Pure Santosa - Frequently asked questions
- Booking stuff
- Numbers stuff
- Getting there stuff
- Elements -Food, Water, Fire stuff
- Vehicles and Camping stuff
- Hygiene, recycling and toilets stuff
- Kids stuff
- Wildlife stuff
- Schedule, teachers' and therapists' stuff
- General stuff
Q: How do I book?
A: Please download and complete the booking document which you will find in the downloadable guidance documents place on this site (LINK). Then complete the form and mail it as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word BOOKING in the subject line. Please indicate that you have read and are in accord with the SITE AGREEMENT. John will then email you back a booking reference and remittance guidance, so that you can transfer the full amount for your tickets directly into the Santosa bank account via BACs (electronic transfer). Keep a note of the booking reference because that booking reference is your ‘ticket’ as it were, so that when you arrive at the site you simply tell us your booking reference and , hey presto, your name and the names of those in your party will appear as if by magic on John’s great list of all who have paid and you can get in! Simple really.
Q: Can I turn up without having booked?
A: No. Please don’t turn up at the gate without a ticket. This is a pre-booking only event and there are no tickets available on the gate.
Q: What about if I can’t come for the whole camp?
A: Being part of Pure Santosa Yoga and Bhakti Camp is as much a spiritual process as an event . It’s not your usual festie. We really feel that you get the most out of this experience if you stay for the whole duration of the camp. That’s why we are not planninf to offer tickets. If you are absolutely keen to come and yet big important stuff is going on in your life that prevents you from being with us for the full time, then drop us a mail at email@example.com and put ENQUIRY:PARTIAL STAY in the subject line . We may have some spaces to spare, but are giving priority to those who can stay for the whole camp, so decisions about partial stay campers will not be made until closer to the start date.
Q: How many people come?
A: The most people we have had at Santosa in Somerset was 250. This includes around 40 yoga teachers, our crew and usually about 10 healers and therapists. It is a friendly camp, and everyone gets to know most people. We cannot easily accommodate many more on the site, and we love the Healing Field Meadow so much that we want to keep our camp small and perfect, so we all fit in the single meadow. The maximum number the site can comfortably accommodate is 300.
Q: Are there concessionary rates?
A: Yes, the early bird price of £195 is also the concessionary rate which you are entitled to pay if you are a senior citizen, a full-time student, a single parent or unwaged. Please attach electronic proof of status to the email you send with your booking form eg scan in your student card / bus pass and send it as an attachment.
Q: Why does it cost more if I pay by Paypal?
A: The additional fee for any booking made by Paypal reflects the commission and fee which Paypal charge to us. We are simply passing on the cost of this additional fee, it has nothing to do with the cost of your ticket for the camp, and is just what we are charge by Paypal for using this payment option. If you pay by BACS there is no charge of this kind.
Q: Where does the money go?
A: Pure Santosa is run on a budget to make it an affordable camp for as many people as want to join us. In previous years it has just managed to make ends meet by keeping admin minimal and using only volunteer workers and karma yogis to get things happening. This year, if there is any money left over at the end of paying for all the camp expenses, then we plan to re-invest into the camp (for example, we'd love to own our own structures, or maybe even have land set aside spacially for this kind of gathering) to ensure that it is a sustainable operation that can thrive and grow into the future, ensuring its beneficial energies continue to spread blessings to all who attend. Santosa is a community building and supportive networking and nourishing social gathering for many yoga teachers who are all committed to the vision of YOGASEVA – to spread the light of yoga for all, through the provision of yoga therapy in many different venues and to many different populations, Supporting the happiness of yoga teachers and their families and friends is an important aspect of this work.
Q: Where is the site and how do I get there?
A: The Healing Field Meadow is on Ridge Lane, between Shepton Mallet and Pilton. It is two miles from the centre of Shepton. Full directions are here for you to download: Directions
Q: Where’s the nearest train station?
A: The nearest train station is Castle Cary, about a 15 minute cab ride from the site. Most of the cab drivers there seem to know how to find the healing field but it could be a good idea to print out the directions and bring them with you to give to the cabbie. In the past quite a few people have cycled over from Castle Cary on their bikes.
Q: What about fires?
A: We have a single community camp fire for focus. It will be minded by our fire keepers who will help us keep it safe and sacred. Please join us around this fire and respect the fire keeper’s guidance. There are also fires under the water to keep it hot for showers. But we ask for no other fires on site.
