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Headstands and Healing at OG Yoga

JoAnn Jaffe has spent her life as a fundraiser, leader, social change advocate, and passionate yogini. While her resume touts impressive experience throughout the private and public sector, JoAnn’s current role as founder and CEO of OG Yoga, a fiscally sponsored project of Mission Edge, has provided meaning in a way to which other roles can’t compare.

Through her personal yoga practice, JoAnn experienced a physical and mental transformation that sparked a drive to share this feeling with those who need it most. So, she “held her breath, jumped off the ledge without a net”, and started OG Yoga. She and her team of yoga instructors provide trauma-informed, mindfulness-based yoga classes through partnerships with non-profit organizations serving marginalized individuals and incarcerated facilities. Their programs promote healing, resilience, self-development, and positive social change. She and her team are specially trained in working with at-risk populations. So, not only do they each hold 200-hour training certifications, they are also highly trained in working with trauma-sensitive populations, including incarcerated individuals, military veterans, at-risk youth, seniors, and even the vision impaired. OG Yoga classes are designed to keep people coming back and feeling better; so their language during class is different, their dress is different, and the set-up of the rooms may be different than the average studio. This is done on purpose, to avoid any potentially triggering situations, and to make participants feel completely comfortable in a new environment. There’s no question that their model is truly impactful for the people involved:

I was introduced to OG Yoga at a re-entry facility after serving 3 years in other facilities. OG YOGA was truly a blessing in my healing process. They taught me to be calm during one of the most stressful situations of my life – my incarceration for a felony DUI. My anxiety was reduced. The different breathing exercises and meditations fostered inner strength, drive, and confidence in me that I had never encountered before. I am eternally grateful to OG Yoga for helping me find my true self.  – OG Yoga graduate from Department of Corrections Transitional Custody to Community Reentry Program.

JoAnn was referred to Mission Edge’s fiscal sponsorship program after she and her Advisory Council realized the headaches, costs, and complications involved in obtaining their own 501c3. Operating under Mission Edge’s nonprofit status gives JoAnn the freedom to focus the majority of her efforts on building partnerships and fundraising, while Mission Edge takes care of the complex backend work needed to successfully run a nonprofit organization.

Mission Edge is my closest counsel on a weekly basis for everything from financials, tax reporting, HR contracts, legal advice, and more. says JoAnn. These are the things on which I don’t want to spend time, don’t have the expertise to spend time, and don’t want to supervise another employee. With Mission Edge, I don’t have to worry about these parts of my business – I know my ducks are in a row.

Hear more about OG Yoga and their impactful business model in this recent feature from KPBS.

Additionally, you can get involved and help support OG Yoga by attending their upcoming events:

  •  Savasana At Sunset: A restorative summer yoga series in partnership with Lululemon at La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla. Register here
  • Yoga for Good: A three-part summer series in partnership with Women, Wine & Yoga at unique outdoor locations with food, art and music vendors. Register here.

Think your organization could benefit from fiscal sponsorship? Fill out our interest form to start the conversation.