Three years ago, I sat down with Eduardo Pimentel, founder and president of the Cuban Yoga Association to have coffee and talk about yoga in Cuba.
“SM:Where do you see Cuban yoga headed in the next 10 or 20 years?
EP:More yoga lineages working in Cuba in favor of our people. Different ways of teaching for different needs and perspective of our students. And more Cuban yoga teachers with knowledge and compassion.”
This February, we had the amazing privilege of participating in a yoga festival in Havana and presenting about our work with Las Aguas Fund. Presenters at the festival talked about amazing projects with public health and yoga, international yoga teacher trainings, and much more. Everyday I felt more chills as I heard speakers and teachers talking about their projects.
Outside of the official events, all kinds of yoga teachers shared their projects with me. Some teachers shared projects using yoga therapy. Some teachers are expanding their practice to include different styles of yoga. Some teachers have family that is remote and has no access to yoga. Their family and friends send them pictures of their practice for feedback.
A performance at the Fabrica del Arte showcased Yoga and Afro Cuban dance. Many Cuban and international students gathered in Old Havana to have a practice of cross cultural solidarity. Modern dancers performed choreography inspired by yoga postures.
I can’t describe how it felt to witness all of these blooms and flowers of yoga in Cuba. And, in news about a project close to my heart, Las Aguas Fund launched our first yoga teacher training for Cuban yoga students in Havana. I am deeply inspired and moved by the gratitude and excitement of the students. It feels like an amazing time.
Because you asked if you could be involved in Cuba, we launched a new volunteer program. Get involved or donate to our current programs. We would also love to hear your creative ideas about how you would like to support wellness in Cuba.