Jennifer Ford, Anne Desmond, Courtney McDowell

The New York who’s who came out to support yoga in public schools when fashion designers, artists, and wellness & yoga gurus showed their support for Bent on Learning at their annual Spring Fling benefit, held this year at the trendy restaurant, Indochine.

A unique program, Bent on Learning has brought yoga to urban youth since 2001, not after-school, but right in their classrooms. The program’s aim is to help students build their self esteem, release stress, and calm their emotions.

Gabrielle Bernstein and friends photo by Ines Davrainville

Guests included Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Julie Henderson, fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra, fitness guru David Barton, Fit Flop’s Brett Hoebel, jewelry designer Landon Slane, gallerist James Danziger, philanthropists Di Mondo and Dana Auslander, socialite Gillian Miniter, and renowned yoga teachers Barbara Verrochi and Kristin McGee, among others.

Julie Henderson  Di Mondo, Melanie Lazenby  Bibhu Mohapatra

The highlight of the evening were the jams by DJ Fulano, the music afficionado and 9-year-old son of host Lathan Thomas. Yogis and their patrons jammed to Kanye West and other Top 40 juggernauts while sipping on mojitos and blood orange cosmopolitans and enjoyed Indochine’s famous summer rolls, crab cakes, and seared tuna.

Bent on Learning photo by Ines Davrainville (20)  Bent on Learning photo by Ines Davrainville (19)

A unique auction of Art on Yoga Mats took place. Fourteen yoga mats donated by renowned artists Agnes Barley, Autumn DeForest, Chris Bucklow, EJ Camp, Jessica Lichtenstein, Karen Knorr, Jonny Detiger, Margaret Garrett, Michael Scott, Nigel Barker, Roberto Dutesco, Stephanie Hirsch, Susan Derges and Steve Miller were auctioned off. Dutesco’s beautiful mat on which he screened his “Horses of Sable Island” photograph garnered the biggest bid at $1,500.

The event concluded with words and dance moves of thanks by its founders Anne Desmond, Courtney McDowell and Jennifer Ford who closed out the night as DJ Fulano helped the crowd dance the night away.

Bent on Learning photo by Ines Davrainville (11)  Bent on Learning photo by Ines Davrainville (21)

– Darrel Holnes

Photos by Ines Davrainville