Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Yoga is like Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrilla Yoga and Guerrilla Gardening. There is definitely a connection.

 (a purple finch in the city, hanging out next to green plastic....)

We have FOUND our apartment... our next 'forever-city-rental' home. On Sunday evening, after a weekend from... well- ya know, on the verge of simply going for the 'good enough' apartment, something magical happened. The Kijiji-Genie updated to show an apartment in the South End, for July 1st, under 1000$. Not to be mislead by wondrous pictures, I ordered Andrew to *STOP* cooking (yes, Andrew loves to cook) and we booted it over.  

The friendly current tenant told me I would crap my pants... and she was right. 14 foot ceilings, crown molding, circle dealy on the ceiling, original hardwood floor, original (blocked off) fireplace... extra 300 sq feet of living... Oh my. I have been dreaming of just how many yogi-friends we'll be able to fit in our apartment for our weekly Yogaglo friend yoga.

The catch? You guessed it; no balcony. No green-outdoor space whatsoever. And my strawberries have actually re-appeared in the pot (I guess when they say perennial, they meant it!) and I JUST planted my organic broccoli seeds.

As we just chatted about, I have come to realize that gardening in the city is an essential and necessary aspect of reconnecting our Selves to community and assuring Nature's place in our urban lives. 

Well crap, guess I gotta rethink my List. 

My Strawberry plants actually flowering!
Let's chat about Guerrilla Gardening. Like Yoga, Guerrilla Gardening is a non-violent means of encouraging beauty and Life. Guerrilla Gardeners have been known to plant on street corners, in abandoned parking lots, unused areas in public gardens or abandoned garden beds. 

In concrete, desolate spaces, a few choice seeds, organic matter and soil mushed together in the form of a 'seed bomb' can explode into a cacophony of petals, pollen and Life. Tiny living plant-forms push up as they root down, the tadasana of Life, taking hold and opening up amongst the cement. 

soon to be adopted Broccoli (really, they're under the dirt!) 
Guerrilla Yoga really is about spreading our practice, our Yoga (usually in the form of asana, but could be all other limbs and facets) to new and open spaces. By practicing together, surrounded by Life and community we are quietly and firmly rejoicing and growing. Our Yoga in the Parks (thanks to Climate Change) have been occurring much earlier this year and I am so excited to continue a practice of community and growth.

But what about the garden??? Unfortunately, after attending a local talk on Urban Gardening (Edible City), we found out that community plots are basically all taken, so that's out. Here are a few of my ideas so far, as obviously I am not giving up my Nurturing Garden in the City just yet.
  1. Plant my radishes and lettuce now and harvest the heck out of them while I can... they'll grow pretty fast and will be ready before we move.
  2.  Adopt out my plants to my parents (who are planning on building a hot house) and Funemployment DIY friends Jen and Chris, who have much greener thumbs than us anyways. They also have a balcony and will be our neighbours! So sharing might happen (hint hint...mmm basil pesto).
  3. Ask the landlady if there is a spot for our container garden, somewhere...
  4. Station our planters near the side of the building and plant in them anyways... and see what happens (probably cats will pee in them.. but whatever).
  5. 'Guerrilla' garden in small areas around the building and hope no one notices.
  6. Try growing stuff inside...I think the rads have shelves, but they might get a little warm. We'll have all our indoor plants inside anyway, why couldn't lettuce grow inside too?? (lol, a sign of how little I know about gardening).
  7. Donate my seeds to local community gardens.
Any ideas on some possible urban garden-portunities? How are your Guerrilla Yoga (and Gardening) practices going?


article and photograph by EcoYogini at


  1. darn that's a conundrum! sounds like adopting out to your friends/neighbors with a balcony would be the best way to go! good luck with your decision. and how nice to get your plans settled 2 months in advance of the move!

  2. Congrats on the new apartment! I got lucky when I found my current one. Sure, it's not 100% what I wanted, but it's pretty amazing and I'm really happy there. :)

    The no outdoor space must be tough but it looks like you've got a bunch of good options. And I really like the idea of Guerrilla Gardening!

  3. You have a beautiful writing style that combines personal with informative. I was pulled directly into your writing. I felt like I was walking around looking at your plants with you—as if we were engaged in dialogue. Your piece encouraged me to think about my own garden.
    There is this sense of calmness about your site too—I felt like I was taking a break from my long day of writing. Thank you. I will be visiting again soon. There is so much to explore here.

