E-Newsletter - March 2010
Yoga Gives Back
For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life.

SUCCESS STORY, Grameen Koota, India

Sudhamani: From Pay Phones to Ironing




"When my husband saw how successful I became after my first loan, he got the courage to start his own business."

In 2006 Sudhamani obtained her first loan of Rs. 7000 from Grameen Koota. She used the money to set up a shop in her village. After a successful first year, she decided to help her husband set up an enterprise of his own.

Her second loan from Grameen Koota was invested in an electrical wiring enterprise, managed by her husband Dinesh. Soon, they expanded the services offered by investing in a pay-phone as well as lighting equipment that could be rented by others in the community. Not long after, they added basic ironin.

In the years since 2006, they moved into a house of their own and remain committed to educating their two daughters.

Ayesha D'Souza of Grameen Koota provides us with regular updates on women whose lives have been significantly improved thanks to micro lending. In addition to providing micro loans, Grameen Koota is providing health and hygiene workshops for member families, as well as launching water and sanitation programs. All of these programs are key to insuring that members' progress is sustainable and that poverty is eliminated. Grameen Koota now reaches over 300,000 women in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra, with the goal of reaching to one million women.




Yogis Anonymous flyerFinding Balance: Giving to Yourself So You Can Give to Others with Felicia Tomasko, Angela Kukahn, Brian Aganad, Mary Beth LaRue, and Ally Hamilton

SATURDAY, MARCH 20, 7:30-9:30PM
Yogis Anonymous
1221 2nd St., Santa Monica 90401
View event on Facebook

Women's Empowering Workshop 2010 Series: A delightful and playful embodiment of Yoga, dance, and meditation with Hala Khouri, Cristi Christensen and Isabelle Du Soleil

Exhale CenterFRIDAY, APRIL 2, 8:00-10:00PM
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement
245 S. Main St., Venice 90291
View event on Facebook

F.U.N. Yoga StudioA Day of Giving with the F.U.N. Yoga Studio
Our first event in Riverside!

F.U.N. Yoga Studio
775 Blaine St., Riverside 92507
View event on Facebook






Yoga Gives Back would like to thank Yogis Anonymous founders Ally Hamilton and Dorian Cheah for generously and enthusiastically launching the first in a series of special donation classes, proceeds of which go to YGB. We appreciate the team of passionate teachers who participated: (YA owner) Ally Hamilton, John Sahakian, Chani Nicholas, Charlie Samos, and Meredith Hines. Each one brought their own unique style to create a challenging and relaxing experience for body and soul.

Thanks also go to the acoustic improv musical accompaniment which was provided by Daniel Stewart, along with Emily Kerns on vocals, Jeff Harris on Guitar and vocals, and Greg Klimuck on drums.

Post-class refreshments were provided courtesy of "Uncle" Josh Nelson, Sambazon organic acai beverages, and Whole Foods Market Santa Monica.




Yoga Gives Back is delighted to introduce our five Ambassadors. These renowned yoga teachers committed themselves to supporting our efforts to fight poverty in India through micro-finance in 2009. They donated proceeds from classes, endorsed us on websites and in publications, and generally helped build awareness for the cause. Thanks to their support, YGB has been able to expand its network of yoga studios, teachers and students. We greatly appreciate their continuing support in 2010 and invite more yoga teachers to join the efforts of this great team in "giving back to India." This year's Ambassadors are:

Elena Brower

Clay Kyle

Kino McGregor

John Sahakian

Isabelle Du Soleil




This month, Yoga Gives Back is happy to say "thank you" for...

  • Aanand Saagar Free studio space donated
    Arvind Chittumalla, owner of Aanand Saagar Wellness Center has offered Yoga Gives Back a free space every 4th Sunday of the month to hold donation classes. We have received a tremendous response from Westside teachers who have suggested a number of interesting programs. Thank you Arvind for your generous offer, we are truly excited about the collaboration. Having a regular space will help us to achieve one of our key missions: to continue to increase awareness of how micro lending can change lives for poor women in India. This exciting new monthly program will be announced regularly.

  • Donations
    Thank you for your generosity. Portions of proceeds were donated by Chani Nicholas (from her workshop in February), Elena Brower (from The Y Catalog), and Dancing Shiva studio (from Joel Bender's Sanskrit Series). We truly appreciate your continuous support!!!

  • YGB new team
    Our team is growing stronger than ever with new dedicated members, Dianne Brooks, Jordan Grader, Lila French, and Shelly Horn from New York City.

Sudhamani: From Pay Phones to Ironing






What percentage of the world lives on less than two dollars per day?

a) 15% b) 25% c) 50%
d) 75%

(Scroll down for answer.)


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Do You Know...? answer: c) 50%.
Source: Grameen Foundation


Yoga Gives Back is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.

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