What makes our PDC special?
To answer that question we will first explain What is a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC)?
Participating in a PDC is a transformative experience, inspiring a harmonious coexistence with the natural world. We design our PDCs with close attention to detail, in order to provide a comprehensive blend of practice and theory, that will help to expand your perspective and relationship to the land. This also impacts your lifestyle, as it provides you with a framework to make decisions that fulfil your needs, as well as the needs of the ecosystem around you.
Our intensive three week PDC will equip you with the hands-on and theoretical knowledge to start or continue your process in living the change that you want to see in the world. This entails anything from growing a vegetable garden on your balcony, to running a farm but also (in combination with our yoga practice) a way for you to move towards a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.
If you want to learn how to apply permaculture principles to food production, economic development and an overall sustainable way of living our PDC is a perfect fit for you.
Things that make a Danyadara PDC special
We want to start by recognising the philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of our collaboration with the community around us, which gave birth to our nonprofit permaculture project. Danyadara is based in a yoga retreat centre – Suryalila. This gives us a unique opportunity to tap into the ancient teachings of yoga philosophy and practice. You will have the opportunity to practise yoga every day on and off the mat. We offer yoga classes everyday and teachings to boost your understanding of how we embodied the practice of permaculture here at Danyadara.
Our permaculture practice is informed by what is known as Karma Yoga. Regenerating and caring for the land is directly linked to karma yoga practice. Karma Yoga is the path of action and selfless service. Having a caring attitude towards life and nature is an essential tenet of Karma Yoga.
Through the lens of Advaita Vedanta, one of the five precepts of Karma Yoga is having love and respect for our environment. It’s the moral and ethical preparation that a serious yoga practitioner needs to engage in, in order to refine the mind, to be able to fruitfully meditate, engage in spiritual practice, and to be able to assimilate and absorb the wisdom teachings of Jnana Yoga, the path of knowledge.
The practice of Karma Yoga can be likened to preparing a bed in the garden, to sow seeds in the springtime. Time needs to be spent in preparing the soil in the right way; adding compost and germinating the seeds, in order for the planting to thrive and bear fruit. In a similar way, we need to straighten out our ethical relationship to the world and each other, in order to have a more focused mind and to begin to understand the nature of the Self and how we should live our lives.
As custodians of the Earth, we have an implicit duty to love and cherish her and to be profoundly grateful for the abundance and beauty that she bestows upon us in every moment. This embodied philosophical practice has been well describe by one of our previous PDC students:
“The PDC was so much more than just learning about permaculture. The combination with the yoga centre made it a whole experience. There was not only focus on the theoretical and practical aspect of permaculture, but as well on the human aspect of it. Danyadara is a place where people work and live together in a natural, sustainable way. Like a community…“
Julie, PDC student
As a PDC student at Danyadara, you will be learning from the best. It is no secret that teachers are an essential part of the learning process. We are grateful to work with two amazing, knowledgeable and caring teachers. Frances and Emilio have a combined experience of decades of learning, teaching and implementing ethical agricultural practices. Here is what one of our students reflected to us:
“I had a beautiful time doing the PDC at Danyadara. Having Frances Osborn and Emilio Gilabert as teachers was fantastic. They have shared so much knowledge with the group, truly amazing. A wide spectrum of subjects is being taught during the course. In the classroom as well as in the field with hands-on experiences. Emilio is not afraid to show his trials and his errors, from which much can be learned. This makes him a very down to earth and lovable guy. Frances always takes time to supply more information on any aspect of the course. She is also very good at creating the right atmosphere for the group of students to grow and bond. The two make a great team, and supported by wonderful food and the relaxed atmosphere of the surroundings, this course is a true recommendation.
If you are willing to be yourself and open up, you are in for an unforgettable time. A time of curiosity, knowledge, emotional times and a lot of laughter.
Ruud van Zwet, PDC student 2022
It is hard not to fall in love with the place. Suryalila is a world class yoga retreat centre situated in the heart of Andalusia. A twenty hectare farm with magnificent views. Every inch of this land has been carefully designed to provide you with the most relaxing and nurturing environment where you can soak in all the useful information you will be learning. We have a salt water swimming pool, eco sauna and massage spa to take care of you after a packed day of activities during your PDC. Here are some pictures of some of the accommodation offered- and links to introduce you to our Facilities and our host Suryalila.
Food is possibly the most remembered aspect of the Danyadara experience. Our chefs specialise in gourmet international vegetarian cuisine, using the freshest seasonal, locally-sourced organic fruits and vegetables available, artfully prepared in a varied and truly eclectic international menu. As much as possible we provide the kitchen with everything that grows in our gardens. During your stay you will be able to eat delicious vegetarian meals. We also cater for vegan, non-dairy, non-gluten and nut free. There will be a special chef taking care of the PDC students and all meals will be served in the lovely Kula Mandira (which means community temple).
LEARN FROM PRACTICE
Doing a PDC at Danyadara means tapping into the experience of your amazing teachers and Danyadara team, which involves a solid ground of theory and practise that you could then apply to your own projects. Here are a couple of videos (grey water system – soil salad) to show how you will be applying new knowledge into practical projects.
On top of all the interesting and innovative permaculture techniques you will be learning, you could also benefit from our work in other areas. In this link you could have a look at our experience developing a biodiversity baseline to analyse the impacts of our hard work.
In conclusion, doing a PDC at Danyadara, means experiencing an embodied spiritual and philosophical practice connecting yoga and permaculture. This is guided by experienced and knowledgeable teachers blending practice and theory that can be applied directly in our playground of Danyadara farm. All of this while you enjoy the amazing facilities of our host (the world leading Yoga Retreat Centre – Suryalila) and the delicious, organic and vegetarian/vegan food prepared daily for you everyday. We could keep adding reasons why our PDC is a worthy investment but better take it from people that have gone through the process.
“The PDC at Danyadara planted a seed in me, literally. I had the curiosity to be interested in what permaculture was about, coming from a place of absolute ignorance. I knew nothing of agriculture- I didn’t know that a pumpkin was a summer crop, and di´d not even know a thing about conventional agriculture and management, so getting into permaculture was a real maze, I wouldn’t even have known where to start, or what to start learning. I knew, in the back of my mind, that I wanted to learn about self-sufficiency and ethical organic agriculture. It turned out that I was given this perfect opportunity to do a one-month PDC at Danyadara, back in November of 2021. As I mentioned, this course was a seed for me, a vehicle to learn, and live the life I wanted.
In this course I learned all the basics and foundations, principles and ethical implications of permaculture, practised certain techniques of planting, and learned how to design projects on the land, according to multiple important factors. But more than anything, it gave me a lot of passion for the practice of permaculture itself. To discover something so wholesome and holistic, practical and producing yield, was a real awakening time for me, and this feeling is still with me to this day. Getting to demystify the processes of nature while regenerating it, is something no other field will give you. Since then I have been extremely involved on the land, with the Danyadara project. it’s been more than a year nonstop that I’ve been there learning practically, through other courses, and through other people, the wholesome practice of permaculture, and that wouldn’t have happened without participating in the Danyadara PDC, which introduced me to the wonders of permaculture.”
Milan, long term volunteer at Danyadara and interim farm manager
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