The second occurrence of the Up North Yoga Conference took place last Saturday, October 24 and again filled the CFES conference space with attendees from near and far. If you wondered why the streets of Essex were packed with cars, that’s why!
I stopped by during the lunch break and had the chance to speak with several participants about the event. The lunch was catered by Green Goddess of Lake Placid, and everyone I spoke with praised the food, but of course the main topic of conversation was yoga. Though I did hear some compliments about the town and community as well. One woman mentioned stopping by Renew and other shops after lunch as she found some great items during her visit last year. It was great to hear that the conference attracted visitors who supported local businesses.
Several people informed me that they had attended the inaugural event last October and returned for the second year, some with friends. When asked if this year was better than the previous, all who replied had nothing negative to say about either event. If anything, the comparison was minimal as everyone agreed that both years have consistently provided quality instructors, interesting sessions that taught new/different forms of yoga and related practices, and had good energy that created a relaxing and energizing atmosphere.
One young woman mentioned that the draw for many to attend the UNYC was the chance to learn from a diverse group of instructors with different styles and specialties. She also enjoyed the opportunity to get together with so many others — men & women with different body types — all practicing yoga together.
The 67 participants at the conference enjoyed sessions throughout the day that featured different forms of yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, breathing exercises, and more. The evening ended jubilantly at the Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness studio with dancing and drumming.
Thank you Michelle Maron and congratulations on the success of gathering such a wonderful group of individuals for such a magnificent day of yoga at the second UNYC! There were sooooooooo many smiling faces. At the end of they day everyone was blessed by the experience that you envisioned and brought into manifestation so beautifully! – Michael Fergot, UNYC Presenter
Conference Attracts Diverse Attendees
One woman told me she and her mother arranged this trip as their “girl’s day out.” I heard about a variety of places attendees mentioned that they traveled from to get to the conference, even one from New Hampshire! I did know some people attending, but it appeared that the larger percentage of people at the conference were not local to the immediate area.
I spoke with event organizer, Michelle Maron of LCY&W who said that she did not recognize over half the participants, and she believed that one factor drawing attendees from further away may have been due to the guest instructors encouraging visitors to attend from their own regions. Michelle shared with me the list of places that attendees called home, which to name a few were: New York City, Plattsburgh, Saratoga Springs, Keene, Keene Valley, Jay, Upper Jay, Peru, Port Henry, Essex, Elizabethtown, Willsboro, Westport, and Vermont.
In addition to the knowledge of the event being distributed widely, it also apparently filled up very fast as one woman explained to me that her friend tried to sign up in advance and was unable to join because the capacity of the conference center had already been met. Proving the UNYC’s growing popularity!
Next Year: Two Days, Two Identical Sessions?
I later spoke with Michelle who confirmed that the event did fill up fast, which inspired the possibility of making this a full weekend event in the future with identical schedules each day. This would permit interested parties to sign up for the second session if they couldn’t fit into the one on the first day. Overall, it would allow more people to enjoy the conference as a larger number of individuals could attend if there were a second day. This idea is under consideration for next year.
You may remember the discussion after last year’s UNYC that this year could have been a two-day yoga conference where attendees would stay overnight and enjoy different activities the second day, however, this idea was unable to come to fruition because of the lack of overnight accommodations needed for the over 60 people involved with the conference. How do we get more affordable overnight housing so we can grow these kind of events? This is one question that needs to be considered by the community, and one I believe local groups like Essex Initiatives are aware of. Perhaps the ongoing ROOST regional development plan will offer some solutions?
Michelle also wanted to share her gratitude for the supporters of the Up North Yoga Conference:
An enormous thank you to the Champlain Valley and Adirondack Mountain communities and our generous sponsors who came together to make this second UNYC such a success and especially Rick and Karen Dalton and the following:
- College For Every Student
- Hall Design Group
- The Essex Inn
- Benchmark Studio
- Blue Turtle Healing
- Deep Roots Massage
- Elaine Miller
- Erin C. Hall Studio
- Essex Ice Cream Cafe
- Green Goddess Foods
- Gwen Jamison
- Juniper Hill Farm
- Pink Pig
- Mountain Tomboy Bakery
- Namaste Bed and Breakfast
- SubAlpine Coffee
- Tanglewood Farm
- Taproot Apothecary
- True North Yoga
- ZVD Photography
To see more photos from the conference click here.
- Essex Yoga Conference Featured in Press Republican (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Up North Yoga Conference In Essex A Success (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- LCY&W Featured in STRICTLY FOOD FOR THOUGHT (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)