Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Rodney Yee and Coleen Saidman Yee Say Yes to YogaCAN

The love, concern and community support for the families and individuals that receive financial assistance from the Cancer Alliance of Naples (CAN) has been visible since the first YogaCAN event in 2013. Founded by Dr. Joel Waltzer, a Naples dermatologist and yoga teacher at Practice Yoga Studio, in Naples, the grassroots fundraising event for CAN initially attracted 200 enthusiastic yogis. That yoga session resulted in a generous outpouring of $30,000 in donations—a combination of individual contributions, silent auction sales and local vendor sales.

YogaCAN 2018, taking place on the lawn of the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club on April 8, gives Waltzer the opportunity to come full circle from his earliest days of learning how to practice yoga by following the instructions of a Rodney Yee video. Yee, an American yoga instructor who rose to national prominence in the early 1990s when he began starring in a series of Gaiam/Living Arts yoga instructional videos and DVDs, will share this year’s YogaCAN teaching stage with his wife, Colleen Saidman Yee, a yoga instructor and owner of Yoga Shanti studios, cofounder of Urban Zen Integrative Therapy and author of Yoga for Life.

“Joel and I are over the moon with excitement that Rodney and Colleen said yes to YogaCAN. This gives local yogis the opportunity to experience a depth of yoga teaching by two of the most recognized yoga masters who live yoga on and off the mat,” says Debi Grilo, yoga teacher and founder of Practice Yoga in Naples.

“We’ve expanded YogaCAN this year to three events with Rodney and Colleen—a kick-off party at 6:30 p.m. on April 7 and a master’s class at 8:30 a.m. on April 8. Following the tradition that we’ve established, they will also lead an all-levels yoga session on the hotel lawn overlooking the Gulf of Mexico at 10:30,” explains Waltzer.

The Naples studios collaborating on the event are BKS, Yoga Loft, FLOW-Yo, formerly GreenMonkey, Practice Yoga, and Naples Yoga Center. Donation Yoga Naples ( is also helping us. “It takes a huge volunteer team to pull off this event, which is about raising awareness and money for CAN, which covers the non-medical bills for cancer patients,” advises Waltzer, who is looking forward to sharing the events with a record-breaking 500 yogis. “It’s our event’s fifth anniversary, and I’m hoping that Rodney and Colleen will help us set a record for attendance.”

Since 2013, YogaCAN and the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, which contributes refreshments and their lawn, has helped to raise more than $250,000. Every dollar goes to the more than 125 individuals and families in Collier and Lee counties, which the nonprofit CAN supports.

For more information, call Cancer Alliance of Naples, 239-643-4673 or visit and

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