Paige Elenson

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Purpose Over Profit: Why Teaching Yoga is a Calling and a Career

Yoga teachers often struggle with the decision of choosing between profit vs purpose. Learn how Paige picked purpose and succeeded in creating a successful career creating a non-profit teaching yoga in Africa.

While westerners often fear leaving a well paying corporate job to follow their passion of becoming a yoga teacher, in Kenya, youth training to be yoga teachers don’t face those fears as a career in yoga means leaving behind poverty and following your passion. Learn from the co-founder and Executive Director of Africa Yoga Project and change your perspective on what it means to take on your calling and career full time.

Paige lives and breathes the creed of service and self-empowerment that she teaches. A native New Yorker, Ashoka Fellow, Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Global Citizen 2017 award recipient, Paige has been teaching yoga for over a decade. As a Senior Baptiste Yoga Teacher, Paige leads yoga teacher trainings in Kenya and across the United States. She has taught in Yoga Journal Conferences across the United States, and was a featured presenter at the Evolution Asia Yoga Conference, the Barcelona Yoga Conference, the AcroYoga Festival, the Baptiste Power Flow Immersion, and the Yoga Teacher Telesummit.

Paige’s incisive skills as a businesswoman, spiritual activist, and social entrepreneur inspired her work with the Africa Yoga Project organization. In 2007, Paige moved to Africa and co-founded the AYP organization, a movement that empowers the youth of Kenya to learn, contribute, and change their lives through the transformative power of yoga. With the support of Baron Baptiste and his community, the AYP organization facilitated the first yoga teacher training in Kenya and now employs local youth to teach full-time in their own communities. AYP programs offer free classes to over 6,000 students per week, simultaneously building schools and funding education, critical operations, and environmental endeavors.

Since 2007, Paige has partnered with leaders in politics, philanthropy, design, and entertainment to broaden the AYP organization’s empowering reach. Whether working alongside Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation, UNICEF, or Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative, Paige creates unique opportunities for community involvement and transformation. At home in Nairobi or reaching students around the world, Paige’s dedication to positive global change is infectious and inspiring.



In the middle of a Masaai village in Kenya on top of a pile of cow dung