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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Kula for Karma Receives $52K Therapeutic Yoga Grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey

Kula for Karma, a New York metropolitan–area nonprofit that has pioneered the integration of therapeutic yoga, meditation, and stress management into mainstream medicine and healthcare, offering programs at no charge to underserved populations, was chosen recently to receive a $51,930 grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey (HFNJ)for 2015 programs to be launched at Barnabas Health in West Orange and Livingston. The funds will serve cancer, cardiology, and multiple sclerosis patients as well as caregivers and victims of domestic violence. Patients will have access to free therapeutic yoga and meditation classes twice daily.

When asked about the upcoming launch of the programs, Dr. Minal Vazirani, medical director of the Siegler Center for Integrative Medicine at the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, said, “We are so grateful to receive such a generous grant from the HFNJ, and for our newly formed alliance with Kula for Karma. Introducing individuals to therapeutic yoga will help to build their resiliency along their healing journey and provide them with one more powerful tool in their toolbox. . . .I believe that this endeavor will serve as a pebble in the pond and have a ripple effect of increased mindfulness and making wellness a priority, not just for individuals and their caregivers, but for our country’s healthcare system at large.”

“The partnership between Barnabas Health and Kula for Karma is an amazing step forward as we work to make integrative medicine more widely accessible throughout hospitals,” says Geri Topfer, founder and president of Kula for Karma. “We are incredibly grateful to the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey for their support in helping us to change the face of healthcare.”

HFNJ began its support of Kula for Karma in 2013, with a grant that provided therapeutic yoga to children whose parents had been incarcerated. In 2014, they funded the development of Kula for Karma’s Advanced Teacher Training Program, as well as the “Yoga for Veterans Video Series,” a six-part guided yoga and meditation practice, designed specifically for veterans to practice in the safety of their own home. Since its inception in 2007, Kula for Karma has launched more than 300 integrative programs in the tri-state area, touching the lives of more than 3,000 people. 

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