Yogi Movement’s Healthy Activism

Swedish Students from Antioch University Host Pop-Up Yoga Classes to Benefit Indian Orphans

<b>TWISTED ACTIVISM:</b> From left, Yogi Movement’s cofounders Marta Waldrop Bergman and Isa Oestman Olai (in backbend) pose with social media coordinator Camilla Yahyaoui and public relations officer Linda Sturesson.
Courtesy Photo

If you care about changing the lot of the less fortunate as much as you care about fitness, then the Yogi Movement is for you. The brainchild of Linda Sturesson, Marta Waldrop-Bergman, and Isa Olai, who are all Antioch University students from Sweden, the socially aware yoga class pops up in different Santa Barbara locations every month, and any donations made by attendees go toward creating educational opportunities for orphan girls in India.

“We’re trying to attract people who like to do something healthy and at the same time help a good cause,” said Sturesson. “We’re all feminists, and that’s why we’re focusing on girls in India. When girls are educated, they’re not obligated to get married to take care of themselves, and by opting to become career women, the country’s GNI [gross national income] rises. Everybody wins. In collaboration with nonprofit organization Commit to Change, we make a difference in the world and help you beat the high cost of expensive yoga studios, too.”

That’s a transcendental experience any way you downward dog it. After attending their most recent class, staged on the sand in front of Cabrillo Bathhouse, my muscles were supple and my mind was soothed. The Upa-based regimen was enhanced by the scent of jasmine incense and the soft strains of live, electronic ukulele. Best of all, the meditation period allowed me time to contemplate the truth in the trio’s simple but heartfelt motto: “Do good, and feel good.”

Yogi Movement’s next pop-up is Wednesday, September 14, and the suggested donation to participate is $5-$10. See facebook.com/yogimovement.


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