Our goal is to use yoga to improve the lives of people with Cystic Fibrosis. Who:
An exciting collaboration between fitness-tech startup Pactster, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, leading NHS CF physiotherapists, yoga experts… and me
! What: We're creating a series of exercise videos designed to engage and motivate people with cystic fibrosis to exercise more. These videos will cover a variety of disciplines proven to improve health and quality of life for people with CF, including yoga.
The videos will be verified by the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Cystic Fibrosis, ensuring they are safe and tailored to the needs of a person with CF. An internet-based platform called Pactster will host the videos; the site enables up to four people to exercise together to on-demand videos via video chat.Why: There are SO many proven benefits of exercise for people with CF,
and more and more people are wanting to try it to see if it can help improve the physical and emotional aspects of our disease. Pilot studies have shown that yoga improves lung function, overall fitness, and the day-to-day mental health and well-being of CF patients. However, there are very few yoga teachers internationally who have specialized knowledge in adapting the poses for people with CF.
I have personally found that yoga has improved my lung function, overall health, and general quality of life
. I've always led an active lifestyle (I'm an opera singer
, dancer/choreographer, mountaineer,
and unlikely Swedish TV star
), but during a period of illness in 2010 I discovered yoga and it gave me a new weapon against the progression of this disease. My lung function had dropped to 50% for the first time, and six months after I started practicing yoga and rebalanced my life to prioritize exercise, my lung function was back up to 70%. I've since become a certified yoga instructor and seen the impact that it has made on my students' lives. I've been invited to be the "face" of this project on-camera because my knowledge of yoga and my experience living with CF would make me a relatable figure to this CF population.
Additionally, the CF population is fragmented due to our need to protect each other from infection - transferring our bacterial infections to each other can be deadly so in-person meetings are rare and risky. The internet has given us a way to find each other and form our own communities online. Pactster's platform takes this a step further and gives us a way to virtually connect around a common experience, exercise. This will in turn increase motivation and adherence to exercise, a common struggle for many people (that even non-CFers will understand)!How: I will be filmed leading the yoga practice and guiding the students through each sequence.
These videos will be owned by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust (the UK equivalent of the CF Foundation) but will be made available on the Pactster video platform, where the participants will also be able to connect with each other in a virtual community. Where: The project team is based in London!
And that's where this page comes in... I could film independently in the US but I want to do this right, so I can share my knowledge and help other people with CF as best I can. At this phase of the project I’m designing the video content along with a UK-based CF physiotherapist who is also a yoga instructor, and there is no substitute for in-person collaboration when you are creating physically-intense content like this. I'll spend a week there to collaborate with the team and film the videos.
When: SOON... we have set a target filming date for the end of July!
And that's the reason for this fundraiser... I have been offered a place to stay in London with a relative, but need airfare to get me there and some living expenses for the week I'll be working on this project. I need to raise $1600, here's the cost breakdown:
Airfare: $1200 for direct flight from SEA to LON
Other Transportation & Living Expenses: $300
Gofundme & processing fees: $100 (10% of cash raised)We have a limited window of time to make this happen
... so I've set a 1-week fundraising goal to ensure we have enough time to plan. My work in this initial phase is unpaid... (there could be some revenue down the road but that's a long way off, and I have no intention for this to be a personal money-making endeavor). So I would appreciate any help you can give to get this project off the ground. Please give your support and help people with CF around the world live longer, healthier, happier lives through yoga!