Yesterday I had the honor and privilege to participate in an event called Yoga Unites, Living beyond Breast Cancer. Over 1,000 Yogis gathered on the steps of the art museum in Philadelphia and practiced yoga in support of one cause. Yoga Unites for Living beyond Breast Cancer is an annual fundraising event that provides a way for individuals and teams to join the community in supporting women affected by breast cancer while experiencing the healing benefits of yoga.
This is the 8th year of the event and my first year. Two friends joined me and bright and early on Sunday morning we drove to Philadelphia. We exited the highway and immediately knew this was going to be a special event. Circling the neighborhoods to park, we spotted yogis with their yoga mats walking to the event. We saw families with small children, women, and men, young, old, groups, individuals, all walking to the event in support of breast cancer.
Energy is hard to explain or define but standing in line to register the energy was palpable. I felt overwhelmed, thinking of my sister in law a breast cancer survivor, thinking of all the women affected by breast cancer and how each person at the event knows at least one woman with breast cancer. Women wore pink; women wore bras on the outside of their shirt decorated with ribbons, feathers and words. We saw teams of people with signs, flags and matching shirts.
Since this was our first time we didn’t know to ‘reserve’ a spot first with our mat. We ended up being at the top near the fountain. We enjoyed the wonderful sound of the water from the fountain, enjoyed the backdrop of the beautiful art museum and we chatted with our fellow neighbors in the back while we waited for the event to begin. The class was led by Jennifer Schelter, founder of Yoga Unites. She led the group of 1,000 yogis through meditation, gentle stretching, sun salutations, partner yoga and a wonderful final relaxation. The class was accompanied by live music by Yvette Pecoraro. Jennifer led us gracefully through the yoga poses while sharing inspiring stories and encouraging words. The sky was blue and the sun was warm. The backdrop of the city was perfect gazing point.
There were times when I wanted to cry. There were times when my heart felt so open. Each of us walked away knowing we experienced something special. I’m already looking forward to next year and our team from Pottstown!