Align, Breathe, and Flow for a Cause

Join us at Athleta's Flatiron location in NYC for a special yoga class and shopping event to benefit Kula for Karma, with yoga teacher and program director Yuliana Kim-Grant. 

This powerful class combines classic Vinyasa with an emphasis on alignment and breath to achieve Ananda/Bliss and Freedom in both body, mind, and spirit. Yuliana believes in creating a safe space for her students to explore, to take risks, and to play in their practice in the hopes of providing a transformative experience for everyone from the beginner to the advanced yogi.

Wednesday, June 22
6:00pm to 8:00pm

SIGN UP HERE

Program of the Month: Nyack Hospital

Nyack Hospital’s mission is to provide competent, innovative and accessible emergency and acute care services to the residents of Rockland County and surrounding areas. Kula’s relationship with Nyack Hospital started in spring 2016 when we launched their first weekly Yoga for Oncology program. Seven months later, we launched their first Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis program. We are very excited to celebrate our one-year anniversary with Nyack Hospital, and are looking forward to a very bright future!

Volunteer of the Month: Yael Sunshine

Yael’s earliest memories of yoga was when her older cousin told her all about the ashram he was living on, much to the concern of older family members.  Shortly after, her high school history teacher handed her a copy of “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass saying he thought she would love it. This began a lifelong study of Yoga, Sufism and Kabbalah, guided by a passion to find the common ground of different spiritual traditions.

Yael has a rich background in fine arts, dance movement therapy, core energetics and special education. She says, “One of the wonderful things about being a yoga therapist is that it lets me draw on my extensive and varied experiences to create practices that are tailored to the profound needs of my students. I see yoga as a practice that aligns the body/mind with the deepest knowing of self. I’ve learned that the body never lies and by listening to its wisdom we can gain access to our purpose, passion and presence.”

Yael has been teaching yoga since 2003. She received her 500-hour certification in yoga/yoga therapy from Yoga Mountain and studied Yoga and Ayurveda with Dana Slamp at Prema Yoga Therapeutics. She is a certified RYT500 with Yoga Alliance and a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) with the International Association of Yoga Therapists .

Her classes are gentle, deep and playful. She combines alignment, learning the measure of our bodies, fluid movement, breath and inquiry to find strength, focus and ease. “I want to share the love, joy and healing found in yoga with my students so they can find a greater sense of authenticity, connection and well-being in their lives.”

We are thankful and inspired by all you do, Yael!

Program of the Month: Care Plus NJ

Our Program of the Month is Care Plus NJ!

careplusnj logo.jpg

Care Plus NJ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides comprehensive, recovery-focused mental health and substance abuse services. Services are offered on a voluntary outpatient basis to adults and children. There are a total of 23 sites, including three outpatient centers, ten residential facilities, offices at three local hospitals, and seven community offices, which make their services convenient to clients located throughout Northern New Jersey. Since 2010, Kula for Karma has been offering chair yoga to the clients at the main headquarters outpatient center in Paramus, NJ. Our instructors over the years have shared with us that clients seem very receptive, and even empowered by the weekly yoga classes. The Kula team has created an atmosphere of safety and respect in the classes, and the staff at Care Plus say: “Kula for Karma cares about the needs of this population. The clients are very grateful to be able to take yoga conveniently at our site (Care Plus in Paramus, NJ) without being judged or charged a fee.” 

With programs still going strong after seven years, Kula is proud to continue offering therapeutic yoga at Care Plus NJ. Learn more and help us expand our programs here: http://www.kulaforkarma.org/programs/

Infographic: Benefits of Therapeutic Yoga

The physical and psychological benefits of therapeutic yoga, meditation, and stress management are well-documented in medical literature. We created this infographic to summarize just a few of the benefits we observe in students participating in our Kula for Karma programs. Feel free to download and share the infographic to help spread the word about the healing power of therapeutic yoga. 

The Benefits of Therapeutic Yoga

Volunteer of the Month: Deirdre Treitler

Our Volunteer of the Month for March is Deirdre Treitler!

Deirdre Treitler, RN, BSN, RYT

Deirdre Treitler, RN, BSN, RYT

Deidre Treitler (RN, BSN, RYT) has been teaching Hatha Yoga since 2004. She began teaching Yoga at Holy Name Medical Center, where she has been employed as a Registered Nurse since 1997. Deidre has integrated holistic and complimentary therapies over the past 20 years in her work with patients and clients in psychiatry, pulmonology, oncology and cardiology. She currently teaches a gentle yoga class for cardiac and pulmonary patients as part of the stress management component of rehabilitation. She also co-authored, and was the primary investigator, in a research study evaluating the effects of Hatha Yoga on perceived stress and quality of life in phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation patients. This research is presented in the article, “Evaluating the Addition of Hatha Yoga in Cardiac Rehabilitation,” published in MEDSURG Nursing Journal this month: http://www.medsurgnursing.net/

“When I first heard about Kula for Karma, I immediately wanted to jump right in and work with the underprivileged, and patients with multiple medical needs,” Deirdre says. “I have always believed that the practice of yoga should be available to everyone, free of charge, and that yoga is preventive and rehabilitative medicine. It took a few years before my schedule allowed me to join Kula, but it happened, and the perfect fit for me at Care Plus opened up! My experience with the clients at Care Plus is unique. The clients suffer from a wide variety of mental health issues, in addition to other comorbidities. I love the strength these clients exude! This population is unique in their ability to be completely honest. They say what they feel, they say what they think, the filters are gone, no nonsense, just sheer honesty.  Every week I witness great kindness, love, dedication and so much compassion for one another in this group! I feel blessed to be able to teach, and to learn from this population.”

