Page 1

President of the Board of Directors Annual Message After three years in operation The Yoke can look back on numerous achievements. Many of these were highlighted in 2017 to include new scholarships, expanding the world of yoga beyond asana and producing a variety of podcasts relevant to today's international yoga community. The Yoke has personally impacted me. For example the Yoke's book club has illuminated and clarified new ways of thinking. I try to step back more from the present moment and avoid making constant value judgments. The Yoke has pushed me to reconsider what is important in life. But The Yoke is not about any one person. Rather it is about the hundreds of people whose lives we touch: people who struggle to afford yoga classes, people who run our programs and those who benefit, people who have learned from our podcasts: people like you and me who have sustained The Yoke over time. In 2017 we overcame many obstacles and brought many keen ideas to fruition. But we will not be satisfied to look back. We must not rest on our laurels. Instead we will focus on future opportunities and as we project our mission and ideals into 2018. Douglas S. Files, M.D.

Executive Director’s Message Though still in our infancy stage as a non-profit I am excited about the wide reach of folks we have touched from Wisconsin to Hawai’i and the eastern shore of the US to folks in other countries via the internet. Not to mention folks in the very communities within which we live who benefit from donation based classes, Yoga resources going beyond the mat at our Yoga hub –www.theYoke.Yoga, opportunities to gather with other Yoga folk, and learn about all Yoga is and can be for them. Our third year of existence focused on reaching out and finding other collaboration partners. For example, our new mentor program – SAT is a great complement to anyone post teacher training or organizations offering a teacher training as part of their mission. This mentor-coaching program is another way we offer sustainability for folks venturing into the world as professionals in the field of Yoga. This type of assistance allows teachers and other Yoga professionals more time to focus on the folks they serve, and the capacity to serve them better. I am excited to see how it grows and the impact it continues to create. Be watching for other key programs to fill-the-needs of folks who have Yoga as a part of their lives. LauraLynn Jansen, MHEd., CPCC, e-RYT

As Yoga keeps shifting and evolving theYoke aspires to offer a bridge to this tradition started thousands of years ago. Our internet hub - theYoke.Yoga - is filled with relevant information for modern era lay persons and Yoga professionals. Courses assist in delving deeper into Yogic texts through the lens of how is this relevant to now. And Guidance services where Yoga professionals can find a wide range of resources from how to make a business plan to obtaining mentor-coaching from certified Yoga / coaching professionals. The aim is to keep the conversation going so these vast ancient life teachings called Yoga are relevant and accessible to anyone who is interested .

UNITE The primary focus of 2017 was collaboration. As a younger and still fairly unknown organization we are still reaching out to let folks know we are here. This year cultivation of these relationships was our added focus for expansion and service.

PARTNERSHIPS We expanded our partnerships with other Yoga non-profits (e.g. Body Image Coalition, Yoga Service Council, and Yoga Buzz) and several Yoga programs across the nation. These developing partnerships provide an opportunity for us to support each other in our programming. This way we aren’t replicating the wheel and we can deepnen refine what we are offering. We also deepened our relationship with Yoga professionals through Pay It Forward. http://www.theyoke.yoga/pay-itforward/ See below for further impact of this blossoming program.

thePODS Through the emergence of theYoke podcasts, the Pods, we have been able to collaborate with a slue of Yoga folk across the country. They have shared their wisdom in array of Yoga related topics geared toward lay folk and Yoga professionals. Pour a cup of tea and take a gander. https://vimeo.com/theyoke

SEVA DONATION-BASED CLASSES We continued our monthly classes on beaches, in parks and other venues across Oahu for the first part of the year. Our executive director is using her latest studies in nādā Yoga (Yoga of sound), Sanskrit, and mantra to offer Live sessions on Facebook, and in person with folks in her new home area of Hampton, VA. All of these are sliding scale. Behind the scenes we are developing more online offerings. (image below: Kahumana Organic Farm, Oahu)

COMMUNITY SUPPORT This year we took an international approach to supporting community. Through connections with LauraLynn’s nādā Yoga teacher who lives in India and has contacts with a particular organization supporting orphan children (due to varying circumstances). We gave them a donation. It will provide several youth clothing and the materials needed to attend school.

TRAINING ADVANCEMENT Our executive director deepened her knowledge as a Yoga professional with additional training. She attended a

Connected Warriors training (https://connectedwarriors.org/our-mission-journey/)


to enhance her capacity to teach military individuals, which she is hoping to implement in her new home this coming summer, in Colorado. She is also continuing her professional education as a teacher by delving into nādā Yoga (the Yoga of sound) in the country of origin, India. She has already used this new knowledge to create courses she is using as fundraisers for theYoke.


Pay It Forward Additional scholarships to the individual mentoring program were given out. Almost 50 hours of mentoring to individual teachers and managers of Yoga programs were provided in 2017. These sessions assisted newer teachers in getting a foundation for their endeavors. Also more senior teachers (7+ years of teaching) partook in this offering to figure next steps in deepening their personal lives and professional work.

