In Aug. 2015, I was a volunteer at Stonehouse Farm in Chicago. It is a yoga training site only open in summer. It provides training to yoga instructors and accommodation service. Scheduled activities are available every weekend during summer. I was a helper there helping to do laundry and cleaned up the site for different events. I worked there, exchanged for not only accommodation but taking part in yoga practice and events.
The name Stonehouse comes from the stone house on the farm. The house was built in 1863 and is one of the oldest houses in Illinois. People are proud of having a historical house.
The day I arrived, there were yoga silent meditation days. During silent meditation period, people couldn’t talk to each other, and could not make eye contact. Everybody was just quiet, pretended that nobody was around you. If there were necessary conversation, people needed to be far away from the house and talked with very low voices.
This was the yurt where I lived.
There were aged oak trees around. The first night, an acorn (the fruit of oak tree) dropped to the roof of the yurt. The sudden sound startled me especially in the dark silence. The green trees and the acorns appeared in the sunlight, fresh and peaceful.
Yoga practice provides equanimity. People’s body is adapted to diet more naturally. Most of the time, vegetarian food was served.
This was the lounge.
Fecund soil grew abundant apples.
It was an amazing place to stay.