Goal of Victoria Cool Aid Society yogathon to create recreational opportunites

Classes for all levels will run through day in Centennial Square

Participants in a yoga class stretch at the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s Downtown Activity Centre on Pandora Avenue. Reaching high are Stacy Sanderson

Participants in a yoga class stretch at the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s Downtown Activity Centre on Pandora Avenue. Reaching high are Stacy Sanderson

As the sun streams in through an open courtyard door, a line of people on mats listen and watch intently, so as to mimic yoga instructor Alicia Corsiglia’s movements.

On Wednesday afternoons, the gym at the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s Downtown Activity Centre on Pandora Avenue has been dedicated to yoga.

Corsiglia will be among the volunteer instructors leading classes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 7 in Centennial Square, as the centre hosts its first-ever yogathon.

The event will raise funds for the centre’s health and wellness programs, which range from floor hockey and kindergym to tai chi and dance/movement.

Miranda Lane, assistant co-ordinator for the centre, says the fundraiser is also a way of raising awareness of its programs and services.

“All of our programs are low- to no-barrier,” she says, noting that inclusivity is key.

With many clients either homeless, battling addiction problems or facing other life challenges, she says, it’s important to have a place where they can take part in activities that are healthy for them, without judgment.

The yoga class ended last week, but Lane says the hope is to attract more volunteer instructors and expand the program.

The suggested drop-in donation for each class during the yogathon is $5.

Classes are scheduled every hour and for various ability levels.

For those participants who wish to raise money for the cause, pledge forms are available at the centre, 755 Pandora Ave.

Tours of the facility are also planned for July 7 at 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m.

For more information, visit CoolAid.org/yoga or call 250-383-0076.

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