Four days a week, Gail Holness takes to her yoga mat to help raise money for needed services in Haliburton County.

It started with her ‘online for the frontline’ initiative that raised more than $2,000 for the Haliburton Highlands Health Services, and is now switching to generate income for area food banks in May.

Holness has set up two donation buttons on her site. Initially, people’s donations went to HHHS and her online classes went to their inbox. People could either join live or receive recorded classes to do at their convenience.

“At their convenience turned out to be a very important point,” Holness said. “I learned very quickly that many people are just too stiff in the morning to be able to attempt a class but later in the day is perfect. Our frontliners are working crazy hours and there is no way a 10 a.m. class is doable, but maybe late evening is.”

Holness said it was a given she would have to go online but she did not have internet until Angie and Abby Xerri of Quantum Passivhaus offered her a space and access to their internet.

“With that in place I could move forward and help individuals through this time by giving them the much-needed routine, grounding, movement and connection with others they crave. To me it was a natural transition to open the doors wider and invite more people to help their community and at the same time help themself. I believe in times like this it is important to be able to bring your best skills to the table, for me, my skill is teaching yoga, and mindfulness. Fortunately for me, I have others that believe in me and what I do and wanted to help me.”

She said there was such a wonderful response to the online for the frontline that people wanted to know what was next.

“Overwhelmingly, the answer was direct our donations to the food bank. I couldn’t be happier. With all the cancellations and closures this summer there are going to be a never-before-seen need to help all our seasonal workers. Being able to direct cash to the food bank so they can buy what they need most and buy in bulk so they can save money makes sense. I’m hoping the momentum continues and together through my online classes we are able to raise $5,000. Why not dream big?”

How to take part: Find Gail at holnessyoga.ca. Her online schedule: Mondays – relaxing yoga Tuesdays – yoga tone Wednesdays – energizing yoga Thursdays – seniors, standing and chair & ‘on the go’ shortened version All live classes are at 10 a.m. Recorded classes are sent out shortly after the class is over. $20 donation for one live class and recording. $50 donation for all live classes and recordings for May. Classes can be purchased as a gift.

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