The Africa Yoga Project has launched a community Yoga Centre dubbed “Shine Centre” at Nairobi’s Diamond Plaza in a bid to not only provide tools of empowerment and health but also to make yoga accessible to people from all walks of life.
The event which was graced by hip hop artiste Emmanuel Jal, saw local and international yogists congregate in a special yoga session instructed by Baron Baptiste from the line of the founders of Baptiste Yoga in USA.
“We plan to make yoga a billion dollar industry in 5 years.” said Paige Elenson, Co- Founder and Executive Director Africa Yoga Project. “We already have six community yoga studios and plan to expand to other regions as well as introduce a yoga line, yoga blocks, and organize for yoga retreats.”
The proceeds from the session went towards Emmanuel Jal’s “Lose to Win Challenge” foundation which seeks to raise 1 million Sterling Pounds to support well rounded education to children in Africa.
Emmanuel Jal said that Yoga, which means “to come together” in Sanskrit, is good for artistes as it helps enhance performance.
“I would advice dancers, musicians and others in the entertainment industry to take up yoga as it clears the mind and creates a sense of balance and stillness which is important for any performing artist”, added Jal who practices yoga once in a while.
Wapi wapi dancers also entertained the guests during the launch with the highlight of the evening being a performance by Emmanuel Jal of a childhood singing game.
Africa Yoga Project which specializes in Baptiste yoga began the project to empower the community by not only encouraging them to live a healthy lifestyle but also to provide a source of living for the youth in the low income areas.
So far the foundation has trained 72 instructors and has attracted over 6000 yogists who attend sessions in Kibera, Kangemi, Dagoretti, Mathare, Huruma, Kiambu, Laikipia, Amboseli and Coast among other areas.
They have also trained instructors in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.