Stories of Impact
How Yoga Can Change A Life
Over the past twelve years, we have helped thousands of people access the therapeutic benefits of yoga.
Many of our beneficiaries came to yoga to cope with unthinkable challenges — a cancer diagnosis, a lifetime of incarceration, systemic bias and oppression. We believe every one of these individuals has an important story to tell — about their lives, the adversity they’ve faced, and the unique role yoga played in their growth and healing.
The Story of Selfless Service: Telling Tales from Indian Myth by Dr. Raj Balkaran
About Dr. Raj Balkaran
Yoga for Sobriety: An Interview with Lynn Gifford
Lynn Gifford is an E-RYT, YACEP, Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR) Leadership Trainer and Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR) space-holder offering weekly meetings each Sunday.
Yoga for Eating Disorder Recovery: An Interview with Melanie Taylor
Melanie has dedicated her life and work to transforming what it means to live with stress, trauma, PTSD, and an eating disorder. Melanie guides her students on their own journey to reclaiming their authentic selves through embodied living.
Your Brain on Yoga: An Interview with Jill Bolte Taylor
Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist and the New York Times best-selling author of My Stroke of Insight, a book telling the story of what she learned when she had a severe stroke in 1996.
Yoga for Veterans and First Responders: An Interview with Claudia Cavazza
Claudia Cavazza has been teaching yoga to veterans and first responders for years. She has shared the practice of yoga with veterans with the hope that in doing so they might not experience the suffering that her grandparents and family endured.
Body-Based Awareness and Yoga: An Interview with Julia Dillon
Julia Dillon is an editor for a foundational 12-step organization, Y12SR leader, and an RYT-500 with the New England School of Integrative Yoga. Julia has taught in studio, outpatient rehab, hospital, corporate and private settings.
The Power of a Yoga Mat: An Interview with David Swenson
David Swenson is recognized as one of the world's foremost practitioners and teachers of Asthanga Yoga. In this short interview, David shares his experience of the impact a yoga mat can have—how it challenge and inspire, and even change lives.
Yoga for Cerebral Palsy: An Interview with Mariah Kilbourne
When her best friend passed away, Mariah struggled with walking and moving. After yoga helped her to regain independence, she created Yoga for CP to show others with Cerebral Palsy and disability that they too can practice yoga.
The Power of a Yoga Mat: An Interview with Arianna Aron
Arianna Aron, Founder of Mudgies Yoga LLC, is a Give Back Yoga supporter & mat grant recipient. Here, Arianna shares what the power of a yoga mat means to her and talks about her experience of fundraising for Give Back Yoga.
Yoga for Prisoners in Alabama: An Interview with Susie Weigel
After nineteen years of teaching languages in secondary and post-secondary schools, Susie was ready for a change. Now, she serves as the Program Director for Prison Yoga Project-Alabama. This is her story.
Introducing Iyengar Yoga to Communities of Color: An Interview with Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper
Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper discusses the barriers to traditional yoga spaces for people of color, the health disparities and inequities in medical care, and how she created Project Breath in response.
Creating a Non-Violent World, One School at a Time: An Interview with Dee Marie
As she listened to a conversation about violence in schools in 2004, Dee Marie had an idea: teach ahimsa in schools. But her plan was trickier than anticipated to implement. Dee Marie shares how the story unfolded.
Yoga as an Antiracist Practice: An Interview with Shannon Prince
Dr. Shannon Prince is a Black social justice lawyer, legal commentator, author, and yogi. In this interview, she shares her thoughts on yoga as an antiracist practice, and how to cultivate the skills to fight prejudice — on and off the mat.
Ten Years of Giving: An Interview with Mark Stefanowski
Mark Stefanowksi, Founder of Full Throttle Yoga, has been supporting Give Back Yoga for a decade. In this short interview, he shares what is it about Give Back Yoga and its programs that he feels is essential.
Yoga at the U.S.-Mexico Border: An Interview with Gina Barrett
In 2019, Gina Barrett found herself called to serve at the U.S.-Mexico border. Guided by earlier work in Central America and Jamaica as an expert in international administration, Gina founded the Casa de Paz SLV.
Yoga and Music Therapy for Healthcare Workers in India: An Interview with Arnab Bishnu Chowdhury
Arnab Bishnu Chowdhury shares the inspiration behind his multi-modality training program, 'Know Your Rhythm,' details of an ongoing healing project for Covid healthcare workers in India, and his thoughts on the future of yoga therapy.
Diversity, Accessibility & Inclusion in Yoga: An Interview with Jennifer Webb
Jennifer Webb, PhD, shares what yoga teachers and therapists can do to create inclusion, accessibility & positive embodiment, and why representation matters in mainstream yoga media.
Yoga 4 Change: An Interview with Susie Rokosch
Susie Rokosch turned to yoga as a desperate attempt to manage chronic pain and health complications from a car accident. Now, she works with Yoga 4 Change to share the therapeutic effects of the practice with others.
International Yoga Nonprofits Collaborate to Address Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
Give Back Yoga has joined forces with the International Association of Yoga Therapists in a first-of-its-kind initiative to help address COVID.
How To Be In Service: An Interview with Rajni Tripathi
Executive Director of Yoga Service Council, Rajni Tripathi, shares what it means to be in the line of service, the relationship between the helper and the enabler, and why service has nothing to with you.
Yoga for Youth in the Justice System: An Interview with Mary Lynn Fitton
Mary Lynn Fitton, Founder of The Art of Yoga Project, shares what motivates her to do this work, how yoga can heal and empower youth in the justice system, and how science and art can work together.
Yoga and Multiple Sclerosis: An Interview with Garth McLean
Since his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 1996, Garth McLean has managed his condition with yoga. In this inspiring interview, Garth shares his experience of the effects of yoga, and why he describes his diagnosis as “a blessing.”
An Interview with Dr. Nicole Schnackenberg
In this heartfelt interview, Nicole reflects on her yoga journey: what stimulated (and sustains) her appetite for yoga, and how her personal therapeutic work informs and supports her ability to offer a therapeutic space to others.
In Loving Memory: Rama Jyoti Vernon
We here at Give Back Yoga Foundation are remembering Rama Jyoti Vernon, dedicated yoga practitioner and teacher, peace activist, and “Mother of Contemporary Yoga in the US,” with love and gratitude.
Yoga, Race, and Spiritual Activism: An Interview with Dr. Gail Parker
Gail's forthcoming book, Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma, could not be more relevant given our racialized world.