Beyond the Mat

Beyond the Mat is the Azulfit commitment to living our mission – to realise and enable positive change in the world outside the yoga studio – where it counts most. We believe that each movement, however small, made with purpose and positive intent can ripple outwards, and that they have the potential to make a big change within our networks, our communities and for our planet.

So far this year the Azulfit community has:

Funded the Khusi Hona Women’s Empowerment Project for the entire year – a venture that empowers and educates women and provides a sustainable, living wage, employment and training for women in Goa, India.
Fed 300 families in Eastern Ghouta for 10 days when they were shut off from aid and medicine via our hero, Rami the Hope Smuggler and his organisation
Funded Beit Ashams community center in Bethlehem rent for the year to help them keep their doors open to offer Palestinians, Israelis and refugees a safe space for wellbeing, training and access to immediate needs such as food.
[We] feel totally overwhelmed by your continued support for our projects in the Middle East… the generosity of your recent donations have made an amazing difference…” YogaBeats Conflict
…thank you so much for all you have done to help secure this women’s empowerment project in Goa. We simply could not have done it without you…”Khusi Hona

Our partner charities

We have selected charities that are really important to us, that we know are making a difference through sustainable initiatives. We work closely with each charity, to ensure transparency and accountability for all donations. In sharing these charities with you, we hope that we can together build a connected global community, united under common goals.

Quarter 1: Khusi Hona

Our head teacher, Rachel has been personally involved with the charity for two years, and has first-hand witnessed their incredible work. Our retreats provide a non-profit sales outlet for their LovetreeCo jewellery line – a venture that empowers and educates women and provide a sustainable, living wage, employment and training for women in Goa …read more
  1. Khusi Hona

    Our head teacher, Rachel has been personally involved with the charity for two years, and has first-hand witnessed their incredible work. Our retreats provide a non-profit sales outlet for their LovetreeCo jewellery line – a venture that empowers and educates women and provide a sustainable, living wage, employment and training for women in Goa. Through our fundraising efforts in Q1 2018, we have funded the training for the entire year, and bought them a sewing machine to continue their amazing work! Donate online if you wish to help fund this amazing empowerment project to eradicate poverty through a cycle of learning and empowerment.
    €0.00 donated

Quarter 2: Yoga Beats Conflict

Yogabeats Conflict is set up to bring yoga and altruism to those most in need. Money raised for Yogabeats Conflict is used to fund teacher trainings and buy supplies for yoga teachers teaching in conflict areas. The charity also pays for travel for yoga elders and teacher trainers to visit these conflict areas and provide workshops. …read more
  1. Yoga Beats Conflict

    Yogabeats Conflict is set up to bring yoga and altruism to those most in need. From March 2018 onwards we are working together with David Sye to help bring relief to those displaced by the Syrian conflict, most noteably children. We have partnered with The Toy Smuggler, who is working on the ground there bringing aid where it is most needed. In any area of conflict, Yoga Elder David Sye shines his light to bring relief in the form of yoga or emergency support. Money raised for Yogabeats Conflict is used to fund teacher trainings and buy supplies for yoga teachers teaching in conflict areas. The charity also pays for travel for yoga elders and teacher trainers to visit these conflict areas and provide workshops.
    €0.00 donated of €2,500.00 goal

Quarter 3: Vrinda Foundation

Azulfit and their recurring Pay it Forward Monday charity meal campaign supports the Vrinda Foundation. Every week our retreat kitchen offers healthy vegetarian evening meal to our guests on a donation basis, and our amazing guests week in week out dig deep and give back. …read more
  1. Pay It Forward: Vrinda Foundation

    Azulfit and their recurring Pay it Forward Monday charity meal campaign supports the Vrinda Foundation. Every week our retreat kitchen offers healthy vegetarian evening meal to our guests on a donation basis, and our amazing guests week in week out dig deep and give back. The initiative is the brain child of chef Erika Franciosi, who is our link to the foundation, and their team in India. Year to date we have raised €1637 for the charity.
    €0.00 donated of €463.00 goal

Quarter 4: Give Back Yoga Foundation

Each November  we host a donation class and charity meal for the Give Back Yoga Foundation who provide yoga for cancer, yoga for veterans and yoga for prisoners amongst other amazing projects.  Join us 21 Nov 2018 for our donation event or sign your local studio up for an event! Their teacher training programs allow yoga teachers and practitioners to bring yoga to underserved communities. …read more
  1. Give Back Yoga Foundation

    Each November we host a donation class and charity meal for the Give Back Yoga Foundation who provide yoga for cancer, yoga for veterans and yoga for prisoners amongst other amazing projects. Their teacher training programs allow yoga teachers and practitioners to bring yoga to underserved communities. Funds raised are put to good use: expanding our mission in the world to boldly bring yoga to unserved populations. We have raised €225 euros to date.
    €0.00 donated of €300.00 goal

