Yoga Mala 2015

Seacoast Yoga Community’s 10 week drive to Raise Money for Food and Fuel Assistance, Yoga Outreach to culminate in a 3 hour yoga celebration!


The Seacoast’s yoga community is organizing the seventh annual Yoga Mala fundraiser. This event, a three hour yoga class, will be held at Rivermill in Dover, NH on Sunday, March 1 from 9-Noon.

“Last year’s Yoga Mala showed how strongly our yoga community will work for the benefit of others. We raised $57,000, far exceeding our goal, and celebrated with sweat and laughter. We are so looking forward to creating another event to support the underserved,” said Erin Ehlers 2014 event organizer.

“We’re aiming for a big fundraising goal of $60,000,” said 2015 event coordinator, Toni Rose. “Last year we exceeded our expectations because our students were so enthusiastic about supporting charitable work in the Seacoast.” Funds raised at the Yoga Mala support three vital Seacoast non-profits.

The first is SATYA (Seacoast Area Teachers of Yoga in Action), a non-profit in its third year with the mission to provide resources which link qualified teachers to aspiring yogis in a variety of settings and with unique considerations.

“In 2014, yoga teachers affiliated with SATYA provided yoga sessions to the incarcerated, cancer survivors, veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities and at risk youth.” Said SATYA founder and President Rochelle Jewell.  “In January 2015, SATYA will expand currently funded programs to include nine weekly yoga classes.  In a partnership with SASS (Sexual Assault Support Services), SATYA will provide trauma sensitive yoga to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.  The Yoga for Women with Cancer program is expanding to reach more cancer survivors. The successful program for Teens At Risk at Sweetser School in Wells, ME will extend beyond its pilot period to continue to deliver the benefits of yoga to teen girls in challenging situations.”

Yoga Mala from Tom Vatistas on Vimeo.

Secondly, the Yoga Mala supports Seacoast Eat Local, a local non-profit that runs year round farmers’ markets. They have created a program that allows SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients to use their benefits at markets. “The Market Match Program matches SNAP payments up to $10. For example, a SNAP recipient can redeem their benefits for $5, and the market will give them an additional $5,” explained Seacoast Eat Local president Sara Zoe Patterson.

“The Yoga Mala fundraiser by SATYA is the single largest contributor to Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP/EBT farmers’ market program.” says Patterson. “The donation made by this event allows our program coordinator to do the actual work of providing access to SNAP recipients to the locally grown foods at Seacoast area farmers’ markets, including working to improve the health of our community members living in poverty through nutrition outreach.”

Lastly, funds will support fuel assistance programs in Rockingham and Strafford counties in NH, and York county in Maine. These fuel assistance programs, run through Southern NH Services, Community Action Partnership of Strafford County and York County Community Action Corporation respectively, provide assistance toward payment of heating or electric bills, credit with electric or heating companies and assistance with rent costs when heat is included in the rent.

Patte Ardizzoni, Administrator in Rockingham County, looks to donations from groups like Yoga Mala to be able to offer help to those individuals and families facing crisis. Ardizzoni explains, ‘Fuel assistance is exactly that…assistance. It’s not meant to cover the entire cost of heating a home for the winter. Many times we see people who are just over eligibility, or who have already expended their benefit. Without the donations given by Yoga Mala we wouldn’t be able to offer the level of help that we’re able to offer.’

Yoga Mala organizer Toni Rose explained, “All of our fundraising is done by participants reaching out to family and friends to support them with a donation.  Join your friends for a morning of yoga fun and support your community. Help us reach our goal and be a part of this amazing event.”

Over 20 area yoga studios support the event, which is run entirely by volunteers. The event space is donated by Rivermill (Dover, NH), and posters are donated by New England Copying and Printing (Portsmouth, NH).

Registration opened December 15 and is ongoing. Register through the Yoga Mala website.

For more information contact event organizer Toni Rose

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