The little pink ribbons are everywhere this month. It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and yogis around the world are honoring the month with fundraisers, events, and campaigns. It makes sense: Studies show that yoga helps with lymphatic flow, breaks down scar tissue, and can help cancer survivors sleep better, feel more energetic and cut back on sleeping pills.
"Overall, we know that women with breast cancer have an altered stress response, and yoga helps with this," says Sara Gottfried, a yogi and Harvard-trained gynecologist. "If you have too many stress hormones flying through your bloodstream, we're talking cortisol mainly, yoga has been shown to be one of the best tonics. Yoga will lower your high cortisol and raise your GABA, which is nature's Valium."
Last weekend, yogis raised over $43,000 during Yoga on the Steps in Washington, DC. But it's not to late to participate. At the middle of the month, yoga events are still happening around the country, with a focus on healing, education, and raising money for research.
New York City; Columbia, South Carolina; and Garland, Texas:
Pose for Pink events in these cities feature donation-based classes for survivors and other students to benefit The Libby Ross Breast Cancer Foundation. On Oct. 23, for example, Pure Yoga East teams up with Zobha to host an afternoon class led by Kay Kay Clivio. All of the suggested donation of $40 will go to the foundation, and all attendees will receive a limited edition Zobha tank. On Thursday, Oct. 20, the Long Island Yoga Association will host a 7pm screening of YogaWoman at the Elwood Theater in Elwood, New Jersey, with guest host Tari Prinster, who is featured in the film. See the full list of Pose for Pink events here.
On Oct. 29, Prana Yoga Center is holding a fundraiser from 12-1:30 led by Claire Petretti, a breast cancer survivor and Yoga for Hope activist. The suggested donation of $15 will be donated to City of Hope.
At Bria Pilates and Wellness Studio, people who bring in a recent mammogram will get 10 percent off of anything they buy. To honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the studio will be accepting donations during all of our classes and sending them to the the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
If you can't get to an event, you can still help: When you buy a Jade Pink Yoga Mat, $5 will be donated for breast cancer research and education.