Newtown Yoga Festival: Well-being, Health and Community
Now in its sixth year, the Newtown Yoga Festival has partnered with The Avielle Foundation, a Newtown-based nonprofit that works to prevent violence and build compassion through brain science research, community engagement and education. The annual festival will take place on August 25 from 9am to 4pm at NYA Sports & Fitness in Newtown. World renowned researcher and author Dr. Bessel van der Kolk will be a guest speaker while featured headliners this year are Ray Crist, Kathryn Templeton, David Schouela and Tao Porchon-Lynch.
Some might wonder why a violence prevention organization is having a yoga fest? “Yoga helps regulate emotional and physiological states. It allows the body to regain its natural movement and teaches the use of breath for self-regulation. Yoga teaches us that there are things we can do to change our brainstem arousal system, our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and to quiet the brain,” says van der Kolk, the author of The Body Keeps the Score and a board member at The Avielle Foundation.
The Newtown Yoga Festival team was formed as a holistic solution for the community to join together through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga. It is also how they choose to honor lives lost, celebrate the strength and resilience that is human nature, and release the tensions and anxieties that accumulate in our bodies as a result of trauma. The festival offers a day of community, yoga movement, music, mindfulness and local wellness vendors.
The Avielle Foundation was started by the parents of Avielle Richman, one of the 20 first graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.