Viva Institute was created in 2008 as a “virtual retreat center for the modern mystic.” Viva Institute’s mission is to provide e-learning opportunities for seekers to connect around topics that you’d typically need to travel to a retreat center to find.

From 2010-2013 Viva ran as a raw-vegan retreat center on an organic farm in the mountains above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in 2014 Director and Founder Leigh Hopkins relaunched Viva Institute in the United States. Today’s menu includes e-courses and spirited bloggy goodness.

Leigh Hopkins, Course Instructor

Leigh Hopkins, Course Instructor

Viva Institute’s Director Leigh Hopkins is a self-described curiosity junkie and an experienced educator, speaker, and seminar leader. Leigh authors and develops all of Viva’s Institute’s online educational programming.


Currently, Viva Institute offers five popular online courses, and 3 new courses will be added in Fall 2014. All courses are offered on a rotating basis. Check for the latest offerings under E-COURSES.

Biography…the long version

Before founding Viva Institute, Leigh Hopkins worked in public education reform for more than 20 years. She served as the National Network Director for the National Center on Time and Learning, a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving academic achievement and providing a well-rounded education for public school students.

Prior to joining the National Center on Time and Learning, Leigh was Vice President for Education Initiatives at Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the effectiveness of social policies and programs.

Leigh expanded P/PV’s after school efforts from 20 classrooms in Philadelphia to reach more than 500 classrooms in 17 cities. She led P/PV’s education-based government-relations efforts, working with elected officials, lobbyists and policymakers to promote state and federal support of effective education programs and practice and to ensure that lessons learned were reflected in policy.

Early in her career, Leigh was an elementary classroom teacher, reading specialist and choral accompanist. She owned and operated a private tutoring service and provided professional development and support to teachers and parents of students with learning challenges.

Leigh Hopkins received a BS in Elementary Education from the State University of New York at Oswego and a Master’s degree in Education from Nazareth College. She has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University and is a certified Reiki Master. Ela fala português, ella habla español, and on good days, she even remembers English.

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