The Good Karma Projects are local and travel the world volunteer missions that incorporate documentary filmmaking and still photography bootcamps, while on yoga retreat.

The Good Karma Projects offer short film and ethical documentary photography training, while we make media that matters and serves the local community first. 

We are there to learn from and serve the local communities we visit, as humble students, as we support each other through a transformative process and grow together, without judgement.

We create safe space for women to join forces, see the world, give back and create lasting impact.

Agreeing to a good karma honor system, we practice yoga, meditation, and loving kindness, every step of the way.

Our foundation stems from the practice of Karma Yoga or selfless service. This simply means to give back without expecting anything in return.

We believe this practice saves our world and gives our life meaning. 

We are an international network of friends and colleagues donating our skills for causes we believe in.

We aim to empower women around the world by training them in media, creating safe space to share their stories and help others.

We create media by women, about women, for humanity.

WELCOME TO THE GOOD KARMA PROJECTS


Documentary Filmmaking Bootcamp for Women

From June 1-15, 2015, our 2 week Good Karma project and documentary filmmaking bootcamp resulted in a short documentary film produced by our team of students and mentors. We offered instruction and hands-on experience in video, audio, and photography with an emphasis on conducting compelling interviews and shooting cinematic landscape scenery. We gave 5 scholarships away to 4 high school girls from Manali, India and an elder artist from the USA. It was a truly diverse team and a rich cross cultural experience for all. 

Filmmaking is a great team effort and in the end, we made a short documentary film by, for and about women. Our goal is to create safe space, offer education and hands on experience, to women through media making bootcamps. As a direct result, more women can share their stories through film and photography, while we document our times with an essential women's perspective.  Please view. Nari Shakti, Women of Tirthan Valley, below.

Good Karma Projects: INDIA * our pilot film and first bootcamp

From June 4-14, 2015, an international team of 13 women filmmakers and one slightly pregnant Yoga Teacher, visited the Great Himalayan National Park of northern India, a young new World Heritage Site, and created the film, Nari Shakti: Women of Tirthan Valley (Nari Shakti means Women Power in Hindi, the foremost native language of India. India has 22 official languages and hundreds of local and traditional dialects. Our film is in Hindi with the local Tirthan Valley dialect, rarely recorded before now): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_India).

Our service projects were based in majestic Tirthan Valley in the Kullu valleys, in the buffer zones of the Greater Himalayan National Park, a recent UNESCO world heritage site, appointed in 2014, after years of writing and politicking by our brothers and NGO hosts, Ankit and Panki Sood of the Great Himalayan Sunshine Adventure Ecotours. Our retreats included morning meditation and daily yoga classes, healthy local food, trekking adventures learning to travel like a local fim crew and photograph as well, as we did the deed and finished a 15 minuite short film that still serves the local community to this day. Nari SHkati has been shown to thousands of dignataries, government officials, conscious travelers and local women like we feature in the film, that have never see someone like them ever in a film. Great cultural impact and thoughful social service. Thats our mission. 

In 2008, Ana Blues-Grillo traveled throughout India for 6 months volunteering her skills and talents along the way. This is called Karma Yoga in the Hindu and Anciet Yogic traditions. It is simply called, volunteerism in America. Blues-Grillo volunteered with several different grass roots organizations, to include orphanages, women's cooperatives, vocational training programs and many schools. She designed her Good Karma Projects so that Volunteers can offer a variety of services including: tutoring children, art projects, small business marketing, building and construction skills, as well as, film and photography documentation. The unique volunteer options are based on the needs of the community and the skills the volunteers have that choose to participate.

After first arrival, our participants recieve educational & cultural awareness classes on local customs and courtesies. Classes include, Hindu language essentials, historical, political and biodiversity overviews. We are ecologically conscious and strive to leave the places we visit better than when we arrived. We design our retreats to be culturally immersive volunteer adventures while we practice yoga, meditation and selfless service every day... as best as we can. Its an Honor system. Blues-Grillo brings a unique military experience with the heart and intention of a yoga teacher. SHe has recived close to 2000 hours of Yoga teacher training to include: Senior Yoga, Yoga for health back and special needs, Yoga for Depression, Ashtanga Yoga (Primary series, the 1st healing series), Sivananda Yoga ( 12 Asana for whole health), Kriplau-inspired Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and restorative. Blues-Grillo is a certified Thai Yoga Therapist and lifelong student of Ayurveda, traditional Indian Medicine. 

