• By: OLM Staff

Ottawa’s Yogini Yogathon raises $17,000 for charities

Kimberly Lochhead

Five hours of practicing yoga. $17,000 in fundraising efforts for local, national and international charities. Countless connections with inspiring, like-minded women. One empowering experience.

The Third Annual Yogini Yogathon took place Sunday at the Glebe Community Centre with 80 participants. Making its debut this year in Toronto, the event’s sister location saw about 20 women in attendance. Collectively, both cities raised $17,000 for Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl initiative, Sistering, Girls on the Run Ontario, Helping Hands for India and the Women’s Program at The Royal Ottawa.

Beginning the day with a motivational speech by CTV’s Lianne Liang – who spoke about the importance of women taking care of themselves to be better mothers, wives and friends – Toronto’s Yogathon opened with Olympic Medalist and Journalist Rosey Edeh.

photo (1)Ottawa’s first yoga practice was EmpowerFlow, led by Megan Campbell, Founder of the Yogini Yogathon and Journey of the Yogini. Guided by the soft rhythms of drums through each pose, Campbell also played a spoken-word performance by a woman exalting the female body and spirit. Participants then practiced with partners, followed by groups in Partner Yoga, instructed by Jennifer Anderson. Participants learned to move in sync with one another. Exercises involved balancing poses with the support of a partner’s hand or foot and coming together in a circle of eight to massage each other’s shoulders. Laying upon another’s belly in the circle, the group laughed to feel the weight and movement of each woman, embracing a true sisterhood.

Taking a break with a delicious quinoa salad lunch provided by The Nourished Self catering company, participants also had the opportunity to Shop 4 a Cause and peruse handmade jewelry from local artisans or receive massages with proceeds donated to Because I am a Girl. Afterwards, Natalie Holst led an energizing Madonna Flow practice to the tunes of the famous pop star, encouraging participants to sway their hips and dance between poses. To release muscle tension and self-massage, Tiffani Harris instructed the Yoga TuneUp practice using small rubber balls. Winding down with a Yin practice by Monika Murray, the day concluded with a womb meditation and closing circle by Ma Madhavi Aradhana.

Yogathon 2014 will take place on May 4, adding London and Vancouver to its sister cities.

For more information and to view pictures of the event, visit: http://www.journeyoftheyogini.com/#!yogini-yogathon/c1mzw.