"Being retired, the work I do outside Kula is mostly working on my own dharma. Teaching yoga to the people at Care Plus helps to keep me focused on my work. The people I teach have all had such difficulties in their lives, while I have had a relatively comfortable existence in comparison. I am constantly made aware how little excuse I have for not following the path of the yamas and niyamas. My students struggle so much with issues that I have never had to face, and I am strengthened in my resolve by seeing their strength.  And with limited shared experience, writing dharma talks for my students keeps me in touch with the basic essence of the yamas that speaks to everyone, regardless of circumstance."

- Eileen Clancy, Volunteer Yoga Instructor

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Amanda Sacks

"I absolutely loved teaching yoga to children at Bellevue Hospital on the psychiatric inpatient unit. Some of the children admitted are struggling with severe depression while others are overcoming abuse or neglect. Regardless of the situation, it was always rewarding to bring mindfulness and movement to the patients. It was powerful to watch as a rowdy atmosphere settled when the children started flowing through poses and listening to their breath. Similarly, quieter groups benefited from the tranquility that yoga can bring. Ultimately, I was able to refine my teaching skills to each group of children who entered the room, so that they could leave feeling relieved. Teaching at Bellevue has also solidified my career interests, as I hope to work with adolescents in a treatment program when I complete my master's degree in social work. This Kula for Karma program assisted me in finding my passion, as I would never have had the opportunity to interact with and learn from the children and hospital staff otherwise. As a yoga instructor, and as a future social worker, I plan to support children in a psychiatric hospital setting and guide them towards discovering emotional strength and behavioral growth.”

- Amanda Sacks, Volunteer Yoga Instructor

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Jackie Owen

"It is with much gratitude that I teach a Yoga for Veterans class for Kula for Karma, in partnership with Team RWB, at the Ridgewood YMCA.  Leading a practice that moves with intention, breath, acceptance, and a little bit of humor, is my way to express thanks for all of those who have sacrificed so much for all of us."

- Jackie Owen, Volunteer Yoga Instructor

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"Our Yoga class is about making a human connection with nursing home residents who have diminished physical and mental capabilities. Class helps the wheelchair-bound seniors make a mind body connection. After class, I make sure to shake each person's hand and engage in one-on-one conversation. A simple "What a pretty sweater" lets them know I notice something special about each and every one of them. My reward is their reward. I feel great about teaching this class."

Joan, Volunteer Yoga Instructor

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Tom Filan

"I have observed that while teaching Yoga at the Hudson County Correction Center my clients experience a discharge of accumulated stress and a reduction of anxiety. The practice helps in developing self-regulation. I overheard a client tell another client how he didn't commit violence against an inmate because he did the breathing exercise I taught him and it calmed him down. I was delighted. I see more emotional stability, a greater sensitivity to self, a clarity in thinking that is less reactive and more conscience. The physical aspect has an impact too, providing flexibility and strength building that complements traditional workouts that the inmates do. Most importantly, I find the clients experience a rewarding sense of accomplishment, relaxation in a traumatic environment and a better mood."

- Tom Filan, Volunteer Yoga Instructor

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Charlotte Chandler Stone

"Traditional yoga provides a broad spectrum of benefits. However, there are many who can’t participate in standard yoga classes. For those with conditions such as cancer, cardiac disease, spine surgeries, or movement disorders, population-specific classes open the door to yoga experiences that are not only safe, sensible, and stress-relieving, but deeply therapeutic. There is no doubt in my mind that this custom-tailored, deeply informed yoga is profoundly therapeutic and healing for our students. It is a great honor to serve them; they are our greatest teachers."

- Charlotte Chandler Stone, Director, Integrative Yoga Therapeutics, Kula for Karma

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Adrienne Yourey

"Currently guiding middle school kids in Paterson on their yoga journey, I bring my child-like enthusiasm to the mat.  Energetic and playful sequences are essential to keeping the children engaged and challenged.  Additionally, I incorporate various pranayama techniques for the children to use in everyday situations."

- Adrienne Yourey, Instructor

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Allison Schubert

"I am extremely grateful for the support Kula has given me in providing classes for Children’s Village. I’m also grateful to work with great students and staff, this is an ideal teaching experience for me."

- Allison Schubert, Instructor at Children’s Village

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Suzanne Andora-Barron

“Just wanted to share with you a cool moment at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital today. Today I asked this one five- year old named Leila, what superpower she would have if she could do anything and she said, "I would make rainbows." When I asked her where, she said, "here" and pointed to the clinic floor. She had so much energy and could barely sit still but after she practiced sa, ta, na, ma for a couple minutes, she said she could feel her breath in her head, her neck and her heart.”

- Suzanne Andora-Barron, Volunteer Yoga Instructor

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Shari Becker

“As a clinical psychologist, I have noticed that many of my patients hold onto unresolved emotional issues somewhere in their bodies. For many years, I referred my patients to yoga studios, yoga teachers and yoga therapists to help them access "the issues in their tissues."  In January 2014, I was privileged to receive my own yoga teaching training and began teaching yoga at Mount Sinai Medical Center. I am so grateful to Kula for Karma for giving me the opportunity to teach a group of women who form the SAVI (Sexual Abuse Victim Intervention) program through Mount Sinai. These women work directly and indirectly with victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. As a result, they work directly and indirectly with trauma. It is my privilege to bring yoga, pranayama and meditation to the SAVI group once a month, working with them to release the emotional stress they hold in their own bodies as a result of their connections with trauma victims.”

- Shari Becker, Volunteer Yoga Instructor

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