Yoga Joes were designed to get guys into yoga. But it's not just men who love them.

Big news, everyone: G.I. Joe has traded in his weapon for a yoga mat.

They're like G.I. Joes, but in yoga poses! All photos by Yoga Joes.

The toys, called Yoga Joes, are the creation of designer Dan Abramson, who was looking for ways to get more dudes into yoga.

Abramson hard at work on some Joe designs.


Abramson started doing yoga years ago to help with a back injury. But even though he was amazed by all its health benefits, he wasn't seeing a lot of other men in his classes.

The numbers back up his observation too, with some estimates saying that only about 18% of the millions of people who do yoga are men.

"In America, yoga is often viewed as a woman's sport," Abramson said. But he didn't see why it had to be that way.

You might know Abramson from his first yoga enterprise, Broga Mats — "manly" yoga mats that look like burritos or arrow quivers.

Yes, that's a rolled up yoga mat.

But when he launched a Kickstarter to bring Yoga Joes to life, Abramson quickly realized he had stumbled onto something much bigger than bro-ga.

Group yoga.

His fundraising goal was blown out of the water almost immediately, and suddenly, Yoga Joes were real. And they were selling out.

But, more importantly, Abramson found that these silly little Army men were speaking to more than just the regular dudes who were nervous about going to a yoga class.

First, there were the soldiers and veterans who use yoga to cope with major stress or PTSD.

A group of soldiers pose with Yoga Joes.

"It was sort of an accidental discovery," Abramson admitted. "I knew they were doing yoga, but I didn't know it was on this scale."

Tons of military members and their families reached out to him after the launch. And Abramson quickly became close with organizations like Connected Warriors, who offer free yoga programs to veterans.

"The coolest example was when I got an email from the girlfriend of a senior staff sergeant in the Air Force," Abramson said. "She said, 'My boyfriend is handing them out to his pilots before they go up to fly so they remember to keep calm and breathe.'"

A few months later, Abramson said, she sent him photos of his Yoga Joes in inverted high-speed flight.

"It's pretty sweet," he said.

Other customers just like having Yoga Joes around to remind them to chill out.

Yoga with a view.

Abramson said people often put them on their car dashboards as a reminder to keep calm in traffic. Or on their desks at the office. Or on the kitchen counter.

Or any place where they find themselves getting overwhelmed or frustrated. Which could be pretty much anywhere.

For others, Yoga Joes are a symbol of peace.

Some Joes chill out on a tree stump.

A Yoga Joe is a soldier disarmed and choosing meditation over violence. At least, that's how some people see it.

"Generally when you hear about peace, it can be very preachy. This is kind of like, funny peace. People like funny peace," Abramson said.

Abramson said the response to Yoga Joes has been overwhelming, and it's inspired him to work even harder.

Some of Abramson's early sketches for his new line of Joes.

Abramson is getting ready to launch a new series of Joes that shows off more advanced yoga poses. And if you don't think he's taking this seriously, you should hear him describe going back and forth between engineers and yoga experts to design figurines that are both accurately posed and capable of standing on their own.

"This became bigger than I ever planned," Abramson said. "And I'm trying to do justice for that, the way it's touched people."

Not bad for an idea that started as a jokey way to get dudes into yoga. Not bad at all.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Forbes / YouTube

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 18, gave a blistering critique to a House of Representatives panel on Thursday, focusing on the country's fossil fuel subsidies.

Thunberg appeared virtually at the two-day Earth Day summit where the Biden Administration announced its pledge to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

Thunberg has become an international climate icon after delivering impassioned speeches to the United Nations and inspiring the largest climate change protest in history in 2019.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.