Ongoing: Animal Welfare and Animal Rescue

Azulfit support island charities including Fuerteventura dog rescue and private citizens rescuing animals, getting them vaccinated, spayed, neutered and adopted at home and abroad. To date we have re-housed 3 animals this year ourselves and raised 900 euros for animal welfare, veterinary bills and charity work and support. …read more
  1. Animal Rescue & Animal Welfare

    Azulfit support island charities including Fuerteventura dog rescue and private citizens rescuing animals, getting them vaccinated, spayed, neutered and adopted at home and abroad. To date we have re-housed 3 animals this year ourselves and raised 900 euros for animal welfare, veterinary bills and charity work and support. Our kitchen also supports sustainable farming practices to contribute to healthy animal welfare in our village. The local goats and donkeys love our Truly Healthy vegetables and fruits!
    €0.00 donated of €200.00 goal

Thank you for helping us and also allowing us to be the highest versions of ourselves through yoga service to others

I wanted to start the work day by taking time out to thank you and your participants in the Yoga Makes Change donation class. Your photo brightened up all of us with a huge smile. Thank you. Your funds raised are put to good use: expanding our mission in the world to boldly bring yoga to unserved populations. Please stay in touch with us, and, again, thank you so very much. This is a personal thank you for helping us and also allowing us to be the highest versions of ourselves through yoga service to others.

Rob Schware, PhD – Executive Director

Overwhelmed by your continued support

Karissa and Jamie,
David and I feel totally overwhelmed by your continued support for our projects in the Middle East, your belief in us is humbling, we are so full of love for you guys…..

Your fund raising last year (2017) meant that we were able to return in November, and continue the teacher training program with the Palestinians. The money covered our airfares and our safe transport in and out of The West Bank. The last 2 years have been tough for the YOGA BEATS CONFLICT fund, leaving David and I to self finance the project so that it could continue. So as you can imagine the generosity of your recent donations have made an amazing difference to the project financially.

We are looking ahead to a very exciting 2018, hopefully culminating with our ultimate goal for the year, starting the final Step of teacher training, with an aim for graduation in 2019 for our group of Palestinians. Their 7 year YogaBeats journey and dream of teaching Yogabeats finally happening ……

With Love… David Sye & Sarah Stephen

Sarah Stephen

We simply could not have done it with out you two and all your love!

Hello Karissa & Rachel,

First and foremost thank you so much for all you have done to help secure this women’s empowerment project in Goa. We simply could not have done it with out you two and all your love!

Right now, with all your donations we have covered:
2 – Sewing Machine with motors
1 – Serger with motor
6 – Girls Tailoring Sponsorship through December 2018

We have met our initial goal of setting this project up through the end of the year! WOO HOO! 🙂 It means so much to the girls. You have no idea!!! 🙂

Our goal now is to collect donations to go towards additional supplies, material, scissors, thread etc.

As the year goes by we will have reports on the progress of the girls. And research how we can expand on their trainings and education to secure their futures.  We are on the cusp on such amazing change and hope for these young women!

We are heading to North India in early March to set up a similar women’s empowerment project in Dehradun. So many wonderful things!

One community at a time.
All my love,
Karri

Karri Cole, director

Charity and community

In this ever expanding 'yoga' industry, it's more important than ever that we recognise our privilege to practice and see our yoga practice as so much more than just what happens on the mat, or as time for just ourselves. Charity and community are actually large components of a well rounded yoga practice and without our tribe or support network, our practice can easily lose direction or become stale.

Our ongoing beyond-the-mat projects include:

Giving back to the local community, especially by supporting animal welfare and animal rescue charity work on the island.
Making our retreats and operations more sustainable.
Supporting our team, our guests and the wider yoga and Pilates community to get involved. See more on how we do this below...

Bringing the Azulfit community together...

At Azulfit we encourage every member of the Azulfit community to join us and celebrate being part of this ever growing and supportive network of yogis, Pilates folk and positive people from across the globe.

This celebration takes place each week at the retreat in the form of a charity dinner evening. We designate a charity each quarter and all funds raised are donated to them. Of course, this is not a compulsory meal and every guest can opt out without judgement or drama. We provide our team and ingredients as our donation and together it has been amazing how much we have collectively raised.

We also support many charities through hosting fund raising classes. Open beach classes and events such as International Yoga Day, allow an additional platform for us to encourage the community to come together and celebrate mindful movement, whilst giving back to those in need.

Our owner and founder, Jamie, is also actively giving back with his Pilates Flow DVD sales. The DVD soundtrack is by Internationally acclaimed musician Moby, who joins Jamie in his charitable support, with each DVD sale supporting the Humane Society USA and the local Fuerteventura Dog rescue charity.

Other areas where Azulfit has enjoyed supporting charitable causes, has been by donating the use of their retreat centre to the Yoga Beats Conflict cause, providing a safe space for yoga teachers to come and finish their training, away from the war torn zones that they reside in.

With special thanks to...

...the wonderful Yogi Bare company, who not only provided us with yoga mats for our 10 year anniversary retreat, but also give back by donating used mats to homeless charities.

Beyond-the-mat blog

Find out more about our past beyond-the-mat projects on the blog