Have you ever taught a Yoga Community Class? I set one up when I was in Africa in 2014-2015 and I am going back in July 2017 to make it happen again. What is my ‘Yoga in Africa’ story? You can read about it in this blog. The main message: We can ALL make a difference, and we are able to have a positive impact on others and the world.
Make a difference in the world
I hope my past and future plans will inspire you to also make a difference in the world. I did it, I changed some people’s lives and I wasn’t even aware of it until Cesar Vilanculo and Stelio Silva Hallar told me. How it happened? I believe that I as a Yoga instructor and teacher can only create the best possible learning environment. Change only happens, because people make it happen for themselves. So Cesar and Stelio made it happen themselves.
Yoga in South Africa
So this is my story. In 2014 I was invited to teach Yoga to mainly tourists and expats at Turtle Cove in Tofo, Mozambique in Southern Africa. My husband Hugo and I immediately said ‘YES!’. I love (South) Africa, I love Yoga and we love travelling, so it was an easy choice.
Weekly Yoga Community Class
As energetic as we are we took up more initiatives than the one of teaching Yoga. We ended up teaching weekly Kids Yoga Classes together and Hugo taught ‘Power Hour’ Sport Classes and Swimming Classes too. I also started a weekly Yoga Community Class for the Mozambican staff at Turtle Cove for the length of our stay, which was three months.
I felt the local Mozambican people also deserved an hour of Yoga weekly and I allowed them to join for free. Why? The local wages are so ridiculously low, that they would never ever be able to afford a class let alone a Yoga Teacher Training. Cesar was amongst the first to join me, together with two other colleagues Armando and Judidi.
Yoga Teacher Training
The ‘final’ result of that first step? Cesar and his friend Stelio are now teachers too! How did that all happen? I convinced the owners of Turtle Cove to let Cesar join the weekly Yoga classes with others teachers. So after I left, Cesar kept on attending classes and he was invited to do a Yoga Teacher Training with Yo-Yoga when they came to Tofo. This way Turtle Cove and Cesar kept their promise: he would attend classes for a full year and as a result they would allow him to participate in a Yoga Teacher Training.
Now I didn’t know about all of this until Cesar and Stelio emailed me:
‘I, Cesar met Stelio and I noticed he was looking for Yoga guidance.
We became friends and we joined the Yoga classes together and
we also both did the Yoga Teacher Training.
We are now teaching Yoga to local people’.
Now that is what I call true Yoga guidance!
Yoga in Mozambique
Well, I don’t know about you, but I was so thrilled to hear this that it gave me goose bumps. I wanted to jump on the plane and thank them all and congratulate them all personally. I am also proud at these guys. They are spreading the Yoga vibe in Mozambique and within their community.
‘This is your legacy, thus never underestimate the power of your gestures…’
Positive impact on the world
Would you also like to know what Stelio e-mailed me? I was so happy to hear this too. It did make me realise that our small gestures can really have a positive and lasting impact on the world.
‘Hello Marianne! Well, I don’t know where to start. I’m Cesar’s friend and we were the only locals at the Yoga Teacher Training. The reason why I asked you to add me as a friend on FB, is because Cesar talks a lot about you. So I thought I should also become friends with such a wonderful soul. Also to tell you that you are the reason why I’m beginning to believe that we really are all interconnected.
Look: You were the pioneer of the “Free Yoga Lessons” for the locals at Turtle Cove in Tofo. So I was able to start doing Yoga with the next teacher after you left. This all happened, because you started it. I’m a Yoga teacher now too, because of that initiative of yours. I teach the locals as well now weekly. This is your legacy, thus never underestimate the
power of your gestures…God bless you Marianne!”.
Yoga transforms lives
I was also able to receive his online shout out about how Yoga transforms lives:
‘From an alcoholic in the ghettos of Inhambane to a “YOGI”…it feels like I have lived two lives in one life time. This is a shout out to Marianne de Kuyper for implementing free Yoga classes for locals at Turtle Cove.
Had she not implemented this I would not be a Yogi today’.
Power of your gestures
So like Stelio stated ‘Never underestimate the power of your gestures!’. This of course made me think I could combine all of my passions: Yoga + Personal Development + Travelling + Africa.
So I once again I made a plan.
Are you ready?
Let’s read about the plan!
Let’s ALL create a Yoga legacy. Not to put me at the centre point as a teacher. This is NOT about me, it is about creating opportunities for those who are willing to receive it. Thus what’s the plan?
- I am going back to Southern Africa in July 2017 and I am going together with my husband Hugo.
- We will travel to Tofo, Mozambique in Africa and I will teach Yoga again.
- I will teach Yoga at to locals, expats and tourists.
- I will offer free classes to local people.
- The ones that step forward and that show a serious interest in becoming a Yoga teacher will be allowed to take part in a Yoga Teacher Training Course to become a Yoga teacher. I know we will need a plan here and a studio like Yo-Yoga to make this happen again with me.
- The criteria? The local students have to keep their promise which is that they will attend at least one class a week for a whole year before they can attend the Yoga Teacher Training Course. Yes, that is the criteria.
When we are back in Tofo and I will also guide (mentor) Cesar and Stelio in person during my stay. They asked me about this Yoga Mentorship option and I gladly said ‘Yes!’ to it. My goal? I will guide them using my Personal Growth Exercises and I am looking forward to sharing my Yoga knowledge with them too.
I will guide them in becoming even better teachers and I will set up a plan with them that guides them in starting to make a living from teaching Yoga. That was my intention at the time and still is. This thought is with me with me at all times and I would like positive changes happen for them too!
I would love to share our ‘Yoga in Africa’ stories with you and our stories of hope. Just like the stories of Cesar and Stelio. I will share them with you through my blogs when I am in Africa again.
So, last but not least …
Remember, we can ALL make change happen; it doesn’t matter how big or small the changes are. Chances are we can uplift others. It is just like the Yogi’s say: this uplifting of others is a very essential part of Yoga too.
How to slow down? Simply take a break and do Yin Yoga.
Sit still. Stretch. Breathe. Continue.
Yin Yoga with Marianne
Join us online: Yin Yoga with Marianne.
Watch the short promo on YouTube: Yin Yoga with Marianne.
Read the blog ‘Yin Yoga Online’ with all necessary links to useful YouTube videos.
Read the blog ‘Do It Yourself’ and find out why I believe you can do Yin Yoga anywhere, anytime.
Would you like an answer to your Yoga question?
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I am a native Dutch Speaker, and a near-native English speaker; so forgive me for any language mistakes. I love learning, so teach me. Feedback is welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org.