Vanessa Pazzi’s project in Landmark’s SELP program created Canada’s largest indoor Yoga class as an event to raise money for The Cancer Assistance Program, an organization that assists cancer patients with seeing to certain needs. Pazzi, a Toronto resident, was influcenced by the death of a close friend who died of cancer at age 23 and who had been helped by the program.
Over a hundred people attended the class and thousands of dollars were raised for the Cancer Assistance Program. The event was featured by the Hamilton Spectator.
Yoga mania…with a mission
‘Canada’s largest indoor class’ raises money for Cancer Assistance Program
by Elisabeth Johns
As Maureen Ona Corcoran bent her left leg at the knee, balanced on one foot and raised her palms to the sky, more than 100 people followed suit.
It was the largest number of people Corcoran had ever instructed at one time to assume the tree position.
Corcoran, a well-known city yoga teacher for the past 10 years, led the mass yoga class Saturday morning as part of a fundraiser for the Cancer Assistance Program.
“This is the first time I’ve instructed so many people and it’s the first time I’ve instructed them from a stage,” said Corcoran, who runs Yoga With Ona.
In what organizers billed as “Canada’s largest indoor yoga class,” the dozens of participants stretched out on their mats in a huge room on the third floor of the Hamilton Convention Centre.
To soothing music and Corcoran’s calming voice, they struck the dog, warrior and corpse poses in unison.
Corcoran, who started doing yoga five years before she began teaching it, believes the de-stressing and relaxing benefits of yoga are a symbiotic match to the non-profit program they raised money to assist.
The Cancer Assistance Program helps cancer patients by seeing that certain needs of theirs are met so they don’t have to stress about it.
It provides this through emotional support groups; transportation to and from medical appointments; friendly visits; loaning equipment like wheelchairs and walkers; and providing wigs, scarves and turbans.
Event organizer Vanessa Pazzi wanted to raise money for the program in memory of her friend, Zvezda Kariz, who died of cancer at the age of 23.
Kariz had been helped by the volunteer-run program, Pazzi said.
Participant Barbara Maccaroni has been doing yoga for six years.
“I started doing yoga because I wanted to increase my flexibility and I enjoy it for the relaxing and calming aspects,” Maccaroni said.
She took part in the event because she loves yoga and wanted to support the Cancer Assistance Program.
The Cancer Assistance Program helped 2,500 people across Hamilton and Burlington last year, said Sharon Easton, executive director of the organization.
Saturday’s event raised an estimated $2,000, Pazzi said.
The entire article is available via the Hamilton Spectator.