SPORTS FOR DEVELOPMENT

GAINING RECOGNITION OF YOGA AND CIRCUS

Sport for Development and Peace refers to the intentional use of sport and play to attain specific development and peace objectives, including, most notably, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is a method of bringing about social change, international development and the promotion of human rights through the use of sports.

According to the United Nations sports for development and peace (UNOSDP), Sports is defined as “all forms of physical activity that contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction, such as play, recreation, organized or competitive sport, and indigenous sports and games.”. Under this umbrella, yoga and circus constitute as sports.

Sport for Development and Peace is widely seen as an emerging field in the area of development, with United Nations introducing sports as intervention tactics in humanitarian crisis, as means of educating youth, providing recreation and build peace through community.

The importance of leisure is part of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in which Article 24 asserts that all persons have the “right to rest and leisure”. Similarly, Resolution 60/9- adopted by General Assembly in 2005- recalls “the importance of sports as a means to promote education, health, and development”. Today, there are over 358 existing sports programs. However, not one includes in circus or yoga.

Our collective is creating a platform for international organization and UN agencies to find specialists in these disciplines to fill their mandate and field needs in sports for development through circus, acrobatics and yoga.

Momentom collective is also step stone for social circus artists and performers -as well as yoga teachers- who want to get involved in the humanitarian field.

Our methodology in yoga and circus arts is tailored to create a foundation to support the ongoing growth of improvements in pysical, social, cognitive and mindful development of our subjects. We combine moments of introspection with moments of exhiliration including concentration and fine motor skills to acheive these goals.

SOCIAL CIRCUS AND YOGA

AN INTERVENTION APPROACH

Social circus is a social intervention approach based on circus arts. It targets at-risk demographics living in precarious personal and social situations. In this approach, the primary goal is not to learn or teach circus arts, but rather- assist with personal and social development by nurturing self-esteem and trust in others. Social circus also helps acquire social skills to become active citizens and express experience through non-traditional forms of communication.

Social circus is a powerful catalyst for creating social change. Why? Because it helps marginalized youth assume their place within a community and in turn- enrich that community with innovative talents. Organizations outside of the United Nations have long known the benefits of circus in the humanitarian context: Clowns without borders, CirqAid, Performers Without Borders, Magicians Without BorderS.

Momentom collective uses circus arts as a form of alternative education, in crises contexts and in educational institutions. Education provides protection, stability, essential knowledge and life skills. In conflict areas, we tailor our yoga & circus programs to deliver basic education and recreation in post conflict and recovery phases of an emergency.

Yoga provides a personal and holistic means of addressing pressing issues and creates change from the individual. Survivors of trauma, whether through abuse, accidents or war, often end profoundly wounded and in shock. In order to heal from trauma, a connection must be made with oneself- mind, body and spirit. Because trauma is held in the body, bringing the body actively into the healing process can allow trauma survivors to cultivate a more positive relationship to their body through breath and mindfulness. Through breath and meditation, Momentom uses yoga to foster awareness, tolerance, and an increased acceptance of the self.

BENEFITS OF YOGA + CIRCUS
  • Trauma relief
  • Health: strength, flexibility, body and sensory awareness, coordination, balance, emotional strength.
  • Emotional health: Provides a sense of self-worth while boosting confidence; decrease in depression and anxiety,
  • Education: concentration, focus, creativity, attention, improved brain function, ability to learn and absorb information, project visualizations
  • Empowerment: Gives marginalized youth, who are more likely to have low confidence, an opportunity to perform and “break out of their shell”. Circus allows them to hide behind the prop and perform without being judged;
  • Life skills: Circus skills can be used to teach life skills, including perseverance, teamwork, trust and positive risk-taking;
  • Employability skills: young people can apply these life skills outside of circus – which can help make them become more employable citizens;
  • Community building: Brings local communities together and starts a conversation on social and political issues- discuss things they might not be comfortable talking about;
  • Creation of a support network that meets both the educational and psychological needs of the wider community.
  • Deters from substance abuse, violence and risky behavior;
  • Self-expression: Can act as a form of escape, and a place where they share their experiences and express their emotions.
  • Peace & Unity: impulse control, compassion, teamwork, gratitude, emotional intelligence, relaxation.

· Flexibility
· Balance
· Static balance
· Motor coordination
· Body coordination
· Body awareness
· Agility
· Strength
· Endurance
· Speed Reflexes
· Posture
· Body composition
· Increased energy
· Sleep patterns

· Co-operation
· Team Building
· Respect for others
· Compassion
· Non-discrimination
· Elimination of stigma
· Community building
· Awareness
· Mediation skills
· Leadership Skills
· Non-judgment

· Tolerance
· Self love
· Coping Skills
· Alertness
· Non-judgement
· Intuition
· Self acceptance
· Equinimity
· Present moment experience
· Trauma alleviation
· Initiative
· Focus + concentration
· Emotional regulation
· Decrease in anxiety + fatigue

Brain Plasticity
· Visual attention and speed
· Learning capacity
· Absorb, recognise and use knowledge

Perceptual Cognitive Function:

· Decision Making
· Motion Perception
· Sports related cognitive skills

Executive Functions
[ Mental processes for concentration and attention ]
1. Selective: sustained
2. Divided: Multi Focal
3. Inhibition: Ability to not pay attention

· Processing Speed: Time needed to consiously integrate stimuli
· Working memory: Ability to retain information