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Yoga Festival Attracts 150 Attendees For Mind-Body Discipline



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About 150 participants or “yogis” attended the Second Annual Newtown Yoga Festival on Saturday, August 23, at Newtown Youth Academy Sports & Fitness Center at Fairfield Hills.

The participants sampled various versions of yoga.

Area teachers who participated included Barbara Templeton, Kristi Gunnershaug, Anne Pelisson, Chris Smith, Aline Marie, Lydia Smith, Karen Pierce, Kat Barton, Joanne Keane, and Brian Pontolilo.

Internationally known teachers Ray Crist, Jennifer Reis, and Tiffany Maloney also provided instruction.

Suzy DeYoung and Jennifer Smith Bassett were the co-chairs of the event.

In a statement, Ms DeYoung termed the event “a festive and delightful day of music, movement, and mingling thanks to the coming together of a dedicated group of people.”

Organizers held the festival to benefit Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit, charitable group that formed after the 12/14 tragedy at Sandy Hook School. The festival’s goal was to foster a positive sense of community and healing in Newtown.

Besides instruction by yoga teachers, the event also featured local health and wellness vendors, live music, and children’s activities, including children’s yoga.

According to Sandy Hook Promise, yoga is a tool that can heal the spirit, body, and mind and is effective in reducing stress and depression.

Yoga is a healing mechanism that creates strength and harmony in the mind and body, it adds.

Yoga teaches its adherents to cope with physical and emotional stress through spiritual well-being, according to the group.

Yoga instructor Chris Smith, center, presides during a session of Kundalini yoga at the Newtown Yoga Festival. The meditative Kundalini yoga seeks to energize and revitalize the body. 
The Second Annual Newtown Yoga Festival held at NYA Sports & Fitness Center at Fairfield Hills on Saturday, August 23, attracted about 150 participants for a day of physical, mental, and spiritual discipline. Those seated in the foreground are practicing Kundalini yoga.  
Under the guidance of yoga instructor Brian Pontolilo, third from left, a group of yoga participants demonstrates the chair pose. The instructional session was one of many held at the Newtown Yoga Festival. 
Yoga instructor Aline Marie demonstrates an alternate tree pose, a posture which requires discipline, flexibility, and poise to achieve and maintain.  
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