receiving. The duties of working in the kitchen is to clean the floor of the dining area (everyone ate seated on the floor), prepped the vegetables for breakfast & dinner, and served breakfast & lunch to the guests (dinner was served by the devotees).
Working in the temple area felt very calming and spirituals, it was quite amazing to be surrounded by the devotees while they were doing their daily rituals.
After my volunteer shift I attended the “Shedding the layers of identity” yogic living class and it was about the five different levels of koshas. It was about taking care of all five leveled of a persons essence, so one can live their true authentic self.
After this we took the rental car and drove 30 minutes away to Springbrook National forest where there is a natural bridge made by a waterfall that flows into a glow worm cave.
After I volunteered at the temple I attended the afternoon kirtan class, followed by a ceremony performed by Reagan. The ceremony he preformed was influenced by the local indigenous tribe and included:
- Sage smudging
- Okra painting
- Bangala tribe dance: fire, wind, water, okra painting earth, emu, eagle, wallaby, thank you
- Blue lily Tea ceremony
- Digridoo nidra
Later on I attended a relaxing Hatha yoga class and attended the wellness talk by the devotee Sarvi Dashi.
Wellness Talk Notes
- Epigenetic (above genes): Change your genes change your life. Only 2% of your genes locked in for preconditions. Expose to outside conditions such as the diet, chemicals, pollution, etc we can trigger our genes. Don’t vaccine kids? Redux biology - what do the molecules do? Improving cell to cell communication. Can take 4 root hairs $100 and tell you what you have been eating the last 90 days and actually read your genes.
- Gut health: We have bacteria living inside and outside our body, more of these cells then our own cells. As long as they all live in balance we stay healthy. You keep it in balance by not stress and eat healthy (fruit and vegetables). 2k species in rural and 200 in the city. Human biom/micro biom. Dr. Susan Humphrey.
- The question of supplementation: magnesium escobat, organic AGM Foods - Whole food fermentation probiotics. A2 cows, stress taken away too early, blood for mechanical.
The last day at the ashram made me stop and appreciate all the small things of the day. Such as the beautiful morning sunrise, noises of nature, and all the wonderful people at the ashram.
After volunteering I attended the yogic living class about “Living in Balance” and then attended a challenging vinyasa yoga class.
We ended the evening watching a movie about permiculture (creation of permanent agriculture) called “Inhabitat.” This was shown by the instructor the 3 week permiculture course by the teacher Damien.
After the movie I said all my goodbyes and gave lots of hugs, then packed my bags and headed to the Gold Coast airport for the long journey home.