Why a yurt?

“What even is a yurt?”

I’ve been asked this question many times along this process of moving my practice into one.  For those who are still unfamiliar, let’s take a moment to learn more about yurts and what drove my intention to work in one.

Yurts date back at least three thousand years to parts of Asia.  They served as dwellings for nomadic, horse-riding nations in the regions near the Northern Black Sea and Central Asia.  Yurts have been proven to withstand the harsh conditions of the lands they originate from, while they are designed to be dismantled and packed compactly to be moved to the next location by a camel or yak.  The history of the yurt and the people who dwell within them is rich with adventure, resilience, and community.

My first encounter with yurts was when I worked as a wilderness therapy guide in Southern Idaho.  The program had several yurts scattered throughout the hills.  I was always struck by the soothing feeling of the circular interior and domed skylight, the intricacy of the criss-crossing lattice walls, along with the unique appearance.   My experience of working in the Idaho desert was very nomadic, in that we walked the land, moving camp each day, while learning to live in nature.  Whenever I was able to find shelter within the yurt, I felt warm and safe, two valuable commodities while existing in the elements.

Early designs of the traditional yurt have deep roots within the culture of Buddhism.  Balance is a key element in the architecture, and the shapes inside are consistent with what can be found throughout the Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia.  A friend of mine recently shared that bad energy can be trapped in the corners of a rectangular room, but with the circular shape of the yurt, the energy is forced to flow and move.

For the creation of Ground and the moving of my practice closer to nature, a yurt for an office was an “A-ha moment” as being the optimal structure for the vision.  While we have been dealing with a drought and heat wave here in the Northwest this summer, the yurt has been staying cool, further validating the functionality.  Not to mention, the minimal footprint, deep relationship with the natural world, and balanced structure are all consistent with the mission of Ground.

So I invite you to come visit and we can take in the healing feel of being in a yurt.



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