Yoga on the Green supports breast cancer patients


Katie Cion

Westporters meditate at the conclusion of a yoga lesson on Veteran’s Green.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Westport Downtown Merchants Association hosted Yoga on the Green on Sunday, Oct. 20 to benefit the Smilow Family Breast Health Center of Norwalk Hospital. The event took place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Veteran’s Green in downtown Westport.

Instructors from venues including M3 Yoga, Oxygen Fitness and Venture Yoga led classes on the hour for event participants. The event also featured guided meditation sessions in addition to yoga.

Mary Heery, APRN nurse practitioner and Breast Health Specialist at the Smilow Center,  volunteered at the event and attested to its success. “We thought it was very successful, a lot of good energy. People are really excited and happy to be a part of it,” Heery said. “I think it’s been very … popular. We’ve had seven classes [with] maybe about 10 people per class … next year hopefully there will even be more awareness,” she added.

One event participant, Lisa Weitzman, explained that the cause was meaningful to her and compelled her to participate. “I’ve had friends and family who’ve been affected by breast cancer and because it was such a pretty setting outside I thought it would be really fun for me and my daughter to do a class,” Weitzman said.

The classes were open to all levels of experience and ages, a factor that seven year old Maya Sherman took advantage of.

“I enjoyed it a lot because it wasn’t that hard to do and it was fun,” Sherman said.

The event was the first of what the organizers hope will become an annual gathering. All donations made by participants will be put towards Smilow Family Breast Health Center’s work at providing newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with integrative medicine therapies such as acupuncture, meditation and Tai Chi,  which help bring support to the healing process.