By Laura Schutter
Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on March 24, 2017
You may here the word yoga often these days in Nairobi and wonder, what is this all about? As the organization that has trained over 200 yoga instructors with a mission to train thousands more and lead the growth of the wellbeing industry in Kenya, we are here to tell you all about it! So let’s start with why we care so much about yoga
Why do WE practice yoga?
- Yoga is for everyone, all ages, all fitness levels can practice yoga.
- Yoga generates power, so you are not just using power like other exercises.
- Yoga provides balance in our hectic lives through physical activity and mental focus.
- Yoga helps you to understand your body.
- Yoga is non- competitive, you are not training for a performance, you are doing it for yourself.
Question: What is Yoga?
Answer: Yoga is a physical practice that links together a series of postures to allow for you to stretch your mind and body in ways you did not think were possible
So what does this mean for you as a participant? Well, it is a bit like a combination of going to the gym, and going for a massage to work your body and relax your mind all at the same time!
Q: Is yoga a religion?
A: No, yoga is a lifestyle that focuses on well being. Because yoga has its roots in the India, there is a misconception that yoga is a religion. Just as the practice of the Japanese karate does not require becoming a Buddhist, the practice of yoga does mean you are a Hindu. Rather yoga is nonsectarian, promoting health and wellbeing. In our experience, yoga does not undermine personal faith, yoga can actually deepen it.
Q: How is yoga different from other types of fitness
A: Yoga gives you a full body workout and therefore it has many physical benefits, plus it can be done anywhere without any equipment, all you need is your body. In addition to the full body workout, because of the focus on relaxation, it has additional benefits to other physical practices like running.
Q: Where can I learn yoga?
A: A popular first venture into yoga is our Community Class on Saturdays from 10 - 12noon at Diamond Plaza in Parklands. This is a donation based class where the whole community comes together to stretch, smile and share! We also offer classes throughout the week - you can find our schedule on our website www.africayogaproject.org
You can also take a private class with one of Africa Yoga Project’s more than 200 certified yoga instructors where they bring yoga to you at your home, office or other place of your choosing.
Q: What do I wear to practice yoga?
A: Anything comfortable you can bend and move in.
Q: I’m not fit, can I practice yoga?
A: Everyone starts from somewhere! Yoga comes in all shapes and sizes, just like people, it can be fast, slow, relaxing and challenging. We suggest you find a class, get on the mat and discover for yourself. Yoga is not something you learn by knowing about it, but by doing it!
Q: How is yoga good for people with illnesses such as cancer
A: Yoga gets people moving - even in a gentle way making it something anyone can do no matter their physical state. By practicing yoga, patients build physical strength and balance building confidence in in what their bodies can do even if they are fighting off an illness. This confidence in turn lifts their spirits and brings a more positive emotional state to the patient.
What is Africa Yoga Project?
There is a small but growing wellbeing industry in Africa, and a high rate of unemployment. We partner these two needs by training global wellbeing leaders in and from Africa to provide professional wellbeing services for Africans, by Africans.
Currently we are more than 200 trained yoga instructors both give back to their communities by providing free yoga classes to over 6,000 people in a single week in Nairobi, and earn a living teaching classes at our yoga studio, the Shine Center, and at other studios, companies, gyms and homes across Kenya.