Letter to Supporters!

 Yoga’s Ark sending out a plea for assistance! Don’t let our ashram be swept away this rainy season!
In the rainy season, we receive up to 5 months of rain. Last November, our creek rose 20 feet in a few days. This is a lot of rain and we truly need your help to stay afloat! 10 000 leaves get’s us a new roof.
Please help us continue to develop Chaya Garden Yoga Ashram as a unique and affordable international destination for yogis of all ages, levels, and incomes.

We are the directors of Chaya Garden Ashram, a place to heal and restore, a place to explore, the inner cosmos and the heart of Ancient Mayan civilization. At Chaya Garden Ashram we are a self initiated, non-affiliated, independent yoga ashram with a mandate to share our practice with as many people as possible at the most affordable price we can offer. This is an intimate experience of self-knowledge in an incredible natural environment brimming with biodiversity in all seasons.

My name is Laine Hoogstraten. Evan Anderson and I have built this concept from the heart for the last two and a half years, from an abused and abandoned property to a thriving yoga community! We have accomplished all this entirely from our own resources and resourcefulness, inventing this amazing place by the grace of the Primordial Master and our Divine Wisdom, that which is inherent within every human being on the planet.

Jungle, waterfall, yoga, veg cuisine, mudra, mantra and meditation… everyone of any age from anywhere can join us here in breathtaking Belize, Central America, for only $35 US per day. We are proud to offer a karma yoga program at only half our regular amazingly cheap rate so that no one who is genuinely interested in the spiritual technology of yoga need be turned away.

But! We’ve had our fill of buckets, bowls and pots catching downpours, streams and drops! We need a new roof! We have been blessed with a gorgeous but badly leaking thatch roof over our second floor open air yoga deck.

All about the thatch…Our thatch roof is over 40 feet in diameter and has about 10 000 leaves. The thatch is at the end of it’s life, and the entire roof structure needs to be assessed and addressed. We are committed to maintaining the natural vibe of the ashram enhanced by the thatch, or palapa, as it is called here. A well done thatch roof lasts up to 15 years, and is the perfect way to live in Belize. It provides a breathing yet insulated layer against both sun and rain, built entirely of local organic materials. Everyone in Belize knows that nothing is cooler and nicer than thatch.

Local Belizean contractors skilled in the ancient art of traditional thatch roofing estimate $20 000 US for the job which involves harvesting leaves from deep in the jungle and transporting these leaves in bundles of 50 at a time by foot and on back, to where they can be picked up by truck and delivered to the site. This also applies to the bushsticks which will become the umbrella-like support structure, and the specific vine needed as lathe for the leaves to be woven through. It is a big job and can only be undertaken according to the season and the phase of the moon which is most optimal for cutting the leaves and poles. Traditional builders know that it is only for a week around the full moon that the sap rises to the tops of the trees and the tips of the leaves. When the materials are cut full of sap, they will last for many years as the resin preserves the leaves and poles from the invasion of insects and damp. This ancient technology is preserved today by only a few highly skilled craftsmen in our neighbouring village. Every palapa built in Belize helps to preserve the knowledge of this organic traditional way of living.

Help us sustain and grow the dream of unlimited sharing by making a contribution to our Indiegogo campaign, and equally important, by sharing this letter of introduction with everyone you know. We have fantastic perks lined up for all levels of contributor.
Donate to our cause in a spirit of partnership, confident that your support will see the successful blossoming of a lifetime commitment come to fruition.

With heartfelt thanks,
Laine Hoogstraten and Evan Anderson
Directors of Chaya Garden Ashram


Prayer of Abundance for the Ashram

Raise the Roof

Prayer of Abundance for the Ashram

Prayer of Abundance for the Ashram

The Chaya Garden Ashram is invisioning how we might repair the roof or create a new one. We estimate that it will cost $20,000 and that it will take a crowd funding effort to pull this off. We are preparing a project on Indigogo and it should be ready soon.

We hope that there will be people ready to support our yoga ashram project, because we have already created a beautiful community through students around the world.

It's an amazing TIME to be in Belize during the summer months.  There are certain things available that we crave all year.

Juicy Fruits and Raw Retreats in July and August

It's an amazing TIME to be in Belize during the summer months.  There are certain things available that we crave all year.

It’s an amazing TIME to be in Belize during the summer months. There are certain things available that we crave all year.

Juicy Fruits!  Time for a RAW RETREAT!

Juicy Fruits! Time for a RAW RETREAT!

Pitaya Smoothie, what color!  What texture!  What satisfaction!

Pitaya Smoothie, what color! What texture! What satisfaction!

A sweet thing here to tantalize your taste buds.  You can't resist our vegan cocoa cake topped with Dragon Fruit and frozen Mangos!

A sweet thing here to tantalize your taste buds. You can’t resist our vegan cocoa cake topped with Dragon Fruit and frozen Mangos!

If you are interested in a RAW RETREAT, no problem! But the best time to book it is for JULY and AUGUST!

Secret Passages!

Secret Passages, an art show opening at the Soul Project
May 30, 2014
Our art project hitting the walls in Belize!

Our art project hitting the walls in Belize!

