We believe that the methodology of classical yoga (including asana, breathing, and meditation) is a tangible tool for transforming human consciousness. The experience of yoga is to go beyond separateness, alienation, and diversity and fully recognize the fundamental unity of the unverse and the underlying connectedness among all beings, communities, nations and religions.
This experience takes us from “self-centered” to ”community-centered” and beyond. We believe we can pass the gift of yoga, one person at a time, thus empowering individuals and building communities, and helping to reduce suffering in this world.
Give Back Yoga Foundation believes in making yoga available to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the transformational benefits of this powerful practice. We do this by supporting and funding certified yoga teachers in all traditions to offer the teachings of yoga to under-served and under-resourced socio-economic segments of the community and inspire grassroots social change and community cooperation.
The Give Back Yoga Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization under Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Federal Tax ID: 20-8666751
VACT Vendor #: 37348
DUNN #: 969429377
The Give Back Yoga Foundation prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. Give Back Yoga also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to all Give Back Yoga Foundation events and resources.
Beryl Bender Birch, world renowned yoga teacher and author of Power Yoga, Beyond Power Yoga, and Boomer Yoga has been an avid student of yoga and the study of consciousness since l971. With degrees in English and philosophy, Beryl has traveled extensively in India and has been teaching classical yoga and Vedantic and Buddhist philosophy for 38 years. She began training yoga teachers as “spiritual revolutionaries” in l980 and was only one of seven American women named by Yoga Journal in its “Innovators Shaping Yoga Today” issue. She is the director-founder of The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute and The Give Back Yoga Foundation.x close
A member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, she studied at Yoga Center Amherst with Patty Townsend, completing her 200 hour and 500 hour programs in embodyoga®. She completed 200 hour and 500 hour programs with Beryl Bender Birch and a teacher training with David Swenson. At the Himalayan Institute, Suzanne completed the year long Living Tantra program taught by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. She serves as a board member of the Give Back Yoga Foundation. For the past several years, she has worked with Veterans with PTSD in a program called PPRP (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Residential Rehabilitation Program). The program teaches Veterans yoga and its many practices to help them manage the effects of PTSD. This work led her to study and learn the practical aspects of what benefits Veterans in a yoga program receive. Her experiences along the way taught her that teachers require additional training tailored to the specific needs of Veterans. With Dr. Daniel Libby, Suzanne co-founded The Veterans Yoga Project and Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans with PTSD. The program trains other yoga therapists to effectively use yoga to help Veterans. Trainings are offered nationwide.x close
Rob Schware is the Executive Director of the Give Back Yoga Foundation and President of the Yoga Service Council. Rob’s yoga career began in 1993 at Omega in a class with renowned yoga instructors Thom Birch and Beryl Bender Birch. He’s studied since with Beryl, David Ingalls, and Suzie Hurley.
Rob was a senior manager for two decades at the World Bank; he began searching for a way to give back to his yoga teachers, whom he appreciated so much. He wanted to combine his development and project management expertise with his passion for yoga by forming an organization whose mission it is to bring yoga to underserved populations.
He has been married to Alice Trembour for 27 years, which, like yoga, is in and of itself a regular commitment to a practice. They have three children.x close
Ann is the owner and director of the Studio Bamboo Institute of Yoga in Virginia Beach, where she teaches a variety of classes emphasizing technique and alignment, intensives, and teacher trainings at the 200-hour and 500-hour levels. She feels privileged to provide classes in Adaptive Yoga to veterans returning from combat and to people with disabilities. She instructs workshops across the country including the East Coast and Hawaii Spirit Festivals. Ann has always felt the need to give to the community through self service, aside from Studio Bamboo, she works with the Exalted Warrior Program, sits on the Board of the Give Back Yoga Foundation, and is an Ambassador for Lululemon, locally giving back to her community. On her off time, Ann enjoys hanging out with her family and spending time on the beach.x close
When a fellow stressed-out work colleague dragged her to her first yoga class, over 20 years ago, Jill discovered the healing potential of yoga. She kept coming back to yoga for the way it made her feel: calmer, stronger, more grounded, more in touch with her true self. In 2005 she started teaching yoga to share these gifts with others. Jill teaches general populations, seniors, and cancer survivors, as well as staff and beneficiaries at various inner-city nonprofits in Washington, DC. She is grateful to the teachers who have highly influenced her: Rod Stryker, Marion Griffin, Anne Wutchiett, Liz Marks, and Suzie Hurley. She serves on the boards of the Give Back Yoga Foundation and the Mid-Atlantic Yoga Association. She is also a member of the Sitar Arts Center Leadership Council and a trustee of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation. When she’s not doing yoga, she is with her two teenage sons, reading, out on her bike, or in the park with her dog.x close
