What is “The Yoganda Project”? Yoga + Uganda = Yoganda
Hi! I’m Theresa (Taozi/桃子) a Beijing-based yoga teacher, world explorer, and founder of Taozi Tree Yoga. This summer I am taking a professional tailor (secretly an angel) named Kathy Pitzer to spend 4 weeks teaching a group of 5-10 currently un-employed widowed women the skills to sew the world’s best yoga mat bag… the "Yoganda" bag, as well as other yoga related products.
About the "Yoganda" bag:
Why is this bag so special? It is big, and colorful and QUALITY. I have been practicing yoga for nearly a decade and have gone through dozens of bags for my mat. This design is brilliant. It can hold a computer, a water bottle, a cell phone, car keys, a block, whatever! In fact, it is not exclusive to yogis. I think the bag is so functional that everyone will want one! And what makes them even better is the hands that will make them and the impact its purchase will have.
After "The Yoganda Project" is over Taozi Tree Yoga will permanently employ them all, changing their lives forever. The women and their children will no longer need to live off the scraps of others, but instead they will be able to support themselves with dignity while working in a healthy, growing community. After the bags are made, significant proceeds from each sale will go back to similar widowed women’s projects (under the ongoing supervision and direction of the Musana Community Development Organization), teaching more un-employed widowed women wholesome skills to sustain themselves.
This project is destined to have huge impacts in the lives of the widowed women participating, future women in the area, as well as all the yogis abroad who become a part of the project by utilizing on a daily basis one of the amazing bags.
How you can help “The Yoganda Project”?
$15,000 USD!!! This is how much we will need to raise to support the trip. Any amount you are able to contribute will go a long way in helping us. Here is a breakdown of what we will be purchasing:
-5-10 quality electric sewing machines (purchased in Uganda to support the local economy)
– materials like fabric, needles, and scissors
– flights for the team members going
3 EASY THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT US!
1) DONATE to the project financially here on Indiegogo and receive perks (gifts) in return for your donation.
Alternatively, if you would like to make a large donation that is tax deductible you can do it on Musana’s website www.musana.org (see "Special Instructions" on its website and confirm that your donation is for "The Yoganda Project"). Please note that as you will benefit from Musana’s 501-(c)(3) charitable tax status you will not be eligible for any of the perks offered through Indiegogo, but we will still send you a special "thank you card" (every dollar helps).
By donating on Indiegogo we are able to offer you some truly remarkable perks:
$15 = a beautiful photo thank you card
$30 = a hand made beaded necklace (from a similar widowed womens project) +a beautiful photo thank you card
$100 = The "Yoganda" bag + a hand made beaded necklace (from a similar widowed omens project) + a beautiful photo thank you card
$500 = You become an official "The Yoganda Project" sponsor and will receive a certificate + the "Yoganda" bag + a hand made beaded necklace (made by widowed women from another ‘crafts’ project run by Musana) + a beautiful photo thank you card
$1,000 = Credit in a documentary being filmed on site by Gyangiri, a Chinese yogi and movie maker + you become an official "The Yoganda Project" sponsor and will receive a certificate + the "Yoganda" bag + a hand made beaded necklace (made by widowed women from another ‘crafts’ project run by Musana) + a beautiful photo thank you card
The Yoganda Impact
This project will literally change the lives of the small group of widowed women who participate. Having been overlooked and neglected, this project will give them dignity by providing them skills and future employment. At the same time, they will be providing a service to yogis around the world by making a an awesome yoga mat bag. The project is special and the bag is special. You have to be a part of it!
Other Ways You Can Help
We know you may not be able to donate right now, and that’s ok! There are 2 other things you can do that would really help us out!
2) SHARE the project with your friends and family via e-mail or social media sites; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… etc. Use the share tools Indiegogo provides! Get the word out there!!
3) GET CREATIVE – for example as a yoga teacher you could hold a donation based yoga class, or if you like to bake, hold a good old fashioned bake sale.
The options are endless…
We hope you can support this worthy project!!
This post first appeared on indiegogo.com
Theresa Pauline moved to China in the fall of 2007, and began practicing yoga a few times a week at her local gym in Tianjin. From there her love of yoga has grown to become a core part of her life. She has since started projects such as her company Taozi Tree Yoga, her which sells quality yoga mats, beads, and other indispensable yoga products on-line. She has completed over 1,000 hours of Yoga teacher training, and has over 1,000 hours of yoga teaching experience.
Photos courtesy of Theresa Pauline