Namaste your way to health and helpfulness on Sunday, Oct. 11, when Columbia’s yoga community joins together for a marathon day of yoga to raise money for two local children’s charities.
The yogathon is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Museum and benefits Palmetto Place and Achieve Columbia.
In addition to classes taught by Columbia yoga instructors, the day’s afternoon session will be led by world-renowned yogi Rolf Gates, with live music by folk-fiddle songstress Ida Jo.
“The day is magical – there’s no other way to describe it,” event co-organizer Kyra Strasberg said.
Strasberg, who owns Yoga Masala’s two yoga studios in Columbia, decided the city needed a yogathon after attending a similar event in New England last year. The event was hosted by Yoga Reaches Out, a charity that raises funds for children’s organizations through yoga events.
Strasberg started South Carolina’s chapter with friend Jessica Lathren, whose background in event planning complemented Strasberg’s yoga expertise.
The idea is to create “seva” or selfless service. But as anyone who does yoga will tell you, the practice itself is rewarding.
“Stepping on your yoga mat gives you an experience of strength, softness, surrender and fortitude. You create an experience for ways you want to be in other areas of your life,” Strasberg said.
And by practicing with a huge roomful of other yogis, you’re bound to reap those benefits tenfold, she said.
The entry fee is a little steep, however.
All participants, by registering, commit to raising a minimum of $250 through sponsorship from friends, family members and business associates.
The cost intimidated most of the students at Namaste Yoga in Irmo, owner Amy Sizemore said.
She held a benefit class and raised enough money to send four students to the yogathon, but the students graciously offered their spots to their yoga instructors.
Sizemore said those worried about doing yoga for an entire day should know that there are plenty of opportunities to take breaks during the yogathon.
Between sessions, participants can hear from the benefiting organizations, sample goodies from the food marketplace, or break for lunch. There is a total of 4 to 4 1/2 hours of yoga throughout the day, and participants can attend the entire day or a portion of the day.
Sizemore said she is most excited about being on her mat on Sunday.
“We all love to do yoga. And all the money is going toward helping children in our state. What’s not to love?”
Yoga 101: Common yoga terms
Sun salutation: Called “Surya Namaskara” in Sanskrit, this is a series of yoga poses done in a continuous sequence, usually at the beginning of class to warm up the muscles.
Om: A mantra frequently chanted before and after a yoga class.
Drishti: A point to focus your eyes on during challenging balance poses.
Savasana: Corpse pose; the final relaxation typically done lying down at the end of class.
Namaste: Commonly translated as “the light within me bows to the light within you” – typically said with a bow at the end of class.
If you go
WHAT: Yogathon for Yoga Reaches Out
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11
WHERE: Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St.
COST: All participants must commit to raising $250.