Karma Yoga Supporting A Grassroots Food Aid Organization
Job title: Founder, Nadi Girl Ayurveda
Location: Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico & Oakland, California, USA
Kameko Shibata is the founder of Nadi Girl Ayurveda, which provides ayurvedically holistic health services to individuals and groups internationally. She also is the Creator and Director of Yoga-Veda Shala, a 200 and 300 Hour YA Certified Yoga-Ayurveda Teacher Training program. Kameko’s teachings reflect her love, curiosity, and dedication to yoga, movement, self-care, activism, and the natural world.
Born and raised in Northern California, she taught in the SF East Bay for many years before relocating to Puerto Escondido, Mexico, in 2018.
What Are The Key Elements of Planning Successful Retreats?
Timeline planning • Selecting your venue • Itinerary & program design • Sustainability considerations • Marketing • Financials & profitability • Legal forms & liabilities • Insurance
How Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Business?
As a full time yoga teacher, ayurvedic practitioner, massage therapist, and side hustle aerial acrobat, COVID-19 impacted all of my in-person teaching and massage/consults. I am currently in Mexico where, of course, the studios and retreat centers I work in have closed. I’ve closed my private in-person massage and ayurvedic practice in Mexico.
I’ve also canceled two trips to the states that had been scheduled to allow me to complete my MA coursework in Ayurveda, see private clients, and host workshops. I’m still hoping my Summer Solstice retreat will happen, but I’m not sure at this point.
In What Ways Has This Changed Your Perspective?
There has been a huge need for community support here in my small tourist surf town of Puerto Escondido. A few like-minded friends and I teamed up with an existing local Mexican volunteer-run grassroots organization, Sembrando Buenas Semillas (Planting Good Seeds), and have been fundraising, organizing, and distributing food boxes for families in need in the local community.
In the last two weeks, our campaign has earned more than $4300 and we have distributed hundreds of food boxes and hygiene care boxes to families in need. It has become a full-time labor of love. I have often felt disconnected from my activist roots since becoming a health practitioner, and it’s been deeply nourishing to reconnect to those aspects of myself. I find that in times of scarcity, I always find strength and resilience in the network of humans helping humans.
What’s Your Current Business Outlook?
The opportunity to reconnect with my yoga community in the States, offering zoom yoga classes and an online Ayurvedic cleanse, has been incredible. I would have never done live classes nor would there be such a need for them without this crisis. Teaching Zoom classes means as a teacher you basically have to do the whole practice, so it’s allowed me to take my own vinyasa practices which I would never do on my own!
My online teaching has also been a platform for supporting Sembrando Buenas Semillas. My Saturday yoga class last week was a fundraiser for the project, and we raised more than $400 in the single class.