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Spring Is Here!

Spring is here and if you're like us, it couldn't have come soon enough. More and more people are being vaccinated, the feeling of "normalcy" is starting to return, and we at Asha are gearing up for our sports season! If you're feeling like you need a boost to get back in shape after this long COVID year, come work out with us at Asha. The best part about working out with Asha is that while you're getting in shape, you're also supporting the education of marginalized populations in India. We are biking, running, dancing, and yoga-ing our way to a healthy year and a better world, come join us!

In this newsletter we are also honoring International Women's Day, which fell on March 8th. We at Asha are dedicated to improving women's lives in India and are proud to support projects which address girls' education and women's issues. We have highlighted two of our Seattle Chapter projects which focus on educating girls and improving the lives of women. We hope you enjoy reading about them.

Wishing you a happy and transformative spring.

The Seattle Asha Chapter

+ stretch and tone those muscles with YOGA & STRENGTH TRAINING

Team Asha Running is excited to announce our new 2021 Running training and Yoga & Strength training programs.   We offer tailored programs and plans for all levels of runners to suit your goals, whether it be an Ultra marathon, Full Marathon or Half Marathon, or any other running goal.  Team Asha Running has successfully trained many runners for events including the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, the Seattle Marathon, the Snohomish Marathon, and more. 

We also offer Yoga & Strength training classes to help you achieve and maintain your fitness. These classes have extensive stretches and more, to help you run without pain or long-term injuries. The Yoga & Strength training classes have been running successfully via Zoom since March 2020.

Our Running training and Yoga & Strength training programs are a great way to support the education of underprivileged children in India, while completing your goals. 

Team Asha Running has a certified coach and experienced mentors to guide you and provide individualized plans to achieve your fitness goals strongly.

About our coach, Sankara Narayanan

  • Accomplished runner with consistent running history for 12 years
  • Certified Distance Running Coach – Level 1 - Certified RRCA (Road Running Club of America)
  • 200-hour Certified Yoga instructor from Yoga Alliance and Bellevue Community College
  • 300-hour Certified Yoga Instructor specializing in Advanced Sequences and Breathing practices from SVYASA University Bangalore
  • Read more about him here: Sankara Narayanan Venkataraman | Asha Seattle (

Our 2021 Schedule:

  • Running training -- Main targets for March, June/July, October, and December
  • Strength training -- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Morning, 6:30am to 7:30am
  • Yoga classes -- Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday Morning, 6:30am to 7:30am  

If you'd like to join us, please download the form below, complete, and send to

To learn more, please visit us online: Run for Asha | Asha Seattle (
Running + Yoga & Strength Training Registration Form

TRAIN for the VIRTUAL Seattle To Portland BIKE RIDE

If this past year has taught us anything, it is to adapt! (Besides making us experts at binge watching Netflix while pretending to work from home 😊). Owing to the continued COVID-19 restrictions, Cascade Bicycle Club’s Seattle to Portland (STP) traditional outdoor bike ride stands cancelled for the second time in a row this year. In a normal year, this ride is the focal point of the annual fundraising done by the Asha Biking Team. The cancellation surely made us sad as we were eager to resume training outdoor and fundraising for the Asha projects. 

Cascade has, however, presented riders with an option to complete the STP virtually. Riders have the flexibility of doing multiple rides that add up to 206 miles, like the regular STP ride, during two weeks in July. Asha Biking Team decided to grab on this opportunity and adapt, by developing a Training plan for completing the STP virtually (206 miles and ~5000ft elevation) by riding indoors using Smart Bike Trainers. This year we are training bikers such that they can complete their Virtual STP ride in one day, two days, four days or more as needed, ensuring that the training is completely adaptable to a diverse group of riders. We are very excited to report that this year we have a group of close to 35 riders ready to train and in turn raise funds for Asha Projects! This goes to show that the spirits are high to ride with Team Asha, even if it is virtually!

