Massive yoga class draws more than 2,000 to Philly Art Museum steps

“Elongate your spine so it reaches Penn tower,” said yogi Jennifer Schelter, leading a class of 2,000 on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

A longtime yogi, Schelter co-founded Yoga on the Steps in 2001. Since then, thousands have gathered annually on the iconic steps, raising more than $2 million all told.

Sunday’s class taught to all levels of expertise and raised more than $266,000 for the support group Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

The money raised goes towards LBBC’s mission to connect people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support through classes and mentors and programs geared toward each individual woman.

Happiness and positivity filled the air Sunday morning as colorful chalk borders provided pathways for attendees to lay out their yoga mats creating a sea of color for the event.

“May I be happy. May I be well. May I be kind to myself.”

The mats carpeted the steps and, for the first time, led out onto the closed off parkway. People stretched, napped, talked, laughed, and played games while they waited for the yoga session to begin.

Speakers included breast cancer survivor Robin Freeman, a wife and mother of three. An avid yogi in her own right, Robin found much comfort in yoga after receiving the news that any woman “no matter what age or stage, … ever is ready for.” She participated in last year’s Yoga on the Steps just four weeks after her double mastectomy.

The inspirational stories continued as founder of LBBC, Jean Sachs, took the stage and told the crowd of 2,000 about the birth of Living Beyond Breast Cancer and subsequently their charity event, Yoga on the Steps.

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