Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on July 31, 2012
On day 3 of the July 2012 Seva Safari, the group attended a free community yoga class, which is held every Saturday at 10 a.m., led by an Africa Yoga Project teacher. Below is participant Jimbo Graves' account of his experience participating in the class.
What is it like to do yoga in Kenya? Crazy awesome! Mats close together, everyone in full smile, palms reaching out, neighbors supporting each other, sighs that sound like the tension of the whole world is releasing, and full on laughter...so so much fun!
Today, 7/28, was our AYP Community Yoga Class at their brand new facility, the one and only Diamond Plaza. On the top floor of what seemed like a very popular building was a large open room that seemed perfect for doing one thing - huge, powerful yoga classes, and that is exactly what is taking place. When I saw it, I knew in my heart that this community is up to BIG things. As we entered the building, a long line of the most friendly faces were right there to welcome us with wide open arms and huge smiles. It was love at first sight and the yoga hadn't even started yet.
Practice started at 10am, the room was full and Moses, our teacher, was super ready. Before class, he presented us with one question: "What does community mean to you?" Hands shot up everywhere - togetherness, love, friendship, connection, trust, safety, support. The list was long and perfect. Then we dove right in...Downward Facing Dog.
Over the next two hours, we moved as one big, beautiful community in full celebration for each other and this practice. I was in the front right corner with some new friends and some even newer friends. A deaf girl named Mercy was to my right. She must have been around 10 years old. She was like a little beacon of willingness looking at us around her to help support her through the flow. And through her willingness, she inspired a greater connection in all of us around her. So it is in a community, when one grows we all grow. Thank you, Mercy, for being there for me.
I arrived to savasana worn out and yet fuller than when I had started. The experience of being so far from home and yet feeling like I'm in the company of family is magical. How does it happen that perfect strangers can become family in one smile? I know it starts with willingness that is supported by a belief that we are already connected. All that needs to happen is for us to finally meet each other. My gratitude for this experience is well beyond words, and this is only day three. Much much more to come...in Amboseli.