By Billy Sadia
Posted in OUR VOICE BLOG, on May 21, 2013
I was on a family vacation in Africa in 2005. AcroYoga had sparked a major love for handstands and going upside down in general, and while on Kenya on Safari, we drove by a group of young Kenyan men doing handstands. We were in the middle of the bush, so my Dad warned me not to get out of the car – but I jumped out and started doing handstands with these young men. As it happens, they were a group of professional acrobats that were practicing for a show at a tourist hotel. They were enthralled with my flexibility and wanted to learn yoga. We had a real connection, one that exceeded race and nationality. They e-mailed me months later and invited me back to stay with them. Little did I know we would be staying in the slums of Nairobi, not at a chic tourist resort. I spent a month teaching yoga in the slums, hand in hand with an acrobatic program they called “Sarakasi.” We reached hundreds of young people, who without basics like food and shelter, were coming in droves to take our yoga classes. It sparked a passion to see yoga outside of the studio walls and to share it with people who were hungry and ready for it.