It’s what we’ve all talked about. There’s no denying it. They’re baaaaaaack…the holidays are here! We know, you’re either doing the happy dance right now or hiding your head under a pillow. But ready or not, the holiday season is upon us and we wanted to take the opportunity to shed light on some organizations worth your gratitude (and donations) for operating behind the scenes and making it their mission to help make the world a better, more conscious, more compassionate place. Happy season of giving!
Give Back Yoga makes it their purpose to bring yoga to people and populations who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to experience it. Through collaborations with Yoga for Vets, Prison Yoga Project and Eat Breathe Thrive, they are able to continue their mission. Their Yoga for Warriors campaign provides free books to veterans and active military personnel.
The Message: “The experience of yoga is to go beyond separateness, alienation, and diversity and fully recognize the fundamental unity of the universe and the underlying connectedness among all beings, communities, nations and religions.”
Serving East Africa and empowering over 250,000 Kenyans a year through yoga, 98 AYP teachers teach in prisons, schools, special need centers, HIV/AIDS support groups, deaf schools and rural villages.
The Message: We are dedicated to delivering all that yoga has to offer to the diverse communities of East Africa, while at the same time providing opportunities for members of the global yoga community to participate and contribute.
Street Yoga provides yoga programs and classes for at-risk youth and underserved communities. Their approach of yoga, mindful breathing and compassionate communication is intended to provide youth, families and caregivers the tools to heal from past traumas and overcome obstacles.
The Message: Street Yoga builds capacity in youth to overcome trauma and to create meaningful, healthy lives through yoga and mindfulness.
Bent On Learning has been bringing yoga to New York City classrooms for over 10 years. With 136 classes a week in 16 schools, BOL has provided yoga to over 12,000 urban youth as of 2011, and they continue to serve the city’s children through their efforts to integrate yoga, not after school, but right into the classroom setting.
The Message: By providing every child with their own mat and integrating the practice of yoga into their daily routine, Bent On Learning helps children learn to feel better about themselves, release stress, and calm their emotions— all of which makes them healthier and happier.
As a start-up organization, Yoga Foster is already providing free yoga programs and free yoga training and resources for teachers in lower-income public schools. With 200 trained volunteer yoga instructors in 4 major cities, Yoga Foster has served over 2,500 students.
The Message: Yoga Foster is bridging the creativity gap, boosting kids’ imagination, self esteem, and fitness by providing school teachers with everything they need to host a program in their classroom — all for free.
The Baltimore-based Holistic Life Foundation was developed with the intention of helping to nurture the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities. Through stress-reduction and mindfulness training, plus mentoring and after school programs, the HLF works with schools and supporting partners to bring the tools of yoga and meditation to Baltimore’s inner-city youth.
The Message: Through yoga, mindfulness, and self-care HLF demonstrates deep commitment to learning, community, and stewardship of the environment as well as developing high-quality evidence based programs and curriculum to improve community well-being.
This collaborative collective was founded by several organizations with one joined mission: to bring mindful yoga to underserved communities, and foster joy, resilience and well being in every person, regardless of circumstance. Becoming a member supports their efforts in the field of Yoga Service and enables the continuation of the annual Yoga Service Conference at the Omega Institute.
The Message: Our mission is to develop a community of professional support in the field of yoga service, engaged in helping YSC members move from inspired to effective in using the tools of yoga and mindfulness to reach underserved and vulnerable populations.
While not a non-profit, the Yoga and Body Image Coalition was organized to take on the very important issues of accessibility, body positivity, and diversity in yoga. Become a supporter and help the YBIC in their work to create safe spaces for bodies of all types and their efforts to provide comprehensive body image education for yoga teachers, community and media outlets.
The Message: Our mission not only advocates yoga as an essential tool in personal transformation, from the inside out, but also includes a critical social justice component by challenging industry leaders and media creators to expand their vision of what a yogi looks like.
Have another one? Add your suggestions in the comments! #seasonsgivings