Karma Program

Free2BMe - Our Next Karma Program Recipient

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Since 2005, Free2BMe Physical Activity Program for Kids and Teens with Disabilities, the youth component of The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement at the University of Alberta has been providing innovative programs for children and youth living with impairment to be active.


The Free2BMe credo is to empower kids and teens experiencing disability to:

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• Be more physically active, fit and healthy

• Feel good about themselves

• Experience success

• Have fun doing “kid” things

• Become vital, self-determined adults

Every year, hundreds of kids and teens ages 4-21 come through the program—with demand increasing every year. Children and youth and their families come to develop their physical confidence and competence in our safe, nonclinical environment. We are the one place in the Greater Edmonton area that any child living with a physical, sensory or developmental impairment can come to learn to ride their bike, throw a ball, understand game play concepts, be introduced to a fitness centre, gain exposure to the world of Para-sport, and be a part of the team for the first time. We do this through four models of service delivery: individual programming, instructional group programs, community and school group outreach and community exercise transition.


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In addition to providing direct service delivery to the community, Free2BMe provides applied learning opportunities for students at the University of Alberta. Last year, over 180 students from physical education and recreation, education, kinesiology and rehabilitation gained valuable hands on experience within Free2Bme programs. Students go on to become teachers, coaches, rehabilitation professionals, physicians and community leaders.


Free2BMe Physical Activity Program for Kids and Teens Experiencing Disability is a one of a kind program providing physical activity, fitness and sport instruction for children and youth living with physical, developmental and sensory impairments.

Founded in 2005, Free2BMe has made an impact in the lives of over 1200 families experiencing disability. Annually, the dynamic program delivered through The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement at The University of Alberta serves 450 children and youth ages 4-21 across a variety of 1:1 individualized physical activity and fitness sessions, and instructional group programs.


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If you would like more information regarding the Free2BMe Foundation, please contact:



Seva Canada: Our Karma Yoga Charity


80% of global blindness is treatable or preventable if given proper care and attention.

The Yogalife community spends a lot of time meticulously sorting through many worthwhile charities to donate the proceeds from our Karma classes to, and the next charity we’ve selected to support is Seva Canada.

— Seva Canada

The focus of Seva is to help the estimated 36 million people around the world who are living with blindness, and the 217 million others with visual impairment – 80% of global blindness is treatable or preventable if given proper care and attention. According to Seva, half of the world’s blindness is “caused by cataracts, a reversible condition that requires a 15-minute, $50 operation”.

Helping to restore an individual’s vision is considered by the World Bank as “one of the most cost-effective health interventions” that can aid people in breaking the cycle of poverty. Restoring vision allows people to take better care of themselves, increases employability, allows individuals the opportunity to acquire an education and can help individuals contribute to their communities.

Seva has 5 main focuses:

Sight for Women


According to Seva, two-thirds of the world’s blind are women and girls, who in developing countries are far less likely to access eye care services because of multiple socioeconomic barriers that they face. Seva Canada has collaborated with KCCO, based out of Africa who has been researching the gender inequity in the treatment of blindness. Publication of said research was funded by Seva, which is helping to shift the movement of equitable eye care in developing countries.


Sight for Children


Seva looks to expand pediatric eye care services around the world, which is exceptionally challenging as treating children with visual impairments has a higher associated medical cost as more specialized equipment and general anesthetic are typically required in these cases. Seva-funded pediatric programs start in poor and remote countries, with teams helping to organize surgeries and appropriate treatments for children identified as having a visual impairment and also provide education to families on how to maintain healthy vision for the rest of their life.




Ultimately the programs that Seva supports are aiming for ongoing sustainability without having to rely on donations or foreign support. Seva looks to empower communities with the ability to provide on-going access to eye care.





Seva Canada funds a variety of strategic training initiatives to enhance knowledge in low-income settings, from the level community health volunteers to highly skilled opthamologists. The knowledge-base needs to be present for these programs to be successful, and Seva hopes to provide a means for the professionals involved in the care of those with visual impairment with appropriate training.


