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Take a dive into the Pranamaya Kosha, or Subtle Energy Body.

In this 100 hour Yoga Teacher Training, we will explore the psychology of the chakras, and how to effectively utilize mudra, bandha, marma, spanda and pranayama practices to ignite the power of your inner fire and dance with the inner winds. This will be a preparatory stage towards understanding and applying Organic and Vital Yoga Therapies.

The Undercurrent 100 hr. Teacher Training may be applied to the Inner Power Yoga® 200 hr. Training to acheive a 500 hr. Yoga Teacher Certification through the Yoga Alliance.

Training is appropriate for Yoga Teachers and Practitioners who seek to deepen their practice. Space is limited so REGISTER TODAY!



 
 
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O.K., let's be honest, as a 501c3 (Non-profit entity) Yoga Worldreach has seen very few donations. Don't get me wrong, we are SO incredibly grateful for those few precious gifts from friends just like you. The truth is: we haven't been actively seeking donations. We also haven't been competing for grants or trying to solicit support on any financial level. Not really.

Instead, we have been creating a thriving, exciting and comprehensive Yoga Teacher Training program that inspires our STF's (student-teacher-friends) to spread the socially beneficial practice of Yoga throughout their local and global communities.

Since, Yoga Worldreach was founded in 2006, we have offered some exciting programs:

HEART BACK TO INDIA: bringing yoga to children in orphanages and schools in Southeast Asia, including Ramana's Garden in Rishikesh, India; and the Surya Boarding School in Khandburi, Nepal.
YOGA BRIDGE TO AFRICA: offering Yoga education for the fellows of the Strongheart Fellowship in Liberia, W. Africa.
HALO YOUTH YOGA: joining the Halo Foundation to bring Yoga Seva to at risk youth in Denver CO.
COMING HOME: a transformational weekend for women survivors of trauma.

In 2012, our STF's crafted programs for The Life Skills Program of St. Luke’s House in D.C. and raised over $3000 for the organization. They also organized a project to bring Yoga and empowerment to young women and girls in Chicago. MORE INFORMATION TO COME.

All of this (and more!) we have done almost entirely through our own invested resources. Because we thrive on Sevananda (the joy of social service), we have offered our own time, energy, and money resources to make our dream of "promoting peace through personal empowerment" a joyful reality.
We have been generating our own resources through the Seva School and have not had to seek hand-out from anyone else.

It is time to get real about who and what we actually are.

A social business, according to Wikipedia, is any business which has a social rather than financial objective. The term, "social business," was first defined by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus and is described in his books, Creating a World Without Poverty, Social Business and the Future of Capitalism and Building Social Business: The new kind of capitalism that serves humanity's most pressing needs. He has actively promoted and incubated social businesses among organizations throughout the world.

Yunus' definition of a social business is "a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective within the highly regulated marketplace of today." Distinct from a non-profit, a social business seeks to generate financial resource on its own, which it will use to expand the company’s reach, improve its product or service and to subsidise the social mission.

In 2013, Yoga Worldreach will be officially adopting its title as a social business and re-visioning its local and global outreach as a Seva School. We will continue to offer rich and meaningful Yoga teacher training and inspire exciting STF-created seva programs.

You may support our mission by purchasing goods through our online store, or by joining us for a workshop or yoga teacher training course.
See you in the cOMing year!




 
 
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photo: Chris Campbell, Liberia W. Africa
May 25 is a day to support and celebrate Africa. Originally the founding date for the Organization of African Unity, now Africa Day is celebrated in Namibia, Zambia, Ghana and Zimbabwe.
Celebrations are held on other parts of the continent as well, and throughout the African Diaspora of the Americas.

Join me, this week, in celebrating Africa through the myths of her native religions and diaspora.
Follow a seven part series entitled: Water Goddess: Bridging the Gap with African Myth.

Each post will conclude with a consideration for personal empowerment and invocation of the natural energies that sustain the planet as they vivify our lives.

I will also post links to some of my favorite organizations, those who support water efforts in Africa and in other parts of the world. Clean water access and conservation is a concern very near to my heart. Nothing awakens my spirit in the same manner as a good swim: in a hot spring, ocean or river!
It has become crucial to preserve this invaluable resource for future generations and the sustainability of our World.

Having had the blessed opportunity to visit Africa and meet some incredible young people in Liberia and Ghana, I am inspired to support those who are spreading hope and empowerment to the African youth. Below is a list of friends who are actively reaching out through HIV/Aids education, after-school programs, fair trade initiatives and YOGA.