Receiving this high-quality coaching is far beyond what I’m able to do for myself. It reminds me of the difference between flossing at home and going to the dental hygienist for a cleaning. I take really good care of myself, but there’s a level I just can’t approach without the help of a professional. You (LauraLynn) see the patterns more readily than I do. So when I receive coaching it feels so luxurious; it allows me to focus on myself as number one. – Stephanie Keiko Kong Program Assistance: We assisted in several sessions to support Yoga programs to define their key values through the input of their teachers, staff and owner. These findings were then formulated into a mission statement for the program. The director of the program was thrilled for our voluntary participation. Gratitude was also expressed for having a statement that was created by and with the members of the program. “This has been so incredibly helpful in getting us all on the same

page. I feel like we are really aligned now . ” –program director, VA

***If you have a Yoga program where the staff/teachers/other folk feel a bit disjointed. Let us help. We can do sessions in person or online with our professional leadership coaches.


SAT: सत (the true essence)

Within each of us lies an essence of Self, which is unchangeable. Sometimes living life covers up our capacity to have faith in our inner sustainability. These real-time gatherings will provide tools for personal and professional nourishment. Give yourself the gift of these moments with LauraLynn Jansen and Marlo Nikkila: www.lljansen.com &) and align your rhythm with the deepest aspects of Self. Find out more: http://www.theyoke.yoga/pay-it-forward/

STARTING SOON (with your input and guidance )

Yoga Teacher Training (of a very different kind) A life learning exploration/teacher training is steadily coming together. We shifted gears slightly to make it a program for Yoga practitioners who would like to deepen their experience and understanding of Yoga (the 50 hours of the offering). While the second half is a continuation for folks who believe they would like to share the sacred art of Yoga as a teacher (second 150 hours). We are also including a very unique element (not offered by most YTT programs), a post training sustainability structure to assist individuals who become teachers to obtain professional mentoring and coaching beyond the training. This training will be distinctive in its approach to these ancient teachings. Get ready to walk the talk. We are currently seeking … …folks who have a deep desire to learn and use these skills in their community, but maybe can’t quite afford the usual price attached to such a training. … communities who would like such a program in their area and are willing to assist setting it up for theYoke to bring this program to them.

Please send our executive director, LauraLynn Jansen (hello@theYoke.Yoga) a note of inquiry. Please note she will be in India from 19 March – 15 May without access to internet. She will reply upon return.

Financials Administrative (23%) Capital expenditures (o%) Fundraising (13%) Marketing (13%) Membership Development (7%) Programming (35%)

Will you assist theYoke’s mission? Here are some starter ideas. ! share the Yoga hub of www.theYoke.Yoga as a resource to your community and students ! provide a benefit Yoga class to assist theYoke in raising funds to keep the ever evolving resources we offer viable ! see if your favorite Yoga teacher could use some support and recommend they check our new program SAT. ! show support of theYoke mission to unite, serve, and create sustainable awareness among the Yoga world by becoming a Yoke kula member (http://www.theyoke.yoga/connect-with-us/become-a-member/) ! Add some SoulShine to your life. This is theYoke’s monthly community bulletin with writings by and talks with Yoga folk across the globe. ! …and of course donations/sponsorship (http://www.theyoke.yoga/connect-withus/become-a-sponsor/)are always welcome

Poṣaka पोषक Circle Poṣaka means to nourish, feed, support, and keep (in

Sanskrit). We are deeply grateful for the gifts of individuals who supported theYoke again this year. Their contributions allowed theYoke to build in the infancy of the organization. We are deeply grateful to all who nourished theYoke in 2017.

An extra special thank you goes out to the folks who advise and care for theYoke’s well-being. We set forth this question to them...

“What compels you to have Yoga (in whatever form) in your personal life?” Board Members Douglas Files (OH) Marlo Nikkila (OR)

I choose to have Yoga in my life as a way for me to practice mindfulness, connection, and presence. Now that I blend energy work with my asana, it becomes an amplified practice of self love and healing. Teaching Yoga has been the greatest gift as I get to create space for others to experience this for themselves in community. Courtney Snyder (TX) Kristalena Lamore (MA) LauraLynn Jansen (VA)

It is as part of my day as eating, sleeping. I dedicate at least two hours a day to a movement, sound and silence based practice. If I had to pin down the compelling force it would be the Divine, God, whatever you may name that energy that just aligns everything.

Yoke Advisory Council (YAC) Members Helen Ames (AR)

The breath in my body compels me to Yoga each day. The practice itself urges me to keep going, achieving comfort, ease, and calm. There is a constant craving to find a consistent or better state of being. The more I see, understand, find peace with, the deeper I am urged to go. This is my Yoga, so much more than just a practice but a way of living growing inside every day. Celina Granato (NM) For 15 year, Yoga has not only been a practice in my life, it has become a partner. And as with any partner, the relationship changes over time. Mediation and asana carry me through a deepening exploration. Unveiling thoughtsfor what they are; a continuous unraveling of ‘self.’ Yoga assists me in setting my day for hearing clear right-minded guidance. This is key because what we do is a result of what we think.” Shannon Hensley (AR) Kirsten Holmson (WI) Rachel LaDrig (HI) Om Prakash (DC) Priscilla Torres-Lopez (FL) Kendal Troutman (CA)