Did you know that we are a non-profit event?
Our aims are to support yoga and the healing arts, and to raise funds for local charities.
Because 2016's festival was such a success, and all our wonderful teachers donate their time for free, we were able to donate €5400 to these local charities:
€700 to An Sanctoir. They have 30+ acres of land to maintain.
€160 to the Two Rivers, a local Steiner Kindergarten whose wooden building and play area we use for the healing area.
€300 for a local project which is converting the disused bank in Ballydehob for use as a community resource centre.
€2000 to Clonakilty Friends of Asylum Seekers. This is a group of local people, mostly women, who volunteer their time to provide activities , such as afternoon club for children to help with their homework, money for summer camps, counselling, help with filling in the large amount of forms and legal things that they must fill out, offer money and help to enroll in courses including creches, a weekly craft meetings which has resulted in a exhibition at the Glucksman (on now) and local shows etc. etc what ever they see might be needed by the residents.
€1500 for the Phoenix Youth Project at the family Resource centre in Skibbereen, a project that has been set up and is run by local young people, focusing on raising awareness and
providing support for mental health.
€650 to pay a local yoga teachers to run yoga classes in local primary schools.
€100 towards a construction of a timber frame shelter for An Sanctoir to use for kids camps etc.
Hopefully this year will be as successful as the last.
What local charities would you like to see supported by the festival?
Congratulations to the winner of the weekend pass for the festival, Rachel Tyrell!
Following on from the 1st blog where the newly purchased land as site for this new dedicated space, which had to be sold after planning permission was turned down! The search was on again, several more sites were in the running but eventually the existing site was found. The group of enthusiastic trustees overseeing this ambitious project were Julia Cotter, Janny Wieler, Sue Stevens (King), Marianne Gabriel, Tony Cohu and Charlie Stevens. Charlie was that first Yoga teacher who went on to train many more new yoga trainee teachers to become qualified Yoga Teachers. You could almost consider this the origins of the current boom that manifests so many new yoga teachers now.
The up coming Yoga festival has several of the next generation trained by Charlie on the festival collective and teaching at this new Yoga Festival. When the seven of us got together to run this new Yoga festival, that is now just days away! We all agreed resoundingly on one thing which was that it had to take place at An Sanctoir. You could not if you tried find any better setting for it. I like to think this coming together of Yoga forms and the love of this place, has provided for all who attend
in some ways a perfect world, it may well be that this festival could offer a whole new energy and vitality to the place.
The beauty and uniqueness of An Sanctoir lies in the fact that it is not led managed or controlled by any one person and it never has been. This may seem normal for a non profit charity but it isn’t, most organisations have a paid or unpaid leader of some sort. The good side is it’s free to become many things and the flip side is to become none. I have in my short 6 years here, been exposed to the pulling and pushing that can lead from ripples to waves, but somehow it always lands again to take a more settled and evolving pathway. The biggest concern to many that love it is that it is shared with more people than it is at the moment, that many more can get the benefit of a residency or workshop in such a powerful place, I’m sure others like the seclusion of it. None the less it is and always was meant to be for all with no pressure to conform to any kind of belief.
Please read the original article written by the trustees as it describes this really well. Lets see if the 'West Cork Yoga Festival celebrating Yoga and Life' can offer more opportunities to achieve this objective. Our intention is to celebrate and support An Sanctoir.
Tony Cohu was the architect who drew up the plans for An Sanctoir as it stands. Many of his buildings now stand in west cork and some bear a resemblance to this style of architecture unique to him. All will agree the An Sanctoir Yoga Hall is really something very special not only for its beauty and tranquillity that lends itself perfectly to yoga practice and now many other types of practice, but also for the way it came about how the vision and tenacity of those trustees and others around at the time supporting them, in many ways moved mountains. For those days the amount raised was considerable. Charlie remembers bazaars in the community hall, donations from many
individuals and yoga workshops in Cork city just to raise money. The group also managed to get core funding from the West Cork Enterprise Boardon the basis they would find fifty per cent match funding and this was gained from the local bank as a loan. These finances needed to be repaid in full amounting to 100 thousand, a large sum to find back then. These loans were paid back in part and then taken on by generous donators who were able to carry the loan for a longer period. The down side is that some of these good folk are still owed their money today.
The original plans included another smaller octagonal building separate and above the existing one that could house a proper kitchen a library and also a building in the ‘bowl field’ would accommodate 12 people. The usual costs and problems with builders meant that proceedings had to stop at the first buildling as budgets were superceeded.
The opening ceremony of An Sanctoir sounds like a very special one for those 200 people who attended. There was a shamanic fiddle player, Chloe Goodchild sang, They chanted and folks gave talks, all this when the floor had only been varnished the night before. The floor then was even more precious than it is now. Flood damage took away the original intricately finished one When the original floor was layed the trustees at the time had a ceremony and buried their prayers in the ground. I have to say, as a practitioner, the building and particularly the ground to me always offers the most wonderful support, really enabling the practice to go deep, maybe its just the building or view or maybe its helped along by these prayers or intentions.
