Lululemon partners with local organisations to increase access to yoga

Lululemon stores in Australia and New Zealand are teaming up with local nonprofits and charitable organisations to increase access to yoga and meditation.

Stores this month will distribute grants to nonprofits and charities of their choosing that are working to break down social, physical and economic barriers to yoga and meditation.

This is part of Lululemon’s global Here to Be program, which aims to spread the health benefits of yoga and meditation to more people around the world.

The program first launched in 2016 and was brought to Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. Now, local stores are starting to have an impact on their communities.

Lululemon stores in Mosman, Balmain, Chatswood and Warringah Mall, for instance, are teaming up to provide a grant to The Yoga Impact Charity, which offers yoga classes for refugees and teaches yoga teachers how to teach trauma-informed yoga to refugees.

“As a company rooted in yoga and committed to personal development, we aim to create real change within our local communities through our social impact program Here To Be,” Paul Tinkler, managing director for Lululemon in Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement.

“Our purpose is to elevate the world by unleashing the full potential within everyone one of us. We are accelerating our efforts across social impact, as a main agenda point for the year and we’re honoured to be working with organisations that are up to big things in this area. We’re excited to see the positive changes across our communities.”

Here to Be has provided more than US$10 million in grants globally and developed more than 500 grassroots nonprofit partnerships. It also has donated more than 10,000 yoga mats and says it’s just getting started.

The retailer on Wednesday announced it will donate US$1 million over the next three years to a program that will teach mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and yoga, to thousands of United Nations staff and aid workers, who report experiencing high rates of burnout.

The program, called Peace on Purpose, aims to equip UN staff with the tools to care for themselves so they can care for others.

The funding from Lululemon will help Peace on Purpose to train more than 3000 UN development and humanitarian workers in-person over the next three years, build a hub of digital resources and develop condensed trainings and curriculum translations to reach 30,000 staff.

“With increasing need for international humanitarian aid and peacekeeping, we want to cultivate the long-lasting benefits of mindfulness tools and sustain support for those whose mission is to serve others,” Calvin McDonald, CEO of Lululemon, said in a statement.

Research following selected trainings found that over half the participants saw an improvement in overall well-being as seen in key psychological risk factors, such as work-related self-compassion, anxiety and depression, symptoms related to trauma and feelings of distress.

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