by KAYOKO MITSUMATSU, co-founder and president of Yoga Gives Back
Yoga Gives Back (YGB) is a Los Angeles based nonprofit organization, which engages global Yoga communities with gratitude to give back to Mother India, for the gift of Yoga we have received.
We raise awareness and funds to empower underserved women and children in India. YGB is unique in uniting all yoga practitioners regardless of branch or school with one simple cause, GRATITUDE. In the last thirteen years, Yoga Gives Back has spread to over 20 countries with 150 Ambassadors who are yoga teachers sharing YGB’s mission with their communities as well as raising funds with their events. We have also created a community of partnering sponsors whose annual contribution also tremendously help our mission.
With this growing global yoga community’s support, we are now empowering nearly 1400 women and children in India with a minimum of five-year commitment to each person. Today, we provide micro loans to nearly 500 women and education funds to young children as well as SHE Scholarship for Higher Education for 300 youths in Karnataka and West Bengal.
YGB is also unique in connecting our global supporters directly to the fund recipients in India through regular updates of their stories with photos and videos on social media and regular news letters, so global supporters can see how everyone’s contributions are truly making tremendous difference in our recipients’ lives.
We also offer dozens of short documentary YGB FILMS which I have been filming and producing since 2007 to share how so many lives have been transformed with their dreams coming true. We empower ourselves by empowering others. That is a truly wonderful lesson.
“International Yoga Day” Global Campaign is taking place over the weekend of June 21.
While many of us are blessed to have yoga practice that sustains us at this difficult time, many women and children in India are struggling for their lives due to enormous stress added by the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown and the catastrophic Cyclone Amphan (May 20) in West Bengal.
India’s COVID-19 nation-wide lock down has caused 500 impoverished mothers of YGB’s micro loans programs in rural villages of West Bengal to lose their jobs and daily income. Many of 700 young girls under YGB’s education programs are facing their family’s financial pressure to drop out of school and get married.
Cyclone Amphanhit the rural villages outside of Kolkata very hard. Many of our 1200 fund recipients in the region lost their homes. They need to rebuild everything.
India has generously given the world the eternal gift of yoga. It is our goal to create a community of #OneMillionYogis to give back especially at this time.
Host, take a class, or simply donate whatever you can.
I am grateful that so many YGB Global Ambassadors have expressed their support and are hosting or donating classes to inspire many yoga teachers around the world to do the same.
About the Author
Kayoko Mitsumatsu is co-founder and president of Yoga Gives Back. Prior to moving to the USA in 1992, Kayoko was a producer/director for NHK Japan’s National Public Broadcaster, working on prime time national broadcast current affairs and documentary television programs for several years. Kayoko co-founded Yoga Gives Back in 2007, from her yoga class in Los Angeles, which has now grown to a global campaign.