Meet our Karma Yogis: Leah Hughes

Karma yogi Leah, Fall 2013

Karma yogi Leah, Fall 2013

In 2010 I lived and travelled in Mexico for 10 months, as a volunteer teaching basic literacy and math skills to kids. During that time I learned Spanish. In the spring of 2012 I graduated from UVic with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Hispanic Studies.

After graduation I walked the Camino – 820 km across northern Spain – with my mom, something she had wanted to do for a long time. We met people from all over the world. I love to travel, so when I got back from that trip I went to Peru for six months, where I volunteered with indigenous weaving communities to revitalize the textile tradition, using all natural dyes and hand woven alpaca wool. Although I’m fluent in Spanish, I travelled with a translator since the weavers are mainly women who speak only Quechua.

In the summer of 2012 I met someone who had spent time at the Centre, and this remained at the back of my mind. During the winter I applied to come here because I’d been wanting to deepen my yoga practice after having done a work exchange at a yoga studio in Victoria. I also wanted to be back on the coast, on an island and on a farm.

I am in the KYSS program, with the good fortune of being in the only summer farm position at the Centre. I will become an official farm yogi for the month of October. I didn’t have much farm experience when I arrived, so every day was a new learning opportunity. I find it very satisfying working on a farm in a community where the food we grow is prepared and served to the community every day, and to see the complete cycle of the food, knowing the labour that went into growing it. It gives us a sense of connectedness to the food we’re eating, and an appreciation for the abundance of the land; Harvest days are very exciting – and fun!

Part of what drew me here was to be able to explore yoga off the mat, from people with a lot of wisdom and a lot to teach, in classes and in daily interactions. I’ve gained so much from my time here.