by Jerry Jefferson
Swaying palm trees, boats traveling the intercostal waterway, soft green grass covered with graceful bodies in Triangle Pose. West Palm Beach Yoga Day once again beckons the citizens of south Florida to downtown West Palm Beach for a family day filled with clean, healthy fun for free. Each year, certified yoga instructors from as far away as Arizona take to the Meyer Amphitheatre’s sculptured lawn and beautiful landscaping to offer the community various styles of yoga. “We gear the event to the inexperienced,” says Therese Abair, the event’s organizer and co-founder. “We want to introduce newcomers to the diversity and health benefits of yoga.”
For the last 5 years Living Fit Today and the yoga studios of Palm Beach County have opened their doors to those that wish to learn more about yoga. Bringing several yoga studios and teachers together in one place, West Palm Beach Yoga Day offers the community a stress free and inexpensive way to explore yoga. Rather than buying gas and driving around town from studio to studio to ask questions; just park your car in the city’s parking lot, come out to the grass and try yoga for free. Get your questions answered by the various studios represented. No entrance fee and no charge for classes. It is a communal gift from the organizers with many facets of which relief from economic stress is just one. This event invites the community to join together and to be healthier. Through classes from kid’s yoga to partner to flow to balance, Yoga Day is a place where family members and friends of all ages can bond with the community while learning stress free living, health consciousness, and healthy eating.
If taking group classes is not your thing, Yoga Day is also a place were you can just sit on the grass, enjoy the weather, watch others, or if you chose, shop. In addition to the 14 yoga classes and 7 educational classes, this event pleasantly offers those new to yoga much much more. With a quick visit to the Yoga Marketplace, you may purchase the perfect yoga outfit, enjoy a healthy snack while gazing up at the trees, relax for a free massage as an instructor serenades a beginner’s yoga class in the distance, leisurely consult with an experienced yoga instructor about your specific needs, experience a free acupuncture session, or just sit on the grass, commune with nature, and find a like minded explorer with which to strike a conversation. Individually, Yoga Day is inherently relaxing. Communally, Yoga Day is unifying.
What started out as a lunch conversation between friends has turned into Florida’s largest free outdoor yoga event- West Palm Beach Yoga Day. From a meager beginning in 2007, with 125 in attendance and the positive feedback gave us the incentive to bring it back year after year. Since that first year, this event has grown from a 4 hour event with 5 teachers to an event with more variety than ever before. In 2012 we will be celebrating our 6th straight year and expect over 1500 participants!
The event takes place on three different settings. You’ll have a choice of enjoying your yoga on the main area, on our popular, intimate east berm overlooking the beautiful intercoastal waterfront or enjoy the seminars on the west berm. A full day of yoga taught by some of the most experienced instructors in the community who are known both nationally and internationally. The day also includes a few musical performances sprinkled throughout the day.
The mission of West Palm Beach Yoga Day is to 1) raise awareness of Yoga and its benefits to individuals 2) provide those new to yoga a non-threatening environment to try yoga 3) remain free for the community. So far we have been very successful in meeting our mission. On average, 13% of the attendees are new to yoga. Several have contacted us to let us know that their exposure to yoga at Yoga Day has changed their life. Ever year we rekindle friendships made from previous years and so blessed create new ones each year.
The 6th West Palm Beach Yoga Day is scheduled for Saturday, January 21, 2012 anticipating over 1500 participants throughout the day, taking in 21 sessions over three stages along the beautiful West Palm Beach Waterfront.
We invite you to join us. We have space for you and your mat. January is a perfect time to visit Florida and enjoy yoga, the outdoors and a great community of folks. Event information can be found at: YogaDay.LivingFitToday.com
Jerry Jefferson is a certified and registered Yoga Alliance yoga teacher (RYT500), group exercise fitness instructor, personal trainer, and Pilates Mat certified instructor. He is the co-founder of Living Fit Today and the West Palm Beach Yoga Day, Florida’s largest free outdoor yoga event. Jerry uses light-hearted humor to entice his students to stay present in class and to leave their egos at the door. In Jerry’s class you can expect an intelligent sequence of poses that emphasizes alignment and breathing. This January he will be one of the featured teachers sharing his yoga with the community.