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Bahraini yoga teacher Weam Zabar launched an online meditative dance initiative to support India, the country where the practice originates from and is currently reeling from a Covid-19 crisis.
The 37-year-old Namaste founder, who has been teaching yoga for the past 10 years, set up a Zoom India Aid dance meditation session to help raise funds and support a charitable endeavour.
The 75-minute women-only session, which attracted 20 participants, raised BD338 for the Help-A-School Foundation Australian charity which aims to improve the lives of children in rural schools in India.
And, with Covid-19 devastating the rural areas of India, the foundation has launched three campaigns to support the impact of the second wave of the pandemic on the country including food distribution, education and now the most urgent, crisis care.
“The proceeds will go towards the local Sri Narayani Hospital in Tamil Nadu which is in desperate need for medical aid,” said Weam, who has been supporting the charity for the past six years. “The hospital is full to capacity and people are being turned away as there are no beds left. Unfortunately, this means that people are losing their lives.
“The donations will also go to children whose families are suffering financial difficulty to keep them in school. Those are the first children in their families that are literate.
“It will also go towards the soup kitchen to distribute food parcels to people in need in the area. This soup kitchen normally feeds from 11,000 to 20,000 people a day.”
The Help-A-School Foundation was founded in 2014 by a South Australian school principal after a visit to Tamil Nadu in India. Over the years it has supported keeping children in schools, offering free health checks for families, distributing food parcels, supplied resources for village schools and sponsored children.
“This humanitarian charity has blown me away with how much they do with so little,” added Weam who also has a diploma in counselling and hypnosis. “From sending children to school, to recycling plants, helping people find sources of income; that community has grown and improved the quality of life for the people in the area tremendously. They have provided financial aid and empowered people to actively engage in worthy careers.
“I am grateful to my teacher Eman Nooruddin who has facilitated the meditation dance group.”
The session was focused on intuitive dance – movement not focussed on choreography or ‘look good’ dancing.
“The focus is to give the body a chance to express itself in ways that it normally cannot,” explained Weam. “This is a highly healing dance that not only improves the connections from mind to body but also helps relieve trauma and stress. The session went very well and I am thankful to all those that participated. Every little bit counts.”
Aside from meditative dance, Weam always had a fondness for yoga. Yoga started during the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. It was first mentioned in Rig Veda, a collection of texts that consisted of rituals, mantras, and songs which was mainly used by Brahmans, the Vedic priests.
The original context of yoga was spiritual development practices to train the body and mind to self-observe and become aware of their own nature. The purposes of yoga were to cultivate discernment, self-regulation and higher consciousness in the individual.
Over the years, Weam has participated in various charity projects including reforestation, supporting scholarships, donating tree saplings to farmers, sponsoring children to go to school and installing bathrooms in schools.
“Having purpose is vital for us as human beings,” she added. “The emptiness that the human race suffers from can be relieved by connecting to something larger than ourselves. I hope everyone engages in worthy causes.”
For details, follow @wanderwonderweam on Instagram and visit www.helpaschoolfoundation.com to support the foundation.