Home > Uncategorized > Week 14: Do Yoga on the Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Week 14: Do Yoga on the Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

On the Art Museum Steps

I don’t do yoga regularly so this was definitely–pardon the pun–a stretch for me.  I was encouraged to participate in this fundraiser, called Yoga on the Steps, by my friend Barbara, who operates a yoga studio in Pottstown. She put together a team called Tri-County for the Cure. Despite my inexperience with yoga, I agreed to be part of the team for several reasons. One, because it sounded like such an interesting and fun event; two because it was for a good cause; and, finally, because I always admire Barbara’s enthusiasm for yoga.  Nevertheless, almost from the moment I signed on, I worried.  I’m the type of person who doesn’t wear high heels for fear of tumbling off them.  So, performing  balancing and stretching exercises on steps just sounded dangerous. Here’s how it went.

1. About Yoga on the Steps: This is a fundraiser organized by a group called Living Beyond Breast Cancer. It’s in its ninth year, and this year 1,100 people participated.  While I worried that everyone else there would be expert yogis, it is, in fact geared toward people of all experience levels and abilities. The event raised a total of $245,000 (the goal is $250,000 and fundraising is ongoing through June 30). 

2. Logistics: I felt that our team, Tri-County for a Cure, was very well organized. I didn’t do too much in advance. I just followed instructions and participated in a few team fundraisers. The T-shirt, designed by an artist in the group, was beautiful. The day of the event we had about 25 people traveling from the Pottstown area to Philly, so we met at a parking lot and carpooled down. I have a van, so I agreed to drive. Fortunately, I didn’t have to parallel park!

3. Driving there and back: There were so many things I enjoyed about this day. Among the best, I met some really great women and got to spend time with friends. I, a woman who is not usually thrilled about driving on the Schuylkill Expressway, honestly enjoyed the trip there and  back because I was in such pleasant company. (Special thanks to one of my passengers, Pat Dillon, whose photos I used for this blog.)

Sitting on our mats, the Philly skyline behind us

4. Being there: Part of what was fun about this day was just being there. You can see in the photo on the left that our vantage point on the art museum steps was spectacular.  And it was just kind of cool to be surrounded by so many women, so many yoga mats and, ultimately, so much positive energy.

5. Fear of falling: Most of the time, worry is worthless. This was no exception. My fear of falling off the art museum steps proved unwarranted. We weren’t on steps, but on wide landings. So there was plenty of room and I didn’t fall anyway.

6. How it worked: The event lasted from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m, but the

Barbara, me and my friend Anne pose and listen

program itself was held between 9:30 and 11. A yoga instructor led the group, telling us which poses to perform. Then, we held the poses for two minutes while breast cancer survivors told their stories. This was pretty challenging. Ever try standing on one leg with your arms outstretched for two minutes? I couldn’t do that pose, but it was kind of fun trying. Even less difficult poses required strength, agility and concentration to hold for two minutes.

7. A positive message: When I heard that women would be talking about their experiences with breast cancer, I expected to be hearing some very sad stories. But these women were incredibly positive. The messages that were repeated over and over were about the value of friendships, overcoming adversity, being comfortable with your body, and appreciating each day of your life. For me, someone who really doesn’t do yoga, I felt an intense synergy between the spiritual and mental component of listening to these messages, and the physical challenge of holding a pose.

8. Afterwards: We all agreed  it was an exceptional experience. Another plus? On the ride home, my friend Anne–who really should be a chef–gave us some great cooking tips. I can’t wait to try her baked kale chips. (Mix kale with salt, olive oil and bake). She says her kids love them.

9. Anne’s video: Anne put together this incredible video that gives a wonderful perspective of the day.

10. Barbara’s blog: Barbara wrote this excellent blog about her journey putting together our team.

In the end I just felt lucky to have been part of this event.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Great Blog Laura! And I’m so glad you were part of the event!

  2. May 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    love your description. i have been to this event many times, so it is refreshing to me to see it from a new perspective! thank you for this!

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