Category Archives: Fundraisers

Interviews with organizers

breaking free


February 13, 2013

This week’s topic: Breaking Free

Cyndi Lee, yoga instructor and author of “May I Be Happy”
Hala Khouri, yoga instructor and co-founder of Off The Mat, Into the World
Jodie Evans, co-founder of CodePink

Featured Music:
You Are More (Rock Om Mix), Will Blunderfield
Jaadu, Ustad Sultan Khan
Kali Durgai, Jim Gelcer
Break the Chain, Tena Clark

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’tis the season for giving


December 5, 2012

This week’s topic: ‘Tis the Season for Giving

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.

Max Kanter, Volunteer Coordinator at Food Forward
Sarah Steffen, Marketing Coordinator at Habitat for Humanity, San Fernando / Santa Clarita Valleys
Nancy Shrodes, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator at Heal the Bay

Featured Music:
Sat Nam The Grace Within You, Gurutrang Singh Khalsa
Hari’s Rapture (Radha Ramana Hari Bol), Jai Uttal
Ayodhya Vasi Ram, Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits
You Gotta Move, Miten & Deva Premal

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help others fortune

(the fortune i found inside my fortune cookie earlier today — very apropos, don’t you think?)

if your mailbox looks like mine, especially during the holiday season, you find it overflowing with bills, mail order catalogs, and letters from nonprofits asking for donations. basically, they’re all saying the same thing: please send money.

unfortunately for many of those nonprofits, they often find themselves at the bottom of the priority list, behind paying bills and buying holiday gifts. so what can you do if you want to help but just don’t have enough money left over?

you volunteer. it costs you nothing — save for your time and energy — and it can actually be pretty fun, especially if you find yourself volunteering with a group of like-minded people who want to make a difference.

so for this episode, i reached out to nonprofits who accomplish the bulk of their mission through the work provided by volunteers:

food forward: volunteers pick fruit which is then distributed to food pantries and organizations helping those in need

habitat for humanity of the san fernando / santa clarity valleys: volunteers help build homes for veterans and low-income families

heal the bay: volunteers help with beach clean-up and/or become environmental advocates

and while we’re on the topic of banding together to accomplish a common goal, the music on the show all come from live recordings from yoga gatherings: sat nam fest, bhakti fest, chant4change, and omega ecstatic chant.

i hope this episode inspires you to go out, roll up your sleeves, and have a great time making the world a better place!

empowered women


October 24, 2012

This week’s topic: Empowered Women

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.

Kate McIntyre Clere, producer/director of “Yogawoman”
Susan Nichols, founder of Yogitoes
Jo Tastula, yoga instructor and creator of “High Vibrations Yoga”

Featured Music:
Lokah Samastah (Sean Dinsmore’s Happy Free Mix), Sharon Gannon
Grandmother Moon, Sacred Earth
Better For It, Lisbeth Scott
Where, Lisbeth Scott

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i’m not sure if i should blame today’s technical difficulties on the upcoming mercury retrograde, or on the fact that i ran into the studio at the stroke of 1pm and didn’t get a chance to get settled down before going live.

or that right as i was trying to get used to the mic and mic stand that someone had left by the soundboard (the one i usually use was moved to the other side of the room and i didn’t have time to swap them), i heard a strange noise coming from the stack of fruit boxes on the table next to me… and realized something was MOVING in one of those boxes! oh my god. was it a small dog? or a rat? WHAT THE HECK WAS IT??

just then, another DJ walked into the room and started moving the boxes around while i was interviewing my first guest. it turned out that he had brought over his pets because his apartment was being fumigated. and right as he was about to walk out of the studio to grab lunch, he introduced me to the rest of his family: auggie, the red boa constrictor, and sam and ellis, the turtles.

just great. he left me alone with a gigantic snake and assured me that he wouldn’t bite.  even more reason why i didn’t venture to the other side of the room to swap microphones!

which was quite ironic, considering how the show was about empowered women and i was feeling totally powerless, at least at the start.

speaking of empowered women, i had a fun time talking with my empowered female guests:

kate mcintyre clere, one of the producer/directors of the new “yogawoman” film, opening here in LA on october 26th (it opened in NYC last week and will be opening across the country later this year).

susan nichols, founder and CEO of yogitoes, who will be hosting the “divine female” beauty event at their new rexperience lab on october 25th-28th; it’s also a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness.

jo tastula, a yoga teacher here in LA who’s produced a yoga and meditation DVD, “high vibrations yoga”, complete with stunning scenery and perfectly matched music composed by lisbeth scott.

musical interludes on the show came from the yet-to-be-released soundtrack from “yogawoman” as well as a track from “om sweet om“, lisbeth scott’s companion CD to jo’s DVD. i also added a track that was a free download on lisbeth scott’s website. much appreciated!

here’s the trailer for “yogawoman”:

after the show, i found out that the recording i’d made had all kinds of sound issues – not only was the mic input less than desirable, but the music feed was equally distorted. arghhhhhhh! but thanks to audio edit tools, i replaced the corrupted music sections with the pristine versions, which should make listening to this episode a lot more palatable.

by the way, jo was right about the snake. here’s what i found under “18 omens of good fortune” on the world of feng shui website:

Meeting Up With A Snake

Is another sign of good fortune. Whether in your garden, inside the home, or out trekking, if you meet up with a snake, it means something or someone important is coming into your life. Never ever try to harm or kill a snake when confronted with one. The more poisonous the snake, the better is the good fortune. The king cobra is described as a snake of extreme good fortune. Whatever you do, never kill a snake as they are also associated with some spiritual presence.

so there you go.  i’ll be waiting for that stroke of good fortune to come my way… soon, i hope!

yoga and social awareness


September 26, 2012

This week’s topic: Yoga and Social Awareness

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.