Stan took his first yoga class in 1991 and began a dedicated ashtanga yoga practice in 1997. Having moved to New York from Colorado 13 years ago, Stan went from catchin’ air snowboarding deep in the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains to catchin’ air ashtanga style in New York City, the Hamptons and Greenwich, CT. Through being a Board Member of GBYF and co-owner of Kaia Yoga Complete Wellness Centers in Westport and Greenwich CT, one of Stan’s missions is to provide yoga for all children everywhere and has chosen to begin with Fairfield County where he resides. Along with an extensive background in bodywork, he has completed his 1,000-hour yoga teaching certification through Beryl’s the Hard and the Soft Yoga Institute. Stan has also studied with many senior Ashtanga teachers and, in 2005 and 2006, traveled to India for further study with Sri K Pattabhi Jois. His traditional approach to Ashtanga allows practitioners to develop a safe and mindful practice and take what they learn into their daily lives. One of Stan’s favorite things to do is spend time with his beautiful 4 year old daughter Kaia.x close
Rod Stryker is widely considered to be one of the pre-eminent yoga and meditation teachers in the United States. He is the founder of ParaYoga and has taught Tantra, meditation and Hatha Yoga for more than 25 years. He is one of the few Western teachers capable of articulating an authentic experience––one that has been practiced and handed down from teacher to student for literally thousands of years. Rod’s new book The Four Desires, is now available.x close
Seane Corn is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher known for her impassioned activism, unique self-expression, and inspirational style of teaching that incorporates both the physical and mystical aspects of the practice of yoga. Her Vinyasa classes are an eclectic fusion of various healing and spiritual modalities, making them challenging, intuitive, insightful and uplifting. Seen on The Today Show and selected by Nike to represent yoga, she has been featured in commercials, print and various articles and on the covers of numerous magazines including Yoga Journal, Fit Yoga, Healing Retreats and Inner Vision. As a strong and articulate voice for social change, she is also the national yoga ambassador for YouthAIDS, co-creator of the Off the Mat, Into the World programs and co-founder of Bare Witness Humanitarian Tours.x close
Gurmukh Khalsa, is the co-founder and director of Golden Bridge Nite Moon, Los Angeles’ and New York City’s premier center for the study and practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. For four decades students in Los Angeles and around the world have sought out her classes in Kundalini Yoga, Meditation, and Prenatal and Post-Natal Yoga. Since being baptized 40 years ago with the Sikh spiritual name meaning, “One who helps thousands across the world ocean,” Gurmukh has dedicated her life to fulfilling the destiny of her name. Gurmukh’s book, The Eight Human Talents, has been a long-time yoga best-seller along with her many DVDs. Gurmukh founded Seva Corp., a nonprofit organization that supports many schools and orphanages in India, the U.S.A., Africa, Tibet, and Bhutan. She travels the world, training teachers in Kundalini Yoga, Khalsa Way Pre- and Post-Natal Yoga, Mommy & Me, and Toddlers’ and Children’s Yoga. As her Teacher Yogi Bhajan said, “We came not to gather students, but to create teachers.” Gurmukh has been married for 28 years and has a 27-year-old daughter.x close
David Swenson began practicing yoga at the age of 13. His older brother, Doug, was his first teacher. They practiced Hatha Yoga from whatever books they could find. David’s introduction to Ashtanga came in 1973 when he met David Williams and Nancy Gilgoff in Encinitas, Calif. In 1975, the pair brought K. Pattabhi Jois to the United States for the first time, and David was fortunate enough to be there. He then initiated studies directly with the master. He made his first trip to Mysore in 1977 and learned the full Ashtanga system as it was originally taught by K. Pattabhi Jois. David is recognized today as one of the world’s foremost practitioners and instructors of Ashtanga Yoga.x close
Patty Townsend is the director of Yoga Center Amherst in Massachusetts and developer of the embodyoga® in-depth yoga study and teacher training programs. She has been a student of yoga since 1968 and began training yoga teachers in Los Angeles in 1985. Her profound knowledge of alignment and anatomy, gained through her completed certificate programs in Embodied Anatomy and Embodied Developmental Movement with Bonnie Bainbridge and the School for Body-Mind Centering, make her a wonderful addition to the Give Back Yoga Advisory Board.x close
Matthew Sanford’s inspirational story began at 13 when he survived a devastating car accident that killed his father and sister and left him permanently paralyzed from the chest down. In the decades since, Matthew has become a public speaker, the award-winning author of Waking, a nationally recognized yoga teacher, and founder of the non-profit Mind Body Solutions whose mission is to help the millions of people living with trauma, loss and disability become measurably healthier, happier and “whole” by awakening the mind-body connection—in these individuals, their caregivers and the rehabilitation system.