  4. Your apt sounds so lovely and a great find!Yay!

    If you don't mind,would you ever do a photo tour of the place?(unless that's too invasive of course!)

    Be fun to see it !Ciao ;)

  5. definitely take advantage of the sidewalks and any green space on the property - people do that in portland all the time and i can't imagine your landlord wouldn't go for it if she understands how pretty it will be :)

    and really, cats are no different whether they're on the street or walking through other folks yards (my problem with cats is whenever i put out mulch - kitty litter!!!).

  6. I'd say guerilla garden. Cat pee never killed anyone and doesn't always kill plants either! Just be prepared for passers by to steal your broccolli!!! x

  7. chris is pretty fabulous at putting up shelves on window sills (3/5 window sills in our apartment have plant-shelves). and i'm sure he'd be happy to hang some in your new apartment if you guys would like. once you get moved in, we can take a look and see where might be ideal garden-spots inside your new apartment.

  8. Congratulations on your apartment! Unfortunately it seems there's no such thing as the "perfect" place... but it sounds like you have a good plan for your garden! One question though--does the apartment (or even the apartment building itself) have a fire escape, perhaps outside a window? I know that technically they shouldn't be used for gardens, but I'm sure if you put a few things out on it no one would complain :) Just a thought!

  9. Congrats on the apartment! How exciting! I think it is interesting when we are house hunting we have such a definite list of wants and inevitably end up compromising on them. Once it stops SNOWING here I will share my garden experience with you! I think adopting out plants is a fun idea. And I can't imagine any landlord would have problems with more plants around their property. Oooh, and load up those windows with some funky shelves and grow there! Fun!

  10. I would experiment with indoor gardening as much as possible. And maybe Jen and other neighbors might be willing to take some so you can share. There's got to be a way to make it work!

    Your new place sounds so lovely! :)

  11. Congrats on the apartment! GREAT ideas! Use them all. Can't wait to see and read about how it goes for ya! Where there is a will there is a WAY, and I'm pretty sure you have the will and then some! ;-)

  12. congrats... but post pictures, yes?

  13. congratulations on finding your new apartment!

    I;m sorry you are not going to have a space, but try and keep in touch with the community garden people. Here in the UK I hassled (along with others) our local MPs and got more allotments opened up.

    Worth a try!


  14. thank you everyone for the congrats! :) We are excited and will be definitely sharing pictures come July! (yay!)

    I do adore your suggestions, and I think that what we'll probably do is research which one of my seeds will potentially grow inside (thank you Jen and Chris for offering to build shelves!! we'll have to see!), scope out the yard around the building, perhaps build a little seed bomb and see how that works, donate a few and check out local community gardens.

    We will most certainly keep you posted! More ideas are always welcome- I read each and every comment that comes through :)

  15. Think about adding a bonsai to that new apartment. I've found that bonsai is as effective for meditation as yoga, and the wow factor is contagious! I always get my bonsai at just to be sure I'm getting a REAL bonsai, and not a mallsai. ha ha. Just a tip, in case you branch out.


  16. Yes! Love this:
    "Tiny living plant-forms push up as they root down, the tadasana of Life, taking hold and opening up amongst the cement."
    Thank you, EcoYogini!

  17. Wow, that apt sounds beautiful! I love wide open spaces with hard wood for yoga. I think the indoor planting sounds fab, and I know you can get lights too, if the lighting isn't always reliable.

    Thanks for the great compliment on my blog, made my night. Have a great weekend!

  18. great post! i've also noted the commonalities between guerrilla gardening and guerrilla yoga. good luck with your distribution, and enjoy your new home!

  19. There's always a trade off:)
    Your new apt sounds lovely. Maybe you can find a neighbor who has some green space that wouldn't mind loaning some of it out in exchange for produce.
    That is very cool you came to Love Me! Yes, I was the silver headed maniac with the camera.Are you going to attend the May #halifaxchicks get together? Cheers, SHelagh

  20. I love the idea of guerrilla gardening! Another idea could be this: (There's one plot available in Halifax - but in the west end!)

    Love how this initiative got started - with someone posting on Craigslist (another option?). Here's the article here:

    Good luck with whatever you decide!


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