Metro Weekly

Bending with Benevolence

Yoga fundraiser to help women with breast cancer readies D.C. debut

A novel approach to helping women deal with breast cancer is coming to the District this month – possibly in the form of the ”downward-facing dog” – as the Philadelphia-based national organization Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) offers its signature Yoga on the Steps (YOTS) event in Freedom Plaza.

Instructor Jennifer Schelter will lead participants through an hour-long class, rain or shine. Those participants will in turn tap into their networks to raise money for the 20-year-old LBBC, whose mission is ”to empower all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life.”

”It’s like a fundraising walk – but with no walking and lots of bending,” LBBC spokesperson Kevin Gianotto playfully explains. He adds that D.C. was an obvious choice for moving the yoga fundraiser beyond Philadelphia, based on the city’s high profile and its proximity to the City of Brotherly Love.

He also promises that the Schelter’s yoga class will be accessible to nearly anyone with an interest in yoga.

”This is a basic beginners class, for all ages, all body types,” he says. ”You do the class to your skill level.”

Those who raise $75 or more will receive a commemorative T-shirt. For those who would like to participate but not fundraise, a $50 donation is suggested. The program also includes a Healthy Living Expo at the adjacent JW Marriott.

Leslie Calman, executive director of the D.C.-based Mautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization, says she’s not yet sure if any Mautner contingent will be participating, but she offers her support nonetheless: ”What a terrific and fun way to show support for breast cancer survivors and this organization that serves them.”

Adds Gianotto, ”Just come out and have a good day with us. It’s about your quality of life as the best that it can be.”

Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Yoga on the Steps and Healthy Living Expo is Sunday, Oct. 16. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at Freedom Plaza, at Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Street NW, with the expo immediately following the yoga class and running till 12:30 p.m. at the JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. To register or for more information visit For more about Living Beyond Breast Cancer, call 610-645-4567 or visit

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.