Registration is now open for Yoga on the Steps: Kansas City, Living Beyond Breast Cancer's signature education and fundraising event. Presented by lead sponsor Silpada Designs, Yoga on the Steps: Kansas City will take place beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 20, 2014, at Barney Allis Plaza and is open to the public as part of the Silpada Designs 2014 Annual Conference.
The centerpiece of Yoga on the Steps is a one-hour class for all ages and skill levels designed and led by Yoga Alliance certified instructor Jennifer Schelter, MFA, founder of Yoga Unites®. Kirtan accompaniment, a form of participatory call and response chanting, will be performed during the class by Yvette Pecoraro and other local area musicians. After the class, participants can enjoy refreshments and visit a Healthy Living Expo where event sponsors, local area businesses, yoga studios and nonprofit organizations will feature products and services promoting health and wellness.
“Yoga on the Steps is really is a one-of-a-kind event,” explains LBBC’s chief executive officer Jean Sachs, MSS, MLSP. “People are asked to register as a team captain or participant at yogaonthesteps.org and then fundraise for LBBC by asking family, friends and colleagues for donations. But instead of using a walk or run as our event’s centerpiece, we feature a yoga class. Jennifer has designed the class so that anyone, regardless of skill level or body type, can participate. Yoga on the Steps is a unique and powerful education program in its promotion of yoga as an important part of a person’s overall wellness plan.”
What has grown into LBBC’s signature education and fundraising event began after Jennifer's friend and student, Courtney Kapp, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Courtney wanted to use her home as a place where women with the disease could form a support network through the practice of yoga. Courtney asked Jennifer to teach the class and also introduced her to Jean. Together, the three women founded Yoga on the Steps.
“Now,” says Jean, “thousands of people, most with no formal training, annually attend Yoga on the Steps in different cities to raise awareness of LBBC’s resources, stand in solidarity with women diagnosed with breast cancer and honor the memories of those who are no longer with us.”
“Silpada’s corporate charitable foundation, the Silpada Foundation, was extremely pleased to donate more than $265,000 from the sales of the Bravery Bracelet to LBBC in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 2013,” says Kelsey Perry, Co-President of Silpada Designs. “We are excited to continue to partner with LBBC by introducing thousands of women to the organization through the Yoga on the Steps program at our annual conference in Kansas City this July again this year. Personally, I’m excited to attend my second Yoga on the Steps: Kansas City event because last year it was such an incredible and moving experience listening the speakers’ stories about their journeys with breast cancer. Not to mention the yoga class was the perfect way to relax at the end of our conference!”
It was “LBBC’s reputation of sound fiscal management and the trust supporters have” in the organization that influenced Silpada to select LBBC as one of the preferred charities they support on an annual basis, Kelsey says. She also was impressed that “Yoga on the Steps participants fundraise for LBBC at the grassroots level, which helps LBBC maintain the lowest overhead possible for the event. This helps ensure LBBC resources are always available to anyone in need.”
LBBC’s most recent annual report, released in July 2013, shows that 85 cents of every donated dollar is used to fund programs and services. For nine consecutive years LBBC has been awarded a four-star rating by Charity Navigator, the country’s leading organization that evaluates American nonprofits, signifying it exceeds industry standards and outperforms most other charities within its cause.
Studies continue to indicate a correlation between yoga’s stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation techniques with stress reduction, lower blood pressure and improved heart function. “More and more studies we’ve been seeing, especially over the last few years, really confirm the relevance of Yoga on the Steps,” Jean says.
A study conducted by UCLA researchers suggests that yoga can help women overcome post-treatment fatigue which is estimated to affect as many as one-third of women currently in breast cancer treatment. The research, which was published December 16, 2011, in the journal Cancer, discovered that after three months of twice-weekly yoga classes, “a group of breast cancer survivors in California reported significantly diminished fatigue and increased vigor.” Andrew M. Seaman of Reuters Health reported.
At the 34th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in 2011, a study presented findings that women with metastatic breast cancer might benefit from the practice of yoga. A small randomized trial was collaboratively conducted by yogis and physicians, including S.K. Gopinath, MD, from the department of surgical, medical and radiation oncology at the HCG-BIO Super Specialty Center in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The researchers found data that suggest the practice of yoga might reduce psychological distress and modulate abnormal cortisol levels as well as immune responses in patients with stage-IV disease.
In 2011, LBBC began implementing a national Yoga on the Steps expansion initiative developed by the board of directors and senior staff as part of LBBC’s 2011-2015 strategic plan. “Yoga on the Steps is a low cost, high return way to introduce LBBC resources to communities that may not know of their availability,” Jean says. “We’ve established annual events in Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Denver, and Kansas City is our fourth Yoga on the Steps host city. This year we’re expanding our educational programming to these cities by hosting community meetings on various breast cancer topics, giving more individuals the opportunity to access trusted breast cancer information.”
Businesses wanting to learn more about Yoga on the Steps national and local sponsorship opportunities and benefits, or who have questions about the event or Healthy Living Expo, are asked to contact LBBC’s associate director of marketing and corporate relations, Kevin Gianotto, at firstname.lastname@example.org.