Great story at NPR today. Link is here and a little taste:
When Mugbe was 7, his dad, John, died in a car accident. His father was an electrician, and his salary supported the family of five children. Walter’s mom, Catherine, didn’t work. Suddenly, the family was in crisis. The two older siblings had a tough time. At a very young age, Walter Mugbe felt he had to make sure his younger siblings had enough to eat.
To earn money, he began transporting drugs for dealers. By the time he was 10, he was selling drugs and picking pockets as well.
In 2007, Paige Elenson came to town. A businesswoman and yoga teacher, she co-founded the Africa Yoga Projectand began offering free classes in poor neighborhoods in Nairobi to ease tensions after election-related violence and give people a way to “positively transform lives.”
There was a class at the school where Mugbe practiced soccer, so he signed up. He went through the poses for the first time. He was in downward dog. He lifted one leg to the sky and brought it down in front of his body, parallel to the front of his mat. He folded himself flat over his leg. He was in half-pigeon pose. (That’s the sequence in the animated gif above.)
“I felt so free and safe at that moment,” he says. He was always on the run in his criminal life. And now, his worries were gone. “I felt light, like something was weighing me down and all of a sudden I felt free. It was a brand new experience for me.”
Walter Mugbe kept taking yoga classes.
Some family members and friends thought he was getting into a crazy cult.
I think that’s a fun way to end things. Keep reading it, because I just got a text that it’s time to go surf.
Posted by Steve