If you zoom in on this place on Google maps (latitude: 46.65528, longitude: 0.91362 or: Puygirault, St Pierre de Maille, France) you immediately see it: this is no ordinary place. Surrounded by forests and fields you see the contours of a pink castle with its round towers, flanking the river l’Anglin. It looks like a fairytale, hidden deep inside the French countryside. Looking closer the picture becomes clearer: more buildings, a big terrace overlooking the river… when you could come even closer and enter real time you would see people sit there, laughing, talking and relaxing. Other people are working. If there would be an audio app you would hear many different languages; there are people from all over the world here. In the big kitchen in the castle (this was a kid’s colony before) some people are preparing lunch, the main meal of the day. With the scent app you would be able to detect the delicious smell of Indian curry and you would get hungry… and curious… and maybe even feel like visiting!
This is Chateau Anand, the European Center for 3HO, the international yoga organization, based on the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Every year 3HO organizes the Kundalini Yoga Festival. Chateau Anand is meant to be the permanent location for this event, which attracts up to 2000 people each year. In order to make this happen there is continuous activity at Chateau Anand. The buildings are being renovated, a forest camping site with beautiful yoga fields is
being realized, and much more. At the moment the community consists of an untiring staff, a great team of residents and a varying number of volunteers.
For me, one of the volunteers, it’s my third time at Chateau Anand. I’ve been here for three weeks now. The weather is amazingly mild for this time of year; I’ve just been clearing the paths in the forest with a big leaf blower. Again I’m awed by the natural beauty of this place, the kindness of the people and the inspiring buzz of creativity. Spending time here feels like stepping into a river of energy which effortlessly moves me to become more ‘healthy, happy
Sanne Burger, December 2013