GENEVA — In the past decade, yoga has surged in popularity in America. The spiritual activity aims to connect one’s mind, body and soul.
So, whether you partake in the activity often, or just appreciate the comforts of yoga pants, the inaugural Finger Lakes Yoga Conference could be for you.
Set for April 28 at The Cracker Factory in Geneva, the event will allow participants to learn from some of the best instructors in both the area and the world.
Meditation specialist Beth Lynch, former U.S. team cyclist Leslee Schenk Trzcinki, local yoga instructors Angie Malcuria-Urbano and Mia Canale, and presenter Susan James will be at the conference to share their love for the practice and promote their respective businesses and careers.
“I’m very excited to have all these people coming in and promoting their own style and take on yoga,” said event organizer Evangeline Reale Jones. “I grew up in Toronto where there was a different yoga studio around every corner, so it’s nice to see that emerging here in Geneva.”
Reale Jones, owner of Om Yoga Studios in Geneva and Waterloo, has been the driving force behind the conference and hopes it will help promote yoga in the area.
“We really want to reach out to the community for this event,” Reale Jones said. “Yoga is becoming a bigger presence here, but some people are still hesitant.”
“We want people to come out and just try it,” she added. “This is the new thing for being healthy.”
Jones values the students at her studios. She takes time to prioritize those who have suffered with trauma in the past and believes participating in yoga is extremely valuable.
“Four years ago, a lady came to me who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she had pretty poor odds,” Reale Jones said. “But she started coming to my classes and getting involved, and now she’s in remission and is eager to start teaching herself.
“It’s life changing, no matter what your age of skill level.”
The conference will feature an appearance by Sri Dharma Mittra, a well-known yoga practitioner around the world and creator of the famous Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures, a chart that hangs in yoga centers around the globe.
“Honestly, having Sri Dharma here is a dream come true,” Reale Jones said. “He really is the poster child for how to live your life, for coming from nothing and developing an amazing life for yourself.
“He’s 78 and manages to connect with so many people regardless of age, and for the Finger Lakes area to have the opportunity to listen and practice with him is amazing.”
Mittra is eager to share his passion for yoga with those who attend the conference.
“Many of my students gain heath and lose doubts,” he said. “I like to give them my enthusiasm and strength to show that we are all one.
“I want to spread good thoughts and the feeling of bliss, because those things can change the world.”