Concert Venue Turns Yoga Studio For CW Fundraiser

After being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in May, local DJ/writer/marketing specialist Christa Wittmier adopted a holistic treatment approach, and along the way, she has discovered that she loves yoga. And on Oct. 20, the feeling is mutual with the Yoga Loves CW! fund-raiser at The Republik to help Wittmier pay for her ongoing medical bills.

That evening, The Republik transforms from a concert venue to a yoga studio, with a class being led by Vayu Aerial Yoga founder and Lululemon ambassador Jesa Simpkins — who has served as Wittmier’s personal yoga instructor the last few months.

“After Christa was diagnosed, I said, ‘Hey, you should come start doing yoga with me, it would be good for you,'” explains The Republik’s Flash Hansen, a longtime friend of Wittmier. “We have done it close to every Monday since.

One of the photos from All My Heart Events' recent photo shoot with Wittmier JULIE ANN CALL PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO

One of the photos from All My Heart Events’ recent photo shoot with Wittmier JULIE ANN CALL PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO

“I think it is probably something that she is going to continue after she gets better,” Hansen says, “so I just feel like this (fundraiser) is something that is in line with what is going on with her now and moving forward.”

Wittmier will be right there yoga-posing alongside everyone else, but she’s also crafting a pre-recorded playlist for the class that will include “everything from Tibetan singing bowls to ambient binaural healing music.”

“Doing (yoga) privately with Jesa and Flash has been one of the greatest gifts anyone has donated since my diagnosis,” Wittmier writes in a recent email. “That was already such a blessing to me, so when they told me they were doing this for me, I’m sure you can picture my reaction (a lot of screaming and happiness).”

Last month, Wittmier announced via her blog ( that her most recent scans came back clear, in a post titled “CW Killed Cancer.” But there still is a ways to go. Wittmier has to finish chemotherapy as prescribed — and before she can undergo her final rounds, she has to heal from an infection. Then, she has additional surgeries and other treatments that will last for at least two more years.

“With metastatic (stage 4) breast cancer, there is never really going to be a point where I’m completely ‘cured,'” Wittmier says. “And it’s a bit freaky because if it does come back, it will be very aggressive, and harder to treat. I need to focus on it NEVER coming back!”

Yoga is one of a number of healing methods that she has incorporated into her lifestyle — she’s also adopted a strict healthy diet, started meditating and more. (She details her journey in a guide that’s aimed at those newly diagnosed with cancer — you can find the link in a post on her website from Oct. 3.) Hansen is excited that Yoga Loves CW! will be a way to connect people who might know Wittmier in other contexts to her new lifestyle.

“It will just be fun for all of us to do something that is more with the healthy side of her lifestyle, especially now,” Hansen says. “And it will be a fun way for all of us to get together and do something that is healthy — and also will help Christa at the same time.”

If you can’t make the event, there still are other ways to contribute. Last week, Wittmier participated in a photo shoot with event-planning company All My Heart Events that was meant to represent her battle against cancer. The photos, by Julie Ann Call Photography, are on display during Zombie Crawl Hawaii, a pub crawl that takes place at venues throughout Chinatown Oct. 17 and is donating a portion of proceeds to Wittmier and Nextdoor owner Daniel Gray, who also is battling cancer.

Flash Hansen and Christa Wittmier PHOTO COURTESY OF FLASH HANSEN

Flash Hansen and Christa Wittmier PHOTO COURTESY OF FLASH HANSEN

And speaking of Nextdoor, the club will host a fundraiser for Wittmier on Nov. 27 featuring DJs, auctions and raffle prizes — as well as a screening of all of Wittmier’s Snapchat stories that she’s saved since her diagnosis.

“I’m really excited for that one — especially because it’s at Daniel Gray’s bar, so we are going to be able to help him raise some money as well,” Wittmier says.

Plus, you still can donate money at

Yoga Loves CW! is an 18 and over event. Tickets are available at the door for $25. Doors open at 5 p.m., with happy hour specials running from 5 until 9, including $2 off the kitchen menu, $3 cocktails, $5 drafts and $5 Bacardi. Yoga runs from 6 to 7:15, and there is no admission charge after the class. During the event, #CWSTRONG T-shirts will be available for purchase, with all proceeds going to Wittmier.