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Conscious Building – Spirit Mountain Yurts

Spirit Mountain Yurts
Spirit Mountain Yurts

If hybrid, electric and smart cars are the solution to oversized inefficient SUV’s then the yurt is one of the solutions to oversized and inefficient housing. The term “McMansion” became chic in the 90’s as a word to describe large homes constructed quickly with cheap prefab materials which give the appearance of substance and style but usually lacking both, kinda like a BigMac.

Yurt Components
Yurt Components

The yurt on the other hand has been around for about 800 years and is still widely used today. The natives of Central Asia created these sturdy, round, portable homes as a necessity of their nomadic lives in Mongolia, Siberia and parts of Russia. Traditional yurts are made with wooden lattice lashed together with leather straps and covered with sheep pelts and animal skins and bound together with a tension rope. At the center of the yurt is a sturdy wooden hoop called the compression ring. This skillfully crafted ring combines art and science as its role is to compress the roof rafters which rest on the lattice and thus create the tension that holds the roof and walls in place. Traditionally this hoop also served as a chimney allowing occupants to cook and heat their dwelling.

Domed Skylight
Domed Skylight

Current day yurts haven’t strayed far from this traditional design. The main differences are in the materials used; animal skins have been replaced by synthetic materials like vinyl coated canvas, the tension rope has been replaced with aircraft quality steel cable and the compression ring chimney is often capped with a domed skylight.

Enjoy part of my tour of the Spirit Mountain Yurts workshop.

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Santa Fe Soul Family

Albuquerque International Sunport
You see the size of that chicken?

I recently visited Santa Fe, New Mexico to teach a live food weekend playshop and while I had my reservations with regards to the pre-planning I neglected to do, I made a leap of faith and was rewarded beyond all my expectations. My contact in New Mexico was a woman named Nalina who I had met while working out at Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center. Over a year later I had finally made it out to New Mexico to see Nalina and her family again and visit their home and yurt building workshop. For those of you not familiar with yurts you’re in for a treat. Yurts are amazingly durable, functional and comfortable round homes built by the nomadic tribes in Central Asia. Nalina and her family have turned their passion for yurts into a sustainable business. While visiting Spirit Mountain Yurts I also had the pleasure of meeting their horses,DSC00396ducks and cats… one of which had the curious habit of climbing up your back and draping himself over your shoulders like a purring scarf.

Shoulder Cat
Shoulder Cat

Shen Bowers was a new addition to the soul family. He is Chi Gung teacher and all around amazing individual. Shen invited us to do our class where he was staying on the Turquoise Trail outside of Santa Fe.

Desert art gallery
Desert art gallery

I missed the hot days and cold nights of the desert and I especially missed staring up at the milky way while counting shooting stars and satellites. The visit planted many seeds for future collaborative plans. Currently I’m in the process of editing a video tour of the Spirit Mountain Yurt shop. Check back for part 1 and 2.

Shen, Christianna, Lark, Nalina and me!
Shen, Christianna, Lark, Nalina and me!

BTW, here’s a close up of the ice cream we’re all holding in the picture above… raw vegan goodness with a almond butter cup that chocolate alchemist Christianna created which are available at Body in Santa Fe.

raw vegan bliss bowl
raw vegan bliss bowl