Q: What about food?
A: Three delicious sattvic (wholesome vegetarian) meals are included in the cost of your ticket. There is breakfast available from 0700 in the morning (fresh fruit, cereals, crackers, breads and spreads) if you want to collect your breakfast after finishing the 0700 yoga classes you can pick it up later. Chai is served at the morning meeting and in the evening. A simple lunch (eg rice and dhal, or noodles and veggies) is available at 12 noon, and a one pot evening meal (stews or soups) in the evening at 1800. Coffees, teas, chai and cakes and snacks will be available through the daylight hours, from the shop which also will sell some basic essentials like sanitary towels and oatcakes, and some treats, like ginger beer, crisps and chocolate. The Karma Yoga Kitchen will close when it gets dark.
Please bring your own plate, mug, bowl, cutlery and tea towel to the kitchen when you come to collect your meal. It’s handy to bring a bag specially for carrying this stuff in.
Q: Where do we eat?
A: This year we have a gorgeous comfy communal lounge and soft social space area to accommodate everyone comfortably. If it is very sunny or very wet, or if you just want to be undercover, then please feel at home and use this lounge area as a dining room. Campers are also free to sit and eat around the main fire too, and in and around the main circle. The intention is that by serving the camp meals at set times we can all eat together and enjoy the wider company of everyone on the camp and the delicious food from Aradhana’s ashram kitchen.
Q: What about water?
A: There are stand pipes around the field providing mains cold water for drinking, washing, cooking. Hot tubs and hot water for showers are up under the trees at the far end of the field.
Q: Can I park on site?
A: Yes, there is a special part of the site for cars to park in. Please do not park next to your tent. To give everyone space we ask for you to park your car in the car parking places on the right as you enter the field. We can help you with your unloading to carry your stuff to your chosen pitch.
Q: Can I bring my campervan/caravan/bus?
A: Yes campervans and caravans and live-in buses are welcome. Please be guided by the gate tent yogis to a suitable space for your vehicle – and be aware this is likely to be close to the edges of the field near the entrance.
Q: Where can I camp?
A: The camping areas for campervans, buses and caravans are up at the gate end of the field where you come in., along the hedge that bounds the car park. There is camping for tents all around this end of the field, either in the centre of the field, or along the hedges at the sides of the field. Please do not camp in the fire lane, the open grass lane that encircles the central camping space in this end of the field, we need to keep this clear at all times. Other than that you can camp anywhere you like within this end of the field – the bottom end of the camping pace is marked if you imagine a boundary about twelve feet back from an imaginary line across the field from that joins the two big ash tress on either side of the field. In practice this means no camping in front of the lounge and kitchen spaces.
Please do not camp in the main circle of large structures for the yoga and bhakti events. The only structures other than the big group workshop spaces and the bhakti temple which are permitted in the far end of the field are therapists tents for healing work, and a very few designated yurts, crew bell tents and other special spaces.
Q: What about soap?
A: Biodegradable washing up liquid and hand soap is provided for washing up and for hand-washing. Please be sure that your own soaps and shampoos for showering and bathing are also biodegradable. The washing water soaks straight off into the fields.
Q: What facilities are on site?
A: Please be aware this is super-low impact, minimal camping. There is no electricity. We have composting drop toilets (sitting and squatting varieties) at the car park end of the field. Our toilet fairies work hard to keep them lovely for everyone, and we find that most people much prefer these to stinky chemical plastic boxes! We light them at night with lanterns so you can see to poo in the dark if you need to. Please poo in the hole and put a handful of sawdust on top of your creation before your leave. Please accompany children under six to the toilets and if necessary clear up after them. Please be sure to wash your hands with the soap and water provided after using the toilets.
Q: What about toilet paper?
A: We supply ample wonderfully soft recycled toilet paper. Enough for everyone.
Q: What about recycling and rubbish?
A: This is a clean, green site. Please leave no trace of your presence on the site. Please sort out any recycling and take all of it and all of your rubbish away with you. We provide biodegradable black sacks for you to keep everything sorted and tidy. Please keep your pitch tidy and the bags covered so as to discourage night time foraging by neighbouring creatures, and to discourage flies and wasps during the daytime. You can compost your veggie scraps in the hedges and in the toilets.
