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

SUCCESS STORY, Grameen Koota, India

Ansuya Gomatesh Shetty: A Widow with Means and Hope


Sowmya and Shwetha, Ansuya's daughters, have both completed their high school education. Ansuya dreams of marrying them into good homes so that they may begin families of their own.

"In the future I will build a larger shop," she declares.


When Ansuya (38) lost her husband in 2003, she lacked both income and vocational skills. She did, however, know how to cook and took a job at the local primary school, earning Rs 1000 ($20) per month. Simultaneously, she enrolled as a borrower with Grameen Koota and used the money to set up a small provisions store in her village.

Ansuya manages her role as a micro entrepreneur and single parent with help from her 64-year-old mother, Jayamma who manages the provisions store while her daughter works at the school. "It keeps me busy," she laughs.

Ansuya and Jayamma

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 one million women.




Yoganation Bhakti flyerYoganation's Bhakti Vinyasa Class with Sara Ivanhoe
A special 90-minute class followed by Sambazon and more refreshments!

SUNDAY, JULY 18, 11:45AM-1:45PM
Yogis Anonymous
1221 2nd St., Santa Monica 90401
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Save your space by registering through 1-click PayPal

Midsummer's Night Sangha flyerMidsummer's Night Sangha: A Night of Fun, Flow, and Friends with Sarah Ezrin, Mary Beth La Rue, and Jocelyn Kay Lee
A fun 90-minute class followed by great raffle prizes from Lululemon and Manduka, as well as refreshments.

SUNDAY, JULY 25, 6:30-8:30PM
Aanand Saagar
606 Venice Blvd. Unit H (at Abbot Kinney Blvd.), Venice 90291
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A Two Day Special Donation Class Series with Amanollah, Suzanne Strachan, Rose Ghavamim, and Kevin Hayunga

Jayamon Center
18345 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana 91356

In the Mudra Yoga & Dance Studio
21835 Sherman Way, Canoga Park 91303

For both evenings, Sura Das and the Temple Bajan Band will have a kirtan, 5-6pm, followed by lovely Indian dinner donated by Govinda's!

View event on Facebook

*YGB will be launching an exciting YGB Donation Class Relay across the US and the World. YGB Ambassadors Elena Brower in NY and Kino MacGregor in Miami will kick this off in September!

View updates and more upcoming events on our Facebook page and web site!




  • Ally HamiltonAlly Hamilton joins the YGB Ambassadors!

    YGB is excited and grateful for Ally's dedicated support of YGB at the Yogis Anonymous studio, along with her husband, Dorian Cheah. It means a lot to us to have a local studio and their community provide such commitment to our campaign.

    From Ally:
    "As a yoga teacher and studio owner I'm committed to and excited about supporting Yoga Gives Back. The practice of yoga has changed my life and given me so much. It seems the very least we can do as a community is try to give something back to the country from where it came. Sometimes it can feel like the problems of the world are insurmountable. The fact is, a very small amount of money (what most people spend on a couple of yoga classes), can really change someone's life."

  • Lila French art at Liberation YogaLila French is generously donating 25% of sales from her great artwork currently exhibited at Liberation Yoga (La Brea and 1st) through August 10th. Check out http://lilasfrench.com/liberation.

  • We are excited to welcome two new YGB team members: Naoko Doi and Patrick Gookin.



YGB explores new ways to support microfinance in India

Can micro financing reach the poorest in India? Can we reach the poorest in more direct ways? We have been exploring answers to these questions. Here is one organization YGB has decided to support.

NISHTHA Self Help GroupNISHTHA is a non-governmental organization that has been working for more than 35 years in Kolkotta, West Bengal. NISHTHA, working in over 250 villages, empowers impoverished women and girls by employing a number of programs to improve their social and economic conditions. This region, like many in rural India, suffers from illiteracy, child marriage, poverty and malnutrition, with most people living on less that $2 a day. Most of the adult women have not been to school. With neither training nor money, women cannot purchase even the essentials. Conflicts within the family and diminished self worth are a result. This is why NISHTHA started a project called "Self Helf Group", where abusive situations can be addressed and women are made aware of their rights.

As a part of its SHG effort, NISHTHA started micro credit groups in 56 villages, three years ago. So far, 112 groups have been formed and are working well. This has been a very positive experience in that there has not been a single defaulter amongst the loan borrowers.

To support NISHTHA's works, YGB is thrilled to collaborate with Barbara Piner, founder of ASTI (American Service to India), who has been assisting the poorest in India since 1981. YGB will send portions of our funds directly to NISHTHA, and we will continue to explore more ways to get directly involved. We are also planning to visit them this fall and report back to the YGB community.





Yoga Gives Back Tag Team Benefit Class: Yoga From The Heart

Thanks for another powerful team class by Yogis Anonymous teachers, Ally Hamilton, Jorgen Christiansson, Charlie Samos, Briohny Smyth, and Kourtney Kaas. As always, thanks to Uncle Josh for the best vegan desserts and platters, also by Euphoria Café. Raffle items were generously donated by Manduka, Yogitoes, Evolve Lifewear, and Le Pain Quotidien. Thank you all!!


The Teachings of the Buddha
with Etan Boritzer

Etan's in-depth talk about Buddha's life and teachings fascinated us all, though two hours was not really long enough for this!


Anusara Inspired Bhakti Flow
with April Ritchey

Thank you April for your enthusiasm and continued support!!

View more event photos on our Facebook page!


Ansuya Gomatesh Shetty: A Widow with Means and Hope






Which types of businesses have microfinance borrowers started?

a) livestock
b) produce stand
c) weaving/tailor shop
d) all of these

(Scroll down for answer.)


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Your donation helps Yoga Gives Back's campaign to alleviate poverty in India through microfinancing. To make a donation, click the link below.


Do You Know...? answer:
d) all of these.
Source: Grameen Foundation


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