Things are going to move a lot more slowly on the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Saturday than they do on many fall weekends – deliberately, in fact.
Six top regional yoga instructors and the lululemon athletic apparel store at Walden Galleria will throw an event they hope will bring hundreds of people onto the turf for a Vinyasa flow workout.
Organizers believe it could become the largest yoga class in Western New York history.
“The instructors are all in and everybody’s been getting the word out,” said Kate Rogers, community collaborator for lululemon. “And people in the community who know about this are really excited. We keep hearing, ‘On the field at Ralph Wilson? We get to go on the field?’ It’s been a really positive response.”
Proceeds for the event – registration at bit.ly/namastadium costs $30 – will benefit the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, particularly the hospital’s meditation garden.
The hospital is scheduled to open in 2017.
“They don’t do this for everybody,” Rogers said of stadium officials who approved use of the field. “It has to be associated with some sort of charitable event.”
Rogers and Colleen Lidell, assistant manager of the Galleria store, started kicking around the idea last spring with a couple of instructors, including Steve Procknal, who teaches at Power Yoga, and came up with the name for the event: Namastadium.
Namaste, the principle of universal connectedness, means “the light in me honors the light in you,” Rogers said.
The class is suitable for those involved in all levels of yoga.
Participants can check in for the workout starting at 9:30 a.m.; the class will run from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Walk-ins are welcome, but organizers prefer registration take place online even Saturday morning.
Those who attend the class must bring their own mat and are allowed to bring a clear bottle of water.
Instructors include Catherine Cook-Cottone, who along with Procknal teaches at Power Yoga; Kathleen Engelhardt and Patrick Moltane of East Meets West; Joanne Wu, who teaches AcroYoga and traditional yoga in Rochester; and Marina Mukandala of Mind Body Flow Yoga (“She’s currently pregnant with her third baby,” Rogers said, “so she’s a trooper for coming out and doing this for us”).
All involved have volunteered their time.
“It was really easy to get all of our staff wanting to volunteer, and get all of the teachers on board,” Rogers said. “We have