Our Advisors

Mexico

Belinda Carlisle

Belinda gained fame as the lead singer of the Go-Go’s, one of the most successful all-female bands of all time, and went on to have a prolific career as a solo artist. Carlisle supports LGBT rights and in 2014, Carlisle co-founded Animal People Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in CalcuttaIndia, that raises funds and trains and employs impoverished women to care for street animals.
“I have been to India countless times through the years, I love the culture and the people.  From spending a lot of time there I have seen the challenges that those people face, and I love the work that Yoga Gives Back does.  I love the humanity behind the work and have seen how effective YGB has been.  I humbled to have been asked to be on the Advisory Board – I will gladly support them in the wonderful work they do with India’s women and children.”

Website:http://www.belindacarlisle.tv/

Trudy Goodman

Trudy Goodman, PH.D., is the founding teacher of InsightLA and cofounder of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. She has taught at universities and retreat centers worldwide for over 40 years. Trudy has trained in mindfulness and Zen since 1973, holds a graduate degree in developmental psychology from Harvard, and is one of the senior Buddhist teachers in the U.S. She is widely known for her role as the voice of Trudy the Love Barbarian in the Netflix series “Midnight Gospel”. Trudy is a contributing author: Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness (Springer, 2008); Compassion and Wisdom in Psychotherapy, (Guilford Press, 2011); Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, (Guilford Press, 2013). Learn more about Trudy at TrudyGoodman.com and InsightLA.org.

“I support yoga gives back because this is heartfelt gratitude in action. I love YGB’s international outreach – 30 countries and counting, the support and focus on sisterhood, education, and love.”

Colorado

Mary Taylor

richardfreemanyoga.com

Beth Gallagher

Beth Gallagher is an Emmy winning film editor in Venice, California. Beth seeded the idea of  YGB FILMS and continued to support its production for the last 15 years.

“As a documentary film editor  I understand the power of story telling. I am continually impressed and inspired by how well Yoga Gives Back uses the power of story telling in its documentary films of underserved women and girls in India as they confront poverty and discrimination.

In the last 15 years Yoga Gives Back has combined movie making with activism to reach and grow its global yoga community. As a result, YGB has inspired thousands of yoga practitioners from around the world to transform their personal yoga practice into global action,
by funding micro loans, orphanages and scholarships for higher education.

I look forward to supporting YGB for years to come. I am excited to see how Yoga Gives Back will continue to evolve and expand as a global organization, making real change for women and children in yoga’s country of origin, Mother India.”

 

Melanie C. Klein

Melanie C. Klein, M.A., is an empowerment coach, thought leader in the areas of radical self-acceptance, authentic empowerment, and supercharged confidence. She is also a successful writer, speaker, and professor of Sociology and Gender + Women’s Studies. Her areas of interest and specialty include media literacy education, body image, and the intersectional analysis of systems of power and privilege. She is the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery + Loving Your Body (Llewellyn, 2014) with Anna Guest-Jelley, a contributor in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice (Horton & Harvey, 2012), is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis (Shroff, 2014), a featured writer in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living (Llewellyn, 2016), co-editor of Yoga, the Body and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis with Dr. Beth Berila and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016), Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body (Llewellyn, 2018) and the co-editor of the new anthology, Embodied Resilience through Yoga (Llewellyn, 2020). She co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014 and lives in California.

“I support Yoga Gives Back’s mission to serve, uplift and empower women and children. For me, yoga has been about personal transformation and healing as a path to serve, support and advocate for change in the spirit of collective liberation. Kayoko Mitsumatsu and Yoga Gives Back is a shining example of that shared perspective and praxis.”

Dr. Shyam Ranganathan

Dr. Shyam Ranganathan (MA South Asian Studies, MA and PhD Philosophy) is a field-changing researcher, scholar, author, and teacher of philosophy, and an expert in the neglected traditions of Indian moral philosophy, which covers practical questions of how to live, what to aim for, and what we should value—including Yoga.⁠

“Yoga is marketed as an exercise in narcissism, but it’s the very opposite. That’s why I am so glad to support Yoga Gives Back, as it is the public practice of a very essential part of Yoga, namely disrupting systemic harm to make room for people. And I am especially excited about its focus on India, from where we learn about Yoga, and for helping, and for focusing on creating sustainable lives for India’s women and children.”⁠

Chris Chapple

Christopher Key Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and founding Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. A specialist in the religions of India, he has published more than twenty books, including the recent Living Landscapes: Meditations on the Elements in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Yogas (SUNY Press). He serves as advisor to multiple organizations including the Forum on Religion and Ecology (Yale), the Ahimsa Center (Pomona), the Dharma Academy of North America (Berkeley), the Jain Studies Centre (SOAS, London), the South Asian Studies Association, and International School for Jain Studies (New Delhi). He teaches online through the Center for Religion and Spirituality (LMU) and YogaGlo.
https://bellarmine.lmu.edu/theologicalstudies/faculty/?expert=christopherkey.chapple
“India has given so much to the world, materially (fabrics and jewels), culturally (great food, music, and dance), and spiritually (meditation and Yoga). Through Yoga Gives Back, Yoga practitioners have an opportunity to return the favor by supporting the material and educational needs of young women in India, important meritorious service!”
India

Suresh K. Krishna

Mr. Suresh K. Krishna is the co-founder & CEO of Yunus Social Business Fund Bengaluru and co-founder & partner of Yunus Social Business India Initiatives.

He has studied MA in sociology and Management at IIMB, Bengaluru. Mr. Suresh is a regular speaker & presenter at various national & international forums.

