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Newtown Yoga Festival Is August 23, Benefits Sandy Hook Promise

The second Newtown Yoga Festival takes place Saturday, August 23, at the NYA Sports & Fitness Center, 4 Primrose Street, at Fairfield Hills. The daylong event begins with registration at 8:30 am, followed by Gayatri Mantra and Kirta from 9 to 9:30 am. Lydia Smith and Sound Center Arts of Newtown will offer a drum circle from 9:30 to 10 am, followed by the “Yoga Buffet” from 10 am to noon.

Yoga Buffet features area teachers Barbara Templeton, Kristi Gunnershaug, Anne Pelisson, Chris Smith, and Aline Marie with a smorgasbord of Vinyasa, Power or Vinyasa Flow, Kundalini, and Gentle Yoga for yogis of all ages and levels.

Younger participants may enjoy Yoga for Kids with Karen Pierce, or Yoga for Tweens and Teens, led by Kat Barton.

Take an inner trip on the Journey Dance, led by Joanne Keane. Brian Pontolio will lead Sun Salutations.

Short practices of each yoga style will be offered on a rotating schedule during the morning, allowing participants to sample many yoga practices.

From noon to 1 pm, music by Silver Steel Pan Band can be enjoyed in the courtyard. Healthy food by Aquarian Caterers will be available, and various vendors will be selling merchandise.

From 1 to 3 pm, nationally and internationally known presenters Ray Crist, Jennifer Reis, and Tiffany Maloney will headline the afternoon’s offerings. This will be the first time presenting at the Newtown Yoga Festival for all three teachers.

Mr Crist, a shaman and yogi, will present “Conversation on Healing,” guiding participants to understand the connection between the healing arts of shamanism and yoga. A resident of the Berkshire region of Western Massachusetts, Mr Crist has been teaching yoga for 12 years, including at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and his own studio in Lenox, Mass.

“Yogis and shamans are one and the same,” Mr Crist said. “They are men and women who train in the understanding of the human energy bodies, anatomy, and human behavior,” he said. The practice or yoga is to offer its gifts in every day life, Mr Crist said. “On the mat, we clear out our meridians from traumatic memories, release tension from our nervous system, and balance the right and left hemisphere of the brain,” helping to create a “balanced and centered life acting directly from the heart,” he said.

On August 23, Mr Crist will offer a class focused on meridians and healing the body.

Ms Maloney will teach Vinyasa Flow, which Ms Maloney described as sometimes feeling like “an hourlong prayer.” The owner of LoveYoga in Beaumont, Texas, and director of teacher training, Ms Maloney has developed a 200-hour curriculum of Vinyasa Flow Yoga, as well as a workshop series, Elemental Asana, based on the Cardinal Directions.

“Yoga means union,” said Ms Maloney. “Yoga is for everyone. I will say that a very simple way to incorporate yoga into daily living in a beneficial way is simply through mindfulness. Be present in all things. When you are eating, eat. When you are driving, drive. When you are reading, read. Turn off all other distractions, despite what the world would have you do and give all of your attention to just that one thing. That is yoga. That is unification of the body/mind experience,” she explained.

“For the Newtown Yoga Festival, my class will be a moderate level Vinyasa Flow practice that is inspired by the writings of Rumi,” said Ms Maloney. “Sufi poetry is all about being in love with your life, and finding God there. It seems like finding God in tragedy may be an impossible task, but God is in all moments, even in the shadow. I want the people of Newtown to celebrate renewal of hope. I am so honored to be a part of the Newton Yoga Festival in 2014. I truly believe that this is a legacy of healing and hope,” she said.

The afternoon of yoga will conclude with Divine Sleep (Yoga Nidra), a guided meditation of rest and relaxation, facilitated by Jennifer Reis. Ms Reis is from Lenox, Mass.. and has been teaching yoga for 18 years, and practicing the art of yoga for 25 years.

“Yoga Nidra is a kind of mediation done lying down,” she said of the practice she will lead at the Newtown Yoga Festival. “It has the same benefits of mindfulness meditation, such as lowering blood pressure, regulating blood sugar levels, and staying calm,” said Ms Reis. It is a practice utilized by the Walter Reed Medical Center to treat PTSD, she said, and is becoming well known and more popular.

“You connect more deeply with your physical body and energy body [through Yoga Nidra],” Ms Reis said, tuning in to thoughts and feelings, intuition, wisdom, and joy. “There is a deeper connection with all levels of being. It’s such a powerful practice that helps integrate and balance and heal,” she said.

People love Yoga Nidra, Ms Reis added. “All you have to do is lay down, and listen.”

Music for the Newtown Yoga Festival will be provided by Sound Center Arts, One in Harmony, Crystal Cymbalogy, and Silver Steel Pan Ban, as well as that of Graylight Campfire, from 3 to 4 pm.

Reserve a place online at NewtownYogaFestival.com; $25 for adults, free for 16 years of age and under.

Proceeds from the day will benefit the community healing mission of Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization developed in the wake of the 12/14 tragedy.

Participants are asked to bring a mat.

