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Get to know our 2016 award winners. Plus, we take you inside a one-of-a-kind yoga teacher training in a women’s prison.
For our second annual Good Karma Awards—which honor men and women who are living the practice of yoga out loud—we asked our advisory council (below) to nominate people who embody what it means to be a yogi: selflessly giving back to communities through yoga and other seva work, and inspiring others to give back in turn. The 13 recipients you’ll meet here have been doing just that for years, and bring a wide range of education, skills, and personal gifts to the table. We’re also honored to share the latest project of one of last year’s winners, Kath Meadows, who has pioneered a yoga teacher training in a prison to help female inmates prepare for a career instructing yoga after their release, or to help them use the practice to live meaningfully behind bars. Ready to get inspired? You’ll feel the love and want to create some good karma of your own.
MEET OUR ESTEEMED ADVISORY COUNCIL
Beryl Bender Birch, co-founder of the nonprofit Give Back Yoga Foundation; Seane Corn, co-founder of the yoga-service organization Off the Mat Into the World; Paige Elenson, co-founder of the nonprofit Africa Yoga Project; Lilias Folan, star of PBS’s long-running TV show Lilias Yoga and You; Judith Hanson Lasater, PhD, a co-founder of Yoga Journal; Richard Miller, PhD, founding president of the nonprofit Integrative Restoration Institute; Matthew Sanford, founder of the nonprofit adpative-yoga organization Mind Body Solutions; Patricia Walden, vice president of the nonprofit Iyengar Yoga Association of New England.
Donna Karan, Rodney Yee, & Colleen Saidman Yee
The founder of the Urban Zen Foundation shares the tragedy that led her to yoga; plus, how a partnership with the Yees fueled a healing protocol for patients and health care providers.
How an Iraq War veteran found his calling: teaching vets, and anyone waging an internal “war,” the peaceful power of yoga.
A transgender teacher who is helping make yoga communities around the world safe and welcoming for every body.
How this yogi and daughter of an alcoholic is using her painful past to bring hope and recovery to addicts.
Catherine Njeri & Walter Mugwe
Meet a pair of Kenyan yogis who are using yoga in Africa to save lives, empower youth, and mend deep wounds.
The founder of the Nalanda Institute reveals similarities between psychiatry, yoga, and Buddhist philosophy.
How the co-founder of the Give Back Yoga Foundation is nurturing the next generation of yogis.
The creator of a yoga program for girls at risk for eating disorders shares how mind-body practices can speed recovery.
Downward Dog in an art museum? Yes! Meet a man who is erasing boundaries and bringing asana to the masses.
The founder of the Blissology school of yoga on why a connection to Mother Earth leads to a transcendent practice.
Plus: Finding Freedom
At the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women, 16 prisoners are engaged in a unique yoga teacher training. The brainchild of teacher Kath Meadows, it offers women a second chance on the outside, or a way to serve out sentences meaningfully. YJ gained exclusive access to witness the transformations.