We are truly proud and grateful for the work you do, Deirdre. Thank you!
 

Whole Foods Market and Kula for Karma Team Up to Offer Therapeutic Yoga Programs

Free Weekly Classes in Glen Rock and Saddle River are Open to the Community

Whole Foods & Kula for Karma - Yoga

Kula for Karma has partnered with Whole Foods Market to launch two therapeutic yoga programs in Bergen County, NJ. The natural foods supermarket, known for its commitment to improving lives in the communities it serves, is sponsoring the free weekly classes, which began February 7 and 8 and are open to the community.

“Since 2007, Kula for Karma has offered over 600 programs in the Tri-State area, at no cost, to those with physical and mental health challenges, “said Penni Feiner, the organization’s Executive Director. “Our success has been grounded in a community of dedicated volunteers, including yoga instructors, allied health professionals, business leaders and local supporters like Whole Foods Market.”

The Whole Foods Love Your Body Love Yourself class is designed to transform negative body image into acceptance and body love by offering yoga that is accessible, body positive and reflects the full range of human diversity. Classes will take place at The Body Image Boutique, 96 E. Allendale Rd. in Saddle River, NJ, on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. beginning February 7.

The Whole Foods Market Healthy Heart class is for those recovering from heart disease. This gentle class focuses on relaxation techniques designed to mitigate stress and promote physical, mental and emotional well-being. Classes will be held Wednesdays at 7 p.m., starting February 8, at Powerflowyoga, 530 S. Broad St., in Glen Rock, NJ.

Kula for Karma is a nonprofit that is pioneering the integration of therapeutic yoga, meditation and stress management into mainstream medicine and healthcare. The organization’s relationship with Whole Foods Market dates back to when the natural foods supermarket opened its Ridgewood, NJ store. Feiner was teaching for Kula at the Woodlea Group Home, a facility for at risk teen girls run by Children’s Aid and Family Services.

“The store’s community’s manager invited the girls to wrap gifts in the Whole Body department,” Feiner recalls. “We set up a table and wrapped until our fingers were raw! Kula’s relationship with Whole Foods Market grew from there.”

Whole Foods Market has donated food to all of Kula for Karma’s major fundraising events, including its annual gala. Five years ago the organization was the designated local nonprofit for one of the Ridgewood store’s “5% Days”, receiving five percent of that day’s net sales.

“This new collaboration is the continuation of a longstanding and mutual admiration for one another’s missions and vision,” said Feiner. “We are grateful for Whole Foods Market’s four Bergen County stores, for continuing to support our passion for sharing the healing power of yoga with our community.”

Whole Foods Market operates Bergen County locations in: Closter, Edgewater, Paramus and Ridgewood.

Registration is required for both classes, and participants can sign up online here. For more information email info@kulaforkarma.org or call 888-545-9642.

Yoga in One Word: What Yoga Means to Us

As you may have already experienced, yoga means many different things to different people.

Practicing yoga can be about physical care, about emotional well-being, about community, or a multitude of other things. We think this range of meaning is both beautiful and powerful, so we created a video of our amazing team members and friends sharing what yoga means to them in one word. Hear what they had to say:

As a part of the Kula family, we’d like to invite you to share what yoga means to you in one word as well. You can do so by commenting below, sharing on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) with hashtag #YogaInOneWord and tagging Kula, or by creating your own short video. We’ll compile your answers, and be sure to share them here.

Thank you for being a part of our community! It is because of you that we can continue our work to ensure that yoga is accessible to all, and we’re incredibly grateful for your dedication and support.

If you’re interested in joining the Kula team as a volunteer yoga instructor, we’d love to connect with you. You can learn more about it and start the process here.


Here are some of the wonderful responses we've received from the Kula community about what yoga means to them:

  • Love
  • Revitalization
  • Happiness
  • Tranquility
  • Yolk
  • Breath
  • Lifestyle
  • Solace

Program of the Month: Jericho Project

Our program of the month is the Jericho Project!

Jericho Project

The Jericho Project provides a Veterans Initiative to over 550 veterans in New York City. Jericho's Veterans Initiative is comprised of housing, employment and supportive services for veterans. 

Providing instruction and practices in yoga and meditation may help veterans lead more successful post-deployment lives, helping them transition back to civilian life and reconnect with themselves, friends, and families.

Kula is proud to have been serving the veterans at Jericho Project for a year! We are looking forward to expanding our programming within this wonderful organization to help more veterans, as well as families and young adults in need.