How yoga transforms lives

Dear Friends and Community,

At Give Back Yoga Foundation, we strive to make yoga accessible to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the benefits of this powerful practice. As a national nonprofit yoga organization, we do this by supporting and funding six core yoga programs that use evidence-based modalities to serve at-risk and under-resourced populations.

With your generous support, our programs have transformed the lives of people affected by addiction, incarceration, war, eating disorders, and cancer. Collectively, our programs have brought hundreds of thousands of classes to those who need it most around the globe. Today, our programs are being studied in cutting-edge research on the therapeutic benefits of yoga for these populations.

It gives me great pleasure to share with you this report on how each of our programs uses the practice of yoga to transform lives.

Namaste,

Robert Schware Executive Director
Give Back Yoga Foundation

Robert Schware

Yoga of 12-Step Recovery | Addiction

The Problem

Addiction and substance use problems wreak havoc on individuals, families, healthcare systems, and the global economy.

Drug overdose is the biggest killer of Americans under 50 years old

240 million

around the world are dependent on alcohol

493%

increase in the number of people addicted to opioids

$740 billion

— the annual cost of substance abuse in the U.S.

The Solution

Yoga of 12-Step Recovery offers a rich and powerful framework for addiction recovery and relapse prevention.

Education

education
Our trainings equip helping professionals with holistic tools to address addiction.

Meetings

meetings
Our meetings combine the ancient wisdom of yoga with the practical tools of the 12-step program.

Access

programs
Our programs ensure individuals in low-income neighborhoods have access to resources for sustainable recovery.

The Impact

service

14

years of service

teacher

1,100

active leaders

yoga class

1,400

classes taught by Founder, Nikki Myers

worldwide

350

meetings take place weekly across the world

Yoga and the 12 steps were instrumental in saving my life; I know firsthand the power that yoga and the 12 steps hold in helping to reshape and recreate life. As a person in recovery and a yoga teacher, I truly feel called to give back and connect to individuals who are working on creating and maintaining a life of health and balance, working with and through the issues that lie in one’s tissues. I will forever be grateful!

— Y12SR Participant

Yoga 4 Cancer | Cancer

The Problem

Cancer poses unique physical and mental health challenges, some of which persist for decades after treatment.

14.5 million

cancer survivors in the U.S.

4,600

new cancer diagnoses every day in the U.S.

1 in 3

will be diagnosed with cancer

$4 billion

cost to individuals in 2014 alone

The Solution

yoga4cancer helps cancer patients and survivors manage treatment side effects and sustain cancer recovery.

Education

education
Our trainings enable professionals to utilize yoga to help cancer survivors worldwide.

Resources

classes
Our book, articles, webinars and survivor classes ensure ongoing support for professionals and cancer survivors.

Research

research
We collect data and publish research on the physical and emotional benefits of yoga for cancer population.

The Impact

service

16

years of service

teacher

2,000

professionals trained since 2005

worldwide

19

countries and every U.S. state host y4c classes

survivors

19,000

survivors served in NYC alone

book

10,000

books sold

yoga class

18,000

classes taught

y4c classes have helped me in many ways. They are a safe place to share with others surviving cancer and they guide my new body and mind in the journey that is recovery. I don’t have to worry about bringing up what I’ve gone through because I am surrounded by people who understand. Even in silence they understand.

— Lisa, yoga4cancer student

Mindful Yoga Therapy | Veterans’ Health

The Problem

Veterans don’t have timely access to the health care services they need to manage the mental and physical consequences of war.

20

veterans commit suicide every day

2 x

as likely to die from accidental drug overdose

200%

increase in rates of PTSD

300,000

veterans died while waiting for VA health care

The Solution

Mindful Yoga Therapy offers yoga programs that help veterans manage their symptoms and live healthy, peaceful, and productive lives.

Education

education
We teach helping professionals how to offer yoga and meditation to veterans.

Programs

programs
We offer classes in medical, educational, and community settings.


Research

research
We collect data on the physical and emotional benefits of yoga for veterans.

