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 Foundation
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.”
Africa Yoga Project
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
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.
Holistic Life Foundation
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.
Yoga Service Council
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.
Yoga and Body Image Coalition
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
Yoga Behind Bars
We are a Washington state nonprofit organization that offers yoga and meditation classes to men, women, and youth behind bars every day, giving our students the opportunity for rehabilitation, growth, and healing. Our students experience calm, inner peace, and a sense of self-worth. We want to be part of the solution to end mass incarceration by sharing these empowering tools to help our students succeed when they return to our communities.
Starting with one yoga teacher in one facility in 2008, today a team of 40+ volunteer yoga instructors teach 22 classes a week in nine locations around Puget Sound. We have recently begun offering a teacher training for prisoners.
Our certified volunteer teachers offer opportunities for healing and positive change and encourage a shift for the whole person. More than 150 yoga teachers from around the country have participated in our unique teacher training.
“A light in every cell…”
Yoga Behind Bars
Hello! I’m a fan of YogaDork and am also the founder and director of Hands to Heart Center – Yoga for the People. HTHC is a non-profit yoga service organization that provides free yoga classes to people living with poverty and trauma in Boston. Since it’s founding in 2014, HTHC has provided more than 500 free yoga classes in community centers, detention units, domestic violence shelters, high poverty schools, homeless shelters, public housing developments and residential treatment programs.
I’ve a member of the Yoga Service Council, an Accessible Yoga Ambassador and a featured teacher on the Yoga Activist website. I’m also one of five finalists in the CharityWarrior Challenge (charitywarriorschallenge.com).
I’d love it if you would consider including Hands to Heart Center in your 2016 Giving Season blog. Our website is http://www.handstoheartcenter.org, our Facebook page is http://www.facebook/handstoheartcenter and our Twitter account is Hands2HeartCtr.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need any additional information.
Thanks so much!
Since 2014, Transformation Yoga Project serves people impacted by trauma, addiction and incarceration each year in greater Philadelphia area recovery centers, jails, sober living homes, prisons, youth detention centers, and community transition centers. In 2015, we impacted over 5000 lives, and are on pace to far surpass that number in 2016.
On #GivingTuesday we’re calling on our community to Unite to Impact 10,000 Lives!, and have a goal to raise $50,000…and we’re about half way there.
We are a nonprofit bringing yoga to underserved and underrepresented individuals through a theme based yoga program. We teach our students through a trauma informed mindset, and since inception in 2014 we have partnered with 70+ organizations to include nonprofits, school districts, charter schools, alternative schools as well as our state and city’s Correctional Department.
Since the start of 2016, we have taught 20,987 DIFFERENT individuals through offering 21 classes a week, 50 weeks a year. We believe we can heal trauma from the inside out, and we teach our students that they have the power to choose their own outcomes, no matter what has occured to them in their past.
Thank you for allowing us to post about our organization!