Universal Access


Seva Canada’s largest ambition is to provide universal access to vision care at the farthest corners of globe, continually moving towards breaking down barriers mentioned before, that prevent people from accessing proper care.

Photo by Pete Longworth Photography

Photo by Pete Longworth Photography

As part of our contribution to Seva Canada, we will be hosting a Karma class at Yogalife Studios North on Thursday October 12th (World Sight Day) from 5 to 6 PM called Sweat for Sight. This will be a special blindfolded class that gives participants the experience of the challenges moving with a visual impairment. We hope you can join us for this special event.

For more information on Seva Canada, and to donate, please visit their website at:

Community Yoga Class For Keiran

Com·mu·ni·ty /kəˈmyo͞onədē/ A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Community Yoga for a Dancer's Dream

Yogalife community, meet Keiran. Kieran is fourteen years old and loves to dance. He started taking ballet when he was four years old in Vancouver. He danced for several years there and then took a few years off after becoming self-conscious of the fact that he was the only boy in class. He started again three years ago and is now working towards his dream of becoming a professional dancer. Currently, he spends about 20 hours a week training in studios, at home, as well as performing on stage.


Kieran started coming to Yogalife last February and absolutely loves it! He can be found in class in positions that show his flexibility and strength, alongside his mother. Kieran enjoys adding yoga to his dance practice to enhance his breathing, and add calmness to his very busy schedule.

He recently auditioned for the Alberta Ballet’s summer school intensive, which is held in Calgary in July for three weeks.

He was not only accepted, but also awarded a full scholarship for the tuition!

Unfortunately, he still is required to come up with residence fees, which are over $2000. The opportunity to participate in the summer program means the possibility of acceptance into the full-time professional program, which would give him the training he needs for attaining a career in dance.

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melissa photo

Join Melissa Perret for a karma class at Yogalife Studios North on March 5 at 3:00pm. Melissa is leading a vinyasa-style flow class with all the proceeds going towards Keiran's dream.

Food Bank Donations

For the entire month of December, Yogalife Studios will be taking food bank donations. Feel free to bring any non-perishable items down to either location! 

Edmonton Food Bank Mission:

To be stewards in the collection of surplus and donated food for the effective distribution, free of charge, to people in need in our community while seeking solutions to the causes of hunger.

Each month, more than 15,000 people receive hampers from Edmonton’s Food Bank or one of the over 190 agencies, churches or food depots with which we are affiliated. The Food Bank also distributes food to more than 300,000 meals and snacks each month. Approximately 40% of clients served are children under 18. When individuals call the Food Bank looking for assistance, they are asked questions about their situation such as their name, address, family size, source of income, and what has happened that has left them short of money and food. During this process, the individual may be provided with information on other helping agencies or groups such as low-cost housing, collective kitchens, free meals, free or low-cost household goods or clothing, a food co-op, employment information (resumes, access to fax and phone), Health For Two (pre-natal health connection), emergency shelters and immigrant services.

Information on Edmonton’s Food Bank

Fast Facts 2011 - Works collaboratively with more than 200 agencies, churches and food depots throughout Edmonton, such as the Salvation Army, Operation Friendship, The Mustard Seed, Our House Addiction Recovery and the George Spady Centre. These agencies receive food from our warehouse to assist their clients. - Serves approximately 15,000 people per month through our hamper programs. - In addition, over 350,000 meals and snacks are provided monthly through our affiliated agencies. - Provides special festive meals to the community. - Supports community events such as Edmonton’s bi-annual Homeless Connect. - More than 1,100 events are coordinated each year in the community to raise food, funds and awareness for the Food Bank. - Collected, sorted, repackaged, and redistributed 3.1 million kilograms of food in 2011. The approximate value of this food is over $17,000,000. - For the last three years, Edmonton’s Food Bank has been named one of Canada’s recommended charities by Charity Intelligence (www.charityintelligence.ca). - Recipient of a Human Rights Award by the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights in 2011. Volunteers

In 2011, more than 40,800 volunteer hours were contributed.

