UNITY * POSSIBILITY * NON-VIOLENCE
The Africa Yoga Project uses the transformative power of yoga to empower communities and change lives. By inspiring the global yoga community into active service, AYP delivers effective and innovative programs that foster peace, improve physical, emotion and mental well-being, facilitate self-sufficiency and create opportunities to learn and contribute across the communities of East Africa.
Our methods are based upon Baptiste Power Yoga Institute (BPYI)
as a model for sharing the transformational power of yoga. We are also deeply inspired by the practice of AcroYoga
as a way to cultivate trust, connection, and playfulness in our community.
On the ground in Kenya, we work with Sarakasi Trust
, our “parent” organization, that is the East African leader in using the arts and culture to eradicate poverty
Our core programs are:
1)Baptiste Power Yoga on the Streets
Baptiste Power Yoga on the Streets is free, community yoga that is changing lives for young, urban Kenyans. What makes this so transformational is that it provides a healthy, motivational venue for young adults to engage with their community, build support systems and change their lives. Many young people in Nairobi live in the slums, without water or bathrooms. Through the practice of Baptiste vinyasa, they find strength to not only survive, but to thrive.
We have introduced hundreds of students in Kenya to the practice of yoga, as well as provided educational scholarships, job training, food stipends, temporary housing and health services.
Our students, ages 16 to 30 years old, come from impoverished backgrounds in Nairobi, Kenya and live on under $2 a day. Many are personally affected by HIV/AIDS and are living or have lived on the streets.
Africa Yoga Project offers financial support to 38 teachers in exchange for teaching yoga in the communities of Nairobi, Kenya. Our teachers come from the slum areas in which they teach and are able to reach the communities for positive social change. Many yoga teachers come to AYP via acrobatics or dance, which they performed on the streets as a way to sustain a living. We also facilitate international exchanges where yogis and movement teachers from abroad experience Kenya through the eyes of a teacher. Volunteers will be accepted to teach alongside out Kenyan teaching staff
Africa Yoga Project offers the yoga teachers confidence and hope. Yoga is a way to give back to the communities in which they live- AYP promotes unity and non-violence. For many AYP teachers, it is a way to earn income to support their families and continue their education.
- 2)Amani Circus
Creating and Sustaining “Amani Circus” - “Amani” is the Kiswahili word for Peace. Amani Circus was created in 2008 in response to a two month period of electoral violence in Kenya that cost over 1000 lives and left 300,000 Kenyans homeless. The circus created is built on the themes of Chaos and Stillness and the peace that can be found between. This peace circus travels to the areas affected by violence and is a platform for youth leadership & non-violence.
3) Beads for Change- Yoga Inspired & Women-Driven
Africa Yoga Project partners with the women of Masai villages in Amboseli, Kenya to bead T-shirts. Beading is a proud Masai tradition and by using this skill, women receive a sustainable income. With this money, they buy food for their families, which increases their status in the community and gives them a voice in decision-making: they determine where the money can make the most impact.
With the proceeds from Beads for Change, Masai women and Africa Yoga Project have built two pre-primary schools for Masai children. The schools provide academic, health, and rights education. Proceeds have also enabled girls’ education, bought goats, and built toilets. Working together, we are influencing positive cultural change in the practice of FMG (female circumcision).
The T shirts that the Masai women bead come from Wildlife Works in Voi, Kenya (near Mombasa). 82% of Voi residents live with HIV. Thus, unemployment is very high, making poaching a popular way to get money. By employing women in the sewing cooperative, the women earn an income and help protect endangered wildlife. www.wildlifeworks.com