Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kenya

I am sitting in a small room with large glass windows looking out on about 75 young Kenyans. I am getting ready to teach Hip Hop Asana in a community center that use to be a cinema. The Sarakasi Dome is home not only to weekly yoga classes with the Africa Yoga Project but to a recording studio (they invited me in to do the drops/intros to a couple djs and rappers), many troops of dancers, an art space and more. The trip in Kenya started 10 days ago in Lakipia, Kenya where I was assisting Sharonji and Davidji at a beautiful retreat at the Center of Origin in the Great Rift Valley. It is truly the center of origin as one of the oldest human remains were found close by. Located on 100,000 acres of land you can look in all directions and see no human settlement. I have never been in a place so wild. I left the retreat a day early to come into Nairobi (6 hour drive) to begin teaching with Paige Elenson and her amazing team at AYP. I was accompanied by Jessica Sjoo and Lisa Cordova and we got right into teaching. The first class had about 73 people in it and was an introduction to Jivamukti although some had taken classes with Sharonji and Davidji when they were in Nairobi last year. After class many of us went to a Hare Krishna spot for lunch. AMAZING!!! Some of the most affordable food in the city and completely vegan!!! People from all walks of life filled the cafeteria style room, from suits to mechanics. Later in the day we accompanied Paige and some AYP teachers into the largest slum in Kenya. At first sight and smell it was one of the saddest places I have ever been. The slum stretched on for miles and there was no end in sight. How could a government that collects taxes let such a place continue I have no idea but it was the sights I had only seen on tv. We were on our way to a school in the middle of the slum to teach some yoga classes. I was thinking this is not what these people need, they need running water and food, they need clothing and better food. One of the teachers came up to Paige as we walked in with a baby they had found in the trash that was extremely sick. Paige immediately left with the teacher and baby to a clinic her friend has founded in the slum. I stayed with the group. As we walked around it became apparent there was something else I could provide besides yoga, laughter. The children were all younger the 10 years old. We ran around and had so much fun that I had to hide to stop the games. The yoga classes were amazing as well. It sounds cliche but you cannot take the happiness away from a child and if you are able to in some way increase that happiness it can be the best nourishment available.

That brings me to today and the Hip Hop Asana class. The group has grown since I started writing, time to go...

3 comments:

jolene ryan said...

Hi Jules, that was beautiful from beginning to end. Thanks for sharing and allowing those of us that can't physically be there to feel the energy there and to send some positive energy their way.

Namaste,
jolene

Ximena Milagros Savitch, Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, 300-RYT said...

Thank you so much for sharing.

dharmadreams said...

Hip Hop Asana...hmmm..did we do some last weekend?