July 9, 2012

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Yoga For People Celebrates 300th Class

Sarah Cutler

July 9, 2012

Just as the body needs food to operate, so does the mind. Yoga For People, which has a goal of helping people feed their mind with free yoga classes throughout the community, recently celebrated its 300th free yoga class.

Yoga For People is a nonprofit, Salt Lake City-based organization that provides free yoga classes to underserved populations. Founder Santosh Maknikar, along with volunteers, teaches classes at shelters, treatment centers, prisons, schools and libraries.

“Yoga is a balance of physical and mental activity. Yoga calms your mind, gets rid of depression, gets rid of anxiety,” said Maknikar. “It will help a lot of people to recover from whatever they are going through. We need to bring it to a balance so that people who cannot afford it can benefit from yoga, too.”

According to Maknikar, the goal is to get companies and local yoga studios involved. For example, teachers could hold an onsite yoga class for employees, creating a happier and more efficient workplace—and the cost would be the amount the business decides to donate. As well, he envisions a community where yoga studios hold a donation-based or free class once a month or as often as possible.

The economy will benefit through this local endeavor, too, Maknikar said. College students who are working two or three jobs to pay for school would be able to attend a yoga class and allow their education to absorb. He said that people can gain greater confidence from practicing yoga, allowing them to obtain a job or function more efficiently at their current position. 

Yoga For People was founded in October 2011 and has spread across the state and the nation. Maknikar has trained volunteer teachers in Boston, Mass.; Newport Beach, Cali.; Madison and Milwaukee, Wis.; and select classes in India, Switzerland, Germany, Thailand and Indonesia.

For more information visit http://www.yogaforpeople.org

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