07 September 2012

Uniting Palestinians and Israelis with Yoga

Ruthie unites Israelis and Palestinians with yoga

by RALLY - AUGUST 28, 2012

In the summer of 2011, Olive Tree Yoga Foundation (OTYF) taught classes to Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities. They developed relationships with established teachers in Israel, planned the opening of an OTYF studio in Bethlehem, and brought the unifying energy of yoga to residents of the tent city protests in Tel Aviv.

OTYF’s mission is to create a powerful community of transformative leaders through the practice of yoga. Led by Ruthie Goldman, OTYF promotes and supports the teaching of yoga in communities affected by conflict, specifically, the underserved regions of the Middle East. Through yoga they aim to bring unity, strength, and possibility to Israelis and Palestinians.

In this light, OTYF consciously avoids schedule conflicts with religious holidays and does not propose any specific resolution to the conflict; their work is geared toward offering the possibility of equality for Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. For Ruthie and friends, yoga is a part of the trajectory of the solidarity movement in Palestine and Israel. They believe that yoga can bring an inner peace to those who practice and that this, in turn, will contribute toward a path to peace.

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