West Hartford’s LaSalle Road was closed to traffic Saturday morning for the eighth annual ‘Om Street’ yoga event.
By Ryley McGinnis
The street was covered in blue, red, floral, and other assorted combinations as 3,000 yogis from across the state laid out their yoga mats in West Hartford Center for the eighth annual Om Street yoga event.
Om Street is organized every year by West Hartford Yoga with support this year from more than 40 other yoga studios across the state. The list seemed endless in the opening remarks as the names of the participating studios was read to the crowd. Cheers erupted from different corners of the street as people showed support for their studio.
The event grew from about 2,500 last year to 3,000, and Andrea Miller, the manager of West Hartford Yoga, told we-ha.com that they just may need a bigger street next year.
“This event is a way to bring all the yogis together for one set and to connect with each other while sharing our love of yoga,” said Miller. She said her favorite part of the event each year is getting there early in the morning when the street is empty and watching the space fill up with people.
“[Om Street] is an opportunity for friends to connect,” said Miller. “There’s an energy to it.”
One of the participants, Felicia Jordan, who has attended Om Street for the past three years, also saw the event as a chance to reconnect with old friends. “We’re all connected on social media and what not, but here you can actually see people you haven’t seen in a while,” said Jordan.
Jordan’s business, Live Like a Lotus, focuses on teaching young kids about yoga by going to schools and offering custom sessions. “At that age [2-7 years-old] kids don’t get a lot of exposure to yoga.” However, Jordan loves Om Street because it gives her time to herself. “I have three girls, so it’s a little sliver of me time,” said Jordan. She said she will definitely keep attending Om Street in the years to come.
The session began at 8 a.m. with everyone closing their eyes as Barbara Ruzansky, the owner of West Hartford Yoga, led the 75-minute practice. You could hear the crowd inhaling and exhaling in unison as they stretched and moved between poses.
Besides the breathing, the only other thing you could hear were the drums in the background.
As the practice came to an end, all chanted “Om” three times in a row.
“Namaste,” the crowd said in unison as the practice ended and everyone went on with their Saturday, relaxed and reinvigorted.
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