Health & Wellness

Breathe Easy

Yogathon comes to the zoo to raise money and awareness for lung cancer.

For Annie Truax, the Baltimore Free to Breathe Team Yoga Challenge is more than just a yogathon. Traux, who is a local barre instructor, lost her mother to lung cancer in March of 2012.

“When I found out about this event, and the cause behind it, I knew I had to be part of it to honor my mom,” says Truax.

Free to Breathe is a partnership among lung cancer survivors, advocates, researchers, and health care professionals that was founded in 2001 by Dr. Joan Schiller in Madison, Wisconsin. Her goal? To double the survival rate of those affected by lung cancer by the year 2022.

The eight-hour event will take place Aug. 21 at the Water Fowl Lake Pavilion at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Sign up as a team of up to eight people or as an individual (you can be assigned to a team) to receive your fundraising goal. Each hour-long session will be sponsored by local studios and businesses including CorePower Yoga, Baltimore Yoga Village, M.Power Yoga, Dovecote Café, and YogaWorks.

When not practicing downward dog or reverse warrior, participants can visit the Wellness Village, which will feature tents and giveaways from Lululemon, Shake Shack, Gundalow Juice, and more. There will also be physical therapy, Reiki, and meditation demonstrations from some of the area’s leading experts. This will be the first Free to Breathe Team Yoga Challenge held in Baltimore, which was chosen because of the rapid growth of its health and fitness industry.

“Our hope is that this event will continue to grow and we find critical funding for our mission,” says Nicole Phipps Pietras, senior events manager for Free to Breathe. With so many fitness gurus and our favorite instructors in one place, it is guaranteed to be a great day for a great cause.