Yoga Workshop Raises Money for Women in Transition

When the new year began, yoga instructor, Debi Hawkins, felt there was a need for restorative self-healing for the body and for the soul. On the weekend of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Debi hosted a special Restorative Yoga class with co-instructor, Mary Lou Buck, donating all proceeds to benefit YWCA’s Women In Transition housing program. It was a perfect fit: “Martin Luther King Jr. was all about service,” Debi said, “and service is part of the Yoga path.”

Restorative Yoga reduces the  effects of stress on the body by using props and surrendering all effort. The need for the class was evident: Mary Lou had people calling her the morning of to see if any slots were available.

The workshop raised $460, all of which Debi and Mary Lou donated towards the purchase of a new ice maker for the formerly homeless women living upstairs from where the workshop was held. “It’s a wonderful thing to take time for yourself, and give back as well,” Debi said.

Debi and Mary Lou have both been long time members and supporters of the YWCA programs: they know it’s more than just a fitness center. Mary Lou lives around the corner and last Halloween recognized a few of her trick-or-treaters. “We saw each other while they were in after-school and I was walking to the pool,” she said. Debi herself lives in Matthews but teaches yoga once a week at the YW. Why does she make the commute? Debi replied quickly: “I support the YWCA mission statement 100%.”

Cassandra D’Alessio