The Commune Blog

On Set with Bhagavan Nityananda

the lab Jun 15, 2020
 

Where does wisdom come from? Who teaches the teachers who appear in Commune courses? And what is the root source of their insights? 

This week we are filming a new breathwork course with Scott Schwenk and he showed up on set with an extra special guest…

“I bring him wherever I teach to remind me that I don’t own the energy of the work. It’s not my work. I am a...

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Granny Annie’s Gardening Story

the lab Jun 11, 2020

Julia and I recently had the great relief of unloading our gardening woes into the caring hands of Schuyler’s mother, Ann (aka Granny Annie). 

Ann was homesteading outside of Sebastapol, CA long before I was a glint in my mother’s eye, and upon hearing of our mangled cucumbers and decimated kale, she leaned in and with a dramatic whisper told us, “I have a story for...

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7 Ridiculous Exercises We Made Up on the Commune

the lab Jun 06, 2020

I danced classical ballet for 15 years before I took a yoga class. One lithe sport to another — easy transition, right? A decade later I now explain it like this: In a professional ballet company the only thing that matters is how it looks to the audience (and, really, the artistic director). In yoga, the only thing that matters is how it feels to you. Like the political spectrum, which...

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From Commune to COVID Unit

the lab May 29, 2020

It’s easy to forget where Julia is going when she rolls out of bed at 5 in the morning and disappears into the sunrise. Birds chirp outside the yurt. I make tea. 

Meanwhile, my partner is preparing to rebreathe her own carbon dioxide all day under 3 layers of face protection in the COVID unit. 

In my world I do weird yogic hyperventilation, bake bread, and open my computer to...

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Sing Along to the Super Potato Song

the lab May 19, 2020
 

It’s 5pm and all the adults must now leave the yoga studio…

At a moment when global forces have wiped away all pretense of routine for Jeff and Schuyler’s two youngest daughters, they have created a small sacred ritual of their own here at Commune Topanga.

Every day 12-year-old Ondine teaches dance class to 10-year-old Micah, and together they choreograph elaborate recitals...

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What Do Beekeeping and Laser Hair Removal Have in Common?

the lab May 12, 2020

An idyllic beekeeping scene, moments before disaster...


It felt like a good time to finally let the new queens out of their cages. Sunday morning yoga complete and plenty of gardening ahead — but first, the queens. 

Eli the beekeeper pulled up in his truck and I donned my bee suit, covered from head to toe, minus the gloves. I’ve been apprenticing with Eli as he manages 12...

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How Commune Does Sourdough

the lab May 04, 2020

Here at Commune, we have not escaped the bread-baking bug, though we would have tested positive well before 2020. 

As millions of Americans turn to their ovens, they have been particularly drawn to sourdough — mixing flour, water, and salt not with a purchased yeast packet, but with a living, breathing sourdough starter.

Our starter comes from Schuyler’s mother, and like any...

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Take a Tour of Commune Yurt Living

the lab Apr 27, 2020
 
We were just finishing our first property visit of what is now Commune Topanga when the real estate agent said, “You know, there’s one more area I should show you, but it’s kind of overgrown.” 

We hadn’t even noticed the offshoot when we drove in — decades of sagebrush narrowed the dirt road to a thin trial, but we scratched our way uphill in...

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How Not to Name New Kittens

the lab Apr 23, 2020

Three things we’ve learned while fostering these 3-week old furballs.

When you learn to look, our world is full of mutual need fulfillment. The tree needs the microbes for nutrients and the microbes need the tree for sugar. The chickens eat our table scraps and we eat their eggs. And when you have a house full of socially isolated pre-teen girls, the animal shelters have a surplus of...

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Take the 5-Minute Shake Challenge!

the lab Apr 14, 2020

Bonus points for how big you smile...

Ever since I first heard Chubby Checker sing “Let’s do the twist” at a second-grade sock hop, I’ve loved songs that make you shake your body until you can’t breathe, or stop laughing, or both. 

Shaking just feels right. Happy, wet dogs wading out ponds and tiny kittens trembling for a warm touch know what I’m...

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