Yogis are known for practicing compassion, but Jason Patrick, AKA Bearded Yogi, really wears his heart on his sleeve. (When the handsome New Yorker is wearing sleeves, that is.)
He’s the do-gooder, mastermind of Big Love Weekend, a two-day fundraiser that takes place over Valentine’s Day weekend at The Breslin Restaurant in The Ace Hotel. It benefits God’s Love We Deliver, a non-profit organization that provides meals for those who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves.
Patrick, who’s a beloved teacher at Modo Yoga—and a friendly barista at NoHo’s La Colombe—first became involved in the organization when he learned he was HIV positive. “Many of the people served by God’s Love We Deliver have the same diagnosis,” he explains.
“Taking care of my health became my number one priority, and with the help of some very close friends I was able to stabilize and reach a place where my well-being was within my control,” he says.
“Since then, I’ve wanted to give back to my community as much as possible.” Including turning his birthday weekend into a benefit for others. Patrick is hoping to raise $100,000, which has the power to provide meals for 10,000 home-bound people.
The Big Love Weekend is divided into Wellness Day (Saturday) and the Birthday Bash and Dance Party (Sunday).
Saturday (Wellness Day) includes two yoga classes led by Modo Yoga co-owner Britton Darby, a puja ceremony guided by K. Krishnan Namboodiri, and some star power with talks by spirituality gurus like Gabrielle Bernstein, music by Sarah Neufield of Arcade Fire, plus nibbles prepared by April Bloomfield of The Breslin.
Sunday (the big Birthday Bash) will have food, talks, and lots more live music (see the lineup here) during the first part of the evening, followed by a DJ’ed Dance Party with DJ Natasha Blank of Get Your Dance On.
Registration is $216 for both days, and there are options to purchase a one-day pass or an a la carte ticket to the Dance Party, as well as further ways to fund raise.
And while there are plenty of places to spend Valentine’s Day in New York, attending this event is one of the best reasons to skip the Champagne and strawberry cliche and do something about that’s really about love.—Jamie McKillop
For more information and tickets, visit www.crowdrise.com