‘Sweat Out Poverty’ Challenge Raised Over £6400!

On a frosty January day in London, BYL member Marcia Harrison was chatting after her regular Bikram class to one of our Directors, when she mentioned her involvement with the charity ‘Action on Poverty (APTUK)’.  She told us about the amazing work the charity was doing, some of it in war-torn regions. APTUK empowers the world’s poorest by providing them with the tools, knowledge and technology to allow them to create micro-businesses that will lift them out of poverty.

Excited by what we were hearing, we arranged to meet with Andrew Johnson, the charity’s then-CEO to learn more. BYL has been involved in fundraising for firms such as Barclays, HSBC and Credit Suisse, and driven by our interest in supporting good charities, we were soon discussing raising funds for APTUK with a marathon yoga day!

The plans went into action, with the day to day details overseen to near-perfection by our manager Beth, and on 11 April 2015, we hosted the special ‘BYL 5 Class Challenge’ to raise money for Action on Poverty. 34 participants signed up to complete up to 5 classes in one day!

Fuelled by Michal’s delicious fresh smoothies and our always-amazing studio energy, Challenge participants collectively raised over £6,400 through nearly 200 donations plus Gift Aid! BYL yogini Kirsty Vogel raised the largest amount through generous donations from her colleagues at RBC Capital Markets, enabling us to place in the TOP 1% of ALL 532,124 JustGiving fundraisers in 2015!

250,000 Calories Burned in ONE Day!

It is generally understood that a Bikram yoga class burns between 800 and 1500 calories in 90 minutes. Given this, we estimate that over 250,000 calories were melted away at the studio on 11 April alone! BYL is honoured to have such an amazing community of yogis who give the Canary Wharf studio such a fantastic vibe.

Here’s what one participant, BYL regular and APTUK charity member Ericka had to say:

“What great photos! I am sitting at work thinking this time last week we were just finishing class #2. It was such a great day and every time I see the photos it puts a smile on my face. Aren’t we a great crowd at Canary Wharf? But I have to say it is all down to Conny, Jay, Beth, Michal and all the staff at Canary Wharf. I have made some really good friends at BYL.  A great big thanks again to all participants for making it such a great day!”

View the Event photos on Facebook!


Case Study – Sierra Leone:

During the long brutal conflict young people missed out on their education, only experiencing the devastation caused by war; their continued unemployment (75%) poses a serious threat to stability.  On top of this chronic poverty and the lack of income prevents parents and carers sending children to school.

Funds of the type raised by BYL have helped young people and carers of vulnerable families obtain vocational training and life-skills, facilitating apprenticeships and work placements, supporting new and existing enterprise activities, market linkages and micro-credit.  Together with APTUK’s partner MAPCO, and small grassroots organisations, young people are helping to rebuild their communities.

Mariama Kamara is disabled as a result of polio. Helped with training and a revolving loan she has developed a food processing business.  Mariama has no children – but she is taking care of four of her relatives’ children and their school expenses. She says with pride “I carry my burden and that of my dependants alone.  I am self reliant and I have people that sell my products on a commission basis which is a source of employment for them.”

APT is helping its partner HELP Salone to strengthen 8 Vocational Training Centres to provide market demand driven and flexible training courses, enhancing the capabilities for employment and income generation and developing livelihood opportunities for rural disadvantaged youth. Such centres will continue this impact far into the future.


  • 97.3p goes on charitable activities
  • 1.6p is spent on raising income
  • 1.1p is spent on running the charity and on other costs