Blues-Grillo uses music therapy by incorporation Campfire Sessions for sharing, story telling, deep listening and good old fashioned american sing-alongs. 

She has experience in teaching chidlren at risk and currently in transitional housing in all course subjects: English, Writing, Science, Math, Pysical education and the Arts. Befroe she became a New York times photojournalist and professional freelance photographer, nver entering into the wedding photography business, rather into a high-end commercial photogrpaher focusing on universities, colleges, NGOS, National nonprofit sectors and pro-bono work for the Soutn Baltmore Homeless Shelter, years 1998-2004. 

 

 

 

 

Please visit www.goodkarmaprojects.org for more details

contact Ana Grillo at anagrillosf@gmail.com for inquiries.

GOOD KARMA PROJECTS: INDIA 2015

15 min Short Film: Nari Shakti: Women of Tirthan Valley

 


The Good Karma Projects had two missions for 2015:  Documentary Filmmaking Bootcamp for women and The Good Karma Yoga Retreat

In 2015, the GKPs hosted the first documentary filmmaking bootcamp for women in the Himalayan mountains of northern India. We were a team of 13 international women and girls, from all around the world, aged 14-64. The GKPs sponsored 4 teenage girls from a local children's home and one elder artist from the USA. Together with Sunshine Himalayans adventures, we created the short film, Nari Shakti: Women of Tirthan Valley. The purpose of the film was to inspire local women in the Himalayan valleys to develop their savings & credit groups and increase their income generating efforts, as well as, document traditional women's culture in the Himalayans of northern India. Since 2015, it's been shown to over a thousand visitors and locals: small women's groups from villages, government officials, International NGOs and tourists throughout the Great Himalayan region. The film is in Hindi and the local dialect of the Tirthan Valley and is still being shown today. Nari Shakti: women of Tirthan Valley with English subs below. Special thanks to Ganesha Gitesh "Luke Cg" for donating translations and subtitles for our film. This film was a multi-collaborative project aimed at documenting women's history and sharing the voices of the women of Tirthan Valley.

  • Documentary Filmmaking Bootcamp for women. We train both local and international women and girls, basic skills of documentary filmmaking and produce one short film intended to benefit the local community. Our focus is telling the stories of remarkable women who are making positive impact in our world today and add their voices to history... our story.
  • The Good Karma Yoga Retreat integrates volunteer projects during a 2 week yoga retreat in Great Himalayan Mountains in northern India.  We create a culturally immersive yoga retreat while we work on volunteer projects that serve the local community. 
 

Girls from RADHA Children's Home, an NGO near Manali, India. 2008

 


GOOD KARMA PROJECTS 2015 OVERVIEW

Women of RADHA NGO, an income generating women's cooperative in Manali, India.

photos by Ana Grillo for the Kullu Project 2008

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GOOD KARMA YOGA RETREAT: DAILY SCHEDULE

  • morning meditation
  • hatha yoga class
  • organic vegetarian morning meal 
  • free time 
  • Karma yoga: approx. 4 hours service with afternoon chai and sweet break
  • optional yoga class
  • evening meal
  • optional evening Sangha or community gatherings every 3 days for sharing, reviews and adjustments.

 

How the Good Karma Project came to be... In 2008, while traveling 6 months in India, Ana volunteered for the Kullu Project in Manali and the greater Kullu valley, creating the photographs for their first website.The Kullu Project is a grass roots umbrella organization who supports several orphanages, schools, vocational programs and women’s cooperative groups living in the Kullu Valley region. She photographed 4 different orphanages, 3 schools, a women’s cooperative and boy’s vocational training program. She was inspired to return one day and make it possible for others to volunteer, while on a yoga retreat in this beautiful valley. The Good Karma Project was born in 2008 and is offered it's first good karma yoga retreats and women's filmmaking bootcamps in June 2015.  contact: anagrillosf@gmail.com for details.

Kullu Project’s website

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