Since 2007, Anahata has brought yoga instruction and yoga therapy to Rwanda in order to extend the healing benefits of yoga to people affected by violent conflict. Anahata’s strategy has been to provide yoga teacher trainings to young Rwandans with the intention and ability to help their own communities heal.

In under a year, Anahata facilitated two teacher trainings in Kigali, Rwanda. During the first, Angela Cerkevich, our founder, worked with the international NGO Never Again Rwanda to identify 30 young Rwandans to receive yoga instruction. The participants ranged from 17 to 30 years of age and all were affected by the country’s genocide. Thirteen young adults from this group were selected to go through an intensive teacher training through which they gained the skills to share yoga as a practice for healing with their respective communities. Angela then returned to Kigali with another teacher trainer, Radhika Thakkar, to provide additional teacher trainings, expand the yoga community, and build a network among local organizations to further Anahata’s impact in Rwanda. During this trip, Angela and Radhika were able to:

  • Provide 30 hours of in-depth teacher training for 17 new teachers
  • Introduce yoga nidra for trauma recovery and self study
  • Lead daily community classes for more than 30 students
  • Teach Rwandan women how yoga can be especially helpful for their health and community issues
  • Establish relationships within leaders and activists within the local community to facilitate future partnerships between Anahata trained teachers and local initiatives

Anahata’s Legacy in Rwanda Today

Anahata International trained yoga teachers consistently leading classes in and around the surrounding communities of the capital, Kigali, and at the University of Butare. Their reach ranges from working with young children, to the elderly, women and adults. Through their own initiative, the teachers have organized themselves and their students into two clubs – the Kicukiro and Butare Peace Clubs – to better promote yoga and provide support to each other.

Anahata continues to support the growing yoga community in Rwanda. Today, Anahata-trained teachers lead regular classes in and around Kigali, reaching groups ranging from young children to senior citizens. Anahata supports the teachers through email and phone communication to provide additional support and education.