Yoga Bear is throwing a Karma party Wednesday night and everyone is invited! Halle Tecco, founder of Yoga Bear, a national non-profit dedicated to providing cancer survivors with more opportunities for wellness and healing though the practice of yoga, saw an opportunity while practicing in an almost but not quite full yoga class in 2006.
"I became interested in 'alternative' medicine in college, when I was interning at Columbia Hospital on a project that focused on music therapy. I continued to explore how alternative therapy could benefit those in pain, and researched yoga, music, foreign language, and many other unique approaches to healing.
It was a few years later, when I was on the mat, that I decided to actually do something. The class was only 75% full and I began to think, "there's someone out there who would love to be in this class, who would truly benefit from this class, and it would cost this studio nothing to bring that person in". From there, I got a few yoga studios signed up, formed a 501(c)3 and we've been growing ever since." - From LovePeaceYoga
For yoga studios, it's easy to get involved. Yoga Bear's "Share a Mat!" program invites studios to donate two 6 month memberships to cancer survivors. Yoga Bear works with the needs of each participant to find a studio that is a good match. Some participants are former athletes that want a physically challenging class, others are drawn to a more restorative practice. This tailoring helps the participants blend with each yoga studio's community seamlessly.
We all know by now that a regular yoga practice has great healing potential for the body and mind, and many of the benefits are immediate. In one study published in the Psycho-Oncology Journal, researchers concluded that yoga resulted in a 50% reduction in depression, a 12% increase in feelings of peace and meaning, and a significant improvement in fatigue symptoms for women with breast cancer.
And it works. Stephanie Adams, a 28 year old survivor, tells the NY Daily News, "Yoga has gotten me out of cancer land," she said. "Just having something to come to - and it not being about cancer but it's about building yourself and getting well - is really nice."
And Now For the Party Details!
Where: Citrine Lounge: 59 West 21st street
When: This Wednesday, August 19 from 6:30pm - 10:00pm. Silent auction at 9pm
How much: Your $20 donation will go directly to Yoga Bear. Please get your ticket here.
Not in NYC, or can't make it to the party? Check out Yoga Bear to learn more about their efforts.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead