Archive for June, 2013


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In the original schedule for summer, there were no classes posted for June 26th, tomorrow; THIS IS TRUE! I will be studying yoga with Patricia Walden Wednesday through Sunday in the 5 Day Intensive at Yoga Northwest. It will be a wonderful opportunity for me as a student, with a teacher whose devotion and practice I deeply respect. I was not clear in annoucements last week about the schedule for this week!THURSDAY NOON CLASS AT 8PETALS WILL BE TAUGHT BY CHARLOTTE!

Moral of the story: Check the flyer and Google calendar through my website to verify whether there is a class!

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Yoga is Universal

I thought this was a beautiful article in the NYTimes about yoga in Africa, and am sharing the inspiration here in my blog!

Yoga in Africa

By KAREN BARROW

 

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Billy Sadia in a standing backbend pose on a boat moored off Lamu Island.

 

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The language of yoga is universal. That is the message of Robert Sturman, an artist from Santa Monica, Calif., who has traveled across the United States to capture the tranquillity and beauty of yoga. A month ago, Mr. Sturman traveled to Kenya to document the work of the Africa Yoga Project, a nonprofit organization that teaches and employs more than 70 local yoga teachers and conducts up to 300 free yoga classes for more than 5,000 people weekly in orphanages, prisons and other locales throughout the country.

I recently spoke with Mr. Sturman about his time in Africa, how it’s changed his view of the practice, and the universal language of yoga. Here is our conversation:

Q.

Last time we spoke to you on Well, it was for a series of yoga photos taken in the United States. Why did you decide to focus on Africa for this project?

A.

As an artist, I am more interested in humanity than anything else. Yoga is a beautiful, poetic expression of the body. I wanted to go to Africa to celebrate human beings aspiring to reach their full potential. Often, we see images coming from Africa that point toward the suffering, but I wanted to create a body of work that pointed toward something inspiring and positive.

Q.

What drew you to the Africa Yoga Project?

A.

I found the Africa Yoga Project online, and I was inspired to create visual poetry with what they are doing in Africa. Their generosity deeply interests me. For example, they have a sign language interpreter at many of their classes because there are a few deaf people in their yoga community. That was one of many things that touched me about their work.

Q.

Are there differences in the practice of yoga in Kenya and the United States?

A.

In Kenya, people walk out of yoga class feeling great, just like they do in New York. The one difference I loved, however, was that the children who took the classes always broke out into a spontaneous song or dance right in the middle of class. Then they would go back to the yoga postures.

Q.

Speaking about the children in the photos, several of your most striking photos were taken in orphanages. How do these children benefit from yoga?

A.

Through the practice of yoga, the children are given the opportunity to express themselves, be creative and open up physically and mentally. It was most apparent to me that by the time their hourlong class is over, they feel loved.

Q.

You also visited yoga classes in women’s prisons in Kenya. What was that experience like?

A.

Visiting the Kenyan prison brought me unexpected joy. The inmates, some of whom are H.I.V.-positive, told me that yoga has become a rare source of happiness in their daily lives.

Q.

What did you take away from your trip to Africa?

A.

After a yoga class, I looked at the people in the class and I saw the hope in their eyes that they could become a part of something positive. The students leave the class empowered to be leaders in their communities. It was awesome to witness their enthusiasm and to have the opportunity as an artist to show them that part of themselves. 

The Summer Solstice celebration will forge ahead this evening at Turtle Haven. The event will be outdoors, so bring your gear for staying comfortable. Wear your galoshes and walk the labyrinth.  The fire may fizzle, but not our spirits as we will be particularly feeling our gratitude for light, warmth and the glorious sun, hidden as they may be. Parking is down at the field (on the mowed left side of the gravel driveway) shortly after the row of mailboxes. Bring your torch to light your way to and fro.  Please walk on the road rather than through our neighbor’s property. Looking forward to seeing who shall appear and how we improvise.  The gathering is from 7:30pm until saturation!  Image