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It was nearly as hot as a bikram studio at the start of Saturday's Yogathon, but the searing temperature did little to deter supporters of Louie's Kids, a nonprofit that fights childhood obesity and promotes healthy lifestyles. A colorful rainbow of yoga mats—nearly 100 strong—canvased the grass along the eastern end of Marion Square throughout the three hour event, during which participants performed 108 sun salutations under the direction of various local yoga instructors.

The practice started with a collective chant that sent the sound of "om" across the park and caught the attention of curious passersby en route to the farmer's market. For a moment, all surrounding activity halted as children, dogs, and tourists turned to observe the group of yogis.

A moment later, a sea of muscles rippled in the sun as participants held their first downward dog of the day. After the first dozen or so sun salutations (a flowing series of poses that comprise one set sequence), attendees took short breaks as needed and reapplied sunscreen. Tables laden with crisp apples, bottles of water, edamame salad, and vegan brownies—donations courtesy of Whole Foods and the Square Onion—offered yogis a burst of energy. Free massages and hula hoop lessons kept everyone limber and in high spirits

The one face synonymous with this organization—founder Louis Yuhasz—was conspicuously missing from the event. Louis was involved in a freak accident while driving on I-26 last Friday and was in surgery during the yogathon. His friend Mary Zapatka shared news of the accident with attendees, many of whom signed cards wishing him a speedy recovery.

By the end of the yogathon, $18,383.61 had been raised for Louie's Kids, leaving only $1,616.39 in order to meet the event's $20,000 goal. Donations are still being accepted. Visit louieskids.org to learn more.

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