Seva Safari: Raising the Bar

July 1st Seva Safari Update from Prison Yoga Project:

Announcement: With great reluctance we must announce the cancellation of the Africa Seva. 

Three months ago the incidence of terrorist attacks in Kenya began to intensify, culminated by the coastal bombing two weeks ago which killed 48 people. The Al Qaeda cell, Al Shababb, with origins in Somalia, has claimed responsibility. They have been linked to the ISIS movement in Iraq. There is no reason to believe that these attacks won’t intensify further. It would seem that their motto must be “afflict the peaceful” because Kenya has been one of the most stable and peaceful African nations. However, the American embassy and other credible sources are recommending restricted tourist travel to and around Nairobi, in increasingly strident terms.http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/kenya-travel-warning.html

We have tentatively rescheduled the seva for January of 2016. We appreciate the passionate interest you, our seva family, have shown for this adventure and the opportunity to work with AYP’s gifted teachers and community. We will continue to stay involved with Africa Yoga Project in their work to restore tranquillity. PYP

 

SEVA SAFARI: September 4th through 13th, 2014

Share your energy and immerse yourself in a once in a lifetime cross-cultural experience! The Give Back Yoga Foundation is proud to support the Yoga Seva Safari in Kenya, a 10-day service adventure organized by Prison Yoga Project and Africa Yoga Project.

Join James Fox for an eye-opening exploration of the techniques used by the Prison Yoga Project-trained teachers in aiding trauma recovery and relief for psycho-emotional issues in more than fifty prisons. Fox, who has spent over twelve years teaching in correctional institutions, has been internationally acknowledged for his expertise in the application of the transformational aspects of yoga and mindfulness in prisoner rehabilitation. He has also designed a special training program for Africa Yoga Project teachers, allowing them to broaden their teaching skills and their understanding of the power of yoga and mindfulness when moderating emotional struggles. The Prison Yoga Project and the Africa Yoga Project hope to procure peaceful changes amongst Kenyan communities through the integration of such methodologies.

During your 10-day journey you will have the opportunity to train alongside Africa Yoga Project teachers, watching the profound transformation of both youth and adults as you help them to resolve their negative behavioral patterns. In addition to the techniques you will learn while working alongside teachers in the Africa Yoga Project community, you will also have the opportunity to spend your free time on wildlife-filled safaris throughout the area.

INVESTMENT

The financial commitment for the Yoga Seva Safari is:

  • Deposit: $500 per person (required payment to reserve spot)
  • Program Fee: $1,500* per person (includes deposit)*
  • Fundraising Commitment:  $4,000**

*Program Fee covers food, transportation, accommodations, and park fees. Program Fee DOES NOT cover airfare or personal items such as gifts and snacks. Not tax deductible.

**Fundraising commitment covers service projects during the program and the continued work of the Africa Yoga Project. Tax deductible.

For more details on the program, its pricing or registration, please contact seva@africayogaproject.org or download the GBYF informational flyerEarly enrollment is highly recommended to reserve your spot. Register now.

 

Thrive and Shine! June 11th Talent Show & Hoopy Hour to Benefit GBYF

Join Give Back Yoga on Wednesday, June 11th for delicious, organic, farm-to-table food and inspiring community at Boulder’s Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place! 10% of the evening’s food purchases and all donations collected through the night will benefit Give Back Yoga’s mission of bringing yoga and mindfulness to underserved communities like first responders, veterans, at-risk teens, prisoners and those with disordered body image.

All donations from the talent show will support Eat, Breathe, Thrive®, Give Back Yoga’s cutting edge, transformative program that integrates yoga, mindfulness and community support to prevent eating disorders, and to help individuals recover from disordered eating and negative body image.

Event Schedule

Location: Shine Restaurant, 2027 13th St. Boulder, CO

Date & Time: June 11, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.

5-7 p.m.: Hoopy Hour with Kristina Sutcliff of O Dance – $6.00

8-10 p.m.: Thrive and Shine Community Give Back Talent Show – $8+ donation at the door

Happy Hour specials begin at 5 pm; dinner served all evening

 Talent Lineup

Jim Beckwith, Live! Music for Yoga

Chuck White

Colleen Vistara with Jeremy Kurn

“One Big Yes”

Christine Moore, ShimmYogini

Kristina Sutcliffe of O Dance and hoop dancer Kristina Brothis

Dana Gonzalez

Scott and Shanti Medina

Pam Mayer of Pam Hoops

The Schiff Dance Collective Training Company

Jinju of Soul Flow Arts

Help Others To Thrive

Support this community event by spreading the word! Share this post, or join our Facebook event and invite others to stop by.  Can’t make it? Help us to give back yoga by making a direct donation to support Eat Breathe Thrive or the Give Back Yoga project of your choice. Every dollar makes a difference.

