Yoga in the Park

Say “ommm.” A Maple yoga studio just helped out disadvantaged children in Ethiopia, and the community of Vaughan made it happen

Whether you’re a master of the mat or you don’t even know what “yogi” means, the annual Yoga in the Park, a fundraiser hosted by Moksha Yoga in Maple, gives community members an annual opportunity to tie themselves in knots for a good cause. The event supports a different charity each year, and for the 2014 edition that took place on Saturday, July 26th 2014 at Thornhill Green Park, all proceeds went to support Children of Light — a charity founded by 23-year-old Moksha Yoga Maple instructor Laura Pereira and her best friend, Nicole Manteiga.

“Children of Light runs a summer camp program in July and August in the small town of Gambo, Ethiopia,” says Pereira. “Children of Light volunteers from both Canada and Ethiopia run the program each summer, teaching kids English, music and art.”

The non-profit also coordinates sponsorships for families in the region, helping them to afford basic necessities like food, shelter costs and clothing, as well as student sponsorships that allow high school and university students pay for their education.

This year’s Yoga in the Park raised nearly $3,000 as community members of all yoga levels came out to contribute to the cause while treating their bodies to an outdoor yoga workout.

“It’s important to know that our organization is completely made up of volunteers — we have no paid staff,” says Pereira. “That reduces our administration costs, which allows more of our fundraising dollars to go directly to the cause.”

For more information, visit www.maple.mokshayoga.ca

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Amanda Storey

Amanda Storey