Danni Lynch, now 24, arrived from Kells, Ireland last September for our One Month Karma Yoga Program. She decided to register for the 2019 Yoga Development Course (YDC) and after the course, to further extend her stay.
The YDC was a genuinely empowering experience for me. I let go of keeping myself small and an old idea of fitting into a specific box. I shed all of that. The YDC gave me a sense of autonomy and sovereignty, a sense that I can do whatever I need to do with my life.
No one at the Ashram told me the answers or told me how I am supposed to feel or who I am supposed to be. There was always space for me to grow and flourish. And when I needed the little nudge, I was always given it. Public speaking used to terrify me but now offering satsang and teaching are two of my favorite things. The Ashram held space for me to tentatively step forward, and now it feels like my calling.
My job here is Events Coordinator and assistant with group bookings. Every single day I am so grateful for my dream job. I can be part of tangibly making the world a better place and bringing people closer to their inner Light.
The beauty of the Ashram is that we are all reflective, and we strive for self awareness, so the leaders are open to all perspectives. To have people in a much more senior position actually sit down and listen to what I’m saying is something I haven’t experienced before. I’ve never really been heard so attentively by adults before.
I’m working on two main projects right now. One is about cultural awareness – looking at diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and how we can bring a wider sense of belonging into this community. In August we are collaborating with centres around the world to create a webinar about DEI within spiritual communities.
The second project is a Youth Climate Action Retreat. There is currently an amazing movement of youth climate activists in the Kootenays, and we are creating a retreat for them at the end of August. They are invited to the Ashram for a weekend of facilitated workshops and space to come together and collaborate. Hopefully they can also recuperate and gain tools for self-care because the environmental movement can be intense.
At the beginning of the YDC I felt like a girl, and now I feel like a woman. It felt like I was growing up. I know I have a right to take up space in the world and I’m going to do that.
Maiya Irvine (L), Hospitality Manager, with Danni and Alia Wurdemann-Stamm (R), Garden Manager, are other youth that have taken on roles of responsibility at the Ashram and are excelling in their leadership.