BUILDING AND STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY IN KENYA

Everybody arrived on time that day, full of motivation and smiling. They were proud of their self discipline to wake up early and attend to the yoga class in their community, Kangemi, a neighborhood in Nairobi where life conditions sometimes are not the best for children nor adults. It takes courage to grow and develop capabilities and abilities, and people here are always open to any opportunity life offers. You can see hope and illusion in their eyes.

It was Friday morning. We had the chance to join a class in the “Hamble Youths”, where since three years ago Dylan Maina, teacher of Africa Yoga Project, imparts outreach classes. People have been responding deeply, connecting through yoga with themselves and with the whole group, transforming life’s obstacles into possibilities.

They have created a vibrant community – Kaptagat -, and every Friday they weave together their spiritual beliefs and strengthen them through the practice of yoga. The flow of Power Vinyasa Yoga, was heating the communal salon, while the participants from 18 to 58 years old were keeping theirs thoughts quiet and trying not to worry about daily life, at least while the class goes on.

When the session starts, all of the participants are set to the present instant. In words of Stella, one of the participants, “yoga is healing”. For others it is the unique moment to be with themselves and to be conscious of the breath while they workout. The waves of the flow allowed people to work hard and even as most of the time it was physically challenging, everybody showed a grateful attitude, sometimes sharing smiles to show support to each other.

The cycle of the flow takes them to Savasana, the final pose, that comfort themselves and allows them to visit and feel their whole body and spirit. Breathing in and breathing out, you could see through the eyes of some of the participants the benefits of this powerful practice, to connect within and without, and to spread connections through communities. To take a moment to breath deeply… simply allowing you to be.

This sacred space closed with a circle, a place for everyone to introduce themselves and share their deep thoughts with the rest of their partners. No matter how different we are, the color of the skin, the diverse beliefs, the socioeconomic background, WE BREATH AS ONE.