International Conference Yoga is Solidarity: Dissolving Blockades Through Yoga in Cuba

La Habana, Cuba February 7-13, 2019

Photo by Malia Everette

Photo by Malia Everette

Photo by Isabel Estrada-Jamison

Photo by Isabel Estrada-Jamison

 The International Conference Yoga is Solidarity: Dissolving Blockades Through Yoga in Cuba in La Habana reflected the history of past and present YVL yoga group trips and YVL’s work in Cuba.  This event was organized by Altruvistas, our US travel provider and long-time supporter, along with the necessary Cuban government agencies.  The experience was unique because the Cuban Yoga VA yogis took the lead in creating the program.  Here are some highlights:

Yoga VA Cuba led an open asana practice on a floating dock in Old Havana, El muelle flotante de La Habana Vieja

Photos by Isabel Estrada-Jamison and Kim Rodgers


The current Indian ambassador to Cuba attended and pledged to support the 2020 Festival Internacional de Yoga en La Habana: Yoga y Solidaridad which will join together yogis from all over Central, South and North America. 

A large audience at La Fábrica de Arte Cubano, the chic Habana arts center, enjoyed an extraordinary multimedia event with chanting, musical instruments made out of street trash, fabulous modern dance, sand mandalas, and an exciting yoga performance.

A yoga flash mob – with permission from necessary government authorities – galvanized passersby in the iconic Plaza San Francisco, attracting interest and publicity for a yoga accessible to everyone.

At Las Caléndulas, an Eco Farm and Educational center, a symbolic tree planting commemorated the ongoing friendship between our yoga communities and the evolution of the powerful seeds of yoga practice in Cuban life.  It’s part of the island’s ecology now!

Photos by Kim Rodgers

In the studio space that we have been supporting over the last 4 years, an exhibition and multimedia event traced the Yoga VA Cuba story over the last 21 years of international yoga collaboration and exchange! Then Yoga VA Cuba yogis received Certificates of Completion of Mary Paffard’s 625 hour Faraway Yoga Teacher Training!!!