Our volunteers are helping riders each step of the way from procuring bikes and bike trainers and setting them up, to answering queries and troubleshooting. Asha Biking Team kicked off the 2021 Training for Virtual STP on March 7th, 2021 with the same energy and enthusiasm as always. We are looking forward to another great season of pedaling and raising funds!

To register for the virtual STP training, please send an email to
and tell us about your interest. The button below will take you to our email as well.
To learn more, please visit us online: Bike for Asha | Asha Seattle ( 
Register for the Virtual STP Training

In our latest class series from Asha Learn, Valli from Chennai Beats will lead us in various dances of India, including folk dance, Hindi dance, and Tamil dance. She will come up with a specific routine for each class and every class will be self-contained, so you can join us for one, or come to them all!       

Classes are every Sunday at 6pm, March 14 - April 4. 

These classes are free! We suggest a donation of $15 per class, with all proceeds going to Asha Seattle. Donate here.

Come dance with us!
 To attend the class, please register at or follow the button below.

Dance with Chennai Beats

International Women's Day has been celebrated from as early as 1909 and in 1977 the United Nations officially proclaimed March 8th as International Women's Day. The global holiday brings attention to the achievements of women, and to the widespread and ongoing issues of gender inequality and violence against women.  

To commemorate this important holiday we've highlighted two of our Seattle chapter sponsored projects which were founded or co-founded by women, and which work hard to improve the lives of women. We are humbled by the work they do.  

If you enjoy reading about these projects, please take a look at our Facebook and Instagram pages. There we publish weekly snapshots of projects we support and for the next two weeks, we'll be featuring projects which specifically improve the lives of women and girls.

If you would like to support the work of these projects, we welcome your donation.  Asha is 100% volunteer run, and 97% of every donation goes directly to these projects and others like them.


Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh
Aarti Home was founded by women, and is run by women. Aarti provides a long-term home for girls who have been abandoned by their families (there are about 120 residents at present) and supports them as they complete their education and settle into their careers.  Aarti also rescues children (over 800 to date, 90% of them girls) who have been victims of abuse and trafficking and provides them a temporary home until they are rehabilitated. Some of the Aarti girls have even come back to help run the home!

To change a sense of powerlessness and lack of respect for women which leads to female child abandonment and lack of education, Aarti aims to help underprivileged women in Kadapa become financially independent from their husbands, and to develop a greater sense of purpose and self-confidence. Aarti has trained about 20,000 women in skills which generate income, including tailoring, fashion design, embroidery, massage, and handicrafts such as toy making and block printing, as well as in leadership and directly employable skills.



Thar Desert, Rajasthan
Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS) was co-founded by a woman and, until her death in November 2020, was run by her as well. Asha Seattle supports GRAVIS's work to build taankas, underground storage tanks which collect rainwater, in the Thar Desert. Many families in the Thar Desert live 4-5km or farther from their freshwater source and usually the task of collecting water comes to the women in the household. Walking to and from the water source regularly, and on the return legs carrying a large container of water, takes a great deal of time and leaves little time for earning money, maintaining the household, or getting an education. In addition, the strain from carrying water such distances takes a toll on the women's bodies. With a taanka close to the home, women and girls are freed to use the time that used to be spent collecting water, on things which improve their lives: earning income, taking care of the family, and going to school. The YouTube video below features a heartwarming story.
Donate to our projects


  • Get all your donations matched if you have this option.
  • Take advantage of AmazonSmile to get a portion of each of your Amazon purchases donated to a charity of your choice at no cost to you. Download a browser extension to automatically do this for you.
  • If you are part of the vast majority of people that opt for the standard deduction on your annual taxes, the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act passed in 2020 provides you with a $300 tax deduction for charitable giving, beyond the standard deduction.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the content written here, we would love to hear about them. Please contact us at
Thank you for your continued support and generous contributions.
- Asha for Education Seattle Chapter -
Copyright © 2021, Asha For Education. All rights reserved.

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Asha For Education Seattle Chapter · PO Box 2407 · Redmond, WA 98052 · USA

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