#impactfulstories: Adnijóga – yoga sessions with social impact
27 January 2020 - Melinda Moharos

Anna Kalmár is one of the founders of AdniJóga and also the one who’s holding classes at Impact Hub. AdniJóga provides access to the mental and physical benefits of yoga (relax and recharge our soul and body) and has a social cause. They partner with NGOs to practice with children in state care, vulnerable women, refugees, people with disabilities etc. 

Can you tell us what your average day looks like?
For me, an average day starts with teaching a yoga class, either at a Budapest office building or a volunteer class at one of our social partners’. Afterwards, I take care of my laptop-related to-dos, organise classes, get in touch with new partners and do some reluctant administrative work. Then, probably meet with the operations team behind AdniJóga and/or one of our teachers over coffee. I try to spend some time every day studying for my Masters degree as well, usually in the afternoons. The day ends with a big walk with my puppy.

Where did the idea of AdniJóga come from? What are you most proud about it?
I decided to bring AdniJóga to life in Budapest while I was volunteering in a refugee camp on a Greek island called Chios. Here, I taught my first ever yoga class to a group of refugee women (an experience of a lifetime) and seeing what a great mental health tool yoga and mindfulness could become for them too, I wanted to try whether this could be recreated in Budapest as a self-sustaining social enterprise. We offer access to free classes to groups who wouldn’t otherwise be able to practice yoga and have gone through trauma, and we fund ourselves by teaching office yoga classes as well. AdniJóga started 1.5 years ago and today we reach more than 50 vulnerable people a week with free yoga classes, supported by 5 companies.

How long have you been practicing yoga? What does it mean to you?
I started practicing yoga as a university student to calm my ever-racing mind. It has been instrumental for my mental health in the past 6 or so years and broadened my views on many aspects of life. I’ve become more accepting of myself and others, I concentrate better and it has also made me more patient, although there still a lot of work to be done in that regard ☺

In what field do you work apart from yoga?
I am originally a historian by degree but rarely have the time to improve in that discipline. In the past few years I’ve become interested in social innovation and enterprise. I am fascinated by alternative ways of making change in our societies to begin to solve the immediate challenges that face us. I’ve started doing a Masters degree at the University of Cambridge in this field to fuel this interest (and sometimes, frustration) further and I’ve been enjoying it very much!

What does social impact or social entrepreneurship mean to you?
Personally, it means purpose, the reason to wake up in the morning. More recently, I’ve also started looking at the big picture and asking whether social impact is enough or maybe the aim should be social change instead? Can social enterprise create meaningful and long-lasting change? So beyond being a purpose, I now look at it as a theoretical dilemma as well.

How did you come in contact with Impact Hub?
When I moved back to Budapest in the beginning of 2018, I was put in touch with one of the founders of Impact Hub Budapest by a common friend. I came to the Hub for a short meeting and I was blown away by the space, the athmosphere, the people. It felt like being in Berlin, London or anywhere in the world, right in the heart of my beloved Budapest. I’m so happy to be a member of this community now.