Do Yoga for good – YOGATHON, September 16th, 2018

Join our mindful community for

Yogathon 2018

Sunday, September 16th at Karma Yoga

Yogathon 2018 is fast approaching! For the eighth year in a row, YBDF Yogathon returns to Karma Yoga on Sunday, September 16, 2018. 
With the studio space once again generously donated by Katherine & Mike Wooley, all proceeds benefit yoga, mindfulness & meditation programs for Michigan’s underserved communities. 

The festive day-long marathon includes:

  • Classes taught by stellar Instructors
  • An incredible Raffle
  • Unique community Vendors
  • Class Prizes
  • Book Exchange
  • Gift Bags for every Participant!!!

Ticket sales go live August 1st at

Sign up for the event on Facebook.


8:15 AM - 9:15 AM POSITIVELY ZEN MOVEMENT with Stephanie Williams,
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM  KUNDALINI EXPERIENCE with Stevie G.
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM INFERNO HOT PILATES with Krysia Szymanski,
:15 PM - 3:45 PM OPEN TO GRACE with Natalie Piet
4:15 PM - 6:00 PM MEDITATION & GONG IMMERSION with Dale Prentiss & Valerie Weir,

Yogathon's first book exchange!

This year, Yogathon will host its first ever free book exchange. Bring your gently used yoga, mindfulness, and meditation books and pick one up to take home with you!

Join Our Mindful Community: Yogathon 2018 - Sunday, September 16th

Join our mindful community for

Yogathon 2018

Sunday, September 16th at Karma Yoga

For the 8th year in a row, YBDF Yogathon returns to Karma Yoga on Sunday, September 16, 2018! Katherine & Mike Wooley once again are generously donating their studio space so that all proceeds benefit yoga, mindfulness & meditation programs for Michigan’s underserved communities. 

The festive day-long marathon includes:

  • Classes taught by stellar Instructors
  • An incredible Raffle
  • Unique community Vendors
  • Class Prizes
  • Gift Bags for every Participant!!!


The Yogathon Team is busy planning Yogathon 2018. Your support is invaluable.

Here’s how you can ensure another successful Yogathon:

Yogathon 2017 Committee Members, Kathy McRae, Lynn Medow, Jacob Bolton, Sarah Williams, Sabrina Atto, and Deborah Edwards.JPG

YBDF Seeks Active Volunteers

Please join us in offering these healing practices to those who truly need, but cannot afford to participate in them!

What can you do to help?

  1. YBDF is looking for committed volunteers for our committees -
    Programming, Development, and our annual Yogathon Fundraiser.

  2. We are also seeking individuals with leadership skills to serve on our Board of Directors. Explore our recruitment packet for more info!

Reach out if you are passionate about yoga and want to transform lives breath by breath!

Lynn Medow
President & Founder

Thank you for joining us at Yogathon 2017!

One week ago today, we held our most successful Yogathon to date! We are so blessed to have such a fabulous team of volunteers. We are looking forward to a larger event next year and a busy year with new and old programs growing.

One week ago today, under beautifully clear skies, YOGATHON 2017 rocked the house! The incredible cadre of volunteers, listed below, assembled at Karma Yoga by 6AM with classes beginning at 6:30 AM. We were at capacity several times during the day and are deeply grateful to our teachers: Matthew Darling, Nancy McCaochan, Stevie G., Raina Nemeth, Natalie Piet, Sara Davidson-Flanders, Kelly Hale, Dale Prentis & Valerie Weir who blessed us with their guidance and grace.

Change happens through tiny acts by many people.

YBDF Founder Lynn Medow shared the following words at YOGATHON 2017:
As we witness the recent devastation from natural events, what we should be learning from nature is that we need each other. More than ever. We need tiny acts of giving and kindness by many to support others to weather their hurricanes.

The hurricanes many are facing now, or have recently faced, have been experienced in many forms by the people served the by Yoga by Design Foundation. The veteran with sexual trauma and PTSD, the victim of human trafficking, the homeless young adult, the abused middle-schooler, the breast cancer survivor, the incarcerated young man - to name but a few.

Today as we practice yoga, not only for ourselves but for others, may we be reminded of our interconnectedness. A hurricane which happens to one, happens to all. A tiny act of kindness, such as attending but one yoga class, has the ripple effect of supporting others to deal with the hurricanes of their lives.

With deep gratitude to Katherine & Mike Wooley, who have so generously donated Karma Yoga for the seventh year in the row. With deep gratitude to our teachers who have given up their most lucrative teaching day of the week for many of them and/or family time for others. With deep gratitude to the many volunteers & Karma Yoga desk staff who have worked tirelessly to make this day happen.

The courageous Anne Frank said:

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

You are doing just that!

Thank you for your presence and generosity.