Q: What about children?
A: I hope to give you some clear pointers of what it can be like to bring a child to the camp. I set up these camps because I wanted somewhere clear and wonderful to bring my children so we could enjoy living yoga together. I have two boys (10 and 13 now) and a little girl (4), and the joy for them at the camps is the children’s world they create with their friends, the other children at the camp. They enjoy the organised activities for kids, and sometimes I accompany them to these, but most of the time they have created their own special world and we just meet up for meals, and devotional song and when we need to, and they come and find me as and when in the yoga sessions if I am teaching or learning.
With children at the camp, there are some variables, and some not-so variables:
- Your child is ultimately your responsibility at all times.
- We do not offer creche or childcare facilities
- We do offer classes where you and your children can do yoga together – family class each day, laughter yoga, and art workshops etc.
- We also offer children’s yoga classes scheduled at the same time as adult yoga classes, often in neighbouring structures so lots of parents find if there child enjoys the class for the kids, at the same time they can enjoy the adult class.
- We also offer arts and crafts activities in the afternoons and many parents find that if school age children are enjoying these sessions, then the parents can enjoy their own yoga in the neighbouring tents.
- We also have a very pro family friendly feel so loads of people make friends with each other and take turns to mind the children – e,g by joining in with the kids activities while their parents go to the class – this seems to work very well
- We create a very safe space for children so that we find on the whole site many children enjoy to play outside the yoga tents or to help out with the crew’s work (e.g in the welcome tent, or at the water facilities while their parents are doing yoga. So long as the child is happily occupied and knows exactly where their parent is if they need them then this works out very nicely for everyone – and the children get freedom to play, whilst being ‘held’ in a conscious space by the wider community of grown ups around.
In practice, we find that the parents and children who seem to feel that they all get to enjoy what they like doing most are the ones where the children either bring along a friend to play with, or make friends at the camp and the parents also make friends with other parents and share responsibility for minding the children. Also there are lots of events you can enjoy together like the singing at the fire, the laughter yoga and the art workshops. Many teachers are also parents and/or experienced kids yoga teachers so are happy to admit children to any of the sessions on the schedule – so that’s an informal way to join the adult classes too. Please be sure to check with the teacher first.
Q: Are there ticks?
A: There may be some ticks. Please be aware that this beautiful site is home to many other creatures. There are no livestock grazed on this land, so it is unlikely there will be loads of ticks, but there could be some. This is the countryside, and ticks live here: on the animals, in the long grass and sometimes they end up on people too. So be mindful about tick prevention and removal: the grass on the camping areas is mown short, so you are unlikely to pick up ticks in these areas, But please be aware if you are walking and exploring that there are loads more ticks in the LONG GRASS and if you spend a lot of time in the long grass you will get a lot of ticks. Best to keep time in long grass short, if you see what I mean. And bring some tea tree oil to soak off the ticks. We find they most often just fall off by themselves after 24 hours if they are bathed in tea tree oil a few times daily.
Q: Are there wasps?
A: Pure Santosa is the first camp of the year on this site and we do not expect there to be any wasps. In the past we have had a lot of wasps on this site, but that was probably because our camp followed on after another camp and there was quite a lot of attractive stuff for wasps to come and find, and also later in the year there are simply more wasps about. In early June, without the previous presence of other campers, we are confident there will be no wasps (or at least, hardly any – a bit like the tick situation really q.v)
Q: Can I bring my pet rabbits/guinea pigs/ hamsters / mice / gerbils?
A: Yes, please do.
Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: No, not really. In fact, better not.
Our landlord prefers there to be no dogs at all on site, and we respect his preferences because it makes camp life difficult if there are loads of canine campers. We had a NO DOGS AT ALL policy for the first five years of the Santosa camp, and then last year, in response the the fact that there always were some dogs on site every year anyway, hiding in cars and caravans etc, then we decided to allow a very few dogs on site under the following strict conditions: Dogs can come provided that their owners commit absolutely to pick up every single poo which their dog does. Every single one. All of them. Even the squishy ones.