The Impact

book

20,000+

veterans have received a free copy of our Practice Guide

yoga class

260

classes per year

Mindful Yoga Therapy research

12 weeks of our program reduces PTSD severity by

10

points

Mindful Yoga Therapy research

12 weeks of our program increases mindfulness by

5

points

Taking the Mindful Yoga Therapy program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. First, I began to sleep better. Next, I got to know myself for the first time ever. Then I slowly came off all of my psych meds. That was big! For the first time in over 40 years, I was medication free. Yoga is now my therapy. I will be eternally grateful for the MYT program.

— John Nieb

Prison Yoga Project | Mass Incarceration

The Problem

Mass incarceration imposes staggering social end economic costs, and prisons do not reduce recidivism.

1 in 100

Americans are incarcerated

1 in 51

are on probation or parole

3 in 4

released prisoners are arrested within five years

50%

of those incarcerated have a mental illness

The Solution

The Prison Yoga Project uses yoga and mindfulness practices to give incarcerated men and women tools for healing and transformation.

Trainings

trainings
Our trainings teach helping professionals how to offer yoga-based practices to prisoners.

Programs

programs
Our programs are offered in prisons, jails, and other rehabilitation facilities.

Resources

books
We distribute free instructional yoga books to prisoners.

The Impact

3,000

prisoners take our classes each week

teacher

250

teachers offer our classes in jails and prisons

service

15

years of service

book

22,000

practice guides sent to prisoners free of charge

17,000+

training graduates

U.S.

6,000-7,000

incarcerated practitioners in 25 states

The Prison Yoga Project is a life-sustaining and meaningful program that I nurture and value because it is not only positive, [but] it supports my growth and success as a young man. Yoga helps me navigate my life as a good and successful person. This practice is life-changing and will continue to enhance my life.

— K.L., prisoner

Eat Breathe Thrive | Eating Disorders

The Problem

Mental health challenges disrupt how we eat and care for ourselves — leading to eating disorders, substance use, and obesity.

3 in 4

women struggle with disordered eating

Someone dies from an eating disorder every 62 minutes

81%

of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat

2 in 3

Americans are overweight or obese

The Solution

Eat Breathe Thrive offers yoga-based programs that teach skills for mindful eating, emotional resilience, and body confidence.

Trainings

trainings
Our trainings teach helping professionals how to offer yoga-based programs that support healthy eating.

Programs

programs
Our programs help teens and adults eat mindfully and build resilience.

Research

research
Our research explores whether yoga can prevent and help treat eating disorders.

The Impact

service

4

years of service

resources

2,000+

people served

teacher

75

facilitators

USA

Programs offered in

19

U.S. states

worldwide

Trainings taught in

6

countries

graduate

600+

training graduates

It is difficult to put into words the profound impact this training had on me… it spoke directly to my experience of healing, and the science of WHY it works. Eat Breathe Thrive beautifully integrates and builds trust in one’s own embodiment, intuition and emotional intelligence and THEN backs the experience with evidence based research. I am so proud to be part of such an amazing organization.

— Lara Scriba, Yoga Teacher and Registered Nurse

The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute | Yoga Service Training

The Problem

Most yoga teacher trainings don’t provide the skills needed to work with in-need and under-resourced populations.

The Solution

The Hard & The Soft Institute prepares new teachers to share the therapeutic tools of yoga and mindfulness traditions.

High-Quality

quality
Our trainings are led by world-class faculty with decades of experience offering yoga to at-risk populations.

Service-Focused

service
Students are given resources and support to offer yoga as a tool for healing and transformation.

Community-Building

research
Our trainings unite compassionate, like-minded human beings from all over the world.

The Impact

training

28

trainings

yoga class

810

classes

graduate

500+

graduates

Welcome to the best day of your life. As graduates of The Hard & The Soft Yoga Teacher Training programs, we are a global family of yoga teachers and practitioners working for the healing of our world. Even if we are full-time mothers, fathers, doctors, farmers, plumbers or professionals and are not choosing to become yoga teachers at this time, we are taking our yoga into the world. Whatever we do, we embrace the eight limbs of yoga and speak up, calling out injustice. We are proactive leaders in our communities – working for clean food and drinkable water, for the rights of animals, women, minorities, and for the sustainability of Mother Earth and our environment. Yoga makes a difference in people’s lives, and we get to see that every day. We hope you will join us. Our world is in crisis and we need you!

— The Hard & The Soft Yoga Community

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