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Yoga Program Offers Instant Karma A community service certification requirement aims to spread some om to those in need.

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The nearly 24,000 yoga and pilates studios in the U.S. grossed $7 billion in 2011.
Source: IBISWorld

One in 10 Americans practice yoga, according to the Yoga Business Academy.

YogaFit students have donated more than 1 million Hours of free instruction.

Most yoga classes aren't filled with gang members and convicted felons dropping F-bombs. But that's a typical scenario in Ascend Program classes.

Founded by defense attorneys Toni Carbone and Christine Galves, the court-approved Sacramento, Calif.-based program teaches life skills--including nutrition, financial management, career counseling and, yes, yoga--to convicts. Judges may direct prisoners to the program to serve a minimum of 30 days of their sentences.

The program stemmed from Carbone's own community service requirement. No, she didn't do time: Torrance, Calif.-based YogaFit, the school from which Carbone received training as an instructor, requires students to donate eight hours of free instruction to those in need.

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