Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Yoga teacher organizing film screening for a good cause

A local yoga teacher is hoping people will turn out for a fundraiser in Fredericksburg June 2 to raise money to help victims of sexual slavery and sexual trafficking in India and worldwide. The event—a film screening—also is intended to shine a light on the power of yoga to transform lives.

Elyse Acanda, who teaches at Heart to the Sky Yoga Space inside BOA Martial Arts on Bragg Road, organized the screening of “YogaWoman” with help from Holley Ryan of Healing  Heart Yoga. The film is narrated by Academy Award winner Annette Bening.

YogaWoman reveals how yoga has utterly transformed the lives of thousands of over-stimulated, overscheduled, and multi tasking modern women,” the film’s website says. “From the buzzing streets of Manhattan to the dusty slums of Kenya   the film follows the heart-rending stories of women who have found a lifeline through this magical and mystical practice.”

The film will be shown from 10 a.m. to noon June 2 at Paragon Village 12 theater (formerly Muvico) at the Spotsylvania Towne Centre. There’s no cost to attend, but donations are being collected for the Global Seva Challenge 2012, which supports organizations in India that provide refuge and opportunities for survivors of sexual slavery and trafficking in India.

Acanda has committed to raising $20,000 this year for the cause, in conjunction with Off the Mat, Into the World, a charity organization that uses yoga to inspire grassroots change and activism.

You can learn more about the fundraiser and Acanda’s efforts at You can learn more about Off the Mat, Into the World and the Global Seva Challenge at To learn more about the film, visit