Josh and I began showing Namibians our love of yoga at our host family in Okahandja for our 2 months of training. We would do yoga with the kids on the porch. We called our style of yoga “Shusk-tanga.” Patent pending.
Our host family loved it. It was a nice way for us to bond with them. We saw the 3 year old from our host family in Okahandja over Christmas Holiday and she still remembers “Downward Dog.”
I then brought yoga with me to our site and my school. I did it once with the Girls Club and many girls enjoyed it so much they wanted to keep doing it together. When I am free on the weekends, I’ll put together a Saturday morning yoga session. It’s been a fun way to share something I enjoy and am passionate about.
I always enjoy hearing everyone in my class say “Miss! I feel so good!” after a class is over. I am not a trained teacher myself but I have done it long enough to give people the basics. I usually put a yoga dvd on halfway through class to let the experts tell us when to breathe in and out, etc.
The website YogaDownload.com offers a free membership for PCVs. It really makes yoga more accessible and introduces people all over the world to new styles of yoga. It’s a great way to keep your yoga routine fresh.
Workout videos and running have also been a great way to help cope with stress here. If you’re a person who likes to turn their headphones on and ignore the rest of the world when running, well then running in Namibia might not be for you. On days when I’m feeling social I’ll go run in town and on the sandy paths and greet people as I go by.
Seeing the Kavango River as you run by isn't a bad way to spend 30-45 minutes. Running and exercise in general really isn't a popular thing here. (most want to save their calories) so this white lady gets some funny looks, but it's a fun atmosphere on the walking path new our flat. I see ladies carrying baskets on their heads, men walking home from work, feral dogs who want to bite me and little kids playing with one another.
By Lisa Shusko
Lisa is a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Namibia, Africa since 2013.
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