Graphs and charts line the walls of the Karma Yoga office giving a tangible picture of who will be at the Ashram and what the work will be in the coming months. Kim Olson and Andrej Galic are the new Karma Yoga coordinators, revitalizing the organization of work at Yasodhara.
“The reason I keep coming back here is because I love Karma Yoga” says Kim. “The Yoga Development Course (YDC) gave me so much and now I have an opportunity to give back.”
“The YDC was a foundation and starting point for me,”says Andrej, “but I can’t just stop there and say I’m done. It doesn’t work that way; it’s an iterative thing. I have lived in different communities around the world and learned new approaches, but my foundation is always with me wherever I go.”
Andrej and Kim both took the YDC in 2013 after arriving independently at the Ashram in 2011. Their shared background changes the way they work together. “Andrej and I have both seen many different manifestations of Karma Yoga coordinating and have worked in every department of the Ashram. We have an institutional knowledge that allows us to bring in innovation. After going through the YDC together, we are able to each use our strengths, brainstorm ideas, leave the office to actually do work like harvesting or daily clean, and hold a bigger picture of work at the Ashram.”
Andrej and Kim are examples of a different way of being at the Ashram. Andrej lives onsite and has time scheduled for other projects in maintenance and communications. “I was part of the original thinking about projects that were put on hold after the Temple fire. I’m happy to be here now while we rethink and launch initiatives in these areas.”
Kim lives in Riondel with her partner, Derek. They recently moved to the Kootenays and Kim’s position at the Ashram helps them stay here rather than returning to Calgary. “Being here as an employee has been challenging in a good way,” says Kim. “It’s encouraged me to look at how I view myself in the Ashram and my role. I’m keeping things light and focusing on my work as service.”