And do remember:

"We Rise by Lifting Others"

- Robert Ingersoll

Join the revolution of changing our world breath-by-breath!

Do Yoga • Win Prizes • Help People

Yogathon is a day-long marathon of unique yoga classes. All proceeds benefit the Yoga by Design Foundation, dedicated to bringing yoga, mindfulness & meditation practice to underserved populations in Michigan. With the space generously donated by Karma Yoga Bloomfield Township, the festive day includes local vendors, a   raffle   with over $17,000 of unique prizes, T-shirts, Class gifts, and Goodie bags for each participant.

Yogathon is a day-long marathon of unique yoga classes. All proceeds benefit the Yoga by Design Foundation, dedicated to bringing yoga, mindfulness & meditation practice to underserved populations in Michigan. With the space generously donated by Karma Yoga Bloomfield Township, the festive day includes local vendors, a raffle with over $17,000 of unique prizes, T-shirts, Class gifts, and Goodie bags for each participant.

Check out the schedule and sign up today at

Sponsored by Buddy's Pizza, Live in Woodbridge, North Point Medical Center, Yoga Association of Greater Detroit, Namastick, Studio4Bodywork, Institute of Neuromuscular Medicine and The Movement Institute


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI – Yoga by Design Foundation will host an all-day YOGATHON atKarma Yoga in Bloomfield Township on Sunday, September 11, 2016 from 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM. All proceeds will support yoga and meditation classes for under-served and under-resourced populations. A $20 per class minimum donation is requested. Participants can register at www.ybdf-yogathon- or drop-in (space-available).

Bloomfield Township long term resident Lynn Medow, Daily Points of Light Foundation winner, created the Yoga by Design Foundation in 2011.

The unique Yoga by Design Foundation raises funds for the sole purpose of providing yoga and meditation instruction at no cost to a variety of participants including Veterans with PTSD, Victims of Human Trafficking, Homeless Young Adults, Children in Alternative Schools, Youth with Obesity, Breast Cancer Survivors and Adults with Developmental Disabilities.

The Foundation currently supports nine programs in the tri-county area.

“People under stress due to poverty, illness and other life circumstances can use yoga for coping, healing and ultimately empowerment,” says Lynn Medow, founder and president of Yoga by Design Foundation. “The practice of yoga empowers the individual to implement and utilize their inner resources to bring them back to their strongest and most balanced self.”

YOGATHON Class Schedule at KARMA YOGA, 3683 W. Maple @ Lahser, Bloomfield Township, MI, 248.723.9168:

*6:30 AM – 8:00 AM Ashtanga Yoga with Mathew Darling
*8:15 AM – 9:45 AM Vin Yin with Rob Woollard
*10:00 AM – 11:15 AM Magical Mystery Flow with Stevie G.
*11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Laughter is the Best Medicine with Nancy McCoachan & Lynn Medow
*1:00 PM – 2:30 PM – Happy Hips with Natalie Piet
*2:45 PM – 4:00 PM Partner Yoga with Katherine Austin Wooley & Mike Wooley
*4:15 PM – 5:30 PM Gong Meditation with Valerie Weir & Dale Prentiss

There is evidence that yoga can lower blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels, improve circulation, alleviate pain, lessen the effects of arthritis, reduce symptoms associated with asthma and diabetes while increasing strength and flexibility.

The YOGATHON is sponsored by the Detroit Lions, Karma Yoga, Institute of Neuromuscular Medicine, Movement Institute, Live in Woodbridge, Studio 4 Bodywork and numerous generous individuals.

For more information or registration visit or contact Lynn Medow, 248.939.1367.

Karma Yoga to Offer Specialized Yoga Class for Veterans and Families of Active Duty Military

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Michigan--Free therapeutic yoga classes for veterans will soon be offered at Karma Yoga West Bloomfield. Classes begin May 4and will continue every Mondayafternoon from 1 – 2:30 pm.

Both veterans and family members of active duty military personnel are welcome.

Karma Yoga West Bloomfield is located at 6710 Orchard Lake Road, in the West Bloomfield Plaza.

The classes are funded by the Yoga by Design Foundation, a local non-profit foundation that provides yoga to underserved populations, and will be taught by Susann Spilkin, ERYT-500. 

Yoga by Design Foundation’s mission is to address symptoms of trauma, illness, disease, addiction, and neglect. The Foundation underwrites highly qualified, experienced yoga instructors who offer the transformational teachings of yoga to these underserved populations.

“Offering a lifeline to those who have served in the Armed Forces is our collective responsibility and we are wholeheartedly committed to this endeavor,” said founder Lynn Medow.

In 2014, Spilkin was trained in Mindful Yoga Therapy (MYT) a program that was clinically researched over several years and included feedback from veterans themselves. MYT is the model for yoga programs that are currently being taught in over 45 VA hospitals around the nation.

