Annual workshops for teachers and yoga participants have continued since 1998. Our hope is to continue to support the yoga community there and create trainings and workshops where research and ideas can be shared.
We also hope to support the growing interest in meditation and ayurveda. This island is a perfect place to cultivate ayurvedic herbs and use the ayurvedic diet for health and healing.
There are many yoga teachers in Cuba. In 2013, the yoga teachers through the support of the Indian Embassy arranged a Festival of Yoga which had more than 200 attendees over the 5 days. In Central and South America, most people visiting these countries study yoga with people who are not from the countries they are visiting. There are experienced teachers in Habana and the provinces and we hope to support the work they are doing and encourage visitors to work with the resident teachers and not let the yoga tourism and serous yoga trainings drift into the hands of those who live out of the island.
Since 2010, after much discussion with Yoga Alliance, we found a way to credential some of the more experienced teachers as ERYT500 - These were the teachers who helped us teach the Yoga Va! Course which led to RYT500 status for the graduates. It was a small course, a pilot program that was hampered by many things, internal and external, but eventually was completed and each year we fundraise for the registrations. If you earn less than $20 a month, how can you pay the typical fees that everyone else pays for accreditation? Patti Hirota Cohen has worked hard to help put their information on the web - it's still very hard for the ordinary person to have easy internet access and to gather the funds to pay for their certificates. Many have found work and opportunities because of this international recognition. In time, they will evolve their own system, but in terms of visitors to the island, it helps if you have some kind of RYT certificate for now.
Eduardo Pimentel has trained most of the teachers that we know on the island and he continues this important work, creating further education opportunities also.