Our organisation is operated by a small group of passionate and talented yogis, who meet weekly. We are currently preparing information for a major fundraiser to help with these projects that we feel are important at this pivotal time in Cuban history. Please see some of the projects listed below to get an idea of what we are about.
Enjoy this 2 minute video created by Kirk Fuller about Yoga Va Latino
Yoga trainings and exchanges are a significant part of what Yoga Va Latino supports. A variety of teachers participate in the faraway and in-person programs in Cuba including Edgar Ortiz, the Director of Yoga Mandir, Costa Rica. Edgar has given his yoga expertise generously to the Cuban yoga community and is helping the participants complete their 675 hour program. Edgar was there in April 2017 and will help finish the program in May 2018. Check out this video from Edgar's 2017 trip!
Read this update from 2016 about the story of our involvement in Cuba and some of our current work. Meet our Cuba Yoga friends and inspirations!
JOIN US ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA...
by teaching a class or asking your studio to have a donation based class on that day (6/21) or during that week. We invite teachers to explain a little about our work (see pdfs and video clips on this page and our Article section) and to send the funds by check written to Yoga Va Latino to our treasurer, Mary Anne Sedey. More info here.
If someone is generous enough to make a donation over $300, this sum can be tax deductible and in this case, this particular check should be made to Global Exchange (our fiscal agent) with Yoga Va Latino in the memo and sent to Mary Anne at the same address: Yoga Va Latino/Mary Anne Sedey, 2711 Clifton Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104.
OR you can simply go online to donate whatever was received in the class.
Support our work by making a generous donation today!
Support any of the following projects by making a tax-deductible contribution — Click DONATE.
We're working to improve and expand our bilingual website to include global offerings on latino yoga. In 2016, we revised our web page and we are now adding to it and expanding the links and connections. Please see the Habana and Holguin teachers blogs.
Two Yoga Study Groups - Yoga Va 2
We are currently administering and supporting two yoga study groups in Habana and Holguin. These groups meet weekly and monthly and have material from Yoga for All programs to share and study. International teachers are volunteering their time and supporting this project when they are in Cuba. This program is Mary Paffard's 675 hour Faraway program which was translated and modified in the original Pilot program that helped train 10 Cuban teachers 2007-2010. The course is conducted mainly by the Cuban faculty and Mary.
The program was begun in December 2015 and early January 2016 with Jorge Avila, Yoga Va Director in Cuba and Mary Paffard of Yoga for All, California. Visiting faculty included:
— Edgar Ortiz from Costa Rica taught an Intensive in April
— Anne Dyer, Baxter Bell from California did workshops with our groups when they were visiting with internationals
Mary Paffard taught the last part of the first year of the 675 program in January 2017. Visiting faculty included:
— Narayan Liebenson from Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, US and Juan Sosa, her assistant and translator, came to teach a 5 day residential meditation retreat in January 2017 for all participants in this program
— Roynel Martinez ERYT500, who completed his training with us and helped lead our original Yoga Va group 2007-2010, came from Argentina and taught longer workshop in both Habana and Holguin in February.
Mary Paffard was due to return to initiate the 2nd Advanced year of study in May however we did not have the finances to support this trip.
— Edgar Ortiz is taught an Intensive in May 2017 in Habana.
Roynel Martinez returned in February for a 20 hour intensive. Edgar Ortiz and Mary will return this year to complete the program and do final evaluations. If the trips can be supported - None of the teachers are paid for their work but we try to cover some part of their travel expense and we have to provide transport and accommodation costs for the Cubans. We also support the venues where these classes take place.
We are working on a formal translation of a book written by a Cuban teacher and psychotherapist about Yoga and Anixiety and Depression. This book is based on clinical studies in Cuba and Venezuela conducted by the author and our goal is to make this publication available in both Spanish and English.
We have translated various texts and articles that we use in Cuba and that are not available in Spanish.
Yoga Body by Mark Singleton has been translated by Cubans - with his permission - and we are seeking ways to work with the publisher to have this book available to all who speak Spanish.
Book of Cuban Photography & Interviews with Cuban Yogis
We are in the process of creating a book of photographs and words from Cuban Yogis — In Habana and throughout Cuba. Our team in Cuba is currently conducting interviews with 20-30 Cuban yogis, featuring their insights about Yoga in Cuba. This is one of the best ways to share the wonderful yoga energy that exists in Cuba. There will be an English and Spanish version. This project will be consolidated in 2019 if we can find some sponsors.
Providing Yoga Resources & Spaces
For more than 20 years, we have taken books, mats and resources to Cuba, and we are continually developing and adding Spanish and English books for yoga libraries in both Habana and Holguin.
Finding a space to teach yoga has always been extremely difficult. Although legally it is now possible to rent yoga space, prices are escalating rapidly. Most suitable studio areas are prohibitively expensive, or the space requires the kind of material restructuring that is hard to achieve with current resources and incomes.
We are always seeking location options for classes to be held. This is one of the major obstacle to yoga in Cuba. Our Yoga Va trainees are all teaching now, community classes, all volunteer in all sorts of extraordinary spaces..in the park, on roofs, in backyards, on beaches, in clinics, in hospitals, in schools. There are hardly any studios in Habana and we would like to be supporting a studio space where international exchange, trainings and classes can occur and keep this amazingly alive sangha thriving and supported.
Communication & Workshops
We continue to learn and to educate others on what Cuba and Latino yoga and culture can bring to our world. Many visitors to Cuba contact us or use our teachers page to find out about the yoga that is going on in Cuba. If you contact the organization that we use for our trips Altruvistas, we appreciate knowing that you found out about this amazing resource here or through us. Please let Altruvistas know also.
Your contribution can also help support communication between teachers in Mexico, Spain, Guatemala and other areas where we have connections and we are developing webs of connection in the Latino world through our work. You can also support workshops arising in Cuba benefiting internationals and the Latino world.