This Saturday, yogis of shapes and sizes from all over Seattle will gather in Cal Anderson Park to participate in the Samarya Center’s third annual Sun Sal-u-thon fundraiser.
Samarya Center founder Molly Lannon Kenny is asking all you yogis out there to put your money where your warrior pose is, and support programs that bring yoga to the disadvantaged. “Yoga has become this commodity in our world, where the consumer is upper middle class, white, and typically female,” said Lannon Kenny.
“If we really think about that deep experience that yoga is supposed to bring, a feeling of contentment, of peace, of being OK with the world, shouldn’t we think about how to bring it to the people who need it the most?”
Saturday’s Sun Sal-u-thon goes 11 to 2 PM at Cal Anderson. Participants are invited to do up to 150 sun salutations throughout the day. Sun salutations are linked with the breath, flow together and represent the warm-up sequences in most yoga classes, organizers tell CHS as we hunch over our keyboards while slumping in a coffee shop chair.
Planners hope for the largest yoga demonstration in the park yet and the Samarya Center is getting some help pulling it off from different people and groups around the city, including Genessa Krasnow, who organized last year’s Equalityoga event in the park. That particular Pride component didn’t become a repeat event but the Sal-u-thon is ready to make its third year a big success.
The Samarya Center is a Northwest non-profit profit yoga and yoga therapy organization, located in the Central District. They provide affordable yoga training with classes specializing in anxiety, chronic pain and addiction.
The minimum donation is $25 to participate, and the Samarya Center hopes to raise $10,000 during the day. Participants can either raise money on their own to participate, or pull from their own pockets. If you want to join but can’t scrounge up the $25, a few Sun Sal-u-thon sponsors have paid for you to participate, so talk to Lannon Kenny or other event volunteers if that’s the case.
If you have tickets to the Capitol Hill Block Party, don’t fret, you can go to both. The Sun Sal-u-thon ends at 2, and the Block Party doesn’t start until 3.
“Yoga is the original punk rock. It’s all about DIY, sticking it to the man, cheering on the underdog and social justice,” said Lannon Kenny. “If you really want to get your punk rock on, come do yoga with us, then go get drunk.”
Lannon Kenny knows a thing or two about punk rock – she traveled from her hometown in New Jersey to play bass in ‘90s Seattle punk bands, like the all-girl group 66 Saints and Matchlist.
When the Samarya Center started to take off, she put her rockstar lifestyle on the shelf to lead it. The event will kick off with some hearty “loga” – a form of laughter yoga practiced by a small group every Sunday morning in Cal Anderson. Through the day, the group will do 25 poses, and then break. During the breaks, there will be live music, yoga demonstrations, poetry readings and more. There will also be a kid’s program, so bring the family. Folk singer Camille Bloom is scheduled to perform, and the women from Samarya’s Latina women’s class will be on hand to sell homemade tamales. When you buy one from them, you’ll be directly supporting the chefs. Residents of Bailey Boushay house will be there, too.
“We really want it to reflect the diversity and community at our center,” said Lannon Kenny.
Lannon Kenny is still open to adding other performers to the docket, so if you’re a performer (especially a hula hooper!), then sign up as a performer on the Samarya website.
“This is a really fun event and it’s a really radical thing we’re doing,” said Lannon Kenny. “It’s all about community activism and taking the idea of yoga, which has become a really white and mainstream thing, and bringing it back to its roots.”