Meet Our Advisors
People that care and help us find our way.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Lisa Walford holds an Intermediate Senior II Iyengar teaching certificate and has been teaching yoga in Los Angeles since 1982. She continues her studies annually with the Iyengars, in Pune, India, and teaches worldwide.
Lisa is on the Board of the not-for-profit organization Iyengar Yoga Therapeutics and the Iyengar Yoga Association of Los Angeles.She was the curriculum director for the Teacher Training Program at YogaWorks through 2006, and was instrumental in its development. She is on the advisory board of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the Yoga Studies program at Loyola Marymount University. Lisa has a BA from UCLA and is co-author of The Longevity Diet, now in its second edition, and The Anti-Aging Plan
PREMAL SHAH, Co-Founder & President, Kiva.org
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Premal co-founded Kiva.org in 2005, which now loans microfinance to 2.4 million people in 83 countries, in total of over 984 million dollars as of 2017. Repayment rate is 97.1 %. Premal’s inspiration for Kiva came during a 2-month volunteer trip he took to India in 2004. During his trip he worked with low-income women to help them sell handcrafts online. While the project had mixed results, it strengthened his belief that the right combination of technology, business and love can create access to opportunity for those who need it most.
Prior to Kiva, Premal worked at PayPal for 6 years as Principal Product Manager during the company’s early years. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and to FORTUNE magazine’s ‘Top 40 under 40’ list for his work as a social entrepreneur and co-founder of Kiva. He is a graduate of Stanford University.
“I believe in the power of yoga to re-center ourselves and connect with the divinity within us and more importantly, within each other. When we give, it not only helps someone else but just as importantly, it helps us spiritually grow. YGB is one of my opportunities to spiritually gro
Pranidhi Varshney is a devoted Ashtanga yoga practitioner and teacher, and the founder of Yoga Shala West, a community-supported Ashtanga yoga shala in West Los Angeles. She met Manju Jois early on in her journey, and he continues to be her teacher and mentor. Pranidhi teaches to share the love she has for Ashtanga yoga and for all students who follow this path. She aims to cultivate, for herself and for her students, a sense of balance on and off the mat—simultaneous strength and surrender. Her goal is to inspire her students to build a regular practice, for committing to practice is the surest way she’s found to live an authentic, compassionate life.
Pranidhi writes regularly, has released an album of Sanskrit chanting, and is active in the global yoga community, working as a Yoga Gives Backambassador and sitting on the advisory board of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition. She also works with Service Space to continue to ignite transformation in herself and others. Through all her work, she aims to build community and touch the heart.
Melvyn’s other skills involve marketing, documentary production and visual communications.
Kino MacGregor is an international yoga teacher, author of two books (Sacred Fire, The Power of Ashtanga Yoga), producer of six Ashtanga Yoga DVDs, writer, vlogger, world traveler, co-founder of Miami Life Center and founder of Miami Yoga Magazine. Her YouTube channel reached more than 8 million views. She is one of a select group of people to receive the Certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India and practices through the Fourth Series of Ashtanga Yoga. Her website is www.kinoyoga.com.
“The daily practice of Ashtanga Yoga has transformed my life and through Yoga Gives Back I have the chance to give something back to the home of Ashtanga Yoga in the world in India. For as little as the cost of one yoga class you can change someone’s life in India. Yoga helps Westerners find peace and thus make their lives more sustainable. With the power of micro-financing Yoga Gives Back helps Indian women gain access to opportunities that would otherwise simply not exist. I am honored to do what I can for Yoga Gives Back.”
Tara is a philanthropist, activist, educator and practitioner of yoga for nearly 40 years, Tara Lynda Guber is author of Contact Yoga, the acclaimed guide for utilizing yoga to strengthen relationships, romantic and familial, which earned several awards including a gold Independent Publisher Book Award and a Nautilus Book Award. Tara has been a prominent health and wellness advocate for decades, and regularly traveled to teach at education facilities such as Kripalu Center, the Esalen Institute, and Omega, along with yoga conferences across the U.S., Canada and Europe. A former elementary school teacher, in 2001 she founded YogaEd, one of the first full-time yoga programs to be integrated in a public school, designed to help children explore body, mind and self, and improve their mental focus, academic achievement and relationships. Prior to founding YogaEd, she co-founded Education First!, which successfully produced television programming including a two-hour educational special ,“Back To School” for CBS. With her husband Peter Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, they are owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) and Golden State Warriors (NBA), with Tara serving on the board of the Golden State Warriors Foundation, which works to promote sports and health via youth programs. Also a member of the UCLA Health board and the Joyful Heart Foundation board, she is a founding member of the board of directors of The Accelerated School, the charter school in South Central Los Angeles named “Elementary School of the Year” by Time magazine. Tara Guber resides in Los Angeles.
“I support Yoga Gives Back as an amazing program that supports children and women and India towards creating sustainable livelihoods. I have a deep connection with yoga, and it’s birthplace, India. What better way to connect than through an organization that offers ways to improve the future of both of those?”
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