Power of Movement 2009 brings thousands of Canadians into balance for arthritis research

    Yoga fundraiser goes national, becoming world's largest

    TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - On Sunday, February 22, thousands of Canadians
will be striking their best downward-facing dog pose for Power of Movement
2009, the world's largest yoga fundraiser designed to celebrate mobility and
raise money for critical arthritis research.
    This year the popular yoga event goes national for the first time -
throughout the day, large-scale Power of Movement yoga "mega-sessions" are
taking place in 10 cities coast-to-coast including Vancouver, Victoria,
Nanaimo, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.
Power of Movement has also partnered with yoga studios in other communities
across the country to hold smaller fundraising sessions. People of all ages
and fitness level can get involved - from yoga gurus to those with limited
mobility - by registering online at www.powerofmovement.ca.
    More than 4.5 million Canadians live with arthritis (one of the leading
causes of disability) and autoimmune diseases(1). The economic burden of
arthritis in Canada is estimated at $4.4 billion annually.(2) These conditions
account for over 10 per cent of the total burden of all illnesses in Canada,
yet only 1.3 percent of attributed health science research is dedicated to
this area.(3)
    Now in its third year, Power of Movement began as a small grassroots
initiative with 250 participants in Toronto. The event's initial goal was to
generate $10,000 but in just two years it has surpassed all expectations
raising more than $115,000. Money raised in 2009 will benefit arthritis and
autoimmune disease research priorities across Canada, through the Arthritis &
Autoimmunity Research Centre (AARC) Foundation and several chapters of The
Arthritis Society.
    "We are thrilled by the amount of support Power of Movement has received
from Canadians across the country and hope to elevate the cause to the highest
possible level with our first national fundraiser," says Power of Movement
founder Erin Moraghan who is a Senior Development Officer at the AARC
Foundation and a Moksha Yoga instructor. "The event is a fun and easy way to
stay mobile and healthy - anyone can participate to support life-changing
research for arthritis and diseases like lupus, vasculitis, and osteoporosis."
    For those unable to attend a mega-session or a yoga class at a
participating studio on February 22, Power of Movement is also offering
registrants the option of participating at home by downloading free,
state-of-the-art instructional yoga videos provided by My Yoga Online. Simply
register online and start collecting pledges.
    Power of Movement 2009 is made possible with the support of presenting
sponsor Abbott Laboratories, as well as National Post and Moksha Yoga.

    About the AARC Foundation

    The Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre (AARC) Foundation raises
funds and awareness for the most comprehensive, collaborative, and specialized
arthritis research centre around the globe, housed at University Health
Network (UHN), which comprises Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess
Margaret Hospitals. AARC is dedicated to research in arthritis related
autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal health, and advancements in orthopaedic

    About The Arthritis Society

    The Arthritis Society empowers the nearly 4.5 million Canadians with
arthritis to live their lives to the fullest by combating the daily
limitations of arthritis. In the last 60 years, The Society has invested $165
million towards arthritis research to develop better treatments and,
ultimately, find a cure. The Arthritis Society's mission is "to search for the
underlying causes and subsequent cures for arthritis, and to promote the best
possible care and treatment for people with arthritis".

    1.  Arthritis in Canada. An ongoing challenge, co-edited by Dr. Elizabeth
        Badley and published by Health Canada, 2003
    2.  Arthritis and Related Conditions in Ontario, Institute for Clinical
        Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Research Atlas, 2004
    3.  Arthritis and Related Conditions in Ontario: ICES Research Atlas.
        2nd ed. Toronto; 2004 Williams J, Shipton et al

For further information:

For further information: to locate a mega-session or coordinate
interviews please contact: Shauna Simons, Erin O'Reilly, Media Profile,
shauna@mediaprofile.com, erin@mediaprofile.com, (416) 504-8464 ext. 261, ext.
253, Shauna cell: (647) 502-4600, Erin cell: (416) 894-1631

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