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Warning: the following blog contains images that represent the dust, dirt and faith it takes to turn something old and imperfect into something new (and imperfect). Viewer discretion is advised.

In my dream of dreams, every day at the farm is sunny, mid 70s, and the skeeters are taking a siesta. Yoga mats can be spread out on the soft grass, beneath a blue sky. And, a lot of the time, that will be true. But, sometimes, it won’t. 

My goal is to use as much of the existing structures as possible for our activities. Of course, it’s cost effective, but thats not the only reason. I want to keep the rural, rustic flavor. Sure, I could build a glamorous and polished temple to yoga, but how wabi-sabi would that be?

So, I took a good, hard look around. I opened my mind to the potential of each space. It was hard. This is a working farm, with equipment and such, and it was never built to be glitzy. But one of the oldest, original structures caught my eye. 

See how Mack heads to the lean-to shed in the middle of a hot summer day? That’s because it’s cooler, and the bugs don’t like to go in there.

Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t want to go in there either! It’s icky!” Well, I spy with my little eye some potential. 

Yes, it is a big mental leap. The lean-to has been housing tractors, hay racks, old (vintage) fenceposts and lazy horses for years. But, our construction expert Mike Koch agreed to take on the task of looking deeper. He and Roy emptied all the fenceposts out, and gave the inside a deep power wash.

Aren’t the ceiling rafters beautiful? All cleaned up, they gleam. I love old wood, and these rafters must be 100 years old. Then, Mike and his crew began to dig out the dirt floor, making it nice and level. And they poured dyed concrete. This floor will be cool in the summer, smooth for our mats, and still be able to be usable for equipment during off season. 

These guys worked hard. Can you picture it with little tea lights strung? Perhaps something on the walls? What you aren’t seeing here is the beautiful view of woods and ponds behind me.

Here is the floor, still wet, unpolished and unsealed, but looking pretty good. Picture some bales of straw around the perimeter, and a long table there for a farm-to-table dinner. Yes, it’s imperfect, rustic and a work in progress, but that’s the fun of creating a unique space. This lean-to has a long history. It’ll be fun to continue that history with yogis on retreat.