This new exhibit features works of collage by people from all over the world visiting Belize. Collage is a very interesting medium. In collage, the artist assembles existing print material into a new format, a new picture. The artist creates a new context for the text or images selected, as they appear in the collage in relationship to one another. The seeming randomness of the selection and reassembly leaves a lot of room for subconscious free association by the artist, but also by the viewer. Collage invites us to link images together in an instantaneous impression, the first look. Our minds scan for patterns and similarities and differences, in an instant we form an idea about what we see. See Secret Passages for yourself, and let your mind expand…showing until etc date at Soul Project in San Ignacio.
“collage is a visual remix”
This type of composite image is commonly seen in popular media, but these slick images that we are used to seeing are computer designed. By contrast, there is a wonderful tactility to this collection. The reality of textures, cutting, tearing and glueing is all present. We can believe the work in the art. Some of the pieces even use the hardcover as a starting medium on which to work. The discarded and torn up books that we found had been sentenced to the dump, but by chance and creativity, they have been given a new life, as art.
The show is courtesy of San Ignacio Library, which is where it all began.
One evening last December as we drove by the closed San Ignacio Library, something caught my husband’s eye. We pulled into the library parking and went to have a closer look. Evan began to pull material out of the bin by the corner of the building with a look of incredulity on his face. He picked up the whole sack from the bin and threw it in the back of the truck.
When we arrived back at the yoga ashram, we were amazed to realize what we had. Torn up books on the most interesting but weird subjects, from Mushrooms of North America to The Psychic Power of Pyramids, to books on blacksmithing techniques and a color plate book of Persian rugs. Not to mention Japanese Wooden Joinery and an antique book of pre-tech games and entertainment for children and families.
We immediately threw a collage party, our first of many over the next several months. We now have over thirty works by many students and friends of Chaya Garden Ashram. These works can also be viewed online www.chayagardenashram.com/secret-passages
Please come and join us at the Soul Project for interesting art, great music and more at the opening of Secret Passages, the evening of Friday, May 30, 7pm, with dj Check My Move at 8pm, sponsored by Soul Project, Chaya Garden Ashram, and San Ignacio Library. Bring your dancing shoes.
Chaya Garden Ashram on the Cristo Rey road is a place for yoga, healing, art, music and dance. All are welcome.By Laine Hoogstraten
Director, Chaya Garden Ashram

Secret Passages – Art Show Mix by Chayagarden on Mixcloud

A Very Chaya Christmas

The party continues at the Chaya Garden Ashram, as we try to make every day as fun as possible.   We invited our family of friends out to the Chaya Garden Ashram for a little concert by Talla Walla Vibrations.  We have enjoyed seeing them on a number of different occasions, including last year during a winter solstice celebration at S.T.A.N.D. Centre.

We were equally impressed with the musicianship and tenacity of these percussionists on this outing, as we danced through set after set!  It’s a very detoxing gathering that starts and ends sweaty!

We loved playing the drums with Emmeth too!  He really brings out the inner rhythms of anyone he meets, and is able to teach the drum riddems that his groups play to almost anyone.   Emmeth is a skilled drum maker, and if anyone is interested in getting a drum while in Belize, we would be glad to hook you up with Emmeth, as we are very happy with the drums we have received from Emmeth.

We often have celebrations or shows like this any time that there is something big going on in San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize.  We find that these events in town are just to loud, boring, and predictable and we can have a better time at the Ashram just dancing and galavanting with a few of our dearest friends.

Consider this on New Year’s Eve when downtown San Ignacio descends into madness!


What to do on Boxing day:  Join the celebration and dance with us!

Emmeth Young on December 26th At Chaya Garden Ashram

What to do on Boxing day:  Join the celebration and dance with us!

What to do on Boxing day: Join the celebration and dance with us!

Emmeth Young

“Let’s look deep inside ourselves and find that beat that lifts our souls and brings us to that common ground where we can enjoy the music. Why not? If you were born with a heart then you were born with rhythm. If you were born with a soul then you were born with the ability to love. If you were born with a brain then you were born with the ability to reason and create. It’s in all of us to do the right thing and we have to make sure we don’t lose sight of that. It’s up to us adults to help guide the youths in the right direction. It’s never too late to make a change for the better unless you are being put to your final rest. If you are still above ground then you have time to put down the gun and pick up a drum. Put down your fist and resolve the hatred and anger and speak the rhythms of your soul.”



swami robe-001

Chaya Garden Releases Sri Guru GIta Ambient Mix With Swami Shivananda Giri


Chaya Garden is pleased to present an important mix from our resident DJ Evan Anderson.  It is a colaboration between beatmixing yogis and shaktipat swamis that takes the ancient text Sri Guru Gita for a remix.  Imagine you are right there with Shiva and Shakti as you hear this truth, and offer them our salutations!


Sri Guru Gita Belize Ambient Mix

swami robe-001


Yoga Blog 22/08/2013


Yoga Blog 22/08/2013
On yogibhajan.org they are inviting us to chant the Guru Ram Dass mantra these 11 days leading up to Yogi Bhajan’s birthday on the 26th of August, and to share our stories of chanting this mantra. Well, it was just today that we read the website and heard about this, however, on or about the 15th, we were compelled to play Bachan Kaur’s Ram Dass Lullaby over and over and over all day! Then later this week we named one of our kombucha flavors ‘Wahey Guru!’ It is amazing to feel that this mantra has so taken hold of us that we are automatically tuned to it!