In all contexts his message is the same: The courage to transcend comes from within— by deepening the connection between mind and body. Answering the call from people nationwide, Matthew and MBS have released “Beyond Disability” a one-of-a-kind practice DVD that now allows any individual living with a disability to learn and experience Matthew’s pioneering mind-body fundamentals step-by-step.x close
Cyndi Lee, Founder of OM yoga, has been teaching the OM yoga method — vinyasa integrated with precise alignment and the meditative elements of mindfulness and compassion — since 1996. She is a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, studying with Gelek Rimpoche since 1990. Cyndi is known worldwide for her playful, smart, soulful, no-baloney, highly effective teaching. She is the author of Yoga Body Buddha Mind, OM yoga: A Guide to Daily Practice and writes for Yoga Journal.x close
John Schumacher, founder and director of Unity Woods Yoga Center, has practiced yoga for more than 30 years and has taught in the Washington area since 1973. John has studied in India with B.K.S. Iyengar, the world’s foremost yoga master, many times since 1981 and is a certified senior Iyengar yoga teacher. Cited by Yoga Journal as one of “25 American originals who are shaping yoga today,” John is one of the country’s leading yoga teachers. He has spoken about the practice and benefits of yoga on radio and television, has lectured at the Smithsonian Institute, and has produced two best-selling audiocassette tapes.x close
Reverend Jaganath is the founder and spiritual head of the Yoga Life Society and author of Inside the Yoga Sutras: A Comprehensive Sourcebook for the Study and Practice of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and Awaken: Inside Yoga Meditation. Since 1973 he has taught yoga at universities, prisons, yoga centers, and interfaith programs both here and abroad.x close
Desiree Rumbaugh is an internationally recognized yoga teacher with unquenchable enthusiasm for life, love and healing. She blends playful humor with an authentic inquiry into the nature of being to help her students discover their own power, courage and beauty. Her passion for teaching both the art and the science of yoga is fueled in part by her own experience recovering from deep grief as a bereaved parent. For Desiree, yoga has been a life-saver emotionally as well as physically. With longtime studies in Iyengar and Anusara yoga, she brings 25 years of experience, experimentation and creativity to her ever-evolving, outside-of-the-box style of teaching. Desiree travels the world full-time sharing her compassion and her joy with others interested in the transformational power of yoga. She has produced a DVD series entitled “Yoga to the Rescue” and is a regular contributor to Yoga Journal, having also appeared on its cover. Desiree supports the Art of Yoga Project serving teenage girls in the juvenile justice system. She lives with her husband in southern California.x close
Founder and co-owner of Virayoga, Elena has taught yoga for over 14 years and has studied with master teachers including Cyndi Lee, Erich Schiffman, Rodney Yee, John Friend, Douglas Brooks, and Hugo Cory. She holds Reiki Levels I/II Certification and practices Pranic Healing. From the Great Lawn at Central Park in New York to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, she is honored to offer larger-scale experiences of yoga. But her true privilege and service is in shifting awareness within the smallest interactions – one family, one household at a time.
As the Executive Producer of ON MEDITATION, Elena is curating a series of short films regarding the reality of meditation. Along with her own Art of Attention writings, Elena contributes to the Huffington Post, Positively Positive, The Chalkboard Mag, elephant journal, TheDailyLove, and is an original board member of YogaEarth. Her first book, Art of Attention: Book One, will be released in late 2012.x close
Biff Mithoefer teaches Yin Yoga workshops and teacher trainings in the U.S. and Internationally. He is the author of The Yin Yoga Kit, and co-author of The Therapeutic Yoga Kit. Biff is a founder and director of the Jamtse Sponsorship Project, for the support of Tibetan refuge children. He lives with his family in Dorset, Vermont.x close
Recognized worldwide as a teacher of Sanskrit and Yoga philosophy, Manorama combines her earthly charm with a healthy dose of humor to guide students in bridging the ordinary with the spiritually sublime. She evokes healing through the universal arts of language and conscious living, believing that when we use our voices authentically and confidently, we create harmony between ourselves and others.
As the founder of Sanskrit Studies, Manorama offers a direct, accessible and joyful approach to Sanskrit, encouraging her students to focus on its dynamic sound qualities and architectural beauty rather than simply memorizing grammar. She offers Sanskrit programs for yoga teacher trainings, open workshops and retreats; and tours the globe to train students in Luminous Shabda, a path that fuses sacred teachings with everyday life through Sanskrit, Mantra, Meditation and Yoga philosophy.
Celebrated for her haunting melodies in chanting, Manorama has been featured on numerous albums, including Krishna Das and Ty Burhoe’s Invocation and Wade Morisette’s Maha Moha: The Great Delusion. Teachers and students alike treasure her recordings of Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, Learn to Chant Yoga Invocations and Learn to Pronounce Yoga Poses.x close