Monday, May 23, 2011

working with the CHILDREN in the FAVELAS OF BRAZIL

International citizen, inspirational speaker, yoga teacher/guru and musician David Lurey is one of those people who leaves a positive impression on all of those he comes into contact with. After having met him at the Geneva Yoga conference, one of the many stops on his annual world tour, I was impressed by his relaxed nature, sincere interest and impressive hair. It was only later however that I discovered the work David has been doing in with the kids in Brazil. During a tour in 2008 (four years after his first visit), David was invited by friend and fellow Ashtanga teacher, Gui Nascimento, to visit Casa do Zezinho in one of Sao Paulo's largest favela's (urban slum) with the idea of introducing the children to an international traveling yoga teacher. You could say that the experience was a turning point for David.

The project was a few years old and had already been visited by Michael Franti (a well known musician / activist) and had some funding to create something special for the kids. "I remember the first time I arrived there with my guitar and friends and there was a lot of energy and emotion with a room full of 60 + children all curious about this event and yoga and music and gringos! I walked into the auditorium like room and within 15 seconds all eyes were on me and it fell mostly quiet! Gui introduced me and I shared a little about my personal life as a traveler and teacher and shared with the kids a little introduction to yoga... focusing on exercises to breathe deeply, connect to each other and make the internal inherent light in all of us a little bit brighter. I did not have much experience with teaching children, but since I behave like one a lot, I felt at ease talking about sun salutations as a story of the daily miracle of the sunrise / set... I loved making animal and plant shapes as the poses and using the poses as a way to support out interconnection" says David.

Since that visit, David has returned to Casa do Zezinho every year and each time is has become a bit more special. The program of offering Yoga to these kids is so important to help them awaken physical and mental wellbeing, says David, who has now introduced AcroYoga in the program, allowing them to get creative.

Honest to his positive approach David is certain that each year, the kids involved feel a bit more relaxed, a bit happier and hopefully a bit more peaceful so they can be the internal revolutionaries of the violence and crime that is still present in the favelas. The project of Casa do Zezinho is always open to host guest teachers, musicians, performers and guides to support the healing of the children... so if you're ever in Sao Paulo, Brasil, please let David know as he would be more than happy to get you in touch with a place where true transformation is very possible and needed.

For more information about David and his projects please visit