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YOGA BOOK: Hemel Hempstead yoga instructor has book translated for Ukrainian refugees

 Published on: 26th June 2022   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

A yoga practitioner and qualified instructor from Hemel, has started a campaign to have her interactive, children’s yoga book translated into Ukrainian.

The concept for Once Upon a Time, You…A Yoga Adventure Where You Choose What Happens! First came to Maria Oliver, a yoga practitioner of 20 years, as concerns about children’s mental health grew during the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020.

Maria said: “I noticed how lockdown and restrictions affected my own children’s moods,” Maria told Hemel News. “Yoga is so good for helping with anxiety and low moods and I wanted to share my love of yoga with more children.

“My book allows children to choose which character they fly with, and where they want to fly. There are yoga poses and items to find on every page, and whatever choices you make, the story ends in a relaxation session.”

Maria had already been in touch with local volunteer groups about running free yoga classes for Ukrainians when the idea of translating her book materialised. Pleas from teachers hoping to source Ukrainian books for students who would be joining their classes were beginning to surface on social media. Maria reached out to Denys Andrusyk, a young Ukrainian man from the local area, for help with the translation.

She continued: “I don’t speak Ukrainian or read the Cyrillic alphabet at all so without his hard work this would never have happened!”

So far Maria has already raised enough money to fund a print run of 200 Ukrainian copies. Maria aims to print another 200 in English, in the hope that each child could receive a copy in both languages and use the pair to help with their English learning.

“I already have a list of people who have asked for copies!” said Maria, who plans on distributing to Ukrainian children in the local area.

For more information, and to make a contribution to the worthy cause, head to 





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