Mindfulness Based Yoga For All

OG Yoga was founded to provide the many healing benefits of the 5,000 year-old science and art of yoga to San Diego’s most vulnerable communities. OG Yoga teaches students to focus their attention, calm their minds, reduce stress and think before reacting – tools necessary to live in today’s fast-paced world. We help students become active participants in the health and wellness of their schools and communities and be empowered to lead healthy, happy and productive lives. OG Yoga is committed to prevention of homelessness, addiction, incarceration as well as rehabilitation for those wanting to reenter community.

2015 Activities & Accomplishments (September – December)

In September of 2015, we formed the OG Yoga Advisory Board and launched our nonprofit. In the coming months, we achieved Fiscal Sponsorship through Mission Edge, an organization that invests in social interest organizations by providing operational services, fiscal sponsorship, and much more. 

In our first quarter, we piloted yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes at several locations, including: 

  • Monarch Schools for lower and middle-school youth impacted by homelessness, as well as weekly classes for parents and guardians of the students.
  • Twice weekly classes for WestCare Foundation’s Custody to Community Transitional Re-Entry and Rehabilitation Program (CCTRP) in partnership with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. San Diego is WestCare’s first pilot for this type of incarceration for women.
  • Second Chance residents and clients. Second Chance provides job readiness and life skills training, job placement, mental health services and sober-living housing for adults and youth in need. OG Yoga added to curriculum of Second Chance Job Readiness Training Program.
  • Alternative Health Care Network initiative serving Tubman Chavez Center and Rachel's House for Battered Women.

By the end of 2015, OG Yoga grew to three instructors. What a fantastic first three months!

2016 Activities & Accomplishments

At OG Yoga, we want to recruit the best yoga instructors possible for our trauma-informed yoga classes for underserved and marginalized communities. In 2016, we helped strengthen this goal with:

  • Formalizing the recruitment process for OG instructors with 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher training and 200 hours of teaching experience. 
  • Trauma-informed training for instructors.
  • Creating an intern process for new instructors who desired service experience and training.
  • Grew to five instructors.

We also piloted more classes, increased our strategic partnerships, and grew our donor base with the following:

  • Piloted weekly classes at Title I schools (Washington Elementary and Kearny High).
  • Girl Scout Outreach Pop-Up at Cherokee Elementary.
  • Strategic Alliance formed with Prison Yoga Project.
  • Added Alternative Healing Network’s Tubman Chavez Clinic every other week classes.
  • Awarded by lululemon’s “here to be” regional funding.
  • Added Kitchens For Good weekly class.
  • Piloted weekly class at DA’s CARE Center.
  • Piloted class at Olivewood Gardens Kitchenistas program.
  • Launch event at Trilogy Sanctuary resulting in $8,000 and 100 new donors.

2017 Activities & Accomplishments

2017 was full speed ahead for OG Yoga. We grew to nine instructors and served more people by adding the following partnerships:

  • Increased OG Yoga programming to underserved senior adults with weekly classes at the Alternative Healing Network Tubman Chavez partnership. 
  • Served more children through Boys & Girls Clubs pop-up events and new weekly Integrity School/B & G Clubs- Payne Family Branch partnership under ACEs grant and formalized MOU for earned income.
  • Added Naval Consolidated Brig programming for military prisoners.
  • Added Girls Rehabilitation Facility for incarcerated youth.
  • Added Braille Institute weekly class to serve vision-impaired seniors. 

In 2017, OG Yoga was also honored with several awards and recognition, including: 

  • 2nd year in a row to be awarded lululemon’s “here to be” regional funding. 
  • OG Yoga Founder, JoAnn Jaffe, awarded Fieldstone Leadership Network Mentoring Grant and paired with John Malashock – Founder Malashock Dance.
  • JoAnn Jaffe invited to be lululemon Fashion Valley Ambassador.
  • Awarded grant request funding from the Cushman Foundation to increase youth classes.
  • JoAnn Jaffe interviewed by KPBS Midday Edition First Person Show.
  • Joined Yoga Service Council for Best Practices.

Several events and fundraisers were also hosted by or for OG Yoga, including: 

  • lululemon La Jolla hosted event in partnership with La Valencia Hotel for 16-week “Savasana at Sunset” series, resulting in $8,000 and 300 new donors.
  • lululemon Fashion Valley hosted event in partnership with Hotel Del Coronado and CorePower Yoga for 6-week “Take A Holiday Breath” series, resulting in $7,000 and 200 new donors.
  • Women, Wine & Yoga hosted “Yoga for Good” event series, raising $7,000 and 200 new donors.
  • OG Yoga invited to participate in the San Diego Accelerator and Incubation Lab (SAIL), resulting in a 3-minute pitch at Qualcomm Auditorium for OG Yoga’s new social enterprise launching in 2018.
  • OG Yoga delivered two-day “What is Service Yoga?” Workshop to 25 attendees and earned $3,600 in revenue.
  • Studio Ambassador support with donation classes.

Other noteworthy items in 2017 include:

  • Converted to Network For Good Donor Management and Communication software. 
  • First time participating in “Giving Tuesday” and “Calling All Angels” appeals.
  • Added Grant Writer.
  • MOU’s submitted and pending with Neighborhood House, Lindsay School and San Ysidro Health Center.
  • Grew to nine Instructors.


"I have a bracelet on my ankle to remind me of the biggest mistake in my life - A 5-year prison sentence for a felony DUI. I was introduced to OG YOGA at a re-entry facility after serving 3 years in other facilities. OG YOGA was truly a blessing in my healing process. They taught me to be calm during one of the most stressful situations of my life. My anxiety was reduced. The different breathing exercises and meditations fostered inner strength, drive and confidence in me that I had never encountered before. I am eternally grateful to OG YOGA for helping me find my true self. “

"OG Yoga has been so impactful for our culinary students, each of whom come from challenging backgrounds.  While our students are skeptical and even resentful at first of participating in yoga classes, they leave the first class with a new found appreciation of the practice, a coping mechanism for their anger and anxiety, and a sense of calm. The yoga classes also offer an incredible physical release for our students as well, as they spend 8+ hours on their feet do physical labor in the kitchen as they train to become cooks. We are so grateful to OG Yoga for all they do for our students, and our community. "

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Aviva Paley-

Director of Programs Kitchens For Good


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