The Social Impact Interview Series spotlights real-life stories and voices from yoga change-makers who have engaged in Yoga Alliance outreach work, detailing how their teaching and practice have directly benefited their personal lives, those they care for, and the communities they serve.
Oboma Alfred Olaa is a native of South Sudan, living in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp since 2016. He was introduced to yoga in 2019 through a friend who did teacher training with the African Yoga Project in Nairobi. He began attending yoga class and a year later attended the same Africa Yoga Project teacher training program.
How did you find yoga?
I was motivated by a friend who attended Baptiste yoga with the Africa Yoga Project in 2019.
My first class was not as calming as I expect it to be; in fact it was one of the hardest thing I have ever tried. Who would have thought yoga makes you sweat buckets by just maintaining poses without much movement?
Then as I attended more class, I realized it became the highlights of my lonely and dark days.
Yoga keeps my mind at ease with all the yapping and voices inside my head telling me I’ll never be good enough.
How would you explain yoga in one sentence?
Yoga is a mind and body practice that can build strength and flexibility.
How has yoga benefited your personal life?
Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness.
It helps me increase my body awareness.
Yoga relieves chronic stress patterns, and through consistency of yoga practice I am able to reduce stress.
Yoga helps relax the mind, centers attention, and sharpens concentration.
How has yoga benefited your community?
Yoga brings international friendship. Through yoga practice, we are able to get friends from different parts of the community to come together.
Yoga creates connection. By going through intense physical practice, we are able to build a network with friends and become one family.
Yoga practice make us learns from others, with different connections of the body practice.
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