Aaron Pappas devoted his life to helping others and always wore a smile.
Many knew of Pappas in the greater Sacramento area for his yoga classes especially Acro Yoga. The 43-year-old’s sudden death came as a shock to a community after a tragic near-drowning accident took his life Sunday.
On July 19 Pappas was found unconscious in a bath at the Asha Urban Baths, dying a few days later at UC Davis Medical Center. Asha owner Cori Martinez wrote a statement following Pappas' death:
"My heart breaks for Aaron, his family and friends, as well as the whole community he's contributed so much to. My prayers are with everyone who feels the loss of his passing."
Pappas' only sister Brenda Berry of Nevada told ABC10 her brother was practicing a breathing technique called the Wim Hoff method, which is a type of controlled hyperventilation. The technique should never be done near the water because it can be deadly, according to a website dedicated to the technique.
The Pappas' family said they hope no one else will go through this type of pain. They ask anyone that practices this to never do it near water.
When Brenda Berry thinks of her brother, she said he will be remembered as someone that was "full of love for everyone that walked into his life.”
Berry said her brother had a rough time in his early adult years, but in the 90s found yoga, sparking his calling to help people he encountered achieve wellness, through his practice. He also did Thai massage and therapy. Because of his early struggles, Aaron also taught yoga to people in recovery for addiction.
The Pappas family said they invite anyone that knew Aaron to his memorial service on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H Street, in Sacramento.
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