Why Portugal?

You don’t wake up one day and decide to start a self sustainable yoga retreat and then quit your job when you arrive in the office, at least that isn’t how we did it.

Rainbow City Portugal
Photo of Laurence at  Merkaba yoga farm in Portugal

It all started with an idea which evolved over time with inspirations and ideas gathered and collected from other people. Every sign since we’ve had the idea has said that this is the right thing to do.

But, the question we are constantly asked is, “Why Portugal?”

Kimbo @ H2O Yoga in Indonesia
Kimbo @ H2O Yoga in Indonesia

To answer that question we have to go back to the beginning. We first came up with the idea of starting a self sustainable yoga farm when we went to the Eco Yoga Park in Argentina. At this stage, starting our own yoga farm was just a pipe dream like so many that had come and gone over the years. In this pipe dream we imagined setting up in Asia or South America. We knew, however, that selling everything we owned and investing it in a yoga retreat would be tough enough, never mind all the red tape we would encounter when buying land outside of the EU. So, we decided Europe would be our best option as we would be able to buy land with our British passports without difficulties. Also, we would be able to take advantage of free medical care and, eventually, schooling. So, Europe it was. Although, secretly, I’d love to do it in Ecuador, too!

In 2014, the next step of the process took us to H2O Yoga and Meditation, Gii Air, Indonesia where we were inspired by the island and, naturally, our hosts Bindu and Anya. We spoke about our plans with many people at the yoga retreat who all encouraged us further.

Playing Chess with Simon at Rainbow City
Playing Chess with Simon at Merkaba

A few months later I received a message from our friend Simon whom we had met at H2O. In this message he told me that he was staying in this small community called Merkaba in Fundão, Portugal, a place founded on the same principals  that we want for Keela and that I should come and have a look. So, I jumped on a plane and traveled from Singapore to Merkaba , Portugal, eager to see this place and to meet the founders Anth and Dan.

At this point, Anth and Dan were less than a year into creating their yoga farm community from an empty field in the countryside. They kindly shared their knowledge of starting such a project with me and even arranged for me to view some land with the local agency.

 I was very inspired by Makarba and I loved Portugal. The people were friendly, the land was cheap and there are hundreds of established yoga communities already in the country.

When I got home, what started out as a pipe dream seemed to be evolving into something that might actually happen. This galvanised us into action and Kimberly and I finally decided to go and do some serious research and planning for our very own sustainable yoga farm in Portugal. Since then, everything from land price to feasibility has shows us that Portugal is the right place for us to do it.

Please click here to read my full blog about Merkarba on my Personal Training Blog

Since the launch of this site we have received an outstanding response from friends and family. With all of you sharing this on Facebook, we have had inquiries from press, volunteers, potential partners and we have even had  some land offered to us in Indonesia. So, many thanks to you all.

We will keep the blogs coming, please sign up to out mailing list to stay up-to-date.

Rainbow City Yoga Portugal
Dan from Merkaba and his rottweiler. We had just been collecting berries and fruits.

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