Why I Reach & Raise: Lauri Weiss
I’m the proud captain of the Sister Studios yoga team. We have been supporting Living Beyond Breast Cancer through our participation in Reach & Raise: Philadelphia since 2014. This year our team consists of five yoga studios—Yogasphere, BAMBU, Blossom, Jivala at AFC, and Nourishing Storm—and our “sister,” Moms Who Dare. Our team is a community of yoginis and yogis united in our collective support of LBBC’s mission that no one impacted by breast cancer feels uninformed or alone.
As a team, we are linked by our shared cause and our connection to Yogasphere yoga studio. We were not always a team of several studios. In 2014, while enrolled as a student in Yogasphere’s teacher training program, I was asked by Laura Rothstein, co-founder and co-owner of the studio, to organize a team for LBBC’s yoga fundraiser, then called Yoga on the Steps I organized the Yogasphere team and participated with my sister, Dawn Penner, and sister-in-law, Julie Wolfe, both breast cancer survivors. That year, our team raised $9,323!
Dawn was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2011. As part of her wellness program, we took private yoga lessons together at Yogasphere. I often practiced there and wanted to introduce my sister to classes and events that promoted mindfulness and other healing practices. Julie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, often joined us. As close sisters, we recognized the loving and joyous sense of community Yogasphere fostered.
Because of the success of the Yogasphere team in 2014, we were inspired to continue our support for LBBC by enlarging our community. So in 2015, we reached out to yoga studio owners and leaders who had completed teacher training programs at Yogasphere, and the Sister Studios team was born.
It has been a privilege to work with a wonderful, dynamic group of “sisters” to raise money to support those affected by breast cancer. As of last year, the Sister Studios team fundraising total was $42,288. I am grateful to all of the team leaders—Laura, Cathy, Stacy, Helene, Kim, Jen, Ginger, Cindy, Kristin, Megan, Alissa, Julie and Jodi—who work hard every year to promote the team, host fundraising events and participate in Reach & Raise: Philadelphia.
As I write this, Reach & Raise 2019 is only 4 weeks away. We still have a lot of fundraising to do! I am looking forward to being with all of my “sisters” on the steps again this year and for many years to come (as long as there are those who need our help).
Lauri Weiss, 53, is a yoga teacher from Southampton, Pennsylvania.