The Strongheart Fellowship
Thanda Zulu
Africa Yoga Project
Water.org

Yoga Worldreach

Not everyone can pioneer international initiatives or environmental programs. It is not every person's dharma to build bridges, dig wells, or teach children in African countries. Most of you are needed for your skills and services in your local communities and families.

But you can visit the links above and show your support for those who are spreading joy and empowerment on your behalf. Take a moment to celebrate and support someone in Africa today.

In Love and Radiant Light,
R.R. Shakti
 
 
It only takes ONE.
Can you remember a person or experience
that changed your life for the better?
Maybe it was a mentor, a class, an event, a book, or even a song that inspired you to be the AMAZING person you are today.

Yoga World Reach and the Strongheart Fellowship share the same aim—to provide an opportunity of hope, joy and inspiration for people in need.
We need YOU to help us carry out that aim!

"The mission of Yoga Bridge to Africa as we journey to Liberia, West Africa, is to bring the depths of Yoga to the Strongheart team; a group of exceptional young people from extreme life circumstances,
displaced or orphaned by conflict, who have survived -
and thrived - despite enormous odds. The Strongheart Fellows Program awards fellowships to young people from extremely challenging circumstances who have shown a high level of leadership potential and a marked capacity for self-direction.

The Strongheart Fellowship Program is a groundbreaking healing and learning guidance program designed to help bright, resilient young people from extremely challenging circumstances around the globe develop into compassionate, innovative problem-solvers and leaders that can affect significant social change. These fellows have the opportunity to learn from maverick thinkers and mentors in areas as diverse as entrepreneurship, technology, design, and psychology, and spirituality. The Strong Heart Fellowship feels that the spiritual connection that Yoga provides will allow the Fellows to connect with their own inner power so that they know that all lasting joy, happiness, and fulfillment ultimately comes from within; and in making that connection, know that all things are possible.”~Dhyana Masla, Y.W.R. Program Director for Yoga Bridge to Africa

Learn More about the Strongheart Fellowship
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Program Director: Dhyana Masla
Dhyana Masla, LMT is a  certified Inner Power Yoga Teacher and holds a BA in  Psychology and Traditional Eastern Arts from Naropa University. She says:
“The practice of Yoga encourages and supports us to live our authentic Truth, helping us realize that true happiness and contentment comes from rediscovering the innate sense of aliveness that already exists, is always existing, within us in each moment.
Yoga gives us the opportunity to respond to what life has given us rather than react based off of past conditioning. It allows us to explore our patterns of reaction, and to thus consciously move into a place of responding with integrity, curiosity, awareness, and wisdom."

 
 
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“I wanted to be seen. I wanted to be heard, but I was silenced…silenced by the stares, the words, the beatings…for eleven years," reflected Grace Freeman.  "You see, in my culture, to be an “Outside Child” means that you are a slave under another person. You live with a family, you serve the family, but you are not part of them,” Grace explained. Grace lived as an outside child from the age of seven until the age of eighteen when she just barely escaped the claws of the woman who imprisoned her….the woman she called “mommy”.

When Grace was a baby, a bloody civil war broke out in her home country Liberia. Her family fled in fear to a refugee camp in Ghana. The first few years were hard, but Grace was fine. Then one day her dad disappeared and her family fell apart. Her mother could no longer care for Grace and her five siblings so they were split up. Grace’s mother thought she was doing the right thing by promising Grace as a household servant to another family who said they would care for her. What Grace’s mother didn’t know was that the woman she sent Grace to live with was cruel. The woman made Grace her slave. Grace’s mother died, leaving Grace stuck to spend the rest of her childhood years in bondage.

During these treacherous years for Grace, an amazing thing happened. Grace not only managed to keep her small, frail body alive, but she kept her spirit intact. Grace created a secret place for herself and transported her spirit to other worlds through the power of visualization and prayer. Today, she is free and thriving….living the life she created in her heart and mind all those years ago.
Grace Freeman is a Fellow of the Strongheart Fellowship program - a healing and learning guidance program designed to help bright, resilient young people from extremely challenging lives around the globe develop into innovative problem-solvers, influencers and compassionate advocates that can affect significant positive social change.

Grace will be staying with r.r. Shakti in the Mountain NiiDa for the month of May.
She will have an opportunity to finish her Inner Power Yoga Teaching Certification and will retrurn to Liberia as a Yoga Teacher!! Her smile is adictive and she is always abundant with Joy! Grace will be an incredible addition to the bliss. Tribe!

