Yoga Sutra Shala

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Yoga Sutra Shala is a yoga retreat centre just outside the mountain village of Sayalonga in Andalucia, Spain. The teachers, Namit and Maru run classes of yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, nutrition and so forth to allow people to come and become healthy, peaceful and happy. The Shala has incredible mountain views and there are 3 vegetarian organic meals provided a day. The retreats are very personalised towards what each student wants. We try and provide each student with a feeling that they have a special home away from home over here.
Member since: 23 May 2014

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

- All of our staff are local. Ramiro our driver is from Sayalonga village. Ana our chef from is from Competa which is a neighbouring village and sometimes we use chefs from Iznate which is a nearby village too. Maria our cleaner is from Algarrobo which is a neigbouring village too. Our handyman and gardener Alejandro is from Sayalonga too.

- All of our fruits and vegetables are organic and sourced from local farmers in this region of Andalucia. Our tomatoes come from an organic farmer in neighbouring Algarrobo village. We also use organic farmers in Competa, Nerja, Malaga, Frigilliana and many other nearby towns and villages. Our favourite farmers include Antonio in La Vinuela, Jose Antonio in Nerja (who teaches meditation too) and Paco who is from Nerja too. We also like to use things from Jose Maria's farm in Malaga too. His oranges are the most delicious oranges we have tasted. Using these local farmers for fresh produce reduces the impact on the environment in terms of transport. It also means that our food is much fresher and more healthy and that we provide money to the local community. Our dry foods also come locally from Spain.

-We use a local social enterprise called Ahimsa based in Velez-Malaga to supply many of our cleaning products.

Environmental responsibility

- We use solar panels for heating the water for bathing and showering.

- We actively recycle and Sayalonga village has recycle bins which we use regularly to recycle plastics, glass, paper, cardboard. We provide bins for recycling paper, plastics and glass in the kitchen for guests to use here.

- We do not print brochures - instead we provide all of our information electronically via the internet.

- Any information we do print - whether about ourselves or the charity we support - 'People For Animals' is printed on recycled paper.

- All of the cleaning products we use here are environmentally freindly. We use either products from a local company called Ahimsa where we can - and where we cannot we use products from Ecover.

- All washing is done at low temperatures.

- We actively ask guests not to waste water.

- Nearly everything here is locally sourced so as to use very little transport and so minimise effects on the environment.

- All of our paper hygeine products - napkins, kitchen towels, toilet paper and so forth come from a European company called Renova which is committed to the environment and to recycling. The Renova products we use carry the EU Ecolabel. The EU Ecolabel helps identify products and services that have a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle, from the extraction of raw material through to production, use and disposal. The Renova products that we use source sustainable fibre, produce low water and air pollution and have low greenhouse gas emmission as well as low electricity use.

- Nearly all of our lighting is with energy saving light bulbs again to reduce the impact on the environment.

- Our yoga products are friendly to the environment. Our yoga straps are made from organic cotton so that pesticides and other chemicals have not been put into the earth where the cotton was grown. The yoga mats that we use are made from non-harmful plastics as well.

- We work hard to maintain two of the foundations of yoga practice - yama and niyama which are rules for social and moral conduct.

- We are very much involved in a charity in India called People For Animals. They have around 36 animal hospitals all over India including one in Mysore, India where we spend winter ourselves. We talk to students/guests who come here about the nature of ahimsa or non-violence and tell them about the charity. We also donate a small part of our profits to people for animals too. Our work with this charity conveys very well the nature of yoga and the underlying philosophy of yoga as well as being local to our winter home.

- All of our staff are invited to the yoga, meditation and other classes and Ana our chef is really developing as a yoga student as a result.

- When we can we provide a free yoga class to the local community here in Sayalonga and to people from the surrounding villages.

- We provide information on local walking routes here in the Andalucian mountains to guests who come here.

- All of our food as well as our yoga straps are organic. These means that the cotton and the food are grown in an environment that is free from pesticides, chemical fertilizers and other products that are harmful to the environment, to the soil and to the consumer. Organically grown food is also higher in vitamins, bioflavinoids and other nutrients that are anit-oxidant. Our aim is to truly create a healthy environment where our guests and the soil can thrive.

Social responsibility

- We work hard to maintain two of the foundations of yoga practice - yama and niyama which are rules for social and moral conduct.

- We are very much involved in a charity in India called People For Animals. They have around 36 animal hospitals all over India including one in Mysore, India where we spend winter ourselves. We talk to students/guests who come here about the nature of ahimsa or non-violence and tell them about the charity. We also donate a small part of our profits to people for animals too. Our work with this charity conveys very well the nature of yoga and the underlying philosophy of yoga as well as being local to our winter home.

- All of our staff are invited to the yoga, meditation and other classes and Ana our chef is really developing as a yoga student as a result.

- When we can we provide a free yoga class to the local community here in Sayalonga and to people from the surrounding villages.

- All of our food as well as our yoga straps are organic. These means that the cotton and the food are grown in an environment that is free from pesticides, chemical fertilizers and other products that are harmful to the environment, to the soil and to the consumer. Organically grown food is also higher in vitamins, bioflavinoids and other nutrients that are anit-oxidant. Our aim is to truly create a healthy environment where our guests and the soil can thrive.

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