The second Newtown Yoga Festival takes place Saturday, August 23, at the NYA Sports & Fitness Center, 4 Primrose Street, at Fairfield Hills. The daylong event begins with registration at 8:30 am, followed by Gayatri Mantra and Kirta from 9 to 9:30 am. Lydia Smith and Sound Center Arts of Newtown will offer a drum circle from 9:30 to 10 am, followed by the “Yoga Buffet” from 10 am to noon.

Yoga Buffet features area teachers Barbara Templeton, Kristi Gunnershaug, Anne Pelisson, Chris Smith, and Aline Marie with a smorgasbord of Vinyasa, Power or Vinyasa Flow, Kundalini, and Gentle Yoga for yogis of all ages and levels.

Younger participants may enjoy Yoga for Kids with Karen Pierce, or Yoga for Tweens and Teens, led by Kat Barton.

Take an inner trip on the Journey Dance, led by Joanne Keane. Brian Pontolio will lead Sun Salutations.

Short practices of each yoga style will be offered on a rotating schedule during the morning, allowing participants to sample many yoga practices.

From noon to 1 pm, music by Silver Steel Pan Band can be enjoyed in the courtyard. Healthy food by Aquarian Caterers will be available, and various vendors will be selling merchandise.

From 1 to 3 pm, nationally and internationally known presenters Ray Crist, Jennifer Reis, and Tiffany Maloney will headline the afternoon’s offerings. This will be the first time presenting at the Newtown Yoga Festival for all three teachers.

Mr Crist, a shaman and yogi, will present “Conversation on Healing,” guiding participants to understand the connection between the healing arts of shamanism and yoga. A resident of the Berkshire region of Western Massachusetts, Mr Crist has been teaching yoga for 12 years, including at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and his own studio in Lenox, Mass.

“Yogis and shamans are one and the same,” Mr Crist said. “They are men and women who train in the understanding of the human energy bodies, anatomy, and human behavior,” he said. The practice or yoga is to offer its gifts in every day life, Mr Crist said. “On the mat, we clear out our meridians from traumatic memories, release tension from our nervous system, and balance the right and left hemisphere of the brain,” helping to create a “balanced and centered life acting directly from the heart,” he said.

On August 23, Mr Crist will offer a class focused on meridians and healing the body.

Ms Maloney will teach Vinyasa Flow, which Ms Maloney described as sometimes feeling like “an hourlong prayer.” The owner of LoveYoga in Beaumont, Texas, and director of teacher training, Ms Maloney has developed a 200-hour curriculum of Vinyasa Flow Yoga, as well as a workshop series, Elemental Asana, based on the Cardinal Directions.

“Yoga means union,” said Ms Maloney. “Yoga is for everyone. I will say that a very simple way to incorporate yoga into daily living in a beneficial way is simply through mindfulness. Be present in all things. When you are eating, eat. When you are driving, drive. When you are reading, read. Turn off all other distractions, despite what the world would have you do and give all of your attention to just that one thing. That is yoga. That is unification of the body/mind experience,” she explained.

“For the Newtown Yoga Festival, my class will be a moderate level Vinyasa Flow practice that is inspired by the writings of Rumi,” said Ms Maloney. “Sufi poetry is all about being in love with your life, and finding God there. It seems like finding God in tragedy may be an impossible task, but God is in all moments, even in the shadow. I want the people of Newtown to celebrate renewal of hope. I am so honored to be a part of the Newton Yoga Festival in 2014. I truly believe that this is a legacy of healing and hope,” she said.

The afternoon of yoga will conclude with Divine Sleep (Yoga Nidra), a guided meditation of rest and relaxation, facilitated by Jennifer Reis. Ms Reis is from Lenox, Mass.. and has been teaching yoga for 18 years, and practicing the art of yoga for 25 years.

“Yoga Nidra is a kind of mediation done lying down,” she said of the practice she will lead at the Newtown Yoga Festival. “It has the same benefits of mindfulness meditation, such as lowering blood pressure, regulating blood sugar levels, and staying calm,” said Ms Reis. It is a practice utilized by the Walter Reed Medical Center to treat PTSD, she said, and is becoming well known and more popular.

“You connect more deeply with your physical body and energy body [through Yoga Nidra],” Ms Reis said, tuning in to thoughts and feelings, intuition, wisdom, and joy. “There is a deeper connection with all levels of being. It’s such a powerful practice that helps integrate and balance and heal,” she said.

People love Yoga Nidra, Ms Reis added. “All you have to do is lay down, and listen.”

Music for the Newtown Yoga Festival will be provided by Sound Center Arts, One in Harmony, Crystal Cymbalogy, and Silver Steel Pan Ban, as well as that of Graylight Campfire, from 3 to 4 pm.

Reserve a place online at NewtownYogaFestival.com; $25 for adults, free for 16 years of age and under.

Proceeds from the day will benefit the community healing mission of Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization developed in the wake of the 12/14 tragedy.

Participants are asked to bring a mat.

More stories like this: Sandy Hook Promise, Newtown Yoga Festival
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