Learn more about Strongheart at www.strongheartfellowship.org
Also, stay connected for ways that YOU can help support more hope and empowerment through Yoga Bridge to Africa.


 
 
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"Evelyn Apoko is a Ugandan youth who at the age of 9 was kidnapped from her family at gunpoint by a warlord of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and forced to join this brutal rebel group.

The children abducted by the LRA were beaten, forced to kill, treated as pack mules, made to steal, sexually abused and treated as slaves. Evelyn learned to live with the rebels because there was no way of escape. The atrocities Evelyn witnessed were unspeakable. One day, while Evelyn was washing clothes for one of the rebel leaders’ wives, a plane flew over. People started running and Evelyn was threatened to carry an impossibly heavy load and run or else be killed. While running, a bomb dropped next to Evelyn, killing the woman and baby next to her and blowing out part of Evelyn’s face.

Later when the plane had passed and Evelyn was lying in the field, the rebels came to carry the wounded back to camp.  So badly injured, with her mouth in pieces, they left Evelyn to die in the grass and be eaten by wild animals. Evelyn managed to survive that field and get back to the rebel camp - only to be ostracized for the wretched smelling, infected gaping hole in her face. On the brink of being killed for being a nuisance to the rebels, Evelyn escaped and just barely made it out alive. Today, she has undergone several surgeries as a beneficiary of Strongheart’s Next Right Thing program and in the start of 2011 entered into Strongheart Fellowship - a healing and learning guidance program designed to help bright, resilient young people from extremely challenging lives around the globe develop into being innovative problem-solvers, influencers and compassionate advocates who can affect significant positive social change."
~Zoe Adams, Strongheart

Evelyn will be staying with r.r. Shakti in the Mountain NiiDa for the month of May.
She will have an opportunity to learn Yoga and enjoy the reviving inspiration of the fresh Rocky Mountain air.

Learn more about Strongheart at www.strongheartfellowship.org
Also, stay connected for ways that YOU can help support more hope and empowerment through Yoga Bridge to Africa.


 
 
PictureGeorgia opens her heart with Yoga at the Strongheart House; photo: Christopher Campbell
The Love Light of Strongheart radiates out into a community that is broken on so many levels. The corruption and loss of motivation that surrounds the house is one of the reasons why Strongheart rooted there. It means more opportunity to serve. In addition to empowering refugee children to live an inspired life, Strongheart is taking strides to support a challenged society, still reeling from the turmoils of civil war.

To say that the fellows enjoyed Yoga as a part of their ever-growing curriculum would be a gross understatement. They were as receptive as can be: body, mind and spirit! A few of them have even committed to continue learning, so that they can teach in their community. The Soccer team invited me to bring Yoga to their training and even the bank manager got in the action, joining class on the very last day I was there.

Everyone agrees that the hope and empowerment found through Yoga practice is the perfect match for a war-torn society, where trauma is layered, cell deep.
Please stay tuned as I will be updating photos and video clips from my amazing journey on Facebook and at yogaworldreach.org.

Learn more about Strongheart at www.strongheartfellowship.org
Also, stay connected for ways that YOU can help support more hope and empowerment through Yoga Bridge to Africa.




 
 
Pictureyoga at the Strongheart House; photo: Christopher Campbell

The week starts with the sound of chanting and a sweet serenade. Gabriel is playing the perfect music to wake us all from our beds. It is a call to meditation. I am happy to see all the smiling faces and sleepy brown eyes. Tonight I will finally be reunited with the lost yoga mats.

I am sending gratitude to Manduka, for donating so many mats in the past. The eight that I have toted across the Atlantic are the last remaining tokens of their generosity.

It means so much to me, now. So much more than I could have imagined as I was rolling each one and shoving it into the big green Army-issue duffle bag. Way back then (two weeks ago) I was happy to have a cause for them, relieved to have them on hand (less to have to squeeze into my already frantic schedule) and sure that the proper equipment would make my job much easier.

But now, these long cuts of rubber are much more than simple sporting goods. They are each, six feet of sacred space. They are magic carpets offering infinite opportunity. They mark the difference between struggle and grace.

And when they arrive, they are celebrated. Everyone in the house shows up to have a look. The yoga practice takes on a whole new meaning as each fellow claims a mat of their own.

At dinner, as we go around the circle and state the things for which we are grateful, there is much praise and thanksgiving for the mats and our practice. One fellow says that he feels stronger, one talks about feeling more open in her heart. Another makes mention of his mental focus and the promise of becoming a more positive influence on the world.

