The Africa Yoga Project’s vision is to inspire and empower individuals through the restoring practice of yoga. The Kenyan organization’s 98 trained and dedicated yoga instructors hold 350 classes a week in prisons, schools, rural villages, HIV/AIDS support groups, special-accommodation centers and many other places.
The organization focuses on the diverse communities of East Africa, but its influence expands internationally. Besides yoga, AYP offers meditation, health education, relationship building, community activism, self-exploration, and empowerment through performing arts.
AYP partners with many other organizations such as Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, I Love Yoga, Mindbody Business Management, Next Generation Yoga, Give Back Yoga Foundation and Yoga Reaches Out.
On its website, www.africayogaproject.org, AYP offers information on volunteer opportunities, attending classes, donating and fundraising. Further, the blog gives people an inside look at the organization and its longstanding impact.
The founder of the organization, Paige Elenson, is originally from New York, and she was inspired by a group of people she met in Kenya in 2007.
Designgood.com explained Elenson’s story: “Elenson went from Wall Street to Kenya and discovered that teaching downward dogs and warrior poses can unleash changes that go way beyond the yoga mat.”
With plans to expand the project to five other African countries, AYP would not only create more jobs but also empower communities on a larger scale. It also completed a U.S circuit called the Handstands, Hugs and Highways Tour, where the outfit raised money to travel to 16 cities and spread awareness and empowerment through yoga across the country.
“Our mission is to educate, empower, elevate and employ youth through the power of yoga.” Elenson said. “Our vision is to create opportunities for youth to step into their greatness and become self-sustaining leaders in their communities. I’m continuously reminded that yoga is the greatest service to give someone to find what is inside of them, to see what is possible and provide the tools to transform their own life.”
Check out the model below to understand the goals and purpose of the project. Also, enjoy the photos of people experiencing the power of yoga in their lives. Then, click here to visit AYP’s website to learn more and get involved.
I have not personally tried yoga myself, but I have heard about its many benefits. This article really highlights how the practice of yoga can unite an entire population and create good. I would love to see this continue across Africa like the mission states.
I think this is a great topic to cover because yoga is known as a spiritual practice and to see it implemented to help people in Africa is effective and awesome. I was just reading this article, https://cultursmag.com/2015/03/suffering-from-ptsd-across-the-world/ , and it talks about using cultural practices in areas where it would be most effective. This fits!
This article is such a good representation of how good yoga is not just for the body, but for the mind and soul as well. I had no idea there were organizations like this going on in the world so all the information you provided is super helpful!
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