• Once a Yogi, Always a Yogi

    Yoga is not jealous or unforgiving. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Yoga is loving, nurturing, and no matter how far you stray, it will always be there, waiting for you to once again return to the mat. More than likely, for many of us, there will be times in our lives when we fall away from our practice. One moment we are loving it – we notice ourselves getting stronger, more flexible, more peaceful and more conscious – and then the next thing we know, we haven’t practiced in weeks.

    It happens to the best of us. No matter how good our intentions are and no matter how much we love our practice, sometimes we just fall away. And that’s okay. In that case, starting again is just part of the journey. And each time you make the brave decision to return to your mat, there are new lessons to be learned.

    Coming back to the mat can be intimidating, though. The feeling that you may have lost progress is enough to discourage anyone. But the truth is, once a yogi, always a yogi. Although you may have left your practice behind for a time, your practice never once left you. Our practice is with us every time we observe our breath, stand steady on our feet, or connect to anything greater than us; and this will be clear to you the moment you step back onto the mat.

    When it comes to returning to your practice, or even stepping onto a mat for the first time in your life, having a community can be the ultimate key to success. That’s where Omstars comes in.

    If you let us, we will carry the torch of yoga and lead you to the true light. Let us be your community, your support system, and the gentle encouragement you need to find your way back to the mat.

    The new year is just around the corner, and we can’t think of a better time to reconnect with yourself and your practice. Join us for our new 30-day beginner challenge, this January. With this challenge, we’re making it easier than ever to dive into a routine that you can stick to. With practices that are 20 minutes or less, plus a variety of teachers and styles of yoga, finding a system that works for you has never been simpler.

    Join the challenge, and we’ll send a new practice right to your inbox each and every day with words of encouragement to keep you inspired and motivated. Plus, our community is full of seasoned, new, and born-again yogis, just like you.

    We invite you to take this opportunity to humbly begin again, to explore yoga for the first time, or to transform your practice from hopeful and inconsistent to dedicated and daily. Wherever you are, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

    By Alex Wilson

     

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  • 30 Days to Create a Healthy New Habit with Omstars – Join the Challenge

    Get ready to kickstart the New Year with a healthy new habit that’s both lifechanging and sustainable – a daily yoga practice that fits seamlessly into your schedule! The all-new Omstars 30-Day Beginner Challenge is coming to town and it begins on January 1st!

    This challenge is designed to help you embark on the path of yoga as a new practitioner – no experience necessary! Showcasing a variety of classes, teachers, styles of practice and more, this challenge will help you learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Plus, every class offered through this challenge can be completed in just 20 minutes or less, so finding time to practice everyday will be simple!

    When you commit to 30-days of yoga with this new challenge, we’ll send you one of our beginner-focused, 15 to 20-minute class every day for 30 days. You’ll practice with a variety of existing Omstars teachers, plus several new teachers, and create a manageable routine that fits easily into your everyday life. You’ll have the opportunity to practice different styles of yoga from Ashtanga to Vinyasa, Yin and more!

    Plus, for every person who joins this challenge, our sponsors, OHMME and Liforme, will be donating $1 to Yoga Gives Back, up to $15,000! Yoga Gives back is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising awareness and funds in order to alleviate poverty in India.

    This is a wonderful opportunity to give back to those in need, plus jump into your own yoga practice with a set of amazing teachers, expert guidance, and a supportive community of new and established yogis just like you! Don’t miss this exciting new challenge and your chance to give yoga a try with Omstars – The Yoga Network!

    When you’re ready to join, here’s what you’ll need to do:

    Use the button bellow to sign up. Then log into Instagram and follow each of our sponsors and hosts: @kinoyoga @omstarsofficial @liforme @yogagivesback @ohmmeapparel

    Be sure to practice with us every day for the duration of the challenge, and share your journey with us on IG using our challenge hashtag #30dayyogajourney. Finally, be active in our community. Like and comment on posts from your fellow challenge participants to show your support and let them you know you’re right there with them.

    Remember, the challenge begins January 1st, 2019. We’ll be ready. Will you?