We are grateful to our sponsors:

CALMING KIDS: Creating a non-violent world by training adults to reach children through yoga.

Brenda Taylor Photography: Headshots, portraits and special events.

Foodie Fuel: High-protein, gluten-free snacks.

Christine Moore, Shimmyogini.

As well as…

            

 

 

        

Call and Response Foundation: Giving Back Through Mindfulness and Music

“The prison is never quiet. There is always the sound of the slamming doors, the shouting officers, the ever-present whoosh of the HVAC system. It is never quiet. I went to yoga thinking it was nothing but stretching, and as a runner I needed a good stretching routine. What I found was peace and quiet. I don’t mean it was quiet in the room…it was, but it is never quiet…what I mean is that I found a place on the mat in the poses that was peaceful to me. I found the moment. I found a connection with my breath and my body that I carried with me each and every day of the week. That helped me so much. The prison is never quiet, but I can find a space inside me that is now. I’ve never had that before. You don’t know how much it means…you really don’t.” – J., Inmate Testimonial

We’re grateful for the partnership of Call and Response Foundation, a registered non-profit that helps communities, prison inmates and youth to find peace and healing through chanting. By bringing partner artists to over 20 outreach sites across the US – including prisons, psychiatric hospitals, schools and institutions – Call and Response is sharing the transformational experience of devotional chanting with those who can benefit.

Call and Response is now working with Give Back Yoga to introduce sacred sound to yoga classes for underserved populations, both by donating CDs to our programs and by connecting teachers with partner musicians.

Conscious music and chanting can provide a myriad of health benefits, says Dr. Kanimozhi, an assistant professor of yoga at the Chennai Research Center in India.

“The chant controls the secretion of stress hormones and acts as a pain reliever,” says Dr. Kanimozhi, who prescribes ‘Aum’ chanting for cancer patients along with other naturopathic medicines. “The chant creates a neuro and psycholinguist effect, while a positive aura forms around your body when you do it.”

Call and Response Foundation is also helping Give Back Yoga to spread the word about Mindful Yoga Therapy toolkits and Prison Yoga training guides which introduce veterans, military families and prisoners to the benefits of yoga and meditation.

Lisa Mase, Outreach Director for Call and Response Foundation, says that this partnership is a way to support the shared mission of bringing healing practices to under-resourced populations.

“It feels like our two organizations are parts of a greater whole that brings yoga, mindfulness, and sacred sound to those who can most benefit,” says Mase.

Call and Response Foundation’s partner musicians generously offer educational materials and free music through the foundation’s online library. Learn more about the sound and spirit of sacred chant by exploring Call and Response Foundation’s free music, essays, mantras, videos, and more.

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Musicians who partner with the Call and Response Foundation take time out of their tours to offer conscious music in prisons, psychiatric facilities, universities, at-risk youth groups, and music therapy programs. The Foundation offers musicians a stipend to do this work. These funds come purely from donation of those who believe in the healing power of conscious music. Please consider supporting the Foundation – every donation counts!

 

Bhakti Fest Gives Back: Celebrate With A GBYF Discount For Shakti Fest

Big news: we’re thrilled to announce that Bhakti Fest has selected Give Back Yoga Foundation as a seva partner for 2014! For every five tickets sold, Bhakti Fest will donate a dollar to support our work of bringing yoga to underserved populations like veterans, at-risk youth, prisoners and more.

Bhakti Fest is also extending a special welcome to the Give Back Yoga service community with a coupon code for $50 off your ticket to Shakti Fest, Bhakti Fest Midwest or Bhakti Fest West. Enter coupon code GBY14 at checkout and save $50 on a 3-day festival pass or senior/student pass. *Offer good on full event and senior tickets only; cannot be combined with any other offer.

Our gratitude to Bhakti Fest for sharing the healing power of yoga, meditation and music with our community, and with the world! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store at Shakti Fest, just a few short weeks away:

Shakti Fest: A Celebration of the Divine Feminine

May 16-18
Joshua Tree Retreat Center
Joshua Tree, CA

Shakti Fest is a celebration of the divine feminine in us all – the ultimate Yogic destination retreat and gathering place for the collective consciousness, where we can discover the pure Bhakti residing in us all. Join internationally renowned yoga teachers, kirtan artists, and workshop leaders including Jai Uttal, Shiva Rea, Saul David Raye, Sara Ivanhoe, Tim Miller, Larissa Stowe, Wah! Donna De Lory, Mark Whitwell and many more. Chant your heart out to over 40 hours of kirtan, practice asanas in any of the 50 unique yoga classes, and deepen your awareness through 36 innovative workshops offered throughout the weekend. Hungry for more? The natural, organic marketplace will offer great goods to fulfill every person’s health needs and taste buds, with an abundant selection of delicious vegetarian and vegan foods.

