By Gabe Garcia
As part of the wellness programs to promote overall health for students and faculty, Youngstown State University held its first ever Namaste in the YO last night.
Namaste in the YO was held at the Watson and Tressel Training Site on Sunday November 13, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There was no cost to get in, but those who participated were asked to donate a nonperishable food item to go to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.
“We have over 100 participants registered,” said Jascelynn Romeo, fitness graduate assistant for Campus Recreation, “Registration was free and we asked that everyone sign up ahead of time at namaste.ticketleap.com, however anyone who came the day of the event was welcome to register at the door.”
Registration started at 6 p.m. and ended promptly at 6:30 p.m., with yoga going on from there to 7:30. The event was open to the general public in the Youngstown area, not just affiliate members of YSU.
“The goal of the event was to promote positivity throughout the University and the Mahoning Valley,” said Romeo. “We hope to do so through a free yoga class for beginners and yogis alike.”
The term ‘Namaste’ translates to mean ‘the light in me honors the light in you.’ Romeo said that herself and Megan O’Neill, another fitness graduate assistant at the campus rec, were inspired to hold Namaste in the YO after they attended a similar yoga event in Akron.
“We knew it was something we wanted to bring back to Youngstown,” Romeo said. “Since then, we’ve dreamed, planned, and worked really hard to make our vision come to life!”
The event, which was called Elevate in Akron, was first introduced back in May of 2015 and was attended by nearly one thousand yoga enthusiasts alike at Hardesty Park.
“They had a motivational speaker and people talking about the city of Akron,” said Romeo. “I think this is what ultimately confirmed our decision to bring a similar event to Youngstown. Youngstown is such a unique city full of heart, we really wanted to create an event that would celebrate the city and community.”
O’Neill said that one of the main goals of Namaste in the YO was to increase Youngstown residents self-awareness and relaxation.
“We would love to hold Namaste in the YO annually, however, we’ve talked about doing it biannually and doing an outdoor class as well but it’s all still in the works!” O’Neill said.
Kiya Blye, a freshman at YSU, said that the event was well planned and was easy enough for everyone involved.
“The actual yoga was fun, easy enough for beginners and I’m probably going to start going to the classes at the rec now because I really enjoyed it,” Blye said.
The event allowed students tos rent out yoga mats with a student I.D., had a selfie station and had vendors selling products.
“I hope that everyone felt welcome to join us,” said O’Neill. “It was a 100% judgement free practice and even if they’ve never tried yoga before. What better way to do so then through a free event surrounded by hundreds of other community members.”