Devon Bennett, Nanaimo-based yoga instructor, practises the tree pose in Maffeo Sutton Park where hundreds of people are expected to turn out for Nanaimo Yogathon 3. The 13-hour-long event Saturday, July 14, will raise donations to send one low-income person to Manipura Yoga College to learn to become a yoga teacher. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Hundreds expected to attend third annual Nanaimo Yogathon

Continuing tradition of charity, Yogathon will help one low-income person become a yoga teacher.

Yoga instructor Devon Bennett is returning to Maffeo Sutton Park this weekend to help host the third annual Nanaimo Yogathon.

The 13-hour-long event is a celebration of yoga in Nanaimo that happens Saturday, July 14, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. when yoga teachers from the Nanaimo region will lead one-hour classes on various forms of yoga, yoga techniques and other related activities, such as meditation practice.

Each year Nanaimo Yogathon has raised money to help promote yoga through charity in Nanaimo. This year the event will raise donations to help train one person to become a yoga teacher.

“We’ve paired with a yoga college in town to create a scholarship,” Bennett said. “Whatever we collect, Manipura Yoga College is going to take it and we’re going to take someone in the community that’s low-income or could not afford this opportunity otherwise, and give them a 200-hour yoga teacher training.”

Bennett said people can apply for the 200-hour program for themselves or for someone they think might make a good yoga teacher.

The training program starts in January and qualifies the student to become yoga instructor.

Bennett said hundreds of people turned out over the course of the day for Nanaimo Yogathon in 2017 and he’s hoping for a strong turnout again this year to help raise at least $1,000 to go toward the $3,000 cost of the yoga training program. Manipura Yoga College, Bennett said, will contribute the $2,000 balance of the program cost.

Bennett, a yoga instructor since 2015, started Yogathon to create more opportunities to teach and now draws other yoga instructors wanting to participate.

“This is why I started this. I wanted more opportunities to teach,” he said. “Me and my three friends were all new to teaching and we all wanted more opportunities to teach, so we went out in the park and taught all day. Everybody loved it and this year there was a lot of people who wanted to teach who came to us this year.”

Everyone is welcome to drop in to Nanaimo Yogathon throughout the day. There is a preregistration form on the Yogathon website. The first 100 people to pre-register receive a pass providing free access to a free yoga class at participating local yoga studios.

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