The original trustees remember a dip pool in the river in the large field that offered a great swim but now sadly overgrown, close to where the current sculpture tail has its wish line, a place where you hang your wishes on the washing line. Perhaps the original swim pool could be unearthed for the next West Cork Yoga Festival! Give us plenty of notice if you would like to see this happen next year.
This first wave of trustees were likley to have been tinged with burn out after this huge undertaking and some moved on shortly after with others keeping a strong connection with the place but with more distance. It was during the building of the centre that the original idea for it to be a dedicated yoga centre was broadened to include other modalities relating to healing,personal development, expression, spirituality amongst others. The ones talked of the most seemed to include, five rhythms, re-birthing, art classes, and many others including weekly classes of tai chi and others. This not only reflected the growing interests of those involved but the need for the centre to raise cash to pay of the debts.
An Sanctoir today has been greatly helped along by the dedication and offerings of many trustees, volunteers and donators to get to where it is. Many have sought to support the land the building and the practices that are housed here. Its quite staggering the generosity of so many that have helped the place along and the sharing and special moments here will stay in the memories of those who were lucky enough to be there even in turbulent times. Folks remember the first wedding in 1996, an amazing place for a wedding, I’m lucky enough to have attended another An Sanctoir wedding a few years ago and get the impression it was equally as spectacular as that first one sounded.
For those of you who are coming to the First West Cork Yoga festival this year, we hope its history in the making and we hope to honour those who came before by putting this place on the map. A place like An Sanctoir is unique, really special, you have to see for yourself if you haven’t already, just walking there as you can now ,for the first time in many years the paths are cleared the trail is amazing and newly decorated with sculptures by local artist Wendy Waggit. We are lucky to have a space like this please feel it is yours to share as this was always the intention.
The land has housed and sanctoir has supported a Steiner based kindergarten that is loved by those who are lucky enough to access to it.
Some of the many memorable moments and lasting memories at an sanctoir include frog fares, barefoot boogies, sweat lodge, wakes, kids camps, Easter adventures, Luka bloom gig, and many many more more more !
If you have any memories to share about An Sanctoir or even thoughts on how to make improvements you can share here or on An Sanctoir’s own website
Part one of three parts......look out for episode two and three later on !
Some 30 years ago, in rural Ireland at least, there was reportedly only one recognised/qualified yoga teacher here in West Cork, with a handful of practitioners, or shall we say regular new budding practitioners. There are stories of one or two people meeting each week for their practice outside a farmhouse or caravan, others copying the pictures from a book or magazine at home. Greatly different from today’s yoga boom.
The enthusiasm from the local practitioners grew within this community of like-minded people who found yoga inspirational and therapeutic and fun..amongst others things. This led to a group of individuals coming together from a wider area with a mission to start a yoga centre - not just to rent somewhere - but to buy land and to build one. Ambitious and indeed inspirational! The group included one yoga teacher, one architect, an artist, a writer/gardener, a musician and others - you get the picture.
The vision, drive and passion they shared was to bring yoga to others in a dedicated space with land around to share all things yoga. Their dedication and tenacity seemed to know no bounds as a project like this would be quite an undertaking. The idea grew towards gaining a purpose-built Hatha Yoga centre and it would be called the 'SATSANG ASHRAM', which means a sacred space to be together in truth. The budding yogis and yoginis found a site and raised considerable funds. Together with generous loans (to be repaid at a later time), the group forged ahead and purchased a site south of Ballydehob by the sea, planted trees and held ceremonies. Planning permission was sought for the yoga space and turned down. Undeterred the group sold the site, at a profit due to the boom, and the search was on again . . .
See episode 2 in a few weeks time !
West Cork Yoga Festival – A celebration of Yoga and life
July 31st to August 2nd
This August Bank Holiday, An Sanctoir and the West Cork Yoga collective will be offering a unique event – The first ever WEST CORK YOGA FESTIVAL!
A three day gathering celebrating a diversity of Yoga styles and practice, movement and healing in the beautiful setting of An Sanctoir’s 30 acre nature reserve .
This festival will offer an opportunity to immerse deeply in the practice, philosophy and expression of Yoga, as well as providing a beautiful, safe haven in which to relax and unwind, to connect with nature, ourselves and each other.
Highly experienced teachers from many different schools and backgrounds will be sharing their knowledge, offering classes in Hatha Yoga, Astanga Vinyasa flow, Iyengar Yoga, Satyananda Yoga, Scaravelli Yoga, Acro Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, womb Yoga and more…
There will be meditations, talks, kirtan, dance, movement, and a dedicated and skilled team of Healers and therapists on site to offer their services.
Come and join us, share the Yoga, share the fun!
This will be a camping event, with on site facilities, and vegetarian café and teashop.
Families are very welcome.
Tickets will be on sale from May 1st!
Watch this space for more info!!
If you would like to get involved please contact Clair Lalor
The west Cork Yoga Festival team are:
Aine Brosnan, Bella Hancock, Clair Lalor, Claire Osborne, Corinna Fisher , Ellie la Trobe- Bateman, Fiona Ashley