- Volunteers assist in warehouse duties such as sorting, repackaging food and packing food hampers. They also act as ambassadors for the Food Bank at special events and fundraisers.We rely on your donations to continue our work.

***Although they are funded through the United Way they do not receive funding from any level of government. SO, you can also donate online, in-person and by mail or phone –780.425.2133.

If you can't make it into one of the studios, you do have options to donate!

Client Services: 780.425.4190

Location: 11508 120 ST NW Edmonton, Alberta T5G 2Y2

Administration Line: 780.425.2133 Fax Line: 780.426.1590

Mailing Address PO Box 62061 Edmonton, Alberta T5M 4B5

The warehouse is open Monday through Friday 8:30am-4:30pm

Thank you for consideration being a part of our cause!

November's Karma Classes - A Better World

A Better World Foundation believes...

We all have an inherent need for a central role in the direction of our life, and to make valuable and impactful contributions to our lives and to something greater than ourselves.

However, meeting these needs requires inspiration and encouragement, as well as further engagement and connection, to support that direction of our life as we move forward.

As this occurs, we explore who we are, can be, and want to be. We begin to recognize that how we think and our actions affect our results, and we begin to examine our choices.

Inevitably our perspectives, approaches, and our decisions shift, moving us ever closer toward our objectives. Every shift, no matter the size, benefits us all, and inspires others.

ABWF is a catalyst… inspiring, encouraging, and accelerating individual direction and impact; supporting the opportunities you choose to positively impact your life, and, in turn, the world.

“In every moment is an opportunity… a better world begins with you”

You are essential to what happens next. Your actions and interactions affect everyone connected to you, even people you will never meet. As you value how you think and focus what you do, your impact will become profound and inspire others. We are a catalyst… inspiring, encouraging, and accelerating this process, affecting and benefiting everyone. If you want a central role in the direction and impact of your life, and our world, we will show you how.

A Better World is a Central Alberta based international development organization that is dedicated to improving the lives in developing countries. Their five main areas they strive to improve upon include education, health, water, agriculture, and income generation.

Members of the Faculty of Education at the UofA are planning various fundraisers to help support A Better World's efforts in Afghanistan and Kenya. They are planning to fundraise to purchase desks for schools in Afghanistan (each desk is $50 and seats three students), and to purchase bunk beds for a girls' dorm at a school in Kenya (70 bunk beds are needed at $200 each). These dorms in Masai Mara are incredibly important, because parents rarely allow girls to attend school beyond the eighth grade unless they have a safe place to stay near the school.

The long term goal of the program is a trip to Kenya in May where the organization is hoping to do some professional development for Kenyan teachers.

If you would like to get involved or donate, come to any of our Karma classes! Our North studio hosts a 60 minute Karma hatha class from 11-12 and our South studio hosts a 60 minute Karma hot flow from 1:30-2:30.

Karma for October


Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Each month our karma classes support a different organization or foundation, and for the month of October will be supporting, and accepting donations to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Karma Community classes are a beginner friendly Hot Flow, Sundays at 1:30 at the Southside studio. Starting November 3rd, we will be adding a NON-heated Hatha class at 11:00AM at the NORTH studio. Our Karma classes are here to support our new teachers graduating from their 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, so come out and support them, and our cause of the month! You have probably heard the terms “multiple myeloma” and “myeloma”. These terms refer to the same thing: a cancer of the plasma cells. Plasma cells are found in the bone marrow, the hollow area within the bones. Because plasma cells are found in the blood, myeloma is referred to as blood cancer. It may also be referred to as plasma cell myeloma. The word “multiple” is often used because the malignant cells usually affect multiple areas of the bone marrow. There are currently no known causes and at this point is defined as incurable.


Myeloma accounts for about 1.3% of all cancer and 1.8% of deaths, and has been highly under researched in the past. Yoga is one of the areas of wellness recommended for people who do have Myeloma as it is a way to strengthen bones and muscles surrounding bones. What better place than Yogalife to support this cause that has affected some of our team directly.

For more information, please visit: www.themmrf.org.