The founders of Akron Peace Month want residents to know that yoga is not just an outlet for middle-class people looking to de-stress. The practice, in fact, has benefits for mental health, disabilities, addiction and other ailments.
“Yoga is meant to be more than what people think of it, and it often turns people away from a practice or a tool that is very helpful,” says Zach Freidhof, founder of Akron Peace Month. “Not only the spiritual progress, but in very physical things, like addiction, recovery, trauma and healing, as well as our own physical fitness.”
As part of Peace Month, this week is dedicated to making yoga accessible for all people in the community, starting with Accessible Yoga Day, Thursday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Practitioners will be stationed in both Akron and Canton to offer a wide range of classes and instruction.
Akron’s Front Porch Cafe (798 Grant St.) will offer such free classes as Yoga for Seniors, Yoga for Parkinson’s Kid’s Yoga and Body Positive Yoga. Canton’s Accessible Yoga Day, which takes place at God’s Heartbeats to the City (1525 Shorb Ave.), includes offerings like Yoga for Back Pain, Family Yoga and King Fu/Chinese Yoga for the Whole Family.
“It’s a whole day that deals with things like yoga and meditation for addiction and recovery, yoga for autism, prenatal and toddler yoga,” adds Freidhof. “It’s a really great way of saying these are tools and practices for anybody and everybody.”
Among a full month’s roster of activities, Accessible Yoga Day and this weekend’s Yoga Summit of Northeast Ohio (Sept. 22 through 24 at the Silo Gallery in Canton), are ways for area practitioners to share yoga with residents of all ages and abilities, along with health equity for the community.
Peace Month was launched in 2010 when Freidhof and his friend, Bekey Hewit, met up to discuss a concert for peace in honor of Ghandi’s birthday. Since then, what started as Peace Week has grown this year to Peace Month, and Akron Peace Project founder Freidhof has connected with a number of organizations and partners (including the City of Akron), along with being part of some large community events, like Big Love Fest, Highland Square PorchRokr Festival and others.
The Yoga Summit of Northeast Ohio will take place Friday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Sept. 24 at Silo Arts Studio, 431 4th St. NW in Canton. For more info about this week’s yoga events, visit www.yogasummit.love.
For info about Akron Peace Month, visit www.akronpeace.love.
You can also hear Zach Freidhof discuss Accessible Yoga and Peace Month on this week’s Spoils of Akron podcast (click here).