Paul Jakob Walstad Yoga in Congo Brazzaville 2020
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Paul Jakob Walstad Yoga in Congo Brazzaville 2020

Mbote!*

I love acroyoga - I am deeply inspired by how it makes people communicate and connect, both in an embodied and expressive way. It works as both direct sensational communication, as well as challenges us to be more aware how to use language in a more effective way during interaction. What we really work with in acroyoga is trust, how to open yourselves to the situation, listen and give ourselves away to trust in others we depend upon to be able to do these amazing postures we can do. What I find so amazing in acroyoga is that you never really know what will happen, and when you really starts connecting and play without being depended upon language anymore, then the fun begins. 

Me, I am a clinical neuropsychologist living in Norway, with a long practice in the fields of tai-chi, zen meditation and yoga (mainly asthanga and sivananda). Formally I am a teacher in aerial and acroyoga. A friend in the acroyoga community in Norway told me about the Africa Yoga Project some years ago, and I immediatly thought it was a great idea. Yogapratice is such a profound tool to work with various kinds of social stress and trauma, and it is a simple yet practical way to share body-awareness, mindfulness and awareness of breath.   

The Africa Yoga Project (AYP) was founded in 2007 by Paige Ellenson from New York City, as she started teaching yoga in the slums of Nairobi. As more and more people in Kenya found their way to the free yoga classes started up, it became apparent that there was a thirst and a need for more teachers. So Paige undertook the immense task to create a teacher training program, taking youth from the slums of Kenya who otherwise would be victims of a life of crime, drugs, violence and hopelessness, and giving them an opportunity to teach and earn an income. Today AYP has trained over 300 scholars from 17 different African countries. It still offers free classes to 300+ people every Saturday who come to their mats and then stay for a free lunch. And during the three year Academy program, each teacher must go back out to their communities and teach 5 classes to children, youth, prisoners, orphans and the most vulnerable, sharing this beautiful practice that is so dear to my heart.

This summer was my first trip to Africa, visiting Congo Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo. My girlfriend comes from Congo and we were visiting her family. We have both been thinking about starting some kind of project in Congo Brazzaville, preferably related to health. So after reading more about the Africa Yoga Project and talking with the managers, I decided to join this journey and take this great challenge of signing up as an Ambassador for the Africa Yoga Project. As a part of the agreement, some of my donations will be specifically used to help and train people from Congo Brazzaville, to try to empower and expand yoga in that part of the African continent.

I will mainly give workshops in acroyoga in Norway to try to raise the given amount of donations that is set from the Africa Yoga Project, but other donations and contributions are gladly appreciated along the way.  

*Mbote means Hello in lingala

ABOUT Ambassadors CURRENT

The Ambassador Program is an opportunity to embody service in action. We invite individuals who are up for something BIG and ready to step into leadership as a catalyst for change in the global yoga community. Becoming a part of the Ambassador team is about embodying the mission of Africa Yoga Project, building connection, and being dedicated to raising significant funds to support the use of yoga to elevate individuals and empower communities. 

Learn more and apply to become an Ambassador here

Supporters
Name Date Amount Comments
Paul Jakob Walstad 10/06/2018 $1,450.00 From acroyoga workshops in mid-Norway
Paul Jakob Walstad 07/29/2018 $230.00 From teaching at Sunnmøre Yogafestival
Paul Jakob Walstad 05/22/2018 $1,000.00 Donations from Trondheim, Steinkjer og Kristiansand - acroyoga for beginners and families
Paul Jakob Walstad 01/30/2018 $400.00 From workshops in Tromsø, Setermoen and Skarnes
Paul Jakob Walstad 12/27/2017 $825.00 Workshop in Narvik - acroyoga and family yoga
Paul Jakob Walstad 11/22/2017 $950.00 Donations from Acroyoga Weekend in Stavanger
Paul Jakob Walstad 11/19/2017 $225.00 From acroyoga classes in Eidsvoll and Oslo
Paul Jakob Walstad 10/14/2017 $354.00 From Oslo akroyoga workshop
Cat Scott 09/23/2017 $516.00 So proud to have raised this money through Paige's class today at 502 Power Yoga!
Paul Jakob Walstad 09/15/2017 $630.00 Sowing the first seeds in Tønsberg (akroyoga workshop)
  Total $6,580.00  
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