Amma, more popularly known as The Hugging Saint, may not sound bad ass at first, but she is certainly boldly carving her own path in the world. She grew up in a culture where she was expected to marry young and stay in her small, Indian village. But, she rejected the traditional path and set out with one simple mission: to embrace the world. This has led her to hug over 27 million people from all over the world throughout her life. Her compassion has inspired donations that, in the past year alone, amounted to $23 million for earthquake relief in Japan. $23 million from just hugs? That’s pretty bad ass if you ask us which is why we salute The Hugging Saint as this week’s BAO Bad Ass Legend.
Let’s start something that combines altruism, community, karma, health, and entrepreneurism. This is what the team at Hosh Yoga (Hamid Hamidzadeh, Ty Moses, Becca Broughton and Yuuki Hirano) did when they started their not-for-profit yoga studio in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Hosh Yoga is dedicated to spreading the love of yoga and fostering a nurturing yoga community through strictly a pay-what-you-can business model. Building their studio from the ground up with equal parts will, muscle and mindfulness, these guys walk-the-walk and are true BAO Bad Ass Legends.
Making a difference in the world begins at the local level with bad asses like Marian Flaxman. It may look like a normal café on the outside, but Marian’s Culture Shock café in Ithaca NY is much more than that. Using the nutritious benefits of fermented food and drink, Marian is educating people on the importance of a good diet and taking a stance against the industrial food system that has put the health of our entire country in jeopardy. She spends everyday experimenting with ways to make people feel better, using good food, cool atmosphere and friendly people, and that makes her a true BAO Bad Ass Legend.
Avis Gold Richards uses her passion, skill and artistic vision to make a difference in the world. She founded Birds Nest Foundation™, a non-profit creative group that produces high-quality documentaries, short videos and public service announcements (PSAs) for charitable organizations. Among her many activities, Avis is currently producing a public television series entitled "Lunch NYC" for NYC Media. The series exposes unhealthy foods being served in the public school system across the country and highlights the efforts of individuals actively seeking alternatives to promote nutrition and health. Leveraging your passion for the betterment of the community is the stuff of a true BAO Bad Ass Legend.
Changes to how our food system must begin at the grassroots level. Support our local economy and our local farmers by spending your money on goods that are made locally. We must also show our support through demonstrations that can alert our political officials to how we believe the food system should change. The Rally for Food & Farm Freedom is just such a demonstration and it is going on in Washington DC this weekend. If you are in the area, please check it out.
Millions of people live in our amazing city, but bad asses like Margaret Cusack make living here more enjoyable. Margaret is the president of the Hoyt Street Association and volunteers her time to improve the neighborhood through events like coordinating planting gardens in her neighborhood. Moreover, she encourages low income, single women from a local Y.M.C.A. to participate to further strengthen the community. Cities like New York survive because of the passion from people like Margaret Cusak, which is why we think she is a BAO Bad Ass Legend.
Fans of Bethenny Frankel have probably noticed Bethenny carrying around a new drink on this season of Bravo TV’s hit show Bethenny Ever After. Look closely and you’ll spot BAO FRESH KOMBUCHA’s cameo “appearances” during most episodes this season. BAO’s Berry and Original flavors seem to be Bethenny’s favorites. Bethenny's show airs nationwide every Monday at 10 PM on Bravo TV.
BAO is proud to be the go-to drink for bad ass New Yorkers like Bethenny. Bethenny’s mission to democratize health while raising a family and taking her businesses to new heights makes her an official BAO bad ass. Bethenny first discovered BAO when we launched in New York City last year and she was so cool to send a tweet to let us know about her new favorite kombucha.
See if you can spot BAO in this season’s episodes:
Bethenny Ever After Episode #1 - “Hoppy Trails to You
Bethenny Ever After Episode #2 - “There is No Normal”
Bethenny Ever After Episode #3 - “Business as Usual"
Bethenny Ever After Episode #4 - “It’s My Baptism, I’ll Cry if I Want to”
Bethenny Ever After Episode #7 - “The Mile High Club”
Bethenny Ever After Episode #9 - “Break ‘Em Early”
How cool is that?
When was the last time you heard anyone recommend farming as a career choice? That is what the legendary Joel Salatin recommended at his Earth Day speech last week as he made his convincing case about how the average consumer can support a more sustainable, healthier, local food system in the United States. Joel never backs down, always speaks his mind and proves his points through real life experience. He is the ultimate BAO Bad Ass Legend.
Be Yourself - Drink Kombucha - Drink BAO
Here is to Gaylord Nelson, a deserving BAO Bad Ass Legend, who as a U.S. Senator established the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. Inspired by the energy of anti-war activists, he took it upon himself to make environmental protection part of the national agenda. Earth Day is now a global event raising the awareness of environmental protection issues for hundreds of millions of people each year. If that is not bad ass enough, also in 1970 Gaylord called for Congressional hearings on the safety of oral contraception and for the first time forced the pharmaceutical companies to disclose a drug’s side-effect information in its packaging.
Be Yourself - Drink Kombucha - Drink BAO