by CASSIE MCINTYRE
West Hartford Yoga (WHY) is bringing yoga to the streets Saturday, July 21 at 8 a.m. for its annual OM Street: Yoga on the Street.
People of all ages and abilities gather every year, on Lasalle in West Hartford, to participate in a free outdoor yoga class lead by studio owner, Barbara Ruzansky. The free outdoor yoga class shuts down the whole city block so people can come lay down their mats to start off their day with an all levels class, live music, and the experience of what is known as perhaps the biggest yoga event this side of Connecticut.
If you were ever hesitant about trying yoga this is your chance to be a part of an “om-azing” class right here in WeHa. I can’t stress enough that yoga is for everybody and every body. People of all shapes and sizes, levels and abilities, and races get to come together to share their practice with one another. It’s really refreshing to see so many people gather together for this event. Studios from around the state come not only to participate but also connect with the community so it’s a great way to find a studio close to you should you want to start taking classes closer to home.
There are plenty of teachers who volunteer to walk the crowd, adjust positions, and help with demonstrations if you are a first-time yoga goer. My advice is to bring a friend with you because it’s much more fun when you’re with someone you know. Don’t be nervous if you can’t find anyone to go with you. All the yogis who attend are super friendly so it’s a great place to meet new people and make new friends. I see a lot of the same yogis every year so I know if you come you’ll meet some wonderful people and have a great time.
I recommend bringing a mat, a towel, a water bottle, and some money in case you’d like to purchase anything from one of the booths set up along the sidewalks. A lot of the local studios have their booths set up with class schedules and sometimes free class passes. I also recommend if you don’t want to participate in the class on the street that you still come to watch. It’s a great opportunity to come witness the impact WHY brings to the community and to the people from around the state. The vibe from the street really sets you up for a positive day and can bring a new perspective to your practice. After the class the West Hartford Farmers’ Market is set up down the street (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) so I recommend bringing some reusable bags should you want to get any fresh produce or treats afterwards.
More than 2,220 people came to OM Street last year and I hope to see some more familiar faces this time around. Should you need any more information feel free to check the West Hartford Yoga Facebook page or call the studio. I hope I see you on the street.
Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional coach at The Edge Fitness in Bristol.