The following press release was sent to Patch by the Mental Health Association of Westchester--
“Your body is the best home your mind will ever have”, yoga teacher and author, Matthew Sanford, told the more than 500 who had gathered for The Mental Health Association of Westchester’s third annual mega yoga event, Get On Your Mat For Mental Health. “Yoga,” taught Matthew, “allows us to have the experience in our body that life is good, despite pain, despite all the challenges we face now or have in the past.”
The event, originally planned to take place outdoors on Court Street in White Plains, moved indoors to the Woodlands High School gym when Tuesday’s forecast predicted possible thunderstorms. Nearly all registrants made the switch and unrolled their mats to the spirited sounds of Ithaca’s Answer the Muse. Outside the gym, more than 20 sponsors and vendors set up their tables, greeting attendees and offering everything from iced tea to ice cream. MHA Board member, Gerald Stern observed, “It just goes to show that community can happen anywhere.”
Amy Kohn, MHA’s CEO, welcomed the crowd, saying: “We are sorry to be inside, but very glad to be together to practice yoga with Matthew.” Everyone spontaneously burst into applause when Amy shared MHA’s core belief-- recovery for all.
Afterwards, participants shared their experience of the event. Said one: “What I got from the class was the idea of support from the community, support within my own body, support from a partner, support from my breath and energy in and around us all.” One woman said: “Matthew taught us that our mind is our power. Thank you for an amazing night.” A man commented: “What I heard is that it is ok to receive and ask for support and, most importantly, to feel and live and experience.” And finally, “For me, it was a lesson in realizing opportunity in the face of change and how it's possible to make those opportunities into a reality.”
The event raised $25,000 for MHA Westchester’s programs and services. MHA is a community-based mental health agency that has been helping Westchester County residents for 68 years through direct services, professional and community education and advocacy. MHA supports 18,000 individuals annually through a comprehensive array of mental health services striving to help each individual to achieve their personal goals and to lead independent and healthy lives. For information on critical mental health issues and MHA services, visit www.mhawestchester.or