GBYF Project Spotlight: Seema Shah

Give Back Yoga Foundation is proud to support yoga teacher Seema Shah, who is helping the local population in the Federated States of Micronesia on the island of Yap. This was formerly a U.S. territory, and while it’s now an independent sovereign nation, it still maintains close ties with the U.S.

Yap faces multiple challenges when it comes to health and well-being. There are no mental health services offered, government-sponosored or otherwise; and the island frequently experiences third-world diseases like dengue fever and tuberculosis. At the same time, the community is plagued with first-world diseases like diabetes and heart disease, thanks to the mass importation of processed foods like canned meats and soda.

To help promote wellness, Shah, an attorney for the government, teaches weekly yoga classes at the Yap Sports Council – but while the location offers access to free electricity, it did not include access to yoga props.

“A lot of the participants are using squishy wrestling mats,” wrote Shah in a note of thanks for a donation of props through Give Back Yoga. “They are looking forward to some real yoga mats soon.”