Rainbow Yoga is a fun style for all that’s great for building connection
Rainbow Yoga — for children, adults and all ages — is all about connection: connecting to yourself, to the world and to the people around you. Connecting in all of those ways can change the world.
We are social animals, and we crave connection. We want to feel that we belong; we don’t want to be lonely.
We want to touch, share, give and receive love, all of this became even more obvious during Covid-19…and that is what Rainbow Yoga is all about.
This unique style of yoga is communal, interactive and fun. It celebrates life and brings people together, says its founder, Gopala Amir Yaffa.
He says the old paradigm of yoga is practicing on your own, on your own individual yoga mat, for your own self-realisation and self-development, whether physical, mental or spiritual.
Rainbow Yoga presents a new paradigm that is ‘social yoga’. Instead of contracting and going within to plug into life and find happiness, we expand to connect and weave into everything and everyone around us.
This creates a real sense of aliveness, and we thrive as we grow and open to a life and a yoga that is more fulfilling.
In traditional yoga, says Gopala, we withdrew within ourselves to find inner joy and peace; in Rainbow Yoga students learn to expand outwards and discover that happiness is not only within, but also all around us.
Contraction is limiting and narrowing while expansion is freeing. The more we expand ourselves to include others, the more fun and meditative the feeling is.
Coming off our individual yoga mat to explore our connections with new friends, we step out of the yoga box and come to practice in the Rainbow Yoga circle.
Practitioners connect with touch, massage, hugs, dance, moving together to co-create the class in a magical way that creates a playful space for everybody to feel loved and nurtured.
Rainbow Yoga now provides a variety of yoga trainings that offer well-rounded, in-depth learning through play, practical theory and plenty of fun.
You will be left expanded, says Gopala, with a smile on your face, a wealth of knowledge and an ignited spirit to spread the love and joy of yoga, helping to make the world a better place, one person at a time.
The one thread that weaves through all of the yoga specialties Rainbow Yoga teaches, whether it is for children or adults, is connection. This is the unique spin on yoga here and is celebrated in all teachings.
“We practice in a circle, often connected through body and heart; we honour and celebrate the circle of life,” says Gopala. “We encourage you to become part of this constant evolution of yoga by spreading Rainbow Yoga far and wide. Since 2007, we have trained thousands of yoga teachers each year. It is not just a training; it is a movement!”
THE POWER OF CONNECTION
Here’s what Rainbow Yoga founder Gopala has to say: “People practice yoga for many reasons. They want to get flexible and fit, they want to lose weight, they want to cope with life better, they want to relax, or they may want to be spiritually enlightened — and yoga can give you all of this and more.
So, yoga is not a goal on its own, it is a tool — a tool to get whatever you want. And for me, yoga is also a tool for nothing less than world peace.
In 1994, when I first joined as a monk at a yoga ashram, an inspiring lady from the USA came to stay for a few days on her way to Jordan. We had a few deep and meaningful conversations and I found out that she had just become the private yoga teacher of King Hussein and the Royal Family.
A few months later King Hussein’s attitude toward the Middle East conflicts changed and in a surprising move, he made peace with Israel. Yoga is a powerful tool, even a tool for world peace!
After leaving the ashram in 2004, I started developing Rainbow Yoga. The idea was to bring people together through yoga.
I found the more ‘traditional’ yoga to be isolating, with its focus on the individual and its philosophy of negating the world. So my new yoga was a rebellion against what I found constricting within that old yoga world.
Many of us feel hopeless about the state of the world, fearful for our future. But what if you did one thing? What if I did one thing? What if we all, every one of us who is able, did one thing that is kinder?
Yoga is a fantastic tool to teach people about the world, nature, animals, themselves, their mind, their emotions, their bodies and many life lessons such as kindness, friendship, resilience, confidence, equality, self-expression and many more. And that education is the key to social evolution and positive change in the world.”
Rainbow Kids Yoga offers online, live stream and in-person teacher trainings. Visit: rainbowyogatraining.com or connect for yourself on Instagram @RainbowKidsYoga
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.