Currently, Spilkin herself teaches this class at the John D Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit. 

Research shows that regular yoga practice can help relieve PTSD and combat stress symptoms in soldiers just returning from active duty as well as those still struggling 40 years after Vietnam.

In a study published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy in February 2012, veterans of the Iraq war who participated in a three-week program of hatha yoga experienced significant turnarounds in quality-of-life factors such as: having difficulty sleeping, feeling ‘down in the dumps’, having outbursts of anger, experiencing feelings of loneliness and ‘always watching my back’.

Spilkin says that mindful movement, yogic breathing practices and meditation are the tools she teaches veterans to rebalance their nervous system and manage the symptoms of PTSD.

And her students report better sleep, greater focus, less reactivity and more ability to connect with family and friends.

Spilkin finds teaching yoga to veterans deeply rewarding.

“Giving someone the tools to help them “stand down” from the burden of trauma is an honor,” said Spilkin.  

“They come into class, often feeling alone and disconnected. And by the end of class they are with friends who understand and support them.”

“I even saw a vet who is dependent on his cane for support leave class one time without it—he was feeling so light. He was halfway down the hall before he realized it!” said Spilkin.

“As I teach, I watch the tension fade from their bodies and faces—I am so grateful for my time with the vets and for the healing of yoga.”

Karma Yoga is a community focused yoga studio. In addition to traditional yoga classes, Karma also offers Gentle Yoga, Spirit Baby Yoga, and Prenatal Yoga. Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis, Yoga for Breast Cancer Survivors and now, Veterans Yoga are also held in the studio.

Katherine Austin, owner of Karma Yoga, currently operates three studios: Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield and San Diego, California.

“I’m so excited and grateful that we now offer another layer of healing for our community,” said Austin. “I opened Karma Yoga—which means to be of service—in order to help other have the ability to lead a life of joy, fulfillment and good health off the mat. Our veterans deserve that and so much more.” 

“We are passionate about sharing and teaching yoga at Karma. It’s a lifestyle for us, not a hobby.”

Bloomfield Community Television, Living Karma Yoga video interview with Spilkin and Austin discussing Trauma Sensitive Yoga:

For more information, visit, or contact Karma Yoga at or 248-862-2015.

Extra! Extra! Read All About How Yoga is GREAT for Joint Pain!

A recent feature in the Detroit Free Press highlighted Yoga's healing benefits for those of us with joint pain.

Yoga By Design Foundations founder, Lynn Medow gave specific instructions in a quick video demonstrating important stretches you can do at home to support our overworked joints. 

Joint pain is not just for senoirs!  

Many people today of all ages struggle with it. And though it is not known how many Americans suffer from joint related pain,"Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention found that 22.7% of U.S. adults — 52.5 million people — have arthritis, a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders. Among the most common is osteoarthritis, a painful degenerative disease caused by wear and tear on bones and joints.

Yoga supports the joints; with gentle movement - never forcing or pushing. Yoga helps us move, soften and create space so that oxygen reaches more of our cells, organs and bodily systems. This helps to lower inflammation, decrease pain, engages our ability to heal, supports healthy cognitive function and and lowers stress.

Everyone can benefit from Yoga's simple and soft, healing touch. Great video Lynn! 

Check out the full article at this link to Detroit Free Press Online.



Yoga By Design Foundation Yogathon Press! Our Recent Three Minutes of Fame!



Yoga By Design Foundation founder Lynn Medow got an opportunity to talk over the weekend with our local news station WXYZ Channel 7 about our annual Yogathon.

The Yogathon took place on Sunday September 14th and was a huge success! Thank you to all that came out, to the vendors, to those who participated, our volunteers, to Karma Yoga for hosting and of course to all that were able to make a donation. We THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! 

For each donation of $20 to practice at our Yogathon (which we'll be doing again next year!), that $20 goes directly to underwrite the cost of 2 yoga classes for people that need yoga the most. Yoga By Design Foundation works to bring yoga to children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities, veterans, survivors and patients with cancer, political refugees and those that don't have access to or can not afford yoga. These are the folks that benefit THE MOST from Yoga's healing ability.

How does Yoga heal?

Yoga heals - in one way - by encouraging the body to slip into the parasympathetic nervous system state. This is the nervous system state in which our bodies rest, digest and heal. The sympathetic nervous system state is the commonly known as "fight or flight" state, where the body is working to maintain stress levels more prominantly. This takes the body's focus away from healing, soothing the system and supporting a healthy body and mind. The peaceful, sweetness, softness and simplicity of yoga can be enjoyed by everybody - and for every "body" type. 

Everyone needs/deserves yoga! 

Thanks again to all that came. It was a great time and a beautiful day!