Yoga Goes to Africa

Paige Elenson, Executive Director of Africa Yoga Project, shares the story of the organization

Africa Yoga Project

A member of the Maasai ethnic group holds tree pose.

Paige Elenson—My name is Paige Elenson, and I am the Executive Director of a charity I co-founded with Baron Baptiste called Africa Yoga Project.  It sounds like such an important title, when really I am just a girl, now mom, who fell in love with the power and transformation of yoga and wanted to share it with the world.  I remember stumbling into my first class with my teacher, Baron Baptiste. I was a teenager who wanted to attend a retreat in Mexico and had NO idea that yoga was way more than a series of poses. It was then that I realized I wanted to share this, yoga, with the world.

Africa Yoga Project was born following Kenya’s post-election violence in 2007.  We use the power of yoga to support economic development and alleviation of poverty by creating a local market for yoga.  At AYP we train young leaders and empower them to share yoga—in fact, we have just completed our very first 200-hour training program in Nairobi, Kenya where we had over 150 participants from all over the world.  Moses, Catherine and Billy were instrumental in conducting and facilitating the 200-hour training and are the three most senior teachers, having just completed Baptiste Level 3 training in Tulum, Mexico.  The tools they gained at this training were shared so powerfully with all the teachers at AYP and the training.  I am so excited to share the video of their journey with you!

I have seen many things in my short life, but the one thing that I have seen over and over is the transformative power of yoga.  If I could share one message with everyone that views this video or reads this post it is that the cliché of “together we can make a difference" is true.  You don’t have to build a school to make a difference; you can make a difference right where your feet are NOW!  Whether you are in Nairobi, Kenya or Vancouver, Canada - we all want to be seen, we all yearn for community and we all need one another.  So today, when you roll out your mat at your local studio, or perhaps wander into a studio you have never been before using your Om Finder app (which is amazing by the way)—introduce yourself, say hello and welcome someone into your life that hasn’t been there before.  Be the spark of togetherness - let’s together create a world for one another, where we all have enough, where we all share and we all change the planet...together.

Learn more about Africa Yoga Project here. What are you doing today to connect and share with the world around you?


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