The past 3 weeks have gone by with a blink and I have had so many new and unique experiences. Learning, living, and volunteering on a farm is both a physically and mentally demanding task. Hauling around large rocks to start the creation of a rock wall, mixing clay and adding layers to the straw bale house, and creating and flipping compost piles are things that I would have never imagined myself doing having grown up in a city where a farm was always a place somewhere else. I never truly appreciated the work that goes into farming and creating life sustaining food for communities. As a permaculture farm Keela Yoga Farm goes a step above by using permaculture growing methods that consider not only the current state of what is growing on the farm, but also the future state of what is growing. By volunteering here, I have learned to truly appreciate the hard work and energy that goes into the food that I eat.
Harvesting a daily salad for the group has become a peaceful meditative activity that I have come to look forward to and learn about what is growing in the gardens around the farm. It has become an opportunity for me to have some alone time away from everyone and spend time with the creatures and critters in the gardens and connect with the plants that give us nourishment.
As I have been living here for the past month and engaging with so many different people with vast experiences, backgrounds, and energies, I have learned just how much I need to have time to myself to rejuvenate my energy and feel whole. When it comes to my yoga teaching, I have really grown and improved greatly in such a short time. My confidence in teaching classes has improved and I have received very positive and encouraging feedback from my students, which makes me really want to continue this journey of learning and teaching yoga. I am realizing that choosing to teach yoga was a good decision and that I can impact people and share my love for yoga in the way that I envisioned. I have seen and felt a vast improvement between my first class that I taught and now. I also recognize areas that I need to work on to improve my teaching and provide my students with the best, safest, and most rewarding experience.
In addition to teaching yoga I have also had the opportunity to lead meditation sessions which were very well received. I was pleasantly surprised when I lead a meditation session and received great feedback. I wasn’t sure how it was going but everyone came out feeling relaxed and at ease. I was even told that my voice is very peaceful and calming and that I should do meditation podcasts. That might be something that I consider in the future. This has taught me that I need to be more trusting of myself and have more confidence because often I am my own worst critic.
Oh and did I mention that the food has been amazing?! It has been great to be able to enjoy so much healthy and tasty food prepared by our lovely chefs. I’ve really been exposed to so many new and creative ways to make the same foods new, different, and lively. I never knew there were so many unique ways to make zucchini and potatoes! One of my favorites was a delicious mixed zucchini and potato mash.
So overall, the past few weeks has been an experience of teaching yoga, working on different projects and tasks around the farm, spending time in the company of other volunteers and people that are here, teaching and doing yoga, spending some time on meditation, mindfulness, and self-reflection, and finally enjoying great food and people.
(Written on October 19th)