One of the most important elements of what we do at Yoga on the Edge doesn’t feature much on our timetable. We don’t have a special page of the website devoted to it. And we don’t talk about it as much as we probably should…
It’s our fundraising.
But it underpins everything we want to build at Yoga on the Edge. Community is at the core of what we do. Karma yoga – the yoga of unselfish action – inspires acts of service. Our charity efforts create connections within our immediate yoga community and far beyond.
Our annual Yogathon is the perfect example – without the yogis that form our community it would not be possible. But after 8 years of Yogathons, we have come together to raise almost £45 500 for cancer charities. Even lockdown couldn’t stop us – our online yogathon was a great success!
This year was – as ever – a fun, and lively day with 12 hours of back-to-back yoga. Participants are encouraged to do as much or as little as they want, and there’s always a great celebration at the end. But the joy of the day gives way to a deeper meaning.
We are proud of what we are able to come together and achieve. The Yogathons allow us to help support the invaluable work of cancer charities, a cause which is close to the heart for so many of us. Clare and Abbie who organise the Yogathon say that, “fundraising for this amazing charity helps beat cancer. As we are still all dealing with the after-effects of the pandemic, there will be many people who have yet to be diagnosed, and the money we raise helps to support them and their families.”
By spreading the word about the Yogathon (and other charity events) we aim to draw attention to the causes, and to ensure more people have the chance to donate. Our fundraising efforts allow us to give back and turn our yoga into positive action. Our Sunday ‘Community Class’ is donation-based, and the funds raised through this class work to fund our ‘Maggie’s’ class, which we run for free. Maggie’s Manchester is based at the Christie Hospital. The sessions we run there are for those affected by cancer – patients, family and friends.
Our Community Class is free for anyone who is struggling… whether that be through stress, anxiety, mental health concerns, financial and other challenges. We believe wholeheartedly in the positive benefits that yoga can bring out in managing and reducing stress and anxiety. It has a host of therapeutic benefits for other conditions and can often work alongside conventional treatment to support recovery and manage the symptoms of illness.* This class is a restorative practice we run in association with the Hannah Whitley Foundation and is open to anyone affected by trauma, stress, grief, or is associated with any of our chosen charities. It’s free, but donations are welcome, and then go to the foundation itself.
The Community Class is moving to a new slot – Tuesdays at 10:45. So, if you, or anyone else you know might benefit from this class, check it out here and pass the details along.
Clare Broomhead, our studio lead says that for her, “charity work has been born from a desire to make something good from something bad. Losing a son at 20 weeks pregnant resulted in me doing a lot of work for Francis House to help those families with children who have severe illnesses. Clare also recently took part in 28 yoga classes in a week to raise money for Children in Need.
She goes on to say, “Both my mum and dad died from cancer, and my aunt was diagnosed. It’s why we raise money for cancer charities. Rarely do you meet someone who hasn’t been affected by a cancer diagnosis. Last year, around 10 of us from Yoga on the Edge completed the Manchester Shine Walk, raising almost £1000 for Cancer Research.”
Another reason we want to shout about our fundraising efforts is to say ‘thank you’ to the many people who are involved. Those who donate, get sponsorships, spread the message, share a social media post… it all allows us to take our work further. To those people, and the people behind the scenes, sorting applications and admin, and of course to the yogis taking part, we want to say the biggest thank you.
*If you are dealing with an illness or injury, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning yoga.