Not to be missed: the new mystical Awareness Village, an oasis for man, women, and the meeting of the two. The Awareness Village will be filled with workshops, healing sessions, drum circles, tantra exploration, oracles and more. Don’t miss this chance to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul and explore deeper within one’s own—and the universal—Divine Shakti!

 

April Fools Viral Video Launches Major Fundraising for Eat Breathe Thrive

Chelsea Roff’s dream of running her non-profit program Eat Breathe Thrive™ on a full-time basis may just be coming true, thanks to Break.com’s viral video, “The Best Shift Ever.”

Released on April Fool’s Day, the Prank it Forward video features Chelsea being surprised at her daytime waitressing job by diners who showered her with unexpected gifts, from a free vacation to a professional referral for Eat Breathe Thrive™. To date, the video has received nearly 7 million hits on YouTube and 18 million views internationally.

The media frenzy surrounding the video inspired more than 300 articles online, including features by CNN, E! News, People Magazine and USA Today. Appearances on The Today Show and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams also piqued interest beyond the feel-good video, translating into an outpouring of support for Eat Breathe Thrive.

Since the video went live, Eat Breathe Thrive has received over $2,000 in donations routed through The Give Back Yoga Foundation, Eat Breathe Thrive™’s parent organization. Donation classes and tee-shirt sales through the “Don’t Just Survive…THRIVE” Booster campaign are also raising funds for the organization, which aims to bring a clinical program to a new treatment center for every $5,000 raised. And the Eat Breathe Thrive™ team has received numerous offers from corporate sponsors, requests for speaking engagements, and requests for facilitator trainings that will help to launch the program internationally.

To book media appearances, speaking engagements or trainings, please contact Britt Melton at (419) 957-9695 or britt@eatbreathethrive.org.

Download the press release: April Fools Viral Video Launches Major Fundraising for Nonprofit

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Join the movement: help those with eating disorders to move from “surviving” to “thriving” by making a donation to Eat Breathe Thrive.

Empower Shakti International: Supporting Social Change Through Mindfulness

Give Back Yoga Foundation is currently the fiscal sponsor of Empower Shakti International, an organization that is working to improve the lives of women across the globe through mindfulness-based education. Here, we asked Director and Founder Amanda Jade Fiorino to tell us more about Empower Shakti and how it’s transforming the lives of disadvantaged women.

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I’ve always known that I wanted to dedicate my life to leaving a positive impact on the world. In particular, I have always had a passion in helping to drive positive social change within the lives of women. Since my birth, I have witnessed the strength, power and resilience the women in my own life have embodied, and my hope is to embody such qualities in the service of other women.

I founded ESI with the goal of creating a more mindful, empowered and connected global community. A community that helps to give voice to the diverse, complex, challenging and magnificent lives of the women around the world. A community driven by such qualities as compassion, loving-kindness, self-determination, and self-knowledge. Qualities that are cultivated by the practice of Mindfulness.

A key component to ESI’s philosophy lies in recognizing that there is great wisdom resting in the experiences of women’s lives. Part of our work involves sourcing from that wisdom in order to create a program that benefits each community, and speaks to the unique situations that are present. Rather than attempting to transplant a western approach, part of our work is using Mindfulness to listen deeply to the knowledge of the women living in such communities, day-to-day. Sourcing from their experience allows our work to support their efforts in a way that is applicable to their social and cultural circumstances and needs.

Through our Mindfulness-Based Education Program, we partner with women’s organizations so as to equip them with innovative tools that support the process of social change within their lives and communities.

Our MBEP is a program that integrates three primary areas of each person’s life: Breath, Body and Mind. Customizable, each training is different depending on the women we work with, and the community they live in. Training the women who direct each organization reinforces a continued presence of Mindfulness.

The current social ills throughout the world were created by individuals; individuals with perspectives, beliefs and values about how the world should be and how it should look. It is for this reason that we, at ESI, believe that social change begins with each individual; and, that the way change is directed out into the world deeply impacts it’s outcome. We also deeply believe in the positive role women have to play in driving positive social change. The presence of women’s voices, ideas, and experiences have the capacity to uplift the world, and ignite a Mindful revolution. But, in order for that to happen women need to be given the opportunity and the support.

Help us in our mission of creating more mindful, empowered and connected communities, and be a part of making the world a more equal and free place for all women, everywhere.

– Amanda Jade Fiorino, Director and Founder of Empower Shakti International

Learn how Empower Shakti is serving women in Mongolia, Nepal and other destinations, and help Emmy-nominated filmmaker Rob Frost to tell the story of how mindfulness is changing the lives of women faced with domestic abuse, sex trafficking and discrimination. 

