Candlelight yoga for our troops

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The "First Lady Of Yoga", Lillias Folan, has called Cincinnati home for years. Now she and other yogis are helping make sure none of our local troops are forgotten for the holidays.

At a special candlelight yoga session Wednesday night, the yogis reached out to the soldiers. This is their fourth year. The folks at "Yoga Home" in Symmes Township started collecting all kinds of good stuff for our local troops back in October and November.

Now those goods are ready to be shipped to our soldiers, but before they go, they get a special blessing of love and light from the folks back home.

The floor of "Yoga Home" was jam-packed. Despite the doggedly downward turn in the economy, it has not stopped the yoga lovers from stretching their resources just a little bit further and giving back to our troops.

"Shoulder-to-shoulder, back-to-back, so many people that can squeeze into 'Yoga Home'," said Lillias Folan.

"We have space here for 50 people, we had a hundred calls," said Folan of the overwhelming support they received this year. "We're not here to be yogis, we here to gather together to celebrate our troops."

Everyone at the candlelight yoga session had a connection to someone who's served or is serving overseas right now.

"To learn to relax when you've got free time, it must be very very hard," said Folan of the troops.

Married to a World War Two vet herself (he was 17 when he served), Lillias Folan is putting her life's work in yoga toward getting a community in motion.

"We put nice things to eat, books to read, Sudoku and we work with www.military here in Cincinnati," said Folan.

Folan wants to make sure no soldier is forgotten.

"It's the men and the women of this community that we send these boxes to," Folan said. "And then they tell us, oh, c'mon, send a few more for our buddies because they've been forgotten too."

Folan said the response has been so touching.

"One of the women came back and told me personally that when she got one of these boxes, she opened it up and put her nose into it and she smelled and said, 'home!'" she said.

You can tell by the light in Lillias' eyes when she talks about it, these volunteers share her passion and truly care.

"And we're proud of that and we want to make that connection, so that's why we light a light, say a name," Folan said.

So they lit candles in honor of our local soldiers.

"And we put it onto a table and we think of that person and we say his name or her name out loud," Folan said. "And there's something that connects us and celebrates a life that loves our country."

And as we near the start of the winter solstice, where all spiritual traditions celebrate light, Folan said now is the time to celebrate a peaceful action.

"It's just a wonderful time of the year to get together and celebrate something positive that's healing that brings us all together," she said.

Folan said this year's collections are double what they brought-in this time last year.

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