By Billy Sadia
Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on April 22, 2014
Over 100 participants have arrived in Nairobi over the past few days open and ready to obtain Africa Yoga Project teacher certification! The goal of this teacher training is to create yoga instructors who provide leadership and empowerment in their communities. Some of the participants are the very first few in their country to teach yoga. Bringing in students from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, UK, Canada, US, Israel, Hong Kong, Brazil and Ghana; the group is diverse and ready to travel into the teachings of Baron Baptiste’s “Journey into Power” sequence and become AYP teachers of service.
Billy Sadia, Catherine Njeri and Walter Mugwe are the first Kenyan born yoga instructors to lead a teacher training in Kenya. All three are certified Baptiste instructors and are lead teachers of the Africa Yoga Project. Baron Baptiste trainings are renown worldwide as life-changing experiences. The past few years, Baptiste trainings have established the Africa Yoga Project’s lineage. Now, on their second annual 200hr teacher training, these three Kenyans are leading the future of yoga in Africa.
“Five years ago I started my first yoga class, now look at where I am. Look at what is possible” Walter states as he brings the group through a powerful flow yoga class on the first night. Getting on their mats and into the first steps of this week’s training, the class is taught between the three teachers. Each bringing their own element of empowerment, Catherine states “You are meant to be here.” encouraging the group to release any doubts as they unpack their travelled bodies and embark on their Journey into Power.
This year’s teacher training has the most internationally diverse group yet. It is exciting to see so many people come together from so many different countries. There is an interesting calm to the group that sets apart from most others teacher trainings. Each of the participants are here for a reason. Whether they were brought in on scholarship, as a local African or an international participant, they are all here to improve their yoga practice and to become teachers. But what is different is the immense support in fundraising received. Most of the international participants had to fundraise at least $4000 for AYP in advance of their teacher training fees. There is a real commitment involved in taking this training and it truly opens up AYP’s mission and purpose. In combination with the teacher training, the group gets into outreach on the first few days, helping to build desks for Red Rose Primary school, they learn how much greater an impact they can create as leaders and teachers by giving back to their community.
“The difference in you attending this training over any other trainings in the world is because you are willing to teach yoga to everyone. It doesn’t matter what yoga looks like on the outside, but what it does to the inside.” Founder, Paige Elenson, states on the very first night. It is true, the group is intertwined with AYP’s mission to give back and to provide a service to their community wherever any AYP teacher may land.
Tackling questions of “What can you let go of?” and “What are you open to?”. Participants are Journeying into Power as leaders of change. The biggest question so far encountered however is “What is being of service?”. Something unique to the AYP experience is teaching yoga as a form of service to others, reaching to communities that may not normally receive yoga and helping them to become stronger, inspiring change from within to create change on the outside.
“There’s a reason you’re here” Billy Sadia leads the final three Om’s of the first yoga class “in One-ness”. We are very lucky, very grateful, and very excited for the week to come. Stay connected on the AYP blog, facebook page and instagram for recent updates of our experiences.
Written by Chelsea Love