YMCAs across Canada awaken the spirit of peacemaking on November 24

TORONTO, Nov. 23 /CNW/ - On November 24, YMCAs and YMCA-YWCAs across Canada are calling on Canadians to "awaken their spirit of peacemaking" by participating in one of their coast to coast yoga classes available free to all ages and abilities.

The practice of yoga harmonizes the development of spirit, mind and body - a holistic principle fundamental to the YMCA's belief in health. The continued practice of yoga can lead to a sense of peace and well-being, and a feeling of being at one with the environment. Through the practice of yoga individuals can meditate on a peaceful world where all individuals are welcome and feel a sense of belonging to the global community. By thinking about peace, speaking about peace and ultimately taking action for a peaceful world - we can inspire peace.

For 25 years, the YMCA has held YMCA Peace Week, a celebration of local Canadian Peacemakers as well as a time to educate and inspire all ages to act for a more peaceful community locally and globally. This year YMCA Peace Week runs from November 21-28, 2009.

"For more than 150 years, the YMCA in Canada has been responding to the changing needs of the communities they serve," stated Janet Emmett, Interim CEO, YMCA Canada. "But we can't do it alone. YMCA Peace Week is about celebrating local Canadians, who have limited or no resources, yet act daily as an inspiration to us all and make a significant contribution by building stronger neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces, at home and abroad".

YMCAs in Canada have worked diligently with their international partners to build a better world. Currently, 46 Canadian YMCAs have 36 partnerships with YMCAs around the world; focusing on social justice, aids education, gender equality, children's rights, health, employment and peace education.

"Today, we are all connected to each other more than we may realize," says Janet Emmett, Interim CEO, at YMCA Canada. "Through sharing our message of peace we are able to inspire others to become engaged in peaceful actions".

Go to www.ymca.ca for a listing of Canadian YMCAs hosting a Yoga for Peace Event. Yoga for Peace is for participants of all ages, and stages of life.

Various classes held from coast to coast on November 24th.

Today, 45 YMCAs and 8 YMCA-YWCAs are dedicated to healthy living and well being impacting Canadians of all backgrounds, abilities and stages of life. The YMCA in Canada serves more than 1.9 million people including 735,000 children and youth. The YMCA in Canada is dedicated to the growth of all persons in spirit, mind and body, and to their sense of responsibility to each other and the global community.

SOURCE YMCA Canada

For further information: For further information: Mary Anne Roche, VP, International Development and Relations, YMCA Canada, (416) 967-9622, ext. 222, Maryanne_roche@ymca.ca

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