One Woman Found Peace Teaching Yoga in Ghana
My husband and I wanted a radical change, so in 2013, we relocated with our daughter to Ghana, where I opened my own yoga studio, Bliss Yoga Accra. A couple of years in, a friend asked me to teach a class to kids from the Touch a Life (TAL) foundation, which helps children who've been trafficked. Ghana's Volta Lake is surrounded by fishing towns, where thousands of kids, some just 5 years old, are sold by their parents or guardians for as little as $10. Traffickers like small hands because they're better for untangling nets. One boy said he'd been taken so young, he didn't know he'd been trafficked. He slept under a table, ate the same scraps as the dogs, and thought his abductors were his family.
At that initial yoga class, the kids were so joyful and free, smiling and laughing. Watching them, I felt totally emotionally overwhelmed, and I couldn't help but get more involved—I'm now TAL's Ghana executive director. Since 2006, TAL has rescued more than 100 Ghanaian children, and I've worked with many of them. The kids have been abandoned by their families—handed over to the universe, in a way. But we don't spend the days mourning; there's so much positive energy here. They've gone somewhere terrible and been brought back to a place that's pure and good.