Join Nikki Myers in Boulder To Learn the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery

In partnership with Phoenix Multisport and the Boulder Yoga Project, Give Back Yoga is pleased to welcome accomplished yoga therapist Nikki Myers to Boulder for a Yoga for 12-Step Recovery intensive training at the Adi Shakti Kundalini Yoga Center. After discovering yoga as a valuable tool to support her own battle with addiction, Nikki founded Y12SR to help others in recovery. Learn more: read Nikki’s 2013 interview with GBYF for the Huffington Post Blog.

One scholarship for this training is available through the generous support of Lululemon Athletica. Payment plans will also accepted. For more information and to register for the training, contact the Adi Shakti Yoga Center.

Download the event flyer:

Yoga Rocks the Park Names GBYF As National Seva Partner For 2014

We’re honored to announce that Yoga Rocks the Park™ has named the Give Back Yoga Foundation as its National Seva Partner for 2014.

Yoga Rocks the Park™ brings outdoor yoga and music events to more than 20 cities nationwide, bringing together people of all ages in a celebration of community, joy and giving back. Through this 2014 National Seva partnership, YRP will donate 5% of its net profits from national ticket sales to GBYF. This funding will help our organization to bring yoga and meditation to thousands of people who might not not otherwise experience the benefits of these transformational practices – including veterans, at-risk youth, prisoners and those who are recovering from eating disorders.

YRP will donate another 5% of net profits to local causes in each city where it operates.

“Yoga as a path to peace should be available to all people,” says Erik Vienneau, CEO and Founder of Yoga Rocks the Park™ – an organization that serves more than 20,000 yogis each year. “Together we can touch so many beings. I’m thrilled about the incredible potential of our partnership.”

Rob Schware, Executive Director of GBYF, notes that the seva partnership with Yoga Rocks the Park™ and their parent company, Open Sky Event Marketing, is a catalyst that can fuel the growth of grassroots social change and community cooperation.

“(This) is a way to join forces in fueling the growth of community-minded yoga events throughout the country,” says Schware.

To learn more about Yoga Rocks the Park™ and find an event near you, visit yogarocksthepark.com.

Download the press release: Yoga Rocks the Park Announces Partnership with Give Back Yoga Foundation

 

Become a Sustaining Member: Join Our Monthly Donation Program

If you believe in what we’re doing, here’s one very powerful way to support our mission of sharing yoga and meditation with those in need: become a Sustaining Member of Give Back Yoga Foundation.

How does it work? Simply visit our Membership page and choose a monthly amount you’d like to contribute, and a program you’d like to support. Through the checkout process, you’ll set up a recurring payment profile that automatically bills your card each month. You’ll receive a notification by email when each debit is made. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law, and you’ll also receive a thank-you package by mail. Check out our membership benefits. 

What it is: a simple way to give back.

For just $15 a month – the cost of one yoga class – you can share yoga resources with someone in need, making a direct difference in their lives. Through the collective power of many small contributions, we can grow a grassroots movement of social change and healing. We hope that you’ll be a part of it!

What it isn’t: a contract.

You’ll be able to manage your recurring donation profile through the Give Back Yoga website. If your situation changes, you can put your monthly contribution on hold or change the amount of your donation, so that you’re always giving back in a way that’s right for you. Need help? Drop us a line at info@givebackyoga.org.

Find out how you can give from the heart.

Are you passionate about bringing yoga to a specific population? We invite you to route your donation directly to that work. You can help us to bring yoga to veterans, first responders, individuals with eating disorders, prisoners or those recovering from addiction.

Or make a general donation, and we’ll put your contribution to work where it’s needed most. To learn more about our program goals and how we use general and specific contributions, visit our Program pages.

Will you join Give Back Yoga Foundation as a Sustaining Member? Together, we can share the transformational benefits of yoga and mindfulness with the world…one person at a time.

Hanuman Festival & Denver Chant Fest: Honoring Community By Giving Back

We’re grateful to have seva partnerships with Denver Chant Fest and Hanuman Festival, organizations that help to fuel our mission of sharing yoga with those who might not otherwise experience this transformational practice.

Learn how you can connect with the yoga community and celebrate your practice through these festivals, while helping us to bring yoga to the underserved:

Hanuman Festival: Making a Difference By Giving Back To The Community

Hanuman Festival – June 12-15, 2014
Boulder High School
1604 Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, CO 80302
Learn more and get tickets – reserve mat space at early registration prices through March 1st.

Denver Chant Fest: Retreat To A Moment You Want To Be In

Denver Chant Fest 2014 – February 14-16
Sherman Street Event Center
1770 Sherman Street
Denver, CO 80203
Learn more and get tickets 

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Stay in the loop about upcoming events and other ways to help Give Back Yoga to those in need of true change: join our mailing list.