Au Coeur de L’Afrique

Bags packed and coconut offered, tomorrow I will embark on what will certainly be one of the most meaningful adventures of my life. I am leaving for Africa to launch the World Spine Care Yoga Project. This is an initiative that will bring the healing gifts of yoga to people suffering from back pain in rural villages in Botswana.

I am privileged to be working alongside super-dedicated, hard-working and highly-skilled colleagues Erin Moon of Vancouver and Geoff Outerbridge, WSC’s Clinical Director. We will be presenting yoga as a tool for pain management at the Botswana Spine Care Conference next week in Mahalapye. Then we travel to Shoshong to give a 10-day teacher training to 10 brave souls who will teach free weekly yoga classes to patients of the WSC clinics.

This is the first program of its kind in the world. We will be taking what we learn and experience in Botswana into more such trainings in the future.

The abundance of well-wishes and blessings from students, colleagues and friends is touching. It's not so much the excitement for me personally, but the true happiness expressed when people understand the impact this work will have on the lives of many people who will be empowered with tools to manage their pain and live a more functional and fulfilling life. Thank you to everyone who has offered financial support (which you still can do!), donated yoga props, and offered their skills, resources and time to make this project possible. I am filled with gratitude for all of your help and care that has come in so many forms. I will be taking all of your good wishes with me.

Travelling to Africa is also the fulfillment of a personal goal I’ve had for more than 20 years. As a university student in Washington DC in the early 90s I worked for the African Wildlife Foundation. Since then, I have longed to visit Africa. I never knew how or when this dream would be fulfilled. And, now, it is here it is.

The book in this photo is what my 8 year-old daughter took out from her school library to help me prepare for my trip.  I also see this as a lesson for her in the power of holding an intention, and then putting forth the effort needed to make it happen. This is how my dream has manifested into reality. In the same way, hers can too.

I’ll be posting blog entries and photos at each stage of my journey, so stay tuned.