Nanaimo Yogathon organizers Candace Gravelle

Nanaimo Yogathon organizers Candace Gravelle

Nanaimo yogis ready for day of outdoor classes

NANAIMO – People can give yoga a try, or practice their downward dog for a donation during the inaugural Nanaimo Yogathon.

People can practise their downward dog for a donation during the inaugural day-long Nanaimo Yogathon.

Back-to-back yoga classes are rolling out this Sunday (June 5) at Nanaimo’s Bowen Park as part of the first-ever yogathon.

The event is all about giving people the chance to learn and practise yoga, build community and raise money for an initiative to bring yoga mats to local elementary schools.

Devon Bennett, yoga instructor and one of the event organizers, said he hopes hundreds of people go – space is unlimited at the park.  Classes will be run every hour from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., by nine different yoga instructors who’ll lead everything from laughter and family yoga to Hatha and Vinyasa.

Donations of dollars or lightly used yoga mats will go to Yoga 4 Classrooms, an initiative to get mats and supplies to elementary schools. Food bank donations are also being accepted.

“We hope to make it an annual thing where we can give back to the community and share our love of yoga with others,” said Bennett. “We’d love to inspire some young people to be yoga teachers as well.”

Candace Gravelle, also a yoga teacher and event organizer, said part of the event is to bring yoga to the community and because it’s by donation, it gets people who might not ordinarily go to yoga classes out and informs them about it.

It’s also a chance to come together as a community and give back to help get yoga into schools, said Gravelle, who says most people associate yoga with the physical, but it has a lot to do with mindfulness and decreasing stress.

The event takes place at the lower Bowen Park, near the picnic shelter. People don’t need to register to participate, but can see a schedule of classes on the Nanaimo Yogathon Facebook page.

“Come outside, and enjoy maybe a new form of interaction or new form of exercise, and again, to connect with people,” Gravelle said.