There’s nothing quite like sharing yoga with young athletes. They’re at such a unique point in their lives, in the midst of self-discovery and defining themselves from the inside out. Golly, this sure sounds like the perfect time to unroll the mat and step into our practice.
Welcome to part 4 of our 5 part series on Yoga in Rwanda. Why 5 parts? Because we traveled up, down, and all around this hidden gem of a country to share yoga and found heaps of peeps to flow with! All thanks to Kids Play International, with whom I led the 2013 Yoga Volunteer Trip in the land of a Thousand Hills.
Team Rwanda Cycling held a week-long camp for the youth in the program at Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti‘s Academy in Rwamagana, a small town an hour from the capital. For all 12 gents, this was their first time practicing yoga.
How do you teach yoga when there’s a language barrier? Visual demonstration is key. Yet we were also very lucky to have two leaders assist in translating, Nathan Byukusenge and Obed Ruvogera. Nathan is a coach, role model, and currently competing with Team Rwanda. Obed is a veteran cyclist with the team and now teaches yoga and provides massage therapy for the crew. They are both natural leaders and motivators!
These guys were eager to learn, and up for a challenge. We practiced daily either with a recovery session or a warm up to prepare them for the intense day of training.
Want to know more about Team Rwanda Cycling? Learn about the team and program here.
The Award Winning Documentary:
“Rising from Ashes is a feature length documentary from Director T.C. Johnstone and narrated by Academy Award Winner and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Forest Whitaker about the first Rwandan National Cycling Team and their six year journey to the Olympic games in London. It’s not about the bike. It’s about second chances, how our past doesn’t have to define our future, and the impossible triumph of the human spirit over one of the world’s most devastating genocides.”