Upcoming Yogathon Geared Toward Helping Kids Help Kids

Wayland yogi Sarah Gardner founded Yoga Reaches Out as a charity yoga organization. Later this month, she'll ask kids to get involved.

Sarah Gardner founded Yoga Reaches Out with a goal of combining her passion for yoga with her drive to help children in need.

In 2010, Yoga Reaches out held its first yogathon at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. That one-day event drew 450 yogis to the Field House at Gillette and raised about $225,000 for Children’s Hospital Boston and the charity Yoga for Single Moms.

Then in 2012, a second yogathan at Gillette drew about 650 participants and raised more than $200,000 for Children's Hospital Boston and the Africa Yoga Project.

Gardner is now taking her passion for yoga and helping kids to a new level through the first Yoga Reaches Out Kids' Yogathon on Sunday, Nov. 18, at Buckingham Browne & Nichols' Nicholas Athletic Center (Upper School).

The Kids' Yogathon will raise money for Horizons for Homeless Children, an organization dedicated to "improv[ing] the lives of young children who experience homelessness and help[ing] their families to succeed," according to the website.

"It really brings the idea of Yoga Reaches Out full circle – it’s kids helping kids," Gardner said. "In addition to this bringing yoga to children, what this event is doing for many young children is introducing a concept of making a difference."

The yogathon serves as a fundraiser by asking each participant to raise a minimum of $50.

"This event is teaching our children, by you participating in this event – by you sending an email to grandma and grandpa – it’s a wonderful concept for an introduction to helping others," Gardner said.

The event is for children ages 3-14 and the schedule is abbreviated from an all-day event, like that of the adult yogathons, to a 1 p.m.-5 p.m. event more in line with kids' abilities.

Classes are divided into various age groups and will include a family class as well. Gardner said that all of the instructors for the day specialize in teaching yoga to kids.

Gardner said participants can register at the event itself, but can also do so in advance on the Yoga Reaches Out website. The registration fee is $10 (in addition to the fundraising minimum), but a family can register multiple children for a single $10 fee by using the coupon code YROKIDS when registering online.

"I'm most excited to see their faces and to perhaps, for many, introduce yoga for the first time," Gardner said. "And then to learn about different ways that they were able to fundraise and how that made them feel.”

Participants will receive gift bags featuring items from sponsors including ivivva athletica, WunderSmoothie, Snikiddy, Hint Water, Fresh Feet Wipes, Skinny Pop Popcorn, Cliff Kid's Z Bars and other items.

The Kids' Yogathon will take place Sunday, Nov. 18 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. in Cambridge.


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