Dabka, knafeh and chair yoga in busy Nablus

Yesterday, after the first intensive part of the training, the Peace Within Project’s team went to Nablus, an ancient roman city in the northern West Bank, now a commercial and cultural hub.


Mirna from Nablus & Nahed from Bethlehem

The program – organized by Mirna Ali the first yoga teacher in the city – was intense and included yoga classes in a women’s association, a school and a refugee camp. The idea was to introduce yoga to various groups – women, seniors, men & children. If interested, they can now continue to practice with one of the new yoga teachers from the city.

After a two-hour ride from Bethlehem, hopping from taxis to local buses, loaded with yoga mats, we arrived in Nablus.

We started in the Palestinian Women’s club with a beginners’ class for women. We introduced deep abdominal breath, sun salutations, basic asanas and relaxation. With barely any time to say goodbye and take a picture it was already time to start the next class!


After class pose with the Palestinian Women’s Club

Still in the women’s association, 20 “golden girls” were chatting while waiting for their turn. Nahed offered a dynamic class of chair yoga, which is a complete practice adapted to seniors or people with limited mobility and involves forward and backward bends, twists and stretches of all body parts.


Happy chair yoginis

After the class, beside tea and coffee, we were offered to try on the “abaya” or traditional Palestinian dress and to pick up a few steps of “dabqa” dance.


Ready to perform

We carried on with a kids’ yoga class in the American Academy where we embarked with some 10 year-old on a journey exploring the 5 senses and the idea of “pratyahara” (withdrawal of the senses – one the raja yoga limbs).



Last stop in Askar camp, home to 30,000 refugees since 1950. There, we offered a class to young men of the camp in the Keffiyeh center a social association that we already visited during the initial assessment. Sabreen one of our trainees is from Askar and plans to continue sharing yoga there to women and children.


At last, we couldn’t leave without tasting a “knafeh” a local delicacy – an interesting, to say the least, traditional cheese pastry soaked in sweet syrup. “Sahten!” (bon appétit)


And the journey starts….

The 1st day of the training is over and it went so well!

We started with getting to know each other. Among the trainees we find social workers, school teachers, a nurse, a midwife, a psychologist but also a volunteer clown in a kids hospital, a Mosque preacher reaching out to women in rural areas, an epidemiology doctor, etc. A little shy at first they quickly get to know each other.

After the orientation they had the yoga asanas and pranayama practice – 1st time for some of them! – and learnt about yoga philosophy (Where is it coming from? What is yoga? How does the mind works?) and the respiratory system.

Everything felt like flowing naturally: translation, timing, reception of the teachings….

Tired but happy some went back home while 10 of them coming from far away (Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah) settled in an apartment rented for them 50m away from the yoga studio.

We are so happy to be able to experience this wonderful journey together!

Stay tuned for more updates!

The Peace Within Project celebrates the 1st World Yoga Day

On June 21st the 1st World Yoga Day was celebrated as declared by the United Nations General Assembly following India’s idea. The Peace Within Project took part in the international event as fantastic friends and yoga teachers held yoga classes all around the world, raising funds for the upcoming yoga teachers training for women in the Palestinian Territories.

Our yogis without borders practiced asanas in NYC, Tokyo, Montreal, Rome, London, Australia and Switzerland with a common intention: PEACE!

Thank you to all the wonderful teachers who gave their time and energy! Here are a few pictures:

Tokyo, Japan

Teacher: Madoka (Vani Devi) in Tsudanuma-InStyle studio

Tokyo 2 Tokyo 5

Montreal, Canada

Teachers:  Fabiola (Vani Devi) & Clo Bahena (Maha Devi) from the YogaLab

Montreal 1Montreal 2

Rome, Italy

Teacher: Lijun (Kavita) from Outdoor with Kavita

Rome 2

NYC, United States

Teachers: Cherishe (Ishwari) & DJ (Ganga Dhara)


Queensland, Australia

Teacher: Paul Wood in Chenrezig Institute

Australia 2 Australia

Verscio, Switzerland

Annie (Chandika) in Theatro Dimitri

Switzerland 2 Switzerland 1

Help us make the training happen and donate! www.indiegogo.com/projects/training-yoga-teachers-in-palestinian-territories

1st World Yoga Day

In just two-months time we will start the yoga teachers training for women in Palestinian Territories.

As the training will be offered free of charge to ensure that women from lower incomes can participate, we are now raising funds to make the training happen.

Check out the online donation campaign, get involved and share around you (via emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Getting the word out is what will make this project happen. We can only do it with your help! Thank you!

To kick start the crowdfunding campaign we will hold yoga classes all around the world on the 1st International Yoga Day on June 21!

Thanks to amazing friends and yoga teachers, dozens of yogis in NYC, London, Tokyo, Montreal, Rome, Lisbon, India, Australia, Switzerland and France will practice with a common intention: PEACE!

All proceeds will go to fund the yoga teachers training for women in Palestinian Territories.

We will post pictures of the event. Stay tuned!