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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Om Girl! Trendsetting teen yoga teacher rides her own wave

Om Girl Kaya Hughes. Courtesy Kaya Hughes.
Like the ocean surf she resides by, yoga naturally flowed in to 9th grader, Kaya Hughes’ life.

The Encinita, California-based teen clicked with the practice two years’ back and successfully lobbied the studio owner at local Soul of Yoga for entry in to their teacher training program.

While juggling the day-long trainings and schoolwork was challenging, it took Hughes out of her comfort zone and, “Led me on a better path,” she says.

Hughes soon began teaching tween and teen classes at Ivivva of Del Mar and South Coast.

“At first I was nervous and didn’t know if girls would like how I taught, but over time, I felt more...
comfortable and my teaching skills improved,” says Hughes.

A guitar player, Hughes uses atypical music to set her classes apart.

Om Girl Kaya Hughes. Courtesy Kaya Hughes.
“I wanted to use music that I listen to and connect with teens,” says the young yogi. Music groups, including Nirvana, were added to her playlist and she even named her “Teen Spirit” classes after this band.

Hughes will pick up more classes at Soleil Yoga Studio in Cardiff this coming summer. She promotes her yoga work and lifestyle on Instagram and has amassed 2000 followers.

“I use social media as an outlet to share quotes that I like and to connect with other girls my age who practice,” says Hughes.

Om Girl Kaya Hughes. Courtesy Kaya Hughes.
The yogi trendsetter has also caught the eye of active wear brand, Teeki, jewelry companies and Flash Tattoo lines like Tats4Now, for whom she is a brand ambassador.

“Companies send clothing and product samples, and I help them to promote through social media. A lot of exciting opportunities have come,” she says.

While such attention has its perks, “I don’t see myself building on this. I’m interested in making my own music for yoga classes,” says Hughes, who is inspired by the music of Bob Marley, Souljah, Foo Fighters, Michael Franti and The Cure.

Just like Rachel Brathan, aka, “Yoga Girl,” continues to inspire Hughes’ personal yoga journey, “I have a positive outlook, am super confident in who I am and mindful of what’s right and wrong,” says Hughes. “I think I’ve helped a lot of people to come out of their shell, which is why I love yoga so much,” she says.


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