On October 25, 2014, the Up North Yoga Conference (UNYC) took place in Essex, NY. I’m sure if you traveled through the village that day you noticed the surplus of cars parked in town. What a great sight to see in fall! About sixty people attended the event that brought together seven instructors from around the North Country.
I overheard one woman mention she traveled from New Hampshire just to attend this conference—it brought attendees from near and far to Essex. I ate lunch with someone who told me she had only been to Essex to use the ferry before and this was her first time inside any buildings or really looking around…and I’m sure that was the case for more than one person! Now with two wellness centers in town—NEW Health and Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness—Essex is becoming a health & wellness destination.
This was the first time I had seen the new CFES Conference Center where much of the UNYC took place, which one could tell at a glance with the myriad of different colored yoga mats spread across the floor—the soft carpet, high ceiling, and large windows made it a lovely space for yoga. It turned out to be a wonderfully sunny day, and much natural light shined in through the wall of windows.
I heard many compliments about Essex being a beautiful town throughout the day. The Essex Inn where lunch was served was also repeatedly complimented regarding both the decor and the food. Everyone enjoyed a wonderful meal there. Not only was the presentation of the food on the plate beautiful but it perfectly balanced flavors: a mix of hearty veggies (those of us at the table tried to identify them and came up with: parsnip, carrot, butternut squash?, pumpkin?, and sweet potato or delicata squash?) covered with a smooth white sauce, a Quinoa and lentil side dish, and some acidic salad greens.
I stayed for Carmen Maron Walker’s lecture after lunch. She discussed the basics of Ayurveda, which is a sister-science of yoga from India. It reminded me a bit of some ancient Chinese medicine I have heard of—which is not a surprise since India and China have long histories and their proximity ensured some exchange of ideas—although Ayurveda is a medicinal practice all its own.
Just a quick summary of Ayurveda basics: Base elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) have an impact on the body. Everyone has a constitution balanced by those elements (Doshas known as Vata aka air, Pitta aka fire, and Kapha aka earth) and when there are imbalances that leads to problems (health and psychological), and so they must be re-balanced for healthy living. They can balanced through daily routines, food, exercise (yoga), and home remedies. To learn more keep an ear out for future workshops by Carmen.
Along with lectures like this there were several active classes throughout the day where the participants practiced different forms of yoga together, and the day ended with a party at Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness.
Here is a final thank you from Michelle:
Thank you to all 60 Yogi’s who came from upstate, downstate, Vermont, New Hampshire, and NYC for the first amazing, sold out Up North Yoga Conference yesterday in Essex, NY. Thank you, thank you Robin Shaver, Justin Wolfer, Debbie Philp, Carmen Maron Walker, Lynda Garrand, & Patrick Siler. A group of beautiful, energized attendees and presenters! Thank you to our sponsors – PrAna, CFES, The Essex Inn, Dogwood Bread Company & The Sugar House Creamery!
We look forward to seeing you next year for a two day event. ~Michelle Maron of Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness
Quotes Celebrating Up North Yoga Conference
Here are some quotes from participants at the event that were shared with me:
“Congratulations on being sold out and successful! Conferences and workshops like yours are perfect ways to extend the season.”
“Thanks to you and Robin for creating a beautiful day to connect with other yogis! Thank you for providing an energizing and awesome conference. The perfect time of year! Great balance of presenters and flow of the day! It was wonderful and inspiring! Your are always amazing me with your visions for the North Country! It was great to have so many people swarming the streets of Essex! Please pass along my gratitude to all! The whole thing had a great breathing quality!”
“A truly wonderful day yesterday at the first ever, Up North Yoga Conference in Essex, NY. Yoga practice, knowledge shared, great food, drumming and dancing…perfect!”
“Spent an A. MAZE. ING. day with 59 other North Country yogis at the Up North Yoga Conference. Bunches of yoga, delicious food and drumming til my finger turned purple. Just about perfect! About perfect!”
“You did a wonderful thing in organizing this day. It was absolutely lovely!!! I’m so glad that I participated. I’m so glad to be one of your students.”
“Yesterday was absolutely perfect…thank YOU for all of your hard work!! I imagine all were equally as thrilled with the events of the day and are already looking forward to next year!”
“So damn good. Well done! Thank you!”
“I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for putting together such an amazing conference! It was well thought out, flawlessly executed, and just plain amazing! 🙂 It’s so nice to see a community come together like that. I feel truly blessed and privileged to have been a part of it, and thank you so much for allowing me that opportunity. It was really amazing to share my passion for Kundalini Yoga with so many people.”
“Up North Yoga Conference was awesome. Great energy. We did drumming, dancing, great wine and yummy local cheese. Thank you Michelle and Robin for making this happen. I added a picture of the boat house where I had cool memories.”
“That you so much for all your hard work and a beautiful experience!”
- Up North Yoga Conference (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Only 20 Spaces Left for Up North Yoga Conference Oct. 25 – Register Soon! (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- CATS’ Grand Hike A Great Success (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- CFES Boardroom Named in Honor of Lawson and Clint Allen (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)