CANAAN–Raghunath and Bridget Raymond-Capo brought their vision to the town Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals over the past month have won support for commercial use of their residential property–an expanding yoga retreat and education center, located at 365 Schillings Crossing Road off Route 295.
Supersoul also operates the Supersoul Yoga Studio on Main Street in the Village of Chatham.
The Supersoul Farm, as the site is called, attracts students from New York City and the greater New York metropolitan area. In that sense it may be one example of the growth in traveler spending experienced in Columbia County. In 2016 traveler spending rose by 7.7% to over $140 million and tax revenues generated by tourists here increased 8.2%.
The review process by the town covered use of two buildings on the property, a residence for the family of seven and a combination school/dormitory. Among the issues discussed and resolved by the town: septic system upgrade and review by Department of Health; parking; safety of walkways; increasing the dorm space from 14 to 24; protecting wetlands, planting trees as cover; plans for up to three fundraising events each year; use of crushed stone for the parking lot to create a permeable surface. The review process was collaborative rather than adversarial.
Raghunath, a former punk rocker and celibate monk, is a certified yoga instructor focused on bhakti, the yoga of devotion. He teaches nationwide and internationally. The expanded school will allow him more time at home with his family, including his wife, Bridget, a certified horticulturalist and horticultural educator, and their five children. She is very much a part of both the school program and the plans for the property aimed at protecting wetlands and adding to the spiritual ambience. Sheep and ducks roam the center’s front lawn.
Supersoul Farm began in Albany, moved to Canaan, and has been operational for several years. Upcoming programs at the center include a “Women’s Weekend Getaway” and a “Yoga+Mantra+ Herbal Medicine Retreat.”
Raghunath’s upcoming schedule has him the Prama Festival in Gothenberg, Sweden, in Houston and leading a Himalayan pilgrimage in the next two months
More about at Supersoul Farm is at www.supersoulfarm.com or 518-650-2442.