In Los Angeles, many people work in the media industry and do yoga, but few connect their two passions in a way that brings positive social change to the world. Kayoko Mitsumatsu, founder of Yoga Gives Back, married her two interests in film and yoga with a powerful vision to empower the women of India through micro-loan and education financing. Traveling back and forth to India nearly every year Mitsumatsu chronicles the stories of empowerment and change that her charity Yoga Gives Back effects through documentary style films that she creates and posts on YouTube.
As soon as she started practicing yoga the immediacy of the poverty that afflicts the majority of women in India struck a chord in her heart. Mitsumatsu had the empathic realization that these women were just like her, struggling to make their dreams come true. Through Yoga Gives Back she has created a path for the some of the women in India to work towards making their dreams reality. . .
For the cost of one yoga class we can change a life is the mantra of Yoga Gives Back, a charity founded by Mitsumatsu in 2007. She says, “While benefitting so much from regular Yoga practice and teachings, it hit me hard that 75 percent of India’s population still live under $2.00 a day. It came clear to me, if everyone who enjoys Yoga in the world, puts one class fee to the pot to provide micro loans for the poor in India, we can effect change.” With this mission in mind Mitsumatsu launched a global fundraising initiative that has grown to include yoga teachers who believe in the mission, organize and host donation classes to raise awareness and funds for the charity through over 100 events in more than 17 countries each year.
Yoga and Filmmaking Combine to Change the Lives of Women in India by Kino MacGregor