There are many ways to live your yoga out in the world, but one of the most profound is to dedicate yourself to the service of others. If you've ever been drawn to the yoga of service, but wondered how one person can make a difference, consider the work of Paige Elenson, Baron Baptiste, and the Africa Yoga Project.
The Africa Yoga Project began when Elenson was in Kenya volunteering as a yoga teacher for two months. When a civil war broke out there, she realized she wanted to stay and make a difference. Her teacher, Baron Baptiste, became a co-founder and offered his support to the program.
"I've been to Kenya twice to lead teacher trainings for over 50 teachers who work for AYP," Baptiste told Buzz. "They all now earn a living wage through teaching yoga and sharing their stories in their communities in Kenya."
Today, AYP offers more than 200 free classes a week to the people of Kenya through programs that serve young urban Kenyans, women, and others who need the practice.
"This is really just the beginning of seeing how yoga can be seen as a global practice of empowerment and possibility and creation in our environment," Elenson said.
Elenson is one of several experienced Baptiste teachers who will be teaching at the Baptiste Power Flow Immersion at Yoga Journal's Colorado Conference Sept. 19-21. The immersion, which is open to both experienced and beginning yoga students and teachers, offers the chance to study closely with Baron Baptiste and deepen the understanding of the Baptiste Yoga method. Classes like Elenson's are designed to inspire and educate students about the transformations possible through yoga.
"They are some of the most highly-skilled, deeply inspiring, and from-the-heart vinyasa teachers on the planet," said Baptiste of the teachers involved in the immersion. "I've been close with each of these teachers for a long time and have watched the impact that their individual teaching has had in the lives of the many people they touch."
Have you ever wanted to change the lives of others through your yoga practice? What challenges have you faced?