    By Alex Wilson

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  • Providing Clean Water To Children Around The World

    You may have noticed that so far, throughout 2018, OMstars has been supporting several causes that we believe will help make our world a better place. When Kino first dreamed OMstars up, she wanted it to be so much more than just an online yoga channel with videos we could all enjoy. Kino’s vision for OMStars was to create a platform that would give students the opportunity to practice yoga and do more good for the world. That’s why each of the challenges we host are associated with carefully chosen causes that are all focused on making the world a better place. We recently partnered with MiiR in an effort to support an organization called Splash and their mission to bring clean water to children around the world. Get to know a little more about these two organizations, their relationship, and how they work to make a difference in the world every day.

    MiiR was founded in 2010 with the idea that philanthropy could be integrated into the daily course of business, a concept novel for its time. Founder and CEO Bryan Papé sought to innovate a drinkware line that would contribute to solving the clean water crisis in addition to providing a sustainable alternative to bottled water consumption.

    Today, MiiR gives 3% of revenue to established, best in class nonprofits with an aim to empower people with access to a better future. Our partner organizations create sustainable giving projects in the clean water, health and food sectors that address both domestic and international issues. In total we have granted close to $650,000 and empowered the lives of 100,000+ people worldwide, and invite our customers to follow along in our journey of generosity by registering the Give Code™ associated with their MiiR product.

    MiiR and Splash first partnered in November 2016 with a $40,000 grant to benefit 1,200 students (and thousands more in future years) across nine schools in Kathmandu, Nepal. Splash achieved full WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) intervention at all nine schools with water filtration systems and increased water access points, sanitation improvements and hygiene education for lasting behavioral change. So quickly and efficiently was Splash able to accomplish this work that we issued a second grant for $15,000 in February 2017 to benefit another 350 students in four schools.

    MiiR’s clean water footprint with Splash has since expanded beyond Nepal to Ethiopia, China and India. After a year and a half of working together, we consider Splash to be one of our core partners, sharing in a symbiotic relationship with deep organizational alignment around integrity, transparency and innovation. In an ongoing collaborative capacity, both companies do what we do best, spanning the for-profit and non-profit sectors, to achieve a greater social and environmental impact.

    Splash is in the “business” of clean water, clean hands and clean toilets for kids living in urban poverty. With a greater than 99% success rate and a commitment to transparency by making their project results available to the public, Splash’s story is one MiiR easily and readily shares, and with good reason. Today, Splash serves those most vulnerable to death by water-borne illness to the tune of more than 400,000 children in eight countries, and is on track to reach one million by 2023!

    Splash doesn’t shy away from setting lofty goals, one of them being to reach every public school in Kolkata, India with the trifecta of clean water, clean hands and clean toilets. With the urban density of the city having exceeded more than three times that of New York City, this is by no means easy work. Yet progress is being made, with Splash serving 40,113 children in India daily.  

    MiiR and Splash were so excited to be part of the OMstars Challenge and to partner with Kino.  It will take all of us working together to move the needle on clean water.

    Share by our friends at MiiR

    Photo Credit @GavinGough

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  • Join this June Challenge, become the force of One Million Yogis!

    What if one million of us came together to empower others? I believe we can definitely make this happen. And it will truly enrich our yoga practice, too. It will become a two-way practice. It is estimated that 300 million people enjoy yoga worldwide today, generating 80 billion U.S. dollars. If we are part of this huge global trend, why don’t we take our own initiative and redirect a portion of this huge resource to give back to Mother India?

    This is why we are reaching out to you to be the force of One Million Yogis to make a massive positive impact in many more lives in India who desperately need our support for survival.  While we enjoy our blissful yoga practice on the mat, many mothers struggle to prepare the next meal for their children, young girls are forced into early arranged marriages, and orphans wander as HIV infected parents die in the towns and villages of India, the birthplace of yoga. I even met a teen girl in West Bengal who has been tortured by her father and brothers simply because she does not quit school. Today, with YGB’s scholarship and social program, she is earning good money and her family stopped beating her…the stories go on and on. Just as we want to make progress with our yoga, everyone  wants to make progress in life to reach one’s dream with joy and light. Why can’t we provide them with life changing opportunities?

    Most of us probably started yoga asana practice for physical exercise.

    Eleven years ago, I walked into an Ashtanga yoga class in Los Angeles looking for a fun and rigorous fitness class. I got hooked. I loved learning new poses and sweating a lot, while also slowing down and deepening my breathing. I was also introduced to Yoga’s spiritual tradition and started learning Sanskrit. One day, I read a line that hit me to my core, “First part of your life is to experience and learn. Second part of your life is to serve others.” I was 47. I did not know much about Seva or Karma of the yoga tradition. But this message truly resonated in me. With all I got from my daily yoga practice and my life, I needed to give back. To my surprise, I soon learned that many people actually share the exact same feeling!

