Rebecca Rivers

Rebecca Rivers and her students at Northern Light Yoga in Canton are no strangers to raising money to help people and organizations in their community, including the Jules of Life Foundation. 

This year will mark the eighth for the studio’s annual Breathe-A-Thon, a fundraiser that results in a donation to a charity or organization of the highest earning participant’s choosing. 

Rebecca Rivers,
owner of Northern Light Yoga

The proceeds from the fundraiser have gone to the Jules of Life Foundation for the last couple of years, a decision Rebecca appreciates. 


“I feel it’s an organization that’s doing great work,” she said. “And, I like the fact we know exactly where the money is going, that it’s staying in St. Lawrence County and benefiting people. I’m always really we are supporting Jules of Life because I feel what they do is very valuable and has very tangible results. It’s really meaningful to me.” 

 The first year of the Breath-A-Thon was met with an interest from the students to support people in the community facing cancer.  


“That was right around the time Jules of Life was getting started, so I thought the people interested in supporting cancer care in the area would find Jules of Life an excellent choice, and they were able to guarantee the money would stay in St. Lawrence County,” Rebecca said.  

JOL Co-Founder Carmen Gendebien and Rebecca Rivers

Rebecca enjoys donating to Jules of Life on behalf of the studio because she knows the money is being used to help local people, and, in doing so, feels she has some sense of the families being helped.  

“That’s one of the nice things about living in a small town is you actually know so many of your neighbors and I think knowing the money is going to people you see in a grocery story or that your kids go to school with, it feels really good to be able to do something and actually support people who are struggling,” she said. “I think that enhances the experience of caring for people in our community.” 

The fundraiser allows Rebecca’s students to not only help themselves with the breathing practice, but also give back to the community. 


“One of the reasons I started this was because I wanted my students to do more. I always wanted them to do something together as a community and have a common goal we are all working towards, so that and the idea of also being a business that gives back to the community,” she said.  

Rebecca also knows the importance of wellness, especially for cancer patients and survivors. Whether it’s using yoga to help with sleeping due to restless nights from treatment, helping keep an immune system strong, or just for maintaining a sense of wellbeing, yoga can help keep the body in sync.


It [yoga] offers a lot of special benefits for cancer survivors with feeling well and enjoying life and staying healthy.

“I think wellness is very important and there’s a lot more evidence now than we’ve ever had about the values of yoga for supportive cancer care,” Rebecca said. “Often times people who are going through something as debilitating as the typical cancer treatment can’t do much - they may go from someone who works out everyday to someone who struggles to take 10 to 15 minute walk. Yoga gives you a different way to work with your body, but without the same elevation of exertion that is sometimes not recommended when someone is already going through a pretty grueling treatment regimen. It offers a lot of special benefits for cancer survivors with feeling well and enjoying life and staying healthy.”  

To learn more about the Breathe-A-Thon or yoga classes offered at Northern Light Yoga, located at 595 Miner Street Rd. in Canton, you can contact Rebecca at or visit