BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich (WXYZ) - Touching your toes is one thing; touching your heart is quite another. A Labor Day weekend all-day yoga fundraiser shows how metro Detroiters can do both while raising money to fund yoga classes that help under-served people and communities.
On Sunday, September 1, 2013, the Yoga By Design Foundation will host an all-day Yogathon (that's a full day of back-to-back classes) at Karma Yoga. All fees will go to the foundation, which funds yoga programs for underserved populations. Classes kick off at 6:30 a.m. and continue back-to-back until 6 p.m. A $20 donation per class minimum is requested; participants can pre-register or drop-in.
The Yoga By Design Foundation – the first of its kind in the country - brings yoga to populations who need but don't have the funds or infrastructure to provide it. Since its creation in 2011, the Foundation has brought yoga to homeless shelters, childhood obesity programs, people with Autism and Down's Syndrome, political refugees, women leaving incarceration, an alternative Detroit middle school and cancer patients and their caregivers.
Studies have shown that yoga can lower blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels, improve circulation, alleviate pain linked to migraine headaches , lessen back problems and arthritis , reduce symptoms of asthma and diabetes and increase strength and flexibility.
On the spiritual side, yoga can increase feelings of well-being and contentment while decreasing tension, fatigue and feelings of frustration and anger. A recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study of children living in high-crime and impoverished communities showed a higher – and ongoing - degree of stress management and mindfulness after participating in a 12-week yoga program.
Closer to home, techniques learned during a yoga program courtesy of the Yoga By Design Foundation, at the Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan, helped with students' social skills, food choices, sleep apnea and resulted in "a better attitude and positive outlook," says Paulette Duggins, the agency's executive director.
In addition to the yogathon, Karma Yoga is hosting New Age musicians Simrit Kaur and Anthony Molina on Saturday, August 31, 2013, to lead a Kundalini yoga workshop at 9:30 a.m. and a concert at 7:30 p.m., separate from but with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the YBD Foundation.