Asha Learning Program

Want to learn a new skill? Asha presents to you a variety of online learning programs to make your shelter-in-place exciting. Be it physical or mental or just for fun, we have you covered!

Come join us in this fun ride and help educate the kids in India in just two easy steps:
Step 1 : Sign the Waiver
Step 2: Register

All the funds raised with this program and will go directly towards educating and keeping kids safe in India. The amount $300 will get a child an education for an entire year.


Schedule: Mon 6.30-8 PM Pacific time , Thurs 6.30-8 PM Pacific time

Program duration: Nov 2nd – Dec 7th 2020

Cost: The cost for this program is split in two: $25 registration followed by $200 fund raising for Asha for Education

Program structure:
Learn beginning to intermediate photography in 9 classes. This class will cover the technical and artistic aspects of photography. We will be focusing on DSLR cameras and will tell you what gear you need, how to compose and how to gauge light.

Some of the subjects covered will include focus and exposure, composition, post-processing and genres like landscape, wildlife, nightscapes and more. You will learn a lot whether you are starting out or have been using your camera for a while.

With two week-night classes we will give you some fun challenges for the week end. Your photographs will be critiqued each week and in the last week, we will have a review session wherein we will pick and print the best photographs from this program for the 2021 calendar of Asha Silicon Valley.

We suggest you have a DSLR or a mirrorless camera for this class. If you don’t have one, you can wait till the classes start for some ideas on what makes sense to start with. We also strongly recommend you get a subscription to Adobe Photography bundle. (It’s $10 a month)

Class structure:
Introduction: types of cameras, lenses, Composition ideas
Exposure triangle, Focus basics and hyperfocal distance
Post processing: using a histogram, basics of Lightroom
Post processing: examples using Adobe Lightroom
Genre specialization: Landscapes
Genre specialization: Wildlife
Special Topics: Nightscapes & Panoramas
Image critique and discussion

Instructors: Bibek, Abhijit, Neelika
Check out their pictures here
Abhijit’s instagram
Neelika’s instagram
Bibek’s instagram

Restrictions: Minimum of 5 registrants needed to offer this class. Age limit – 14 years and above.


Schedule: 12 week pass valid till end of December 2020

Program duration: 24 class pass which can be used over 12 weeks – with a flexible schedule of classes.
Schedule available at
For more details send us an email at

Cost: The cost for this program is split in two: $20 registration followed by $300 fund raising for Asha for Education

Program structure:
Let’s agree, we all are stressed! Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pause the hustle of our busy lives, few times a week and connect your body with your soul. Let’s get together and reinvigorate ourselves with the ancient practice of Yoga. The session will be beginner friendly focusing on awareness of alignment, bringing in strength and flexibility. No prior yoga experience is required and class is suitable for all yoga enthusiasts. The sessions will focus on six practice themes – standing poses, forward folds, backward extensions, spinal twists, balancing poses, and restorative poses. The funds raised with this program will go directly to support the annual education of our special needs children’s home project, Samerth Talim Kendra.

Instructor: Satya Vaidyanathan
I am a disciplined yoga practitioner, marathoner, running coach, and a musician. Having worked in technology in Silicon Valley, I understand what stress is all about. What I also understand is the peace you can attain once your mind and body are in sync. I have founded a yoga studio with the intent of creating a Wellness community, after completing the Advanced Studies Program at Downtown Yoga. Come join me in this journey and let’s celebrate de-stressing together!

Ages 10 and above.

Gardening 101

Schedule: 4 week – 1 class / week (Tues : 6-7 pm Pacific time)

Program duration: October 6th – October 27th 2020

Cost: $100

Program structure:
We will begin our course with an in-depth understanding of the soil(what it is, the correct pH, nutrients and living organisms present and soil preparation). Just like in life, being at the right place at the right time is important, so is choosing the right area to plant those seeds! You have got to consider the sun, wind and water. Should my sapling stay in the pot or should I plant in the ground? Come learn the dos and don’t of gardening!
With the basics covered we will delve deep into growing a plant from seed, bare root as well as another grown plant. Going from there we will learn all about transplanting seedlings, pruning and harvesting, planting zones, seasons, landscape, pest control as well as watering and mulching.

Instructor: Ahalya Ram
I live in California Bay Area, where I enjoy the warm climate that is suitable to grow some of the tropical plants. I spent my childhood in a village in a tropical country (Sri Lanka) and I had plenty of opportunity to learn gardening from my parents and grandparents. After I moved to the US, I rediscovered my passion for gardening, and started with balcony gardening. The passion slowly turned into experimental science as well. Now, I continue to explore different forms and scales of gardening and enjoy the abundance of nature.

Ages 14 and above.

Paint Party

Schedule: One class only; November 14th 2020 (7 – 8.30 pm Pacific time)


Program structure:
A socially distant fun Paint Party for you and for your housemates. You will need a small canvas, acrylic paints, paint brushes, a cup of water to clean your brushes, rag or paper towel to keep your brushes clean. It won’t be more than hour and a half is the promise. During the meeting you will see the instructor demo the painting (it will be a surprise) step by step and all you have to do is follow along. Sign up for a relaxing and fun evening and leave with the satisfaction that every brush stroke helped Asha for Education aid a child in need.

Instructor: Majella Pinto
I was born in the port town of Mangalore on the West Coast of India. I work as Project Manager in a Data Storage company in Silicon Valley and beyond work I like to paint and write. You can read more about me and see my artwork here
I was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame for earning some credits in writing challenges, and am enjoying my 15 seconds of it. You can read about it here, halfway down the page you will find my profile

Ages 14 and above. The registration fee does not cover the cost of the materials. The list of materials for the class will be sent after registration is complete.

Tan Door Cooking with Asha

Schedule: 4 weeks (Friday 5:30 – 6:30 pm Pacific time)

Program duration: October 9th – October 30th 2020

Cost:$15/session or $50 for 4 weeks

Program structure:
Bored with usual food you eat? Tired of figuring out new recipes to try? Come join us to learn how to cook some quick and healthy dishes, but most importantly the crowd favorite dishes. Next potluck, you will have the bragging rights!
Introducing Tandoor Cooking for Asha, a 4 week adventure to learn and try new recipes that are quick to make, use mostly ingredients from your pantry, absolutely delicious and to top it off healthy!
Our chef for the week will demonstrate step by step and demo a favorite (and family secret!) recipe and you will follow along in your home, cooking along. Once done, you get to all enjoy it together with the beverage of your choice! Most of the ingredients will be what you already have at home, but just in case you need to get some things, the recipe will be sent by Monday, of the same week.

Guest chefs every week

Ages 14 and above.

Baking and cake decorating 101

Schedule: 4 weeks – 1 class / week (Sun 3.30 – 5 pm Pacific time)

Program duration: October 11th – November 1st 2020

Cost: $75 for 4 classes

Program structure:
Concerned of ordering cakes and cupcakes from bakeries? Have young helpers who enjoy decorating cakes and cupcakes? Want to make something creative easily? Then join Pranali each week to learn the basics of baking and decorating! In this 4 week course, she will share 2 of her popular eggless recipes of cakes and frostings with tips to add flavors and derive new ones and you wont even figure they are eggless! Learn the correct technique of measuring and mixing, do’s and don’t’s in basics of baking, tips and tricks to ensure your bakes turn out right every time and simple and easy ways to turn cakes and cupcakes into beautiful pieces of art! We will cover commonly used piping tips and multiple designs you can make with each! Full list of recommended tools will be shared upon registering. First 2 weeks will be focused on recipes, baking, different types of frostings and decorating basics. Next 2 sessions will focus on more in-depth decorating. At the end of 4 weeks you will be able to create beautiful cakes and cupcakes that will take family birthdays to the next level!

Instructor: Pranali Lad

About me: I am self taught dedicated baker for over 2 years. I specialize in egg-less bakes, fusion and unique flavors and custom cakes and cupcakes. You can view my work on In addition I love exploring new flavor combinations and baked goods and love honing recipes till they come out exactly the same each time you make them! Originally a Computer Engineer and Master of Science, I have worked in the Software industry for 10 years before changing gears. My analytical background and scientific approaches to cooking and baking methods help me bring to you great recipes with solid bases. Come join me and fire up that oven to churn out some yummy goodness!!

Restrictions: Adult supervision needed for kids attending the session.

Python Programming

Schedule: 11 weeks – 1 class / week (Fri 4.30-5.30 pm Pacific time)

Program duration: October 9th – December 18th

Cost: The cost for this program is split in two: $20 registration followed by $300 fund raising for Asha for Education

Program structure:
When kids learn how to write code they not only develop cognitive skills but also learn the problem-solving process that’s similar to a computer. This process involves using pattern recognition to present the problems in different ways while logically breaking them down into parts and creating the steps needed to solve them. Apart from coding, computational thinking can also be used in other situations since it can help solve practical problems. In this session, the instructor will teach the basics of Python programming language. The funds raised with this program will go directly to support the annual education of our special needs children’s home project, Samerth Talim Kendra.

Instructor: Avani Shah

I am a Software Engineer/Technical Program Manager at Veritas. Prior to that I have worked with Apple, Symantec and Cisco industries. Also I’m M.S. in computer science from California State University. Teaching is my inner passion since many years and I’m sure you will learn lot from this class.

Ages 15 and above.

The programs are designed to be 4-12 weeks long.
Yes, all the programs require participants to sign a waiver followed by registration. For children under the age of 18 years, legal guardian/parent should sign the waiver on their behalf.
Anyone who would like to participate in the program is free to register. There is no age limit on these courses unless specified in the program structure.
The registration fee is listed in the program description and varies per program.
No, the registration fee is non-refundable.
No, there will be no in-person training. All classes offered are virtual only.
The certificates may be issued by the respective teachers. However, Asha will not be issuing any certificates.
Please check your spam folder for the email. If you still don’t see it, please reach out to with your name, course your registered for and confirmation number.
As of today, the classes listed in the program description are the only ones we offer. Please reach out to with your name, course of interest so that we can notify you if new sessions/time slots are added.
All the money that will be raised with this program will be used towards helping children’s causes in India. You can find more information on funds here:
There are no make up classes offered as of today.
No, the registration amount is not tax deductible.
Yes, the fund raised amount is tax deductible but the registration fee is not.
The class size is not pre determined.
Fund raising is as simple as setting up your page at this link and sharing it with your friends and family. Most companies have a matching gift policy which effectively helps you get to your fund raising target at ease. In addition, we will share a whole bunch of tips to fund raise upon registration so keep an eye out for those emails.
Every participant needs to have signed waiver and registered individually. There is no family/SO registration at this time.