For the new year, I’m planning on taking some time away from the computer to contemplate the next few months, practice some yoga and do some quiet meditation. While searching around for a retreat location, I kept running into meditation retreats and centers that had some sweet tiny houses, yurts and cabins for rent. Each of them are also located in some beautiful locations.
Staying at one of these meditation or yoga retreats is not only a good way to cleanse your body and soul, but you can also get some great tiny house and small space ideas.
The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, California teaches classical yoga, ayurveda, vegetarian cooking, jyotish and vedic sciences, and permaculture. You and your family can stay in several different accommodations including a tent, a dorm and shared or individual cabins located in a beautiful valley.
The El Capitan Canyon luxury nature lodging (a little out of my range) is not a spiritual retreat, but does offer some beautiful cabins and yurts to stay in on the California Coast. The center offers massage, food and room packages and tours of the coastal area. You can stay in safari canvas tents, yurts and tiny cabins with names like “Peace Tree”, “Lone Stone” and “Shaded Creek”.
The San Francisco Zen Center at Tassajara offers an introduction to Zen meditation and has several places you can stay like wooden yurts and Japanese tatami cabins. The center is quiet, rustic, gets its power from solar energy and offers vegetarian meals. The redwood yurts like the one shown above have views of trees and mountains and can accommodate up to three guests.
Affordable retreat cabins which happen to be next to bubbling waterfalls are available at Spirit Falls in Pine, Arizona. The small cabins (Cave of the Heart, Hopi Creek and Bodhi’s Place) are located in the pine trees with views of local wildlife like elk, deer and hawks.
If you’ve always wanted your camping experience to be more elevated, the new Stingray Tent, built by UK company Tenstile and distributed in San Francisco, is a new design that looks like a floating sea creature. The Stingray, which can be set up on the ground or suspended in the air is a three season tent that can fit up to three occupants and their gear.
This aerial tiny shelter is made of UV resistant and waterproof materials and anodized aircraft aluminum poles. The full tent is 13x13x13 feet and it can pack down to 27×10 inches. A rope ladder and ratchet straps come standard and optional accessories include luggage nets, tablet pouches, shoe nets and mobile phone pockets. Two access points in the bottom hatch allow occupants to access various parts of the tent and you sleep in a 6 ounce reinforced cordura hammock. They are currently on sale for $799. The Stingray Air, with a removable, PU coated waterproof polyester flysheet sells for $1,199. Which stings just a little bit.
So, if you are looking for a more clandestine tiny house, you only need to look up.
Photos by Stingray Tents
A few years ago, Kent covered the Pod, an innovative and mobile tiny house designed primarily for camping. Another company in the United Kingdom has upped the ante on this type of building with the Log Pod, a portable wooden structure that comes in two beautiful designs. The Log Pod can be used as an office, mediation or retreat space, in a campsite or as a tiny house.
The company designs and sells two different designs: the Log Pod and the Gothic Pod. The Log Pod has an angular roof and is 11 feet by 7.6 feet, and because of its raised foundation can be placed on slopes, uneven ground or even in flood prone areas. It has a 4 foot deep covered porch with a glass door in the front and a rear fire escape rear window. Lights and electricity come standard. The Gothic Pod has an arched roof and curved interior lines. It’s the same size and has the same amenities as the Log Pod, and it is wheelchair accessible. Continue Reading »
by Meryl and Bryan Freyberg
Picture two Minnesota teachers with summers off, one in grad school in Santa Fe, and both with yurt dreams. Given that, my husband Bryan and I spent our summer in simplicity, living in an 18-foot yurt at a state park for seven beautiful weeks.
After dreaming of yurt life for about six years, we finally got our chance and took it. In the winter of 2007 we visited Porcupine Mountains State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and stayed in their yurts, cross country skiing around the park and in to the yurt. We fell in love with the area and the yurts and set our sights on not only staying in them in the park, but someday owning our own and putting it on Lake Superior’s shores in the area.
Last fall we went for it and put an offer on property on the big lake, but when the offer wasn’t accepted, we kept dreaming of yurt life. I wouldn’t have guessed at the time that grad school would somehow allow us to live in a yurt, but it did. I was accepted to Bread Loaf School of English, a masters in English program that allows you to choose from four different campuses. We chose Santa Fe, New Mexico for this summer and when we looked into renting housing, the price for our six-week visit was much more than we could afford. We decided to take the leap, buy a yurt, and live in it at a state park while I went to school.