africa yoga project

by jenna on September 19, 2011

So, today while I’m away training with Baron in Colorado, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share with y’all a special project that is very near and dear to my heart: The Africa Yoga Project.

The Africa Yoga Project is a charity dedicated to training Kenyan yoga teachers to go out in the slums of Nairobi and teach power yoga to men, women and children. In an area where many are affected by HIV/AIDS and live on less than two dollars a day ,this empowering practice, quite simply, gives them something to live for. It brings unity, possibility, leadership and empowerment to people that need it most and might not normally have access to such a gift.

And……on October 2nd, my studio is hosting a very special two hour practice with a live skype-in from Francis (that’s him in the Facebook profile photo!), our yoga mentee, from Kenya! All proceeds from the event go straight to the Yoga Aid Challenge as we’re trying to raise enough money to train and hire four new Kenyan instructors that will further spread the love and make a huge difference in people’s lives.

So, if you live somewhere in Northern California…come out, play with us and help us support such an amazing cause! And if you don’t, I would really appreciate any donations that may be on your heart. Every little bit makes a difference and from watching the above video you know how many lives are impacted by this program! It’s truly amazing.

Thank you for being awesome!! You can make donations by clicking here or by clicking the super cool widget I’ve got goin’ on my sidebar right now.

Namaste.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Emmy (wineandbutter) September 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm

That looks like an amazing cause!!! One of my best friends nearly set up a yoga studio in Nairobi you know – Im going to direct her towards this straight away. I really love the idea of giving ‘aid’ through spiritual empowerment, rather than just giving money to (quite possibly corrupt) charities or goverments…

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Yolie @ Practising Wellness September 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I read an amazing article last year in Yoga Journal about yoga teachers in Nairobi – it’s such a wonderful cause, and an amazing practice for anyone and everyone…most of all it’s empowering! I love what your studio and this Africa Yoga project are doing – I am going to check out that donation page/widget! And if I were living in Cali then I would definitely come to the class. Much love and support! <3 xyx

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Lauren September 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm

That’s awesome! Two of my friends just got back from volunteering for 10 months at an orphanage in Kenya. Their stories are amazing, and their spirit is incredible.

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Jen September 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm

That’s incredible. Did they do it with a non-profit organization they work for or as a break from their own work/schooling?

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Anna September 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm

So glad to see this post! I became involved with AYP when I lived in Nairobi in 2009- I became friends with Paige, AYP’s founder, and practiced alongside her students every week at their Saturday morning class. I can personally attest to the powerful yoga community she has cultivated in Nairobi… those classes were without a doubt the most powerful yoga I have ever experienced. I still remember them well. Anyways, thanks for using your online presence to bring attention to AYP and the awesome work it does. I actually blogged a bit when I was in Kenya and more recently wrote a reflective piece about my time with AYP- let me know if you’d like to read it because I can’t drop a link in this comment.

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm

This sounds and looks amazing!!

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Karen September 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm

What a wonderful initiative! So nice of you to spread the word of the cause and the need…I’m inspired to research this further!

Hope you are enjoying your training, Jenna.

Namaste.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I hope you’re having a wonderful time in CO with Baron. By this point, you’ve probably had a couple amazing practices in and some really energizing, fabulous, life-changing moments…yoga conferences and retreats do that for me at least!

Thanks for the links and info about the Africa Yoga project, too.

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Sana September 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm

I love how the internet can bring people together to do yoga!

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! September 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Awesome project Jenna! Such a great cause!

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock September 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm

What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing :)

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Stephanie @cookinfanatic September 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm

When I first started practicing yoga I don’t think I had any idea of the impact that it could have on a sense of community and on not only my own life, but the lives of others. Yoga is just such a powerful, wonderful way to bring people together into a calm, nurturing environment. This project looks to be a touching and wonderful cause, thanks so much for sharing.

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Lu @ A Mix of it All September 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

What a wonderful cause! I wish I lived closer to CA. I’d be all over that yoga class. Hope you’re having fun at your retreat.

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Emily September 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I think it’s really great that you’re supporting a charity. However, I have to bring up what you wrote. “In an area where many are affected by HIV/AIDS and live on less than two dollars a day ,this empowering practice, quite simply, gives them something to live for.”

Let’s please not perpetuate the idea that Kenyans have nothing to live for without Western interventions. I know that your intent here is good; it’s just an opportunity to re-examine stereotypes that we often take for granted. Many Kenyan people with HIV/AIDS, and many people who are poor, have full and rich lives without our help.

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Jessica October 7, 2011 at 11:05 am

I have been reading your blog for a little while and have used some of your delicious recipes! I’ve never commented before, but I think this project sounds so cool and I would love to get involved. I am a certified Yoga teacher (I did my teacher training in Utah with Baron’s ex-wife actually!) and feel that Yoga is about so much more than stretching and having a nice body. I think it has so many amazing healing properties and can be so empowering. Thanks for sharing this, and I will definitely be looking into it more!

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