Recipient of the first Namaste Award, presented by Yoga Gives Back, Mallika Chopra, comments: “There is heartbreaking poverty in the world, whether in India, the United States or other nations. As humanity, we need to ask ourselves why we let children go hungry and suffer from preventable illnesses when we have the resources and knowledge to help our fellow beings.”
Mallika Chopra, author of the recently published Living with Intent, will receive the first-ever Yoga Gives Back Namaste Award at the foundation’s fourth-annual “Thank You Mother India” fundraiser. This public event (tickets are now available for purchase) takes place at a philanthropist’s private home in Malibu on September 26, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.
The “Thank You Mother India” fundraiser is a joyous evening where 200 members of the Southern California yoga community come together for an altruistic cause and express gratitude to “Mother India” for the gift of yoga. Following a welcome reception, there will be a seated three-course dinner featuring the Namaste Award ceremony, followed by a short YGB FILMS presentation, silent and live auction, raffle, and live performance by the Odissi dancers.
“The Namaste Award was established in 2015 to recognize special people who have gone beyond the practice and teaching of yoga to incorporate noble humanitarian service, which elevates humankind and helps make the world a better place,” says Kayoko Mitsumatsu, a documentary film producer and practicing yogi who founded the LA-based nonprofit Yoga Gives Back in 2007.
She adds, “While it’s common for many to perceive yoga as a mere physical exercise, through deeper study, we learn that the ultimate goal of yoga is to unite with the Divine Self—where meditation plays an important role in achieving this. ‘Namaste,’ which means “the divinity in me salutes divinity in you” in Sanskrit, symbolizes Yoga Gives Back’s mission, which is to help others, and is the inspiration for the award.”
Mitsumatsu founded Yoga Gives Back because she was deeply moved by the degree of poverty experienced by people in India. “While benefitting so much from regular yoga practice and teachings, it hit me hard that 75 per cent of India’s population still live on less than two US dollars a day,” she says. “It became very clear to me that if everyone worldwide who enjoys yoga donates the cost of one yoga class to help those less fortunate, we can effect real change in the birthplace of yoga.”
“I am thrilled to present our first Namaste Award to Mallika Chopra, who is passionate about the power of meditation,” says Mitsumatsu.
This local Malibu fundraiser serves as the launch for YGB’s annual five-month, global fundraising campaign. From September 2015 through January 2016, more than 150 Yoga Gives Back events will take place in over 15 countries, heightening awareness of the realities faced by the poor, especially women and children India.
“For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life” is the organization’s mantra, which has grown 35% every year since 2009, and now funds nearly 700 mothers and children in Karnataka and West Bengal, India. Yoga Gives Back’s micro-loans and educational scholarships offer a minimum five-year commitment to each recipient.
The Title Sponsor for this year’s event is author Rina Tham, who has supported YGB’s Malibu Fundraiser since its inception. Rina, author of a book of inspiration for children worldwide, Lucky Number 9: Journey of a Rubber Tapper’s Daughter, will donate copies of the book to all children in YGB programs in India. The Gold Sponsor is also a repeat donor, Chalice Recording Studio.
The Thank You Mother India fundraiser takes place from 6-9 pm at the private home of philanthropist Dr. Amarjit Marwah at 29057 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Tickets are $125 each (New Membership Appreciation Rate), regular price $180.
Purchase tickets here!