We’d like to bid farewell and good luck to Jenny Russo and Sharon Moon, two of our veteran Ashtanga Yoga teachers, as they leave Castle Hill at the end of the month.
Jenny Russo will be working for the Jois Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission of bringing a specific physical and social wellness program through the method of Ashtanga yoga to “at-risk” youth. The first such programs were brought to grade schools in Encinitas, California and Orlando, Florida last year. Jenny will be the first to incorporate one in a high school, at the Katherine Anne Porter School in Wimberly, Texas http://www.kapschool.org/ . Our efforts are to help young people develop healthy patterns and awareness which will facilitate physical and mental well-being throughout their lives.”
Jenny Russo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a news piece of a colleague of Jenny’s, Jen Brown
http://www.aimsports.tv/watch/kids-in-motion/479/Capri_Yoga_AIM_2_New.html The program covered in the video was started in 2012 in Encinitas, California.
June 22, 2012 – “I am moving to Nairobi, Kenya to work for the non-profit called the Jois Foundation (JF). The JF has created a partnership with the Africa Yoga Project in Kenya. The Africa Yoga Project’s Founder is an American woman named Paige Elenson. Her vision was to pull young adults (who generally don’t have more than an 8th grade education if that) from the slums & off the streets to keep them from getting into more trouble. Paige taught them yoga and they were fortunate to have Baron Baptiste come to Nairobi, he taught these folks how to teach yoga in turn. There are now full time positions through the Africa Yoga Project for yoga teachers to be a part of. My job will be to interview another group of young people and select 10 to teach Ashtanga to. At some point I will then train them to teach Ashtanga to the children in the slum schools. African Yoga Project is opening a large facility July 1, 2012 which will house their offices, a vegetarian restaurant and two classrooms. I will also occasionally be teaching a Saturday community class that has a regular attendance between 85 and 150 students (!) and apparently afterwards some people go to the Hari Krishna temple for lunch. I have been asked to teach a couple of regular classes at this new facility as well.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said “We have a glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.” We have at this point in time a moral imperative, to get involved in our global community. I have been asked how others can help with this project. Originally food was my main concern. Some of the children get one meal at their school and often times their only meal of the day. Unfortunately not all schools can afford to feed these children and many of the children sell their bodies for food. These slums are some of the worst and largest in the world with no sanitation, no electricity, no running water but plenty of running sewage. Kibera https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=li&q=Kibera,+Nairobi,+Kenya&biw=1440&bih=771&sei=VhTiT4L3OKXa2QXwj4nYCw
is the slum we will be focused on and it is the largest in Africa and one of the largest in the world, here people live in 12×12 ft. shacks. I have checked with the JF and if you want to make a monetary donation it is tax deductible and 100% of it goes to the Kenya project. The Jois Foundation will soon have a feeding program for the children at 3 schools and donations can also go towards this fund. Donations will also allow me to select more teachers to train and put in the schools. This money will provide a stream of income to bring on board more people and take yoga to more children.”
If you want to make a tax deductible contribution, please contact Sharon Moon, her information is found her website at: http://www.moonyoga.com
To borrow a bit from Sting; “May every breath you take, every movement you make come from your heart. This is what will truly empower whatever your practice is and ultimately your life.”
Sharon Moon personal mission statement for Kenya: When we find ourselves feeling as if we have no control over any aspect of our lives it is crucial to find one thing that we can control. Something as small as weeding a flower bed or as grand as the practice of yoga. My goal in Nairobi is to offer these children who live amidst poverty, crime, unsanitary conditions, a lifeline through yoga. To show them a tool that can give them some measure of control in a corner of their lives and with this hope, strength and courage. Then perhaps they will gain the wisdom to know that it might be possible in the rest of their lives. I want to make a difference. I want to help people find themselves, open their hearts and have a sense of hope.