Also all dogs should sleep up in the car park area, and should largely inhabit this space up at the top of the field and not be a constant presence/irritant in the rest of the field. Dogs should be on leads at all times in the camping and main circle areas. No dogs are to run free in this part of the site, day or night. If dog owners wish for their dogs to be off lead, they need to take them away from the camping and yoga tent areas and go for a walk elsewhere - loads of lovely walks around here. Be aware also that there is livestock in many neighbouring fields and no dogs are allowed off lead into these pastures. Be aware also that some families bring small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs with them, and dogs should be prevented absolutely from frightening these creatures and their small humans too. We respect and honour dogs as 'guardians of being' (that's what Eckhart Tolle calls them) but know it is a bit of palavar to have dogs at a camp, because lots of little children and grown ups too are a bit scared of them because of the barking, and the poo and the teeth.
Q: Where’s the schedule and what do I get for my money?
A: We work on the schedule right up to the last minute, so please check the Downloadable Guidance Documents here (LINK) the latest version of running order and list of teachers attending. Please print this out and bring it with you. There will be no paper copies on site. Once you arrive on site all classes and workshops are free. All you need to pay for are any treatments you arrange with the therapists. We have over forty yoga teachers registered to teach this year, in four different structures, and there are always last minute changes to the schedule.
Q: I want to teach at the camp, how does that work?
A: We have many offers of teachers for this camp, and a regular team of experienced Santosa teachers. We are keen to encourage other inspiring teachers / bhakti session leaders or workshop facilitators to come and join us. If you would like to be considered for teaching at the camp, then please be aware you will be asked to teach a minimum of three sessions in return for a discounted ticket price for yourself and one other person coming with you. If this appeals, then please mail a fifty word description of your proposed session and also proof of your current insurance and teaching qualification to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word TEACHER in the subject line.
If there is a space in the schedule and your proposal sounds as if it would fit in with what is on offer then our marvelous scheduler Janine will get back to you. If we have run out of space on the schedule by the time you mail us we may well invite you to attend the camp as a paying guest, but to be willing to be on standby / cover duty in case of need, or to step up and offer your session as a spontaneous sharing in a free structure during the camp. If you offer three sessions or more then we can make a partial refund of the fee you originally paid, in line with the discounted rate e offer to all teachers on the schedule.
Q: I want to be a therapist at the camp, how does that work?
A: We seek to offer space only to those therapists who can bring their own beautiful healing spaces with them. We have observed in previous camps that those therapists and healers who set up an appealing structure in which they enjoy to work find that they have the most interest from the campers. All therapists pay a basic reduced ticket rate ad donate 20 per cent of their takings to the camp funds at the end of the camp. If you are equipped to offer a healing therapy in a lovely structure, and your all set with your blackboard / appointment book for campers to book themselves in, then please email your insurance certificate and qualification documents as attachments to email@example.com with the word THERAPIST in the subject line and we will get back to you to confirm whether or not we have a space for you. It depends on getting the right mix of different therapies in the right number in order for this aspect of the camp to work well for everyone.
Q: How do I find out more about what happens on site?
A: Please download the crucial information document from the Downloadable guidance documents. LINK It’s a good idea to have a very good read before you arrive to ensure you know what you are signing up for! Please also read the site agreement, once you send your payment for the ticket you indicate to us that you are in accord with the site agreement and we’ll hold you to it.
Q: I want to trade my crafts/wares/second hand stuff at the camp, how do I do it?
A: We have two bazzaars at the camp, one on Wednesday and one on Saturday. You are most welcome to trade your stuff at the bazaar, all you need to do is to bring it along with you and set up a stall.
Q: What do I need to bring?
A: There is a full kit list in the Downloadable Guidance Documents (LINK). Basically you need to bring yourself, all your camping equipment, and a plate, mug, bowl, spoon, fork, knife, mug and cup for yourself and each person in your party, plus a tea towel or two for drying up; your yoga mat and any other yoga stuff you want to use, musical instruments if you want to play. Flip flops are handy for the outdoor showers, swimming costumes for the hot tubs are a good idea if you are planning to soak in the tub. Bring clothes for all weathers – in the last years we have had blazing sun, (bring hats, sunblock and sunglasses); pouring rain (full waterproofs, umbrellas and wellies are a must), and the nights get a bit chilly, even if you are round the campfire (warm sweaters and rugs/blankets to sit on). Typical English summer gear.
If you want to trade your crafts or wares at the Bazaars, you are most welcome: please bring yr stock and something nice to set it all out on.