In an effort to raise money to continue the widely popular free yoga programs for kids in schools, shelters, and jails, Yoga Gangsters, a Miami-based non-profit organization reaching at-risk youth in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches, New York, Massachusetts, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Nevada, Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas and Maine, will be hosting the annual Yoga Gangsters Challenge, two fundraising events in South Florida.
Yoga Gangsters Challenge includes a two-hour yoga practice consisting of 108 Sun Salutations, a marketplace dedicated to holistic apparel, conscious gift and jewelry vendors, healthy food trucks and a first time debut workshop with Founder Terri Cooper and Executive Director, Jodi Weiner. The Yoga Gangster Raffle grand prize is a life-changing 10-day yoga retreat to India.Â Last year, the event attracted more than 500 participants who raised over $60,000. These efforts allowed the organization to share the gift of yoga with over 8,500 kids in 12 states. This year, the organization intends to meet the goal of raising $120,000.
â€œOur mission is to diversify the face of yoga and make it more accessible to youth coming from disadvantaged socioeconomic groups,â€ says Terri Cooper, who founded Yoga Gangsters in May 2008. She founded the organization after reading a headline on the front page of the Miami Herald, which stated that $332 million was cut from Floridaâ€™s public schools, while the state was proceeding with building three new prisons, costing taxpayers $305 million.
Event sponsors include Balanced Guru, Mayan Rose, KIND Snacks, Elite Island Resorts, Lululemon, Metro 1 Properties, and FAT Village.Â The 2014 Yoga Gangster Challenge cost is $25 per person, or participants can raise $108 for free admission.