E-Newsletter - February 2011
Yoga Gives Back
For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life.

SUCCESS STORY, South of Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Direct funding project "Sister Aid" kicks off, providing opportunities for education and economic independence.

SaraswatiLast October, the YGB team visited NISHTHA, a non-governmental organization that has served over 250 villages south of Kolkata, for over 35 years. NISHTHA supports women and girls who live in poor, rural areas and have particularly difficult lives with limited choices. Due to a lack of education and opportunity, many find themselves married in their teenage years, often leading to a downward spiral of dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, dependency, abuse, and malnutrition.

Saraswati, a 35-year-old mother with three children and one granddaughter, received a small loan of Rs. 2000 from NISHTHA in 2006. She started making profits with rice paddy sales and was an inspiration to other village women. Today, 20 women run rice paddy businesses. They follow NISHTHA's micro-saving and credit model, where it is mandatory for each and every member to save money. For the first time, they are better equipped for life's challenges and able to plan for their children's education.

Saraswati—"My mother did not have this kind of freedom. My father made me marry young. I want my daughter to have a good education and enjoy a life with dignity."

During our visit, we witnessed this generation of women truly making the best of their new opportunities to break the vicious cycle of poverty and gender discrimination. We are so inspired and grateful to be able to extend our support to their effort.

Following this successful model, YGB is now funding a group of 22 women in Tripuranagar Village. With continued YGB support, NISHTHA provides one-on-one guidance and vocational training. YGB is also funding a year of school tuition for one daughter per family.

Your contribution makes this project possible, and we will keep you updated on its progress.

Please also follow the "Sister Aid" program updates on our Facebook page.

Tripuranagar village
Tripuranagar village
Tripuranagar mother and daughter



Exciting News!

Emily GopaulYGB Welcomes New Representatives

London-based yoga teacher Emily Gopaul joined YGB to entice the UK yoga community into supporting this campaign.

Emily—"Living in London, one has access to all manner of beautiful studios and centres. Often our yoga practice slots into a busy programme of other activities; it is easy to forget that yoga was not invented merely to feed our individual sense of well-being! Yoga Gives Back provide a positive way to revere traditional yoga. In this way, we can 'use' our yoga as a way to begin building bridges, mutual respect, and a sense of responsibility between international communities. I think this is a swell idea and look forward to working with the team at YGB this year!"

We are so thrilled to have our first overseas branch and look forward to developing more this year. If you are interested in representing YGB in your city, please email us at info@yogagivesback.org.

Sarah-Jane Johnson also joined the YGB Team as our Media Relations and Publicity expert. Born in the UK, Sarah-Jane is currently based in Aspen, Colorado.

Peter Alejandro joined the Los Angeles team as a Strategist, and Lisa Goldenberg is now a New York team member.

Welcome everyone!!!!



YGB Donation Class Relay Update

The YGB virtual torches are passing through Long Beach and Santa Barbara, connecting the global yoga community. Want to start a relay from your city? Check out the YGB Donation Class Relay page for more details.

Long Beach event flyer"Leading the Heart Toward the Seat of the Soul..."
Ramona Tamulinas, Kim Wolff, and Michelle Libeu will lead a heartfelt, soul-guided vinyasa class. Lunch generously donated by Open Sesami Long Beach. Great raffle prizes and NISHTHA arts and crafts!!

SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 1:00-4:00PM
Yoga World Studio Downtown
250 West Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802

Long Beach event flyerDonation Class at Source Yoga Studio
Nicole Inglish, Aparna, and Sudama/Vince will host an amazing time with asana, Indian dinner, live music, and more!

SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 1:00-4:00PM
Source Yoga Studio
1911 De La Vina "G", Santa Barbara, CA 93103

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




Yoga Sutra NYC

"Very Open Vinyasa Class to Sponsor Orphan Girls"

YGB Ambassador Sophie Herbert hosts two classes to raise funds for orphan girls at Deenabandhu Orphanage, Karnataka. With Jivamukti-certified Kumiko Buckman and a special meditation by Hari Nam Singh Kahlsa on the 19th.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19th and 26th, 4:00-5:30PM
Yoga Sutra, NYC
6 East 39th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10016
(212) 490-1443

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




Thank you for these very successful events!!


Donation Class Relay "The Last Class of The Year"
with Amy Bratton

Our sincere thanks to Amy, Annie, Todd and the Portland community for expressing such strong support at this New Year's Eve special class. More than 45 people attended this special event, raising over $600!!


"Resolve to Give Back!"
with Scott Lewicki

Many thanks to Scott and 30 passionate attendants who also raised over $600! We also made our first sales of NISHTHA artisan crafts at this event! We are grateful for the soulful live music provided by the Temple Bhajan Band to "Give Back". Delicious vegetarian dinner was generously donated by Govinda's.

View more event photos on our Facebook page!




February 4, 2011 - Elephant Journal
YGB Ambassador Elena Brower chose Yoga Gives Back in her Official Yoga Valentine's Gift List. Thanks, Elena!!

January 2011 - LALA Newspaper (Japanese newspaper in Southern US)
Another side of a professional: "Supporting self-sustainability", featuring YGB Co-Founder Kayoko Mitsumatsu


Direct Funding Project "Sister Aid"







How much of India's population is illiterate?

a) 25%, b) 40%, c) 60%

(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:
b) 40%

Source: IndiaOneStop.com


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

Questions, comments, want to get involved?
Email info@yogagivesback.org.