Pepsi is generally known around these parts as the big megalomaniacal sugar-smacked corporate monster trying to rot our teeth and give us health problems, but every once in a while they do something to make us happy that even a portion of the gazillions of dollars of profit they make every year is put towards something worthwhile*. This time it’s a campaign called Refresh Everything, which in short is a grant program open to anyone and everyone who has an idea, which is then voted on by the public (you and me). Why do yogadorks care? Because amongst the thousand+ great causes (and if you look at the current leaders they’re all pretty great), we have some yoga fledglings trying to get a kickstart on their dreams! And the kick is pretty hefty: up for grabs is $1,300,000 – broken into 2 winners for $250k, then 10 each for $50k, $25k and $5k.
Like we said there are so many worthy causes, but here are the ones we found that are yoga-related, should you wish to cast your vote (do it before March 31st!)
Train People with Disabilities to Become Yoga Teachers – Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco
OVERVIEW: “Accessible Yoga Teacher Training” is the only program in the US that meets national standards for training yoga teachers and is truly accessible to people who have physical disabilities.
Because of the way that yoga is taught in the West, teacher training is the most effective way to get a thorough education in yoga and deepen your practice. This program was created to expand access to these powerful and life-changing experience.
Traditional programs are not accessible to people with disabilities for a variety of reasons. People may not feel welcome within the yoga studio environment either because of physical barriers or a lack of basic awareness around disability issues.
Graduates are empowered by their new role as “yoga teacher.” After having spent years in the role of “patient” it can be an inspiring change to become a care provider. In fact, graduates of the program say they overcame years of depression and isolation by participating in this program.
CURRENT RANK: #79 vying for $25k
Develop “(untitled) yogamentary” a documentary film project on yoga – Nichole Patxot and Nan Sandle
OVERVIEW: This feature-length documentary explores the practice of yoga as well as its application in contemporary society. Is yoga the cure-all practitioners claim or a billion-dollar industry with poor regulation and potential to cause physical harm? yogamentary asks fundamental questions, examines the structure and results of yoga-centric programs across the country, and experiments with the effects of introducing yoga into modern day lifestyles.
CURRENT RANK: #245 vying for $25k
Teach Yoga to under served populations of preschool children– Tracy Zeender (Kripalu teacher)
OVERVIEW: Partner with area preschools from September2010 through May 2011, meeting once a week to read a story, have a fiftteen minute yoga sequence and do a fifteen minute follow up activity. The children will be better prepared for their continued development both socially and academically. The children will gain better body awarness, fine motor skills and increased vocabulary as well as social skills.
CURRENT RANK: #249 vying for $25k
Provide free yoga classes to trauma survivors in NYC – MANDALA HOUSE
OVERVIEW: Our local MANDALA HOUSE project will teach mind/body awareness techniques to survivors of traumatic experiences, so people can learn integrative ways to heal themselves.we will partner with local yoga/dance studios to provide free public classes once a week.
classes will be one hour in length.
we will reach out to rape crisis centers, as well as other trauma support groups (9/11, veterans) as a way to build our student base.
deliverables: one weekly free yoga class for 50 weeks.
CURRENT RANK: #132 vying for $5k
*further reading: Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Vs. Coke’s Live Positively: Which Soda Wins The War? (POLL) Huffington Post