21 Sun Salute for Down Syndrome

21 Sun Salute for Down Syndrome

guest post by Michelle Abounader

Injury-related removal from competitive triathlons put me in that depressing place of exercise deprivation…then I found yoga. Decades later, I still marvel at the delicious brain buzz that yoga creates.

When my world was rocked with the news of my newborn’s health situation, yoga became my touchstone as I dealt with chromosomal abnormality (Trisomy 21), a hole in her heart, and a debilitating type of epilepsy which, if uncured, had a mortality rate of 40%.   My husband and I actually said goodbye to her one night when she looked like she wouldn’t make it.  That sticks with you.  Thankfully, the hole in her heart healed, the seizures disappeared, and as I type this, she is currently thriving… the obvious princess of the house with her three older brothers at her beck and call (yes, I am a little envious!), and the absolute LIGHT of my life.

After running the Rise ‘n Shine: 108 Sun Salutations event for St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness for almost a decade, my philanthropic efforts shifted with the news we received at the birth of our daughter.  My heart longed to start an event for the Down Syndrome community, and that wish has now come true.

Introducing 21 Sun Salute Yoga for Down Syndrome Awareness, a wellness symposium and yoga event supporting the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis (which serves locally 1,700 individuals with Down Syndrome) . (Learn more below in our interview on Fox 2 from our first event in 2017!)  It will be a “feel-good” day that our community truly needs.

Just as people with Down Syndrome suffer from multiple illnesses, so too are they often limited by labels…labels that were once considered acceptable but now considered negative and limiting.  If you look at history, you know that these labels did not originate to hurt feelings.  However, times change.  Meanings change.  Dandelions are labeled weeds despite the fact that they are beautiful flowers with a lot to offer.  I challenge you to look at things differently.  Look at the Dandelion differently.  Look at people with Down Syndrome differently.

See you on the mat!

21 Sun Salute for Down Syndrome

hosted by Dandelion Yoga Productions and Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis

When: Sunday, October 7th, 9a-12pm

Where: World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park

Donation: $21 suggested donation for adults, or create a link to raise funds for every sun salute!


For more information and to register, visit DSAGSL’s website.



1 thought on “21 Sun Salute for Down Syndrome”

  1. Michelle Abounader

    Thanks Elle for helping me get the word out for our inaugural event. I encourage everyone to preregister to avoid the lines that morning. Registration opens at 830 am. Please come! No need to stay for the duration. Yoga starts a little before noon, and ends with a GONG BATH!

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