I have just spent a week in Ghana – What? Only a week?? It feels like 2 months already. It’s been creative, generous and so insightful!
What I loved the most this week is to learn the Kpalogo dance – a traditional dance that has 12 sections with fun names as plugging the mango, ipod shuffle or the goat dance; each of them having a meaning from gratitude to earth to women shaking their bodies and being proud of what their father gave them – learning about the culture from the heart of creativity has been a delight! I have absolutely loved hearing stories and meanings of songs and dance moves – it feels like this week has been a way back to roots, back to the earth and the connection to it. Ghanaians are so proud of their culture and live it in full!
Ines and I have enjoyed amazing traditional dish cooked with so much love from the people at the Dagara Music Centre – beans, plants, rice balls, stews, they have all been delicious. We also had the opportunity to spend time with a doctor explaining his views on the power of nature to heal people and how story telling is the way forwards to engage young people in education. A very big moment was to be around the children at school and taking a Twi class (local language) and a class on computers and communication where the teacher would draw the computer on the board and explain the use of it (no computers in this area).When the class ended the children turned over and said “What will you teach us Madam?” and this is where the yoga journey started!
We taught sunset yoga classes this week and got such great engagement from it so far. Yesterday evening after dinner as we were reflecting, Mama Mercy who is part of the Dagara Centre said “We make it fun but we take it seriously” – this sentence summed it up all. People feel already that the yoga works in their body, they feel that the breath work, they ask questions, and they come back for more!
I laughed up to crying one day as Kuesi who took his first class was proudly showing that he learned chair pose. They he asked: “Now, where is the table??” When we did show him table top he said “No, this one is a Ghanaian dog!” We laughed so much watching his face when he understood there was dogs in yoga too – Table top will always have a Ghanaian flavour to it from now on – and I am enjoying allowing story telling to be part of the asana practice.
A blend is happening between the yoga I have been teaching and practicing in London with the Ghanaian culture and cannot wait to go to the schools twice a day next week for yoga; to have a session with School teachers on Mindfulness; and to share a 2 days Teacher Training with 10 committed yogis. Our intention being to have the locals take over and teaching their community as soon as we leave this beautiful and amazing culture, country and people.
Barbara – B Yoga