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YOGABEATS CONFLICT WORK - London's Yogaelder David Sye brings Palestinian and Israelis together to practice Yoga in the Westbank

David's report:
On the 18th October it seemed that the whole world was descending and converging upon Beit Jala
the little town is only a stones throw away from Bethlehem
this was the place in the New Testiment where Christ apparently brought a young girl back from the shadow realm of death,.
and this convergence of so many souls from across the entire West Bank and neighbouring Israel
was bringing back to life the fundamental connections that link every culture throughout human kind
beyond the differences that fear and aggression have endlessly propagated
I had been originally invited to these troubled lands to teach israelis in 2004 ,but had at the out set insisted that unless it could be arranged that i also teach Palestinians i would not go ,(as my survival of the Serbian conflict from 1990 till 95 had explicitedly shown me that no side in conflict can be any better or more worthy than the other)
finally innate stubborness won the day
and my first class began with 18 traditionally dressed Palestinian women
in Jericho.
Looking back now,Yogabeats fired up a natural love affair between both
Palestinians and Israelis who spontaneously began sending messages and gifts to each other whenever I crossed over the border into the West Bank,.and vice a versa,and I was their messenger!
This secret love affair became a real item back in 2006
when the idea of a joint class was actualised on the 18th October in Jerusalem at The American Colony Hotel,.
an extraordinary testimony of humanity
that largely went unoticed by the main stream media
smack bang in the middle of some of the worst aggression at that time,
where 20 Israelis and 20Palestinians quietly and joyously met each other
for the first time ,there was much hugging smiling laughter and tears!
I stood before both groups and said if nobody recognises this moment and the extraordinary healing implications yoga can create it matters not ,
because none present could say that peace could not exist right inthe middle of war,nor requires the interceding of politicians or the U N!
Since 2006 each year permission by israel to repeat the joint class was refused ,
until may 2012,when the Yogabeats event was given the permits to allow the palestinians to cross the border and was held at The Peres Peace Centre in Jaffa/israel
(donations to support this ground breaking event was donated from all over the Uk and Europe)
but then on october 18
exactly six years down the line
Miri Oz and Sarah Stephen ( the israeli and Uk organisers for Yoga Beats Conflict) and myself ,found ourselves surrounded in Beit Jala by a sea of smiling excited people from both sides of the border!
Fifty people had been expected,.but the hall had at the last moment to be switched to a larger one as 112 people turned up,..
the rejoicing of both cultures coming together was ecstatic,.(as was the courage to attend at the risk of serious reprisals from their own communities)
the hilarity and laughter of those who had never practiced yoga filled the air as they attempted positions totally new to their experience ,
the Sufi spinning and dancing was wild and without restraint,
as if all the restrictions of the conflict had melted in one moment!
We gathered for photographs and the event was filmed ,.as a Palestinian woman spontaneously broke into song and people ate and drank told stories enjoying the proximity of a former enemy as now a friend to endlessly hang out with!!
Singers sang Indian Kirtan and a mesmeric dancer put everyone into a trance,...the evening ended in hugs and the swapping of emails telephone numbers as new friends said goodbye ,..and although eventually everyone had to return from where they had come ,..the energy created did not!!,



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