Township Yogi Project is a non-profit organisation that sets up grassroots yoga studios in townships in South Africa, with the assistance of qualified yoga teachers.
The aim of the project is to help empower those living in townships riddled with crime, violence, drug abuse and unemployment, and where many of the population are suffering from HIV and Aids. Research has shown that the practice of yoga helps boost immune system activity, reduces stress, improves muscle tone, combats wasting and slows the progression of HIV/Aids and helps TB sufferers recover quicker.
Through the practice of yoga, people also learn to care for their bodies and focus on their health, and another aim of the project is to give the children living in townships a sense of purpose and self-awareness, and keep them away from Whoonga and other drugs. Classes are offered to any age group, from young children to elderly people.
In addition to offering free yoga classes, township inhabitants are selected to participate in yoga teacher training courses, offering them skills and a chance at employment. They undergo the standard 200-hour Yoga Teaching Training course, and qualify as accredited yoga teachers.
Blair Underwood is an ambassador for the Township Yogi Project.