NEPA Yoga Festival at Montage Mountain in Moosic makes improvements in year two
MOOSIC — As the yoga community grows in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the area’s own celebration of health and wellness moves forward into its second year.
NEPA Yoga Fest 2016 takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 4 at Montage Mountain. Festival founder Chelsea Manganaro of Nearme Yoga studios in Moosic, Peckville and Wilkes-Barre, held the inaugural networking and educational event in September last year, and she’s improved upon the formula for the sophomore effort.
“The festival from year one to year two has definitely grown in the face of the yoga community,” Manganaro said. “It was in Yoga Journal along with 33 other festivals including Wanderlust.”
Since 2009, Wanderlust festivals have been among the most high profile mindful living events worldwide.
This year’s event offers 14 classes in yoga disciplines that include vinyasa, kundalini, restorative, chakra flow, acro and yin. The day features lectures, live music by Paul Martin and Skip Monday, children’s activities, local craft vendors and healthy and vegan food options.
Vendors this year include Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, Lululemon among 18 others.
“We definitely needed more food last year,” Manganaro said. “We underestimated the number of people that would be there.”
The festival proprietor, who teaches a class this year instead of just facilitating, said food won’t be an issue as Montage will offer dining services with a full sit down lunch as well as a grab-and-go area.
Manganaro said a slight reduction in classes makes the event more manageable than its predecessor, which saw classes moved indoors because of rain.
“There will be only two areas for classes with more than enough space to accommodate everyone,” Manganaro said.
Classes in acro and aerial yoga are new additions to the styles offered last year.
“There’s also the kids area,” Manganaro said. “Last year there were set times between classes where this year there will be a lot of activities going on all day.”
This year, Montage opens its facilities to festival patrons. The water park is open from noon to 5 p.m. for an additional $10, and zip lining is available for additional cost.
Dina Stewart is a yoga teacher from Drums who teaches a vinyasa class at this year’s festival. Vinyasa, she said, helps practitioners connect breath with movement to release tension and increase flexibility.
Stewart is looking forward to seeing people come from near and far to participate.
“It exposes our area to many different teachers, studios and styles of yoga, so students can try all the different types and find the one that resonates with them the most,” she said.
Karen Hintze of Pittston teaches a hybrid style that focuses on power yoga and energy medicine for the chakras. Her style, she said, teaches students to ground themselves, getting out of their mind and into their body while building strength.
Hintze sees the benefit of a grand scale yoga event in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“I think it’s great for the community,” she said. “I’m encouraged to see (yoga) is becoming more mainstream, because I feel it’s going to promote overall health and wellness.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
What: NEPA Yoga Fest
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 4
Where: Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Rd., Scranton
More info: Tickets for Yoga Fest are $60 in advance, $69 the day of the event, $50 for students and veterans and $25 for children under 12, and they are available at nepayogafest2.eventbrite.com.