If I could capture the truth, the depth of possibility:;
how this practice—this simple activity of moving our bodies, breathing our beings, and harnessing our minds—is nothing less than a miracle....

If you could see the way in which these kids embrace thier potential;
how they wake up, cheer up, and light up when they show up fully in the blissipline of effort and surrender.....

...there would never be a doubt that Yoga has the power to heal.
Yoga has power to transform. Yoga has power to turn hardship into glory, through the Grace.

The fellows move through the motions on one level; and on another they are engaged in deep awakening. They realize, experience, and celebrate their inner power.

And in the process, I am humbled at the beauty of being alive.
"twas Grace that brought me safe thus far. And Grace will lead me hOMe."



Learn More about the Strongheart Fellowship


 
 
PictureDonnet's football team (that's Donnet, standing in the stripes); photo: Chris Campbell

Walking through the village to the field. It is important to all of us that we make it on time. Donnet has promised that if we are there, he will kick a goal. Like any kid, having his family at the game means the world.

We narrowly escape the clutches of children wanting their photos taken; wanting to be held. We cross over the three pole bridge. We glide through the heart of "town" where a bike shop is booming business—three customers—and a few small stores look like hollow buildings from the outside.

Time doesn't wait, even here in "the bush" of Robertsport, Liberia. And although it is tempting to stop and chat with everyone who shows interest, calling out "white woman" or waving from their hut, we are on a mission of the most important kind.

And it is well worth the hustle. Donnet grins widely as we arrive. He  introduces us to the rest of the team; to his coach; and then shows us our VIP seats on the "bleachers."

He is such a good kid, Donnet: full of animation. Actually, that is an understatement. To try to compare his energy, Regis Phillbin comes to mind. Donnet can run the whole show, and often does.

This games is no exception. I guess I could be biased, but he really shines today. Just like a movie cliche': he kicked an amazing goal, beamed across the field, and their we were. His friends. His "family."
We had made it in time.


Learn More about the Strongheart Fellowship


 
 
PictureFree time swim: Liberia, West Africa; photo: Christopher Campbell
Church service is in session outside my window, and I have three dominating feelings: 1. pure gratitude for the drumming and singing. It is nothing short of glorious. 2. inspired curiosity: I want to know this song. 3. absolute resolve—to go to church next Sunday.

I slept in this morning. I didn't mean to, but it just couldn't be helped. These past five days have been a delightful adventure of truly abundant  activity and absorption. Sleep has often taken a back seat to observation.

Gazing out into the African scenery, I wonder about the people dancing in the "streets" as they pass the church building. Whether packed inside the four shanty walls or outside attending to daily affairs, EVERYONE is in attendance this morning. It is inevitable, as the radiant sound and exuberant energy spills out of every window and front doors.

I sit down on my bed to absorb the sound in sleepy meditation.
Scenes from the past week display on the screen of my consciousness. What a blessing to be here. The Strongheart fellows are amazing and I am so excited to connect with each one of them.
Already I have realized the current routine:
7:15 morning meditation,
then the kids are off to school for a couple of hours
(hopefully the teachers are there)
11:30 English grammar and vocabulary lesson at the Strongheart House
1:00 p.m. lunch together
2:00 Yoga
3:00 Life Skills and Deeper Learning
4:00 Free Time before dinner
For the past few days, a few of us have been heading to the beach for our free time. Fitzgeral is on his boogie board. Karrus paddles out on the surf board while Chris and I are teaching Grace and Charity how to swim (ie: float, kick around, and generally trust themselves in the water).
We assist their playful efforts as they are beginning to enjoy the ocean without fear.

It is a pure joy to share my love for the sea with these sweet daughters of life.

The love that Cory and Chris, Zoey and Krist—all the donors and fascilitators of Strongheart—have shown these kids has obviously empowered their lives. This is evidenced when they sing their songs, declare their dreams, and share their gratitude.

Tonight, Yoga practice will be a candle-lit restorative session in the great room on thin wovern mats. These are not an ideal cushion over the concrete floor; but the yoga mats are coming! The airline DID locate my bags and Emmanuel was sent to retrieve them. They will be here (along with my clothes and personal effects) tomorrow.

I can hardly wait to see the kids faces when they each get their own Manduka yoga mat. I can hardly wait for them to experience the benefits of having a proper sticky cushion for practice.

I can hardly wait to see what they will do/sing/create next!


Learn More about the Strongheart Fellowship