Stories of Service: Yoga Beyond The Mat2019-12-02T14:48:02+00:00

Stories of Service

Yoga Beyond The Mat

Over the past twelve years, we have helped thousands of people access the transformational 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 healing and transformation.

I was diagnosed with cancer when I was five years old. Yoga helped me get through it. Now, I want to study how yoga can help kids feel better during treatment and help them deal with stress afterwards.

From yoga sessions surrounded by long needle pines, to teaching yoga to young “problem” kids. This is the story of how yoga transformed (and became) my life.

From Transcendental Meditation and physical injury, to a sampler yoga class and a “eureka!” moment. This is how the seeds of the Give Back Yoga Foundation were sown—and how my yoga service journey began.

After pain forced me to quit my dream career as a professional musician, yoga was the reason I started playing music again. Now, I help other New Orlean musicians create comfort and ease in their body through the transformative nature of yoga.

When my brain grew too big for my skull, I had to have brain surgery. The months that followed were one of the most difficult periods of my life; they challenged me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Yoga helped me to create a new reality.

When I was forced to return to the small town life I had fled from, I vowed to create what I was looking for when I left. I wanted to introduce alternative life choices to those who were suffering; I wanted to teach yoga. There was one problem: I had never even taken a yoga class.

My yoga service journey was birthed from an article on yoga for veterans, which I read while my son was on tour in Afghanistan. Then, I discovered the gifts of giving back...

My breast cancer diagnosis forced me deeper into my previously established connection to the practice of yoga and its benefits. Yoga gave me ME back.

I spent most of my life with the mantra, “God doesn’t love me.” Then I found my way to a yoga class.

Yoga can be a powerful practice to uncover and interrupt the ways in which racism and privilege negatively impact our community.

After twenty years as a firefighter, I found myself in a very dark place. Yoga opened my world to the possibilities of healing and growth.

At age fifty-three, the wind got knocked out of me when I heard these words: “You have cancer—invasive ductal carcinoma.”

Some of life’s experiences are unforgettable, forever seared into our consciousness. For me, it was 9/12/15. What should have been an otherwise ordinary fall day was anything but.

I fell in love with what yoga was doing not only for my physical recovery, but also within my mind and spirit. An inner awakening.