DAYA Foundation benefit event

Listen to this post: 

It used to be easy for my neck to hold my head up. But something about a huge bike wreck just tweaks you. You sort of feel a little bit off all the time. A little sore here, a little tired there, a little stuck over there. Besides my shoulders and neck getting stuck, my thoughts get stuck. Really, really stuck. Lots of people with a brain injury find we get stuck on one idea or one task, and there seems to be no way to get away from it.

This is where yoga comes in for me and several of my friends with brain injuries. You can improve balance, energy and stamina. And you can find a safe place and means to be present through a comfortable stretch and a deep, slow breath. But what do you do when, like me, it’s too hard to be around groups of people, and you know you are too fatigued to make it through an hour-long class without taking breaks. Who wants to take breaks in a yoga class? You’ll look weak!

The logo has purple and orange text, DAYA Foundation Delivering Accessible Yoga Alternatives

Enter the DAYA Foundation. The name DAYA stands for “Delivering Accessible Yoga Alternatives.” The studio specializes in teaching classes for people with all manner of disabilities and health conditions.

My peripheral vision is messed up. So I sit on the end of the row where not much happens near me. The person next to me today has no peripheral vision at all. (Go ahead and chuckle. We did when we realized it.) All of us together in the adaptive yoga class span several decades and represent a gorgeous range of disabilities. You might wonder why I don’t say we span a gorgeous range of abilities. That’s because it goes without saying that all of us have abilities. What’s unique about DAYA classes is that if you have a disability, you are welcomed and nurtured.

My teacher, and the founder of DAYA, Sarahjoy Marsh, is no stranger to chronic pain, injury, and how accessing medical care and rehabilitation can overtake your life. She brings her first-hand experiences of these to class. So she teaches with a level of empathy I haven’t experienced in a yoga class before. She’s pretty hilarious as well.

There are many different types of classes to choose from, and DAYA does outreach programming with the Oregon Department of Corrections, Backbones (a group for folks with spinal cord injuries), public schools and many more. To support their beautiful space, wonderful classes, medical scholarship program, and dynamic outreach, they’re having a fundraiser this weekend. I hope you can come and join me there. There will be treats!

Sunday, October 13th

0110 SW Bancroft Street, Portland, OR 97239

Contact them for directions if you are taking the bus. The TriMet website can’t find an address starting with 0.

503.552.YOGA (9642) or

6:00 pm — wine, chocolate, and cheese

7:00 pm — Live concert with Jami Seiber, electric and acoustic cellist and vocalist

Admission to the fundraiser is free. Tickets for the concert are $20 advance/$25 the day of. Ticket sales benefit DAYA Foundation.

And come try out a class sometime or lots of times.