Lyri-ca 2013-2014
September 6 is Cuba Night at Piedmont Yoga Studio, Oakland! Enjoy yoga, introduction to salsa dancing, stories and slides from past Lyri-ca trips, updates on teacher training in Cuba, and refreshments and fun!
Download flier

CUBA NEWS UPDATE as of August 2013
Currently we have an application in to the Pollination Project to help us get a new ¡Yoga Va! and Lyri-ca website up and running and to set up a bilingual newsletter that can carry our great yoga stories back and forth between cultures. There are so many ways we could be communicating more and both helping the Cuban yogis and ourselves by sharing our work, our struggles and our inspirations. If you know anyone at the Pollination Project, do encourage them to take us off the wait list and into a supported reality!

Nine teachers that we helped get their Yoga Alliance certification are awaiting news from us and Yoga Alliance to see if we can have an ongoing scholarship supported credential. Currently the individual registration for our five RYT-500s and four ERYT-500s is the equivalent to a half year’s salary in Cuba. Not really feasible, sustainable or even fair! Right now their registrations ran out in July 2013 but we are hoping between Yoga Alliance and our supporters we can change that situation.

Malia Everette of AltruVistas has worked with us since the original exchanges with Cuban yogis in 1998. She will be attending our September 6 night and knows everything there is to know about traveling to Cuba in a legal, ethical and sustainable way. We are working together to see if we can bring another group of Spanish speaking yoga teachers to Cuba in 2014. Meanwhile, Mary may be returning to see what is going on post March meditation conference in Habana in December and start working towards the newsletter and the 2014 trip.

Not only is there an incredible interest in Yoga and meditation and some pretty amazing practitioners there who bring their holistic health education directly into the asana practice, but there is a growing interest in Ayurveda in Cuba and we are looking at ways of supporting an Ayurveda resource center/library there. Ayurveda could so perfectly be incorporated into a health system that honours traditional medicine (ie grassroots) and celebrates the body in art, dance, music and life!

An amazing young Cuban teacher now lives in Argentina. We would love to bring him to the US and let you hear first hand his investigations and enthusiasms. This and many other delights are on our wish list.

Our history
Since 1998, CUYE (Cuba-US Yoga Exchange) has been involved in supporting and creating an educational exchange in Cuba. Under educational licenses obtained in collaboration with organizations such as Global Exchange, CUYE presented seminars and teacher training in Cuba on an annual basis. Prior to the recent imposition of more stringent legal restrictions, CUYE worked with Yoga Journal and yoga studios around the country to bring Cuban teachers to the United States.

Latino Yoga Research Institute–California and the Americas (Lyri-ca) was formed in 2006 to undertake research projects both in the United States and abroad. Our work continues in Cuba as this country is fertile ground for the evolution of yoga, supported as it is by a unique preventative health care system. It has also broadened into networking with other countries like Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Canada and Spain and our local Latino population in Mendocino County and California. This bridge of human contact is a lifeline to Cuban yoga community and our current project, ¡Yoga Va!, a pilot teacher training project, and its benefits in both countries is immeasurable and timely.

In 2009, with the assistance of the Dana Foundation, we began a local ¡Yoga Va! California project focusing on the Latino population of Mendocino County. A class called Mama y Yo!, designed for mothers and their toddlers, is currently taught every week at Yoga Mendocino in Ukiah, California. This project is supported also by First Five Mendocino, which helps provide childcare for the class and promotional and networking assistance.

Advisory Board
Christina Feldman is an internationally noted author and teacher of Vipassana meditation. Christina has taught Insight meditation in Cuba and is a health consultant for the British National Health Service. She resides in Devon, England.

Edgar Ortiz is a yoga teacher, physical therapist and Professor of Anatomy in San Jose, Costa Rica. Edgar is a teacher trainer in Costa Rica and Cuba.

Steve Bailey is Executive Director/CEO of Grand Opera House, Wilmington, Delaware, USA/ President/Founder Eastern Performing Arts Center Coalition. Steve has been involved in music and cultural exchanges in Cuba.

Edgardo Morales is a professor of psychology in Puerto Rico. A student of meditation and yoga for over 30 years, Edgardo translates and promotes health and well being in the Latino community.