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help exchange   Host 54993
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: 4 - 20
Category: Other
Host ID: 54993
Country: Germany

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Last Updated: July 23, 2018

Help create a center for Yogic & Holistic Lifestyle near Berlin, Germany

As an architect, I have worked on projects all over the world before I put my main focus on Germany. After renovating and creating a cultural center in an old school in Berlin, my wife and I decided to begin a new project in Rathenow, where we are renovating a 19th century house that was once the residence of guard officers of a Prussian hussar regiment.

We have a lot of space for creative and focused people who want to breathe life into what we envision to be a center for yogic and holistic lifestyle as well as architecture and design. My wife, who is a Mexican born shaman in the Sikh tradition, is currently the main driving force behind the latter. We would be happy to receive volunteers from all over the world. We might teach you interesting things about architecture, yoga, meditation, tai chi, reflexology massage, healing, herbalism and we can also give you tips about what to do in Berlin.

Please tell us what you're interested in! In turn, you're welcome to bring your ideas, skills and talents to this place. Although we do ask that you bring a steady work ethic to your involvement throughout the time spent here. Apart from our work, we like to make music (we have lots of guitars and other instrument!), we like to sit and share by the bonfire in our garden, we watch movies or offer presentations to share some of our background, experiences and ideas with each other and there's a beautiful lake nearby.

THE WORK: Palazzo Pitti is still under construction. Most work needs to be done inside and around the house. Many rooms still need a makeover. In that, we try to preserve the old charm of the building while carefully including modern elements. The garden needs cleaning and structuring. We already planted some crops, and we want to expand on that. We built a pavillon and we would also like to create a pond, terraces, a bigger activity ground than what we currently have and we want to build yoga shelters and tree houses. Apart from that there are various big and small tasks that require a good sense of responsibility, submission, and solution-oriented thinking.

CONCERNING YOGA: Daily Kundalini Yoga is central to the experience we create at Palazzo Pitti. We believe the practice functions as a bridge between us. Doing the Kundalini Yoga is obligatory. Not participating would create a gap between us, which we try to avoid. Please carefully consider this point.

THE SCHEDULE: We do 5 hours of work a day. The time schedule is as follows: 7am - 9am yoga, 9am-10am breakfast, 10am-3pm work, 3pm lunch. Food is 100% vegetarian (including milk and eggs). Evening or weekend meals are to be prepared by yourself.

SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS: Since we have a lot of volunteers (approximately between 5-20 at one time) you may need to bring a sleeping bag, or even camp, if all beds are full. Beds in the house are either futons or guest mattresses.

DEPOSIT AND COSTS: We require a contribution per day from guests: 5 to cover the costs of amenities and food. There is a one time cost of 2 to cover the costs of insurance. Household insurance ensures your safety and protects you from personal liability in the event of anything going wrong during the course of your stay.

Additionally, due to the costs of damage (cups, glasses, windows) by volunteers sustained over the years, we now require a 50 deposit from volunteers. Since requiring the deposit, we have found incidental damage has been greatly reduced, as volunteers take greater care. The deposit is typically always returned.

Be aware: we are not a typical host. We give our best, but we expect your best as well. When you arrive, this house becomes your home. And it needs to be treated with love and care. The premises are smoke-free, alcohol-free and drug-free. We prefer not to have those energies brought from other places. Overriding this policy of the house will mean the person has to leave. Usually we do not host any pets.

Rathenow is surrounded by forests. There are also several rivers and lakes in the area with lots of wildlife. Berlin is 55 minutes by train and departs on the hour every hour.

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