Mental Health

Kula for Karma - Yoga for Mental Illness

Did you know there are an estimated 43.7 million adults in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with Mental Illness in the past year, and 1 in 5 children have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder?

Mental illness is a serious medical condition disrupting a person's thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Mental illness often results in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.  Additionally, three out of four people with mental illness face stigma which can negatively effect their overall health.

Studies show yoga used as add-on treatment for mentally ill patients improved their overall mental health and quality of life.  Additionally, research indicates mentally ill patients who practice meditation are more likely to have lower anxiety.  Kula for Karma partners with treatment centers and facilities to provide modified yoga to their patients.

Current Programs

Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, NY     Christian Healthcare, Wyckoff, NJ

Debra Simon Center for Integrative Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ

New Bridge Medical Center, Paramus, NJ

Past Programs

Covenant House, Montclair, NJ



"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