GLENS FALLS — More than 100 yogis gathered in downtown Glens Falls Sunday morning for Yoga on Glen Street, the second annual United Way benefit hosted by local yoga studio owner Kayla Sehlmeyer.
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Sehlmeyer said this is the second year she has donated the benefits to the United Way and she hopes this kind of event can help build a stronger sense of community in everyone involved.
“I want to give back to the community that directly supports us,” Sehlmeyer said. “United Way is one of those communities and they have a larger touch on the area so we could make sure we’re getting to as many people as possible.”
Attendance has been consistent since its first year, according to Sehlmeyer and she said leading such a large group in the outdoors is a much different setting than what she’s used to.
“You connect with nature, you’re outside, you have all the elements and you’re also set up for more distractions,” Sehlmeyer said. “It really allows you to work on going inward even more so than among all the distractions we deal with on a day-to-day basis.”
Executive Director of the Tri-County United Way Duane Vaughn said he and Sehlmeyer have been friends for several years and she reached out looking for a way to get involved. He said she came up with the idea and has organized it on her own each year.
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Vaughn said the United Way is based on three pillars: Health, education and financial stability for the community. He said the yoga event was an example of the kinds of events the United Way wants to move to because of its accessibility.
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“It’s great that it supports us as we’re starting towards events that are more inclusive to everybody and inexpensive so we can have a greater impact on more people,” Vaughn said.
Sehlmeyer said she was focused on creating an inclusive environment as well through offering a session that was approachable for all skill levels. She said her lesson on the day was breath focused rather than physically rigorous so as wide an audience as possible would feel welcome.
Sehlmeyer said she plans to keep the event going indefinitely and hopes to keep it on the first Sunday in June.