Yoga Gives Back (YGB) proudly announces that Mallika Chopra, author of Living with Intent, will receive the first-ever Yoga Gives Back Namaste Award at the foundation’s fourth-annual Thank You Mother India fundraiser taking place Sept. 26, in Malibu, Calif. The Thank You Mother India fundraiser is a joyous evening where 200 members of the Southern California yoga community come together for an altruistic cause and express gratitude to “Mother India” for the gift of yoga.


“The Namaste Award was established in 2015 to recognize special people who have gone beyond the practice and teaching of yoga to incorporate noble humanitarian service, which elevates humankind and helps make the world a better place,” says Kayoko Mitsumatsu, a Tokyo-born documentary film producer and practicing yogi, who founded the LA-based non profit Yoga Gives Back in 2007. “I am thrilled to present our first Namaste Award to Mallika Chopra, who is passionate about the power of meditation and will lead a special meditation at the event.”

“While it’s common for many to perceive yoga as a mere physical exercise, through deeper study, we learn that the ultimate goal of yoga is to unite with the Divine Self—where 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 award.”

Mitsumatsu founded YGB 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 to me that if everyone worldwide who enjoys yoga donates 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 will take place at the home of philanthropist Dr. Amarjit Marwah at 6 p.m. Following a welcome reception, there will be a seated 3-course dinner featuring the Namaste Award ceremony, followed by a short YGB FILMS presentation, silent and live auction, raffle, and live performance by the Odissi dancers. Each event attendee will receive a generous gift bag from the event sponsors.

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This local Malibu fundraiser serves as the launch for YGB’s annual five-month, global fundraising campaign. From September 2015 through January 2016, 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 India. “In 2014-2015, nearly $70,000 was raised globally through this annual global campaign. Yoga studios and communities hosted special yoga classes or fundraiser events whose proceeds raised the majority of funding for YGB’s programs,” says Mitsumatsu. “Including the proceeds of this year’s Malibu event, our end goal this year is to arrive at $100,000.”

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

The Title Sponsor for this year’s event is author Rina Tham, who has been supporting YGB’s Malibu Fundraiser since its inception. Rina wrote a book of inspiration for children worldwide, Lucky Number 9: Journey of a Rubber Tapper’s Daughter (http://www.luckynumber9.org/), and she plans to donate this book to all children in YGB programs in India. The Gold Sponsor is also a repeat donor Chalice Recording Studio (http://chalicerecording.com/). Table Sponsors include Darius and Carla Gagne of Abacus Wealth Partners (http://abacuswealth.com/) and YogaGlo (https://www.yogaglo.com/), with other sponsors expected.

The live auction items, all valued at $3,000 and over include: a Palmpring organic coconut mattress (www.Palmpringusa.com), YOGAMAZÉ 200-hour teacher training for 2015-2016 with respected yogi Noah Mazé (http://yogamaze.net/200tt-los-angeles-2016/); and a 6 night/7day trip for 2 people within India (airfare excluded) courtesy of Cal India Tours & Travels (www.calindiatours.com).

The 2015 Host Committee includes many prestigious members of the yoga community: Anand Mehrotra, Felicia Tomasko, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Guru Jagat, Jorgen Christiansson, Ken Atchity, Kia Miller, Kino MacGregor, Lauren Peterson, Steve Ross, Siva Mohan, Susan Nichols, Suze Yalof Schwartz and Tara Guber.

The Thank You Mother India fundraiser takes place from 6-9 pm at 29057 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Tickets are $125 each (New Membership Appreciation Rate); regular price tickets are $180. Tickets are now available here (hyperlink http://yogagivesback.org/tymi/malibu).

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.