“Yoga is an integral part of all of our lives. It is not about physical well-being but the emotional and spiritual wellness too. Yoga Gives Back has been thriving since long with a mission to mobilize the global yoga community to empower women and children in India to build sustainable livelihoods. As a social entrepreneur and managing Trustee of a Charitable Trust myself, I strongly feel that our missions are alike and that we together can achieve many things to bring a positive impact in the community, more importantly during this pandemic. I support YGB and respectfully stand with its mission and vision.”

London

David Swenson

ashtanga.net

Kino MacGregor

“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.”

Philip Goldberg

Philip Goldberg has been studying India’s spiritual traditions for more than 50 years, as a practitioner, teacher, public speaker, and writer. He is the author of numerous books, including Roadsigns on the Spiritual Path; the award-winning American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West; The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru; and his latest, Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times: Powerful Tools to Cultivate Calm, Clarity, and Courage. He blogs on Elephant Journal and Spirituality & Health, cohosts the Spirit Matters podcast, and leads American Veda Tours to India. His website is www.PhilipGoldberg.com.

“I have always considered India my spiritual homeland. It is a land of both sublime blessings and horrifying problems. Its people need help, and it warms my heart when those whose lives have been enriched and transformed by the wisdom of India’s sages step up to contribute. One of those generous souls is Kayoko Mitsumatsu, and I am honored that she asked me to be an advisor to Yoga Gives Back. I have high regard for the work YGB has done and look forward to helping it continue to uplift Indian lives in any way I can.”

LOS ANGELES, CA

TARA LYNDA GUBER

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?”

SANTA MONICA, CA

MALLIKA CHOPRA

Founder of Intent and The Chopra Well
SANTA MONICA, CA

Mallika Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, public speaker and published author. Her most recent book, Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy, was published in April 2015.

Mallika is the founder of Intent.com, a website and app focused on personal, social and global wellness. Her intent is to harness the power of social media to connect people from around the world to improve their own lives, their communities and the planet.

“I support YGB because of the work they do to support women and children in need. Kayoko, her team, and the many supporters of YGB’s programs embody an authentic understanding that yoga is about service, not just to ourselves, but to our world. Their programs educate and empower, and support real transformation for individuals and communities.”

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

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 grow.

Lisa Walford

“My teacher B. K. S. Iyengar always said that “Generosity does not impoverish.” I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to giving back in particular to the country from which Iyengar came from, India. There are those of us to whom generosity, gratitude is kind of the core who we are. I think for those of us who have the capacity to cultivate that muscle, that heart muscle of gratitude is a tremendous practice in small ways, in big ways.”

LOS ANGELES, CA

GURMUKH KAUR KHALSA

LOS ANGELES, CA

Gurmukh is the co-founder of Golden Bridge, the premier center for the study and practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan. For more than four decades students in Los Angeles and around the world have sought out her classes in Kundalini Yoga, Meditation, and Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga. Since being baptized more than 40 years ago with the spiritual name that means, “One who helps thousands across the world ocean,” Gurmukh has dedicated her life to fulfilling her namesake. As two of the world`s leading Kundalini Yoga teachers, she and her husband Gurushabd travel worldwide, bringing this vast Technology and Teachers’ Training Programs to students globally in the U.S.A., Mexico, Europe, Russia, India, and South Africa. She is the creator and pioneer of The Khalsa Way Prenatal Teachers’ Training Immersion. Gurmukh`s book, The Eight Human Talents, has been a long-time yoga best-seller along with her many DVDs. Gurmukh founded Seva Corp., a nonprofit organization that supports schools and orphanages in India. Her Spiritual Teacher Yogi Bhajan taught, “We have come to create teachers, not to have students.” She has dedicated her life to the Teachings of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

California

Pranidhi Varshney

yogashalawest.com

KOMNIEVE SINGH

Komnieve is a meditator, motivator and entrepreneur based in Southern California. Most recently, he served as the President and co-founder of CallFire, a software company that was named one of the top 5 places to work in Los Angeles as well as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States by both Inc. Magazine and Delloite Consulting. Prior to CallFire, he founded an open source focused telecom consultancy. He now finds himself deepening in stillness and contemplation while applying his business acumen to helping socially conscious organizations make an impact.

Charleston, SC

TINA BECK

Charleston, SC
Tina Beck, Chief Marketing Officer of Elite Consulting Partners, is a seasoned marketing professional, who has achieved superior results in executing strategic marketing campaigns, with specialization in the fields of public relations, media relations, social marketing, copywriting, multimedia campaign development, event management, and specialty promotions. Elite Consulting Partners, of which Tina is a member of the leadership team is a recruiting and transition consultant, merger & acquisition, and business consulting firm focused on providing strategic advice and solutions to the financial services industry. Elite Consulting Partners prides itself on offering unparalleled service, unbiased advice, and expert guidance to both advisors and corporate clients in order to ensure each client’s objectives and goals are realized during their due-diligence and transition process.
CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA

JULIA WILSON

Former Vice President, University Advancement, CSU Channel Islands; Former Executive Director, Grameen Foundation West Coast
CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA

Retired after 25 years of non-profit fund raising, Wilson is now consulting with organizations that work in areas of poverty alleviation, mostly focused around healthcare and education for women and girls as a means of social change. In previous roles she worked with Grameen Foundation and Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate for his pioneering work in micro finance, to bring awareness and resources to the lack of status and opportunity for poor women.

“I joined Grameen Foundation in 2007 because I believed strongly in the power of microfinance and its role in the empowerment of women. In May of that year, Kayoko approached me about establishing a relationship between the Foundation and Yoga. I was thrilled that such committed individuals would bring the Yoga community to support the movement. Yoga enthusiasts understand the importance of healing the spirit and nothing heals the spirit of impoverished families more than a woman’s ability to support her children. I have seen it first-hand and I am pleased to continue my work with Yoga Gives Back as an advisor.”