Integrating Yoga into Community Wellbeing
I am passionate about supporting individuals who are willing to take on the risk and effort to create positive changes in society through their yoga initiatives.
I strongly believe yoga has the power to heal and transform us and I will encourage, advise and support your innovative ideas for taking yoga to underserved communities.
Yoga North Cyprus
North Cyprus has a turbulent history that is worth reading about. An embargo was placed on it roughly 30 years ago which has oppressed the citizens making it very difficult to travel or to create an income. Arriving from Uganda in 2017 I was surprised how little developed the almost European Island was. With an average income of $400 a month, there is little spare after feeding a family and paying for school fees and living costs. The local community were curious about ways to become healthier, and find more peace so in 2020 when covid hit I started leading small groups from my front room or a shady spot on the beach. The ladies are generally shy with a determined spirit and range from 50 - 75 years of age.
Classes are a blend of meditation, pranayama and gentle movement.
Jinja Community Yoga
I travelled to Nairobi to partake in the Africa Yoga Project, Journey into Power teacher training in 2014. Using the Shine Centre as an inspiration I created Jinja Community yoga. Each Saturday our community gather together for a 90 min yoga practice and after we join each other sharing breakfast. Our community yoga began with a handful of shy Ugandans and some friends and in 6 months has grown immensely. We now regularly have more then 40 yogis coming together. I donate a portion of my income from other classes to train Ugandan teachers and pay their salary and run events we run to keep this initiative alive. My fund raising covers the costs of mats and breakfasts, a fundraiser on Indiegogo was a lovely success where the gift for donating was a 60 min pre recorded yoga practice with me. Pic from Abide Family Centre
Prison Yoga Project
April 2015 Yoga Uganda started volunteering in Jinja Main Prison.
"Most prisoners suffer from chronic interpersonal trauma experienced early in life such as abandonment, hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, sexual abuse, bullying, discrimination, drug and alcohol abuse, and witnessing crime – including murder
Yoga as a mindfulness practice is our tool for reengaging prisoners with their bodies to restore the connection between mind, heart and body. We use a yoga practice to develop the whole person, increase sensitivity toward oneself and empathy for others. By putting the men back in touch with their bodies, they begin to care more about themselves and understand the harm they have caused."
WORI womens rights initiative
Empowering women and youth to advocate against violence through human rights education skills and information sharing to strengthen capacities and visibility.
Photo by Deidre Norman
WORI was founded in 2007 by three young women, as has been reflected in its name. The organisation was formed to respond and arise to the challenges of women’s rights and poverty. The organisation’s main aim is to enhance the capacity of women and support their efforts towards development and health. The organisation has a special interest in the plight of women and youth as they are most susceptible to vulnerability, psychologically, physically, socially and economically as well