Johannes Fisslinger, president of Yoga Health Foundation
Julie Kundert, yoga instructor and founder of The Ahimsa Festival
David Ezekiel, yoga instructor and founder of Yoga Conservation Alliance

Featured Music:
Nirvana Shatakam (Shivo’ham), Blue Spirit Wheel
Gurudeva Bol, Jaya Lakshmi
Eastern Promise, Dave Cipriani
Jaya Sita Ram, Geoffrey Gordon

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i’m on deadline with the magazine, and free time is a precious commodity i don’t have at the moment. so the blog post will be delayed until tomorrow. but it’s coming, i promise.

by the way, i’ve chosen this photo because i’m in it. and from what i’ve been told, i’m easy to find 🙂

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most yoga students think that yoga is all about the union of mind, body, and spirit — as in one’s mind with one’s body and one’s spirit.  but it’s more than just that; yoga is the union of one’s mind/body/spirit with that of every other being, whether it be a loved one, a neighbor, or someone clear across town. or even across the world. it’s right there in patanjali’s yoga sutras. want proof? click here to read more about it.

since this is the last week of yoga month, i thought it’d be appropriate to talk about how we can go about uniting ourselves with the rest of the world through social awareness.

i reached out to johannes fisslinger, one of the forces behind national yoga month and yoga recess, whose mission it is to bring yoga to children in their classrooms. i also invited julie kundert to talk about the upcoming ahimsa festival she produced to promote awareness about domestic violence and to raise funds to support the valley cares family justice center. and since all beings aren’t just humans but also all living creatures, i asked david ezekiel to talk about the yoga conservation alliance he created to support wildlife conservation.

by the way, many yoga studios around the country are offering a FREE week of yoga for new students. click here to find out more about this offer that ends in early october.

the ahimsa festival will be held at the park plaza hotel in los angeles on sunday, october 14th. click here to buy tickets or to make a donation.

julie kundert’s a yoga teacher but i forgot to ask her where she teaches, so i looked up her facebook page. you can catch her at various places in the conejo valley: yogaworks in westlake village, bodysattva in thousand oaks, and yoga upstairs and agoura power of yoga in agoura hills.

david ezekiel teaches all over the place, too, but on the westside: updog yoga in west hollywood, corepower yoga and maha yoga in brentwood, and santa monica power yoga in santa monica.

the music is an eclectic compilation from CDs i’d picked up along the way – at bhakti fest, from the musicians themselves, or both.

in keeping with the theme of awareness of the plight of others, i wanted to share a facebook fundraiser for a beloved brother in the kirtan community, geoffrey gordon:

As many of you may know, our beloved Geoffrey left his body on September 4th at 9:40 p.m. from a massive heart attack.

Geoffrey was returning home to Santa Fe from Sedona, where he had just received a standing ovation for one of his most exceptional percussion solos. Geoffrey was in a state of bliss throughout the entire weekend and shared his light and love with everyone.

We will miss him deeply.

Contributions to assist in the funeral and memorial expenses and to subsidize other financial needs can be given to his wife, Sandra Gordon, in memory of Geoffrey Gordon.

in his honor, i’ve chosen to end the show with a song from his album, breath of rama. one more beautiful voice has joined the great kirtan band in heaven.

(please excuse the hoarse voice and scattered brain… i was coming down with a cold and was feeling under the weather when this show was recorded.)

just another busy week in LA


May 16, 2012 – Just Another Busy Week in LA

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.


Linda Klein, Manager at Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center at City of Hope
Kris Willey, founder of Women of the Green Generation
Jennifer Klausner, Executive Director at Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

Featured Music:
Unstruck Chord, Steve Gold
Om Purnam, Jaya Lakshmi
Govinda Gopala, Masood Ali Khan feat. Sheela Bringi & Clinton Patterson
Modim Anachnu Lach, Josh Brill feat. Spring Groove & Joey Lugassy

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as i always say, if you can’t find anything to do in LA, you aren’t looking hard enough. or possibly not looking at all.

since i didn’t have any interviewees lined up for this week’s show, i decided to go through my list of invites and narrowed my choices down to a handful of event organizers. and from that handful, i got three could make the show: linda klein, spokesperson for the yoga for hope fundraiser in santa monica for the city of hope, kris willey for the women of the green generation conference in downtown LA, and jen klausner from the LA county bicycle coalition about bike to work week events all over town. and yes, all three events were scheduled for this week. it definitely was going to be a busy week in LA!

there were many musicians slated to be playing around town, including steve gold at yoga for hope, jaya lakshmi at grateful fridays and at bhakti yoga shala, moose ali khan and sheela bringi at micheline berry’s class at exhale and at BYS, and yehoshua (also known as josh) brill at BYS.  there were many more musicians who would be playing, but alas, i didn’t have enough time to fit everyone in.

as they say, there’s always next week 🙂