Lifestyle

‘Om Street’ Draws Record Crowd of Yogis to West Hartford

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton
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The sixth annual ‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle’ outdoor yoga practice was held Saturday, July 23, 2016, in West Hartford Center.

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

The sun was shining brightly and with temperatures already in the 80s, the practice automatically became “hot yoga” for the thousands who gathered on LaSalle Road Saturday morning for the annual outdoor yoga practice sponsored by West Hartford Yoga.

LaSalle Road was closed to traffic from Farmington Avenue south to Arapahoe, and yoga mats filled the space – and then some. Some latecomers placed their mats just outside the boundaries at the Arapahoe intersection, or set up on the sidewalk.

West Hartford Yoga owner Barbara Ruzansky estimated that close to 2,200 yogis attended the practice, up from 1,800 last year.

“Practicing in large groups, people feel grounded, feel together,” she said. The event gets better every year because more people, studios, and yoga communities participate. “People who don’t do yoga on a regular basis come and put mats down,” she said.

It’s so positive, she said, especially with all of the anguish going on in the world. “The vibe is so happy. People will feel that for the whole day, and the energy will stay with them,” Ruzansky said.

Ruzansky led the 75-minute all-level practice, with assistance from dozens of other yoga studios and gyms from all throughout the state. Instructors helped with demonstrations, and walked through the crowd gently correcting positions.

Kindness, compassion, and peace was the message Ruzansky stressed, asking yogis as the practice began to have that awareness in their lives and to consider “who we are and how we affect the lives of others.”

The mood was peaceful throughout, with DidgeDrum providing live music on drums, gongs, and the didgeridoo to set the tone. The only exception was an exercise where Ruzansky led participants in a shout to eliminate stress and anger.

The practice ended with a “Metta,” a loving kindness meditation – the yogis in Lotus Pose, also known as Padmasana, with their eyes closed.

Ruzansky ask everyone to think to themselves: “May I be filled with kindness. May I be peaceful and at ease. May I be safe.” Then she said to offer those thoughts silently to a loved one, and to someone who may be struggling: “May you be filled with kindness. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be safe.”

Finally, Ruzansky said, “Let us extend this meditation out into the world. May all beings be filled with kindness. May all beings be peaceful and at ease. May all being be safe.”

LaSalle Road seemed to vibrate, as all chanted three “Om’s” in unison.

“Namaste,” said Ruzansky. “Namaste,” answered the crowd.

“Wow, how great was that. And we’re the town that has this,” West Hartford resident Cynthia Retallick said after the practice.

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'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

'Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle." West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle.” West Hartford, CT. July 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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