Himalayan Institute Cameroon (HIC) offers free yoga classes every Saturday morning to the people of Kumbo. Special classes for kids have drawn large groups, with students ranging from toddlers to high school age.

“I was surprised at how much muscle tightness there is in the young people of this community,” said HIC volunteer and class instructor John Daskovsky. “In Kumbo, almost every family has a farm, and the children help with the farm work from a very young age. It’s hard work, so many children develop strong but stiff muscles.” To remedy this problem, HIC is teaching kids some basic and fun techniques for keeping their muscles loose and flexible.

In addition to working on flexibility, the class also focuses on relaxation. Most kids go to school, have household chores, and work at their parents’ farm or shop, which is a lot of responsibility for young people and can be the cause of stress. To help address this problem, each class begins with a centering exercise and ends with a guided relaxation. For many of the students—like so many yoga practitioners around the world—the relaxation is their favorite part. By teaching fun and relaxing health techniques, HIC is working to cultivate a generation with healthy bodies and clear minds.