    This was how Yoga Gives Back (YGB) was born and continues to grow. In its eleventh year, we now fund more than 1200 impoverished mothers, youths, and children in India with microloans and education funds with a minimum of five-year commitment to each person. Today, yoga communities in nearly 20 countries support our mission.

    I have never imagined that YGB could grow this much. But now, as YGB goes into its second decade of operation, I am convinced that we can do so much more. We can reach out to One Million Yogis globally!

    Here is another example how your support change lives:

    This year, we are adding new 25 teen “Devadasi” (servant to God) girls to our program, just north of Mysore. These girls  were born to Devadasi families in central Karnataka state. Once they reach to puberty, they are given to God in a marriage ceremony and labeled as “Devadasi, ” which is the beginning of their life long career as prostitutes as their mothers and grandmothers were.  Our NGO partner is working hard to rescue these girls, to provide them with good education and secure life so they can build their life with independence, sustainability and self-esteem. Your participation in this June Challenge will support these girls’ future!

    This is why I believe we can engage one million yogis:  We are not asking anybody to run a 5K to raise funds or to donate 1 million dollars. With your daily dedication, Kino’s continued support to our mission, and amazingly generous sponsors backing our effort, we get closer to One Million Yogis every day.

    If One Million Yogis get involved in this revolutionary movement, whether volunteering, hosting a class, doing Challenge, donating whatever you can, we can definitely uplift millions of lives in India. So why don’t we make this happen?!

    Running YGB for the last 11 years while enjoying the benefit and abundance of yoga practice, I am more convinced that yoga practice is enriched when it becomes a two-way practice. When you direct your energy gained from this practice not only to yourself but also to others, yoga truly starts to mean more. Yoga’s ripple effect truly starts to explode beyond our imagination. Maybe this is why Yoga means “Union.” Together we can effect change, by honoring our practice, and activating our gratitude.  Join us this June for Kino and Ahmed’s 10 Day Challenge, and stay involved in Yoga Gives Back’s #One MillionYogis Campaign. Namaste.

    By Kayoko Mitsumatsu

    Kayoko Mitsumatsu is the Founder and Executive Director of Yoga Gives Back

  • 30 Day Yoga Living Challenge: Sponsors & Prizes

    We’ve made it through the first week of the new year and our #30DayYogaLiving challenge and so far, we have nearly 11,000 participants, but there’s still room for more – it’s never too late to join! Besides giving each participant the opportunity to start 2018 by immersing themselves in the tradition of yoga, this challenge also comes with over $3,000 in prizes from our group of amazing sponsors. We are so honored and thankful to have so many amazing companies participating in this challenge with us, so we wanted to take this opportunity to thank and share a little about our sponsors.

    Run & Relax – A Scandinavian company that makes yoga and sportswear for women. Plus, they ship internationally! Throughout the challenge, they will be giving out several yoga tops, tights, and full outfits!

    Sankalpa – Sankalpa creates beautiful artist designed yoga products like yoga mats and yoga pants.  A different artist creates each design and every purchase made directly supports an independent artist.  You can visit them online, here: www.livesankalpa.com

    TruSelf Organics – This company was founded on a mission to help the people of the world love themselves through health, beauty and self-love. They create a line of all natural organic and cruelty-free skincare products that are easy to add into your own self-care routines. If you happen to be one of our lucky winners you might receive one of their travel size nourishing creams, detox masks, or bamboo utensils.

    Jala – Yoga inspired apparel made in LA. Every Jala piece is designed with beauty, meaning, comfort and function in mind, so that you can take your yoga style with you for yoga practice, and through each part of your life. Jala will be giving out gift cards to a few lucky winners.

    Liquido – Bold yoga and active wear to support your everyday life. Liquido clothing is mindfully made in Brazil with SPF protective fabric, limited edition styles, and they offer global shipping. They will be giving out a pair of leggings and a sports bra.

    Ohmme – Consciously developed men’s apparel that is made with movement in mind. Every piece of clothing is produced with the most innovative, ethical and honest means possible. Ohmme will be giving out a gift card to one lucky winner during the final week of the challenge.

    A special shout out and thank you to each of our sponsors – we are beyond excited to be working with you.

    By Alex Wilson