Changing the world, one breath at a time

[the yogi and the skeptic, Santa Monica, 2007]

You’ve seen her before in this space and i’m thrilled to have her back today! My mate Marianne Elliott is the real deal – kind, intelligent and committed to doing something useful in this world; this raven-haired beauty walks her talk with every step and i have so much admiration for her. Right now she’s raising money for HIV/AIDS projects in South Africa, but I’ll let her tell you more about that… here’s Marianne:

Are you a yoga skeptic? A non-convert, perhaps, like our mutual friend Susannah? Well, I have all the respect in the world for a skeptic. The Buddha himself taught that we should all be skeptics. “Don’t believe me,” he said, “don’t believe anybody. Don’t believe anything based on the fact that your community believes this or your country believes this or the people that you are around believe this.”

So I say, good for you, you should be a skeptic about yoga. Don’t believe any of the hype. Don’t believe anything until you have tried it for yourself. Because with yoga, as with most things in life, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

Taste and see, said the Buddha. Or perhaps that was Jesus. In either case two of the greatest spiritual teachers of our times agree on this much – don’t take anyone’s word for it. Try it for yourself.

So, I want to offer you a chance to try yoga for yourself, and I think this is an offer too good to refuse. [Edited to add – i signed up today!!]

I’m offering you the chance to join my online yoga course (usually $100 for 30 days) for whatever price you choose to pay. And then I’m going to donate every dollar you pay to some amazing grass-roots projects to support communities affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

This is the Karma edition of my 30 days of yoga course and it’s perfect for yoga skeptics, even yoga-phobics!

“I’ve been yoga-phobic my entire life. Marianne Elliott changed that (and my life in the process). Her 30 Days of Yoga is amazing. She’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever experienced (and I’ve been a teacher for many years). If you want to do something extraordinary for yourself, I can’t think of a better teacher!” – Dr Brenè Brown

I’m putting it all on the line for this one. I’m offering up everything I’ve built up over the past year and I’m asking you to decide what it’s worth to you. I’m asking you to decide what it’s worth and then I’m going to give all the proceeds away.


Firstly because yoga is about expansion, about liberation, about the constant movement of energy. You can’t hoard it. You can’t keep it to yourself. It has to be shared.

Secondly, because these are all great projects, addressing a serious global challenge. For example, the South African Whole Grain Bread Project (above) is setting up community-based bakeries to produce fresh, high quality, whole grain bread that will improve the nutrition of malnourished adults and children. The bread will help satisfy the dietary needs of HIV/AIDS positive individuals who need to improve their health in order to allow retroviral drugs to work effectively.

The bakeries have been designed as small businesses that will create income generation opportunities for South Africans living with HIV/AIDS. The money we raise through this Karma edition of 30 days of yoga will help fund the construction of one bakery. The bakery will be able produce up to 200 loaves of bread per hour.

So here’s your chance to give yoga a try (or if you are already a committed yogi, here’s a chance to deepen your practice and establish your own regular home practice) and at the same time support great projects like these bakeries.

Join me for the next 30 days of yoga. The course starts on 7 October, registration is open now and will close on 3 October. You can sign up by clicking on one of the ‘donate’ buttons on this page. If you have any questions at all please read the details here, or answers to FAQs here.

[photo credit: South African Whole Grain Bread Project]


Posted on 29-09-2010
9 responses
  1. Heather

    Yes this is an amazing offer, I signed up a few days ago after hearing about it from another blog. I am really excited about it, it’s come at the perfect time I am ready to commit myself fully to it, knowing I needed to take some things up a few notch’s! Looking forward connecting to myself and others!

  2. Catheroo

    Oh, this makes me so happy! I have wanted to participate in 30 Days of Yoga but am on a seriously strict budget right now. This way, I can afford to do it and help a worthy cause too. Thank you, thank you!

  3. Jude

    Thank you so much for the heads-up about this amazing offer (both Susannah and Marianne!) – I’ve been yoga-phobic much of my life but started thinking this week that I should take the plunge sooner rather than later – then I read this…it must be a sign!

  4. Nicola

    Yes, Marianne is awesome! When I saw her post that she is attempting to raise for charity an amount equal to her personal earnings for the whole of last year, I had to sign up immediately : )

  5. Marianne

    I’m so grateful for Susannah’s support. This project, these causes, mean so much to me. Thank you everyone for your support.

  6. jenny

    so beautiful – yoga is amazing, and the power that you both are choosing to bring through it, towards it – even more amazing – props to you and yours!

  7. Wayfaring Wanderer

    I am so sad that I missed this! And by one stinking day :( Fooey.

    I’ve been practicing Yoga since March and I am a total convert. For three years previous to my daily yoga practice I had chronic neck pain that stayed with my after I had surgery to remove 3 discs.

    People told me countless time that I should give Yoga a try as it would help the daily pain subside, but I didn’t listen (at first). After joining a friend for an impromptu class and really enjoying the practice, I decided that I would try and make it daily habit.

    It has stuck since March and I have done Yoga at least 5 times a week since that time. No longer do I have the pain in my neck that stayed for 3+ years. YOGA is the real deal and I have been looking for ways to deepen my experience even further.

    This course would have been great for that! Blast!


    i’ll pass your email addy on to Marianne, hon – i’m sure she can squeeze you in! xx

    I got a response. How sweet of you to do such a thing, even if she had to say no :D

    Thank you!

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