On March 15, Bay Area residents will put on their yoga pants and unroll their colorful exercise mats to help UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. For eight hours, barefoot participants will move and stretch their bodies at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco to participate in the second annual Yoga Reaches Out Bay Area Yogathon. The daylong celebration features yoga taught by Baron Baptiste and other inspirational yogis, live music by Michael Franti
and Jason "Jay Boogie" Bowman, healthy food, and good friends.
Sarah Gardner, president and founder of Yoga Reaches Out, was inspired to help children when her son was born 10 weeks premature and weighed only three pounds. “I started Yoga Reaches Out to bring people together who love yoga and want to take their passion and use that energy to give back,” Gardner said. “Yoga Reaches Out brings yogis together who are committed to bringing their level of yoga to a level of service. I see it as a win-win situation—do what we love to do and pay it forward at the same time.”
The yogathon is an opportunity for the community to come together in seva (selfless service) for children’s charities. Seva is an opportunity to give back: Participants will raise at minimum $250 each from family, friends, and colleagues. Registration can be done individually or as a team. Funds at Children's Oakland will help support the hospital's Center for the Vulnerable Child
(CVC), an interdisciplinary department that provides comprehensive care for children who are homeless or at risk for homelessness, including children who live in biological or foster families, as well as those who have been newly reunified with their parents. A portion of the proceeds will also benefit UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and Africa Yoga Project. For more information, check out the Yoga Reaches Out
Community fundraisers like the Yoga Reaches Out Bay Area Yogathon are a vital source of funding for Children's Oakland, and help ensure that kids get the care they need and that life-saving research can continue. If you are interested in hosting a fundraising event to benefit the hospital, you can review our tips
for getting started and then fill out our fundraising event application