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Seva: Gift of Yoga Scholarship Recipients

Friday, February 7th, 2014

We are very excited to share the winners of our recent collaboration with Yoga Alliance to start a scholarship fund for yogis wishing to increase the level of their certification from 200 to 500 hours! It is our sincere hope that each of you reading this post will consider contributing on a personal and/or corporate level to increase the number of annual scholarships for similarly amazing yoga teachers! Jump-starting the scholarship fund was our intention and rallying the yoga community to support yogis-in-need is our ongoing goal.



The Spirit of Seva: Meet our Gift of Yoga Scholarship Recipients

Yoga Alliance is excited to announce the recipients for our 2013 Gift of Yoga Scholarship. This need-based scholarship, funded by our founding sponsor and endorsed partner, prAna, provides teacher-training tuition assistance for RYTs who teach to underserved communities. The scholarship combines both YA’s and prAna’s goals of financially supporting the continuing education of yoga teachers who would like to attend a RYS 300.


Scholarships of $2,225 each were awarded to two RYT 200s seeking to upgrade to RYT 500, to subsidize teacher-training tuition at a RYS 300. Evaluated in a blind review by a team of YA staff, members, and peers, the recipients were selected based on financial need, experience teaching to underserved communities and plans to serve these communities in the future, commitment to continual growth and refinement as a yoga teacher, longevity as a YA member and leadership in the yoga community.


It was inspiring to hear about our recipients’ deep dedication to seva and their eagerness to continue learning and refining their skills as yoga teachers so that they could better serve others.


We are pleased to provide scholarships to:


Joy Kilpatrick, RYT 200 from Durango, CO
seva-gift-yoga-scholarship-recipients-03seva-gift-yoga-scholarship-recipients-04Joy completed her teacher training in 1998 and became an advanced Thai yoga therapist in 2003. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of holistic health and fitness. It is her dream to guide students of all ages on the mindful and integrated path of yoga. Joy offers a weekly yoga therapeutics class for seniors at a local recreation center. The center’s supervisor notes that Joy draws on an “incredible wealth of fitness and yoga instruction knowledge” to “craft therapeutic yoga class[es] to meet the specific needs of her aging students.” Joy is also passionate about empowering children through self-care techniques and body awareness yoga. She teaches classes at a public school and leads a “Family Time” class to foster love, trust and connection between parents and children. Even though she is a single mother, Joy makes time to teach donation-based classes so that people of limited means can have access to yoga.


Joy’s scholarship will allow her to complete a yoga therapy-focused RYS 300 training program at Yoga Durango. The training will help Joy reach her goal of becoming a yoga therapist. This will enable her to serve more of the undeserved communities that are not aware of the benefits of yoga. As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, Joy wants to expand her reach as a yoga therapist to veterans suffering from PTS and their families.


Chelsea Curtin, RYT 200 from Santa Cruz, CA
seva-gift-yoga-scholarship-recipients-06seva-gift-yoga-scholarship-recipients-07Chelsea completed her RYT 200 training 2010. She volunteers as an adaptive teaching assistant in yoga classes for the disabled and offers physical and verbal adjustments to deepen the students’ experience. She teaches at a family-focused yoga center where she leads classes for children and teens. The director remarks that Chelsea has “a curious mind that continually wants to know how to teach in a way that inspires her students” and describes Chelsea’s classes as “dynamic, creative and engaging.” Committed to providing her students the best experience possible, Chelsea has attended adaptive and children’s teacher-training programs.


As a RYT 200, Chelsea wants to blend her work with children and teens and her work in adaptive yoga to teach youth with special needs. The advanced training skills will equip her to take on the challenge of teaching physically or mentally handicapped children or youth suffering behavioral issues.


Congratulations to Chelsea and Joy on their well-deserved awards! We will offer more scholarship opportunities in the future, so check our Scholarships page for the most up-to-date information.


If you or your business is interested in contributing to this fund, please contact us for more information.


~ Yoga Alliance