Kayoko Mitsumatsu, founder Yoga Gives Back, (l), poses with David Lynch and his Namaste Award. (@KaoriSuzuki)

Film director and Twin Peaks’ creator David Lynch Receives 2016 Namaste Award from Yoga Gives Back at Sept. 25th Fundraiser in Malibu, Calif. – #Society, #YogaGivesBack, #ThankyouMotherIndia, #Yoga, #NamasteAward, #Malibu, #California, #TwinPeaksseries, #AmarjitMarwah, #DavidLynch #TranscendentalMeditation

Yoga Gives Back (YGB) proudly announced three-time Oscar-nominated film director and creator ­of the Twin Peaks series, David Lynch, as the recipient of the YGB foundation’s prestigious 2016 Namaste Award at their fifth-annual fundraising gala in Malibu, Calif., attended by over 200 guests.

Lynch graciously accepted the Namaste Award which recognizes his uplifting work using Transcendental Meditation, carried out through his David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. He said he wishes “auspiciousness to be seen everywhere, suffering belongs to no one, peace,” when accepting the award. His Foundation teaches Transcendental Meditation in many countries and, through its practice, helps young children in inner-city schools, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, the homeless, and women and girls who are victims of violence. Lynch has been practicing Transcendental Meditation daily since 1973.

Entertainment at the Malibu home event. (@KaoriSuzuki)

Entertainment at the Malibu home event. (@KaoriSuzuki)

YGB founder Kayoko Mitsumatsu explains, “While it’s common for many to perceive yoga as a physical exercise, the ultimate goal of the practice of yoga is to unite with the Divine Self—and 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 Namaste Award.”

“The Namaste Award recognizes special people who have gone beyond the practice and teaching of yoga to incorporate noble humanitarian service, which helps make the world a better place,” she continues, “and we believe Mr. Lynch exemplifies this through his acts of kindness and desire to help others reach enlightenment. ”

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% of India’s population still live on under $2.00 a day,” she says. “It became very clear that if everyone worldwide who enjoys yoga donates even the cost of one yoga class to help those less fortunate, we can effect real change in the birthplace of yoga.”

The Thank You Mother India fundraiser is a joyous annual event gathering 200 members of the Southern California yoga community and beyond, to express gratitude to “Mother India” for the gift of yoga.

(L-r): Bob Roth, David Lynch, and Ken Atchity. (@KaoriSuzuki)

(L-r): Bob Roth, David Lynch, and Ken Atchity. (@KaoriSuzuki)

This year’s fundraiser took place Sept. 25, at the Malibu estate of philanthropist Dr. Amarjit Marwah. Following a welcome reception with live entertainment and silent auction, there was a seated dinner featuring a live auction, raffle, short YGB FILMS presentation, and the Namaste Award ceremony.

This fundraiser serves as the launch for YGB’s annual five-month, global fundraising campaign. From September 2016 through January 2017, more than 150 YGB events will take place in over 15 countries heightening awareness of the realities faced by the poor, especially women and children in India. “While the 2015-2016 global campaign raised over $75,000, this year’s goal is to raise over $100,000,” says Mitsumatsu. “Yoga studios and communities will again host special yoga classes or fundraisers whose proceeds will benefit YGB’s programs.”

“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 900 mothers and children in Karnataka and West Bengal, India,” she adds. YGB’s micro-loans and educational scholarships offer a minimum five-year commitment to each recipient.

The 2016 YGB Host Committee includes many prestigious members of the yoga community: Derik Mills, Felicia Tomasko, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Jorgen Christiansson, Ken Atchity, Kino MacGregor, Koji Toyoda, Mandy Ingber, Phillip Goldberg, Shiva Rae, Susan Nichols, Lauren Peterson, and Tara Guber.

Yoga Gives Back is a 501©(3) non-profit organization and all or part of the gift may be deducted as a charitable contribution. Check with a tax advisor. For more information, visit Yoga Gives Back or contact info@yogagivesback.org.