Our body is in a constant process of formation and this process is influenced by physical activity, social relations, our thoughts and feelings. Practice of Capoeira, multidimensional art which represents dance, fight, game, music and social interaction, addresses all aspects of this formation. Oriented properly it can promote a communication between our mind and body, facilitating the process of re-connection to oneself serving to improve the health and quality of life of its practitioners.
Ginga Therapy is a project realized by Sérgio Araújo, who developed own methodology to improve the health and quality of life of his patients. He started his work at 2004 in Maceió through the partnership of Capoeira group Muzenza and Assosiação Pestalozzi in Maceió. Together with the multidisciplinary group of specialist in psycho-pedagogy, physical education, occupational therapy and social services Sérgio detected that Capoeira has a vast therapeutic potential based on its philosophy, rich set of movements and art of interaction between its practitioners.
The project was initiated to help children, youth and elderly people with mental and physical disabilities. Autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy are the common examples of pathologies which can be treated by means of Capoeira. Capoeira therapy can be practiced by any person independent on the age, sex and weight and promotes better functional capacity and waste of calories. Even blind people or people with severe disabilities like people who use wheelchairs can benefit from this therapy.
It evolves such physical qualities as force, flexibility, balance and coordination through the techniques of respiration, stretching, exercises using only own body weight. It remotes the emotional, mental and physical blocking of the body attributable to elderly people or people with disabilities. One of difference to traditional Capoeira is the rhythm and intensity. There is “ginga” (basic Capoeira step), traditional Capoeira kicks and “esquivas” (evasion movements). This therapy has also an artistic component appreciated a lot by patients. Through the presentations, monthly “rodas”, “Batizados” practitioners have a chance to demonstrate their movements and gingas, provoking the feeling of being real artists and improving the self-esteem.
The training of Ginga Therapy starts from the prolonged session of warm up and stretching to prepare the muscles. Then, as in traditional Capoeira, come exercises individual and group. Music and singing are also used as a way of socializing. Obviously there are no jumps, saltos and acrobatic movements.
– Assist during Capoeira classes for elderly people and children with disabilities;
– Play musical instruments and sing;
– Interact with the patients;
– Help in organizing events.
– Good knowledge of Portuguese (or language course on site);
– Capoeira practitioner (able to do basic movements and play at least one musical instrument);
– Interest and motivation to work with elderly people and people with disabilities;
– Committed, reliable, positive attitude.
You can only learn something well if you are able to teach it. So even if you never plan to become a “professor” of Capoeira you can benefit from volunteering for Ginga Therapy. Teaching Capoeira to the people with some limitations, you will learn ultimate principles of the movements you have probably never thought about.
Furthermore, volunteers have a possibility to attend traditional Capoeira trainings at Muzenza group.