One Week with the Burundese KY Sangat
BURUNDI - JANUARY 2013 - RAVINDER KAUR (Kundalini Yoga Belgium)
I only spent 1 week with the Burundese KY sangat in January 2013, but it seems like 1 month!
The first days, the brand new Burundese KY teachers invited me to visit the places where they teach.
I was most impressed by Jeet Singh teaching a group of 40 mentally handicapped people. His strong projection, commitment and love to reach out and touch these people was inspiring. The directors of the institute told me about the positive impact this weekly yoga class has on their group.
Sat Sansaar asked me to teach his class at Kamenge. A center where young people can come to do sports, study, play music, ... I recognized some of the students from a class I gave there 1 year ago. It was amazing how strong and more assertive these young people became. No more whispering of mantra's but chanting from the navel and the heart this time ... Many of these guys (and 1 girl !!!) are ready for the next Level 1 !!!
At University, the Kundalini Yoga students were a bit upset. Gustave (Sat Shakti Singh), who was their KY teacher, finished his study (sports with thesis on Kundalini Yoga !). He returns to his village where he will start a yoga center. Beautiful news ! But ... the students at Univ want to continue their weekly classes ! So, they were INSISTING we find a solution. Few days later during a workshop we held with the Burundese teachers we found one: Mossi (Harpurkh Singh) will take over the classes ... That's a relief ! The decan of the Sports department told me he was happy to see how the yoga class brings in new aspects he did not know before ... He was interested to hear how the education of the Level 1 teachers would continue ... indeed ... one day, they will need a Level 2 !
Mossi (Harpurkh Singh) brought me to a center where gay and lesbian youngsters can get counseling and support. He teaches once a week there. Unfortunatelly the place lost its fundings. They decided to continue working "for free" for 2 more months & hope to find solution.
Marisol is teaching a class for women at her home place. Wish I could go there every week. Such a beautiful and joyful group !
Anthe is teaching on Sunday mornings on the beach. Most teachers come to this class. This is their main meeting point. Anthe took over the coordination of the Sangat since Sat Darshan left Burundi. Her group has many students, Burundese & ex-pats mixed ... This is the core of the sangat ... from this class all other initiatives are inspired.
Wednesday I spent the whole day with Gaston. For 10 years he has run an educational center for street children. Jeet and Sat Sansaar were with me. Gaston, as many Burundese people, was very reluctant towards Yoga. What is it ? Is it a religion ? Where does it come from ? What does it bring ? Is magic involved ? Why you have these things on your heads ? What is this chanting ? Sure this is not a religion ? Many questions ... and then he was ready to "experience". Sat Sansaar guided them through Nabhi kriya & I gave a 31 minute meditation. Sweating all over & touched by the beautiful music and chanting of Jeet Singh, Gaston was convinced. He will include Yoga and Music in the first part of the program when they bring street children in their center.
On Thursday we had a full day workshop with the Burundese teachers. It was great to do sadhana together again. Next to some nice yoga sets & meditations we reflected on how to grow the sangat and spread the teachings. A list of 20 actions and owners resulted ... Beautiful work !
Friday Saturday and Sunday, we had 3 workshop days. Starting early with Sadhana and ending with evening meditation. Many people showed up. Students from all different classes over town. Our location was heaven: beautiful open hut at the beach of Hotel Club du lac Tanganyka.
Theme of the workshops was "How to conquer fear ?". Very real in a country where war and violence are still very tangible. The group energy was great. The commitment and work of the students was honest and strong. Many exchanges of experiences took place. We thought for a moment we were in heaven. Saturday evening a camp fire was made at the beach ... chanting, enjoying, ... this was heaven indeed !
Sunday morning, after sadhana, we saw Bujumbura Market place was on fire. Back to earth !
Program of the day was adapted: We started with a 31 min healing meditation & spend the day meditating & reflecting on what we could do in this siutation ... No more need to look for seva opportunities for students who cannot pay for classes ... the universe gave us the solution ... not one we would have wished ... but we are not in command ... that is for sure.
Every 6 months a similar event will be organised by/for the Burundese KY sangat.
I am extremely grateful I could go there.
Look forward to work more for Yoga Teachers 4 Africa and look forward for many people to join in.
Love & light,
Click here for more info on the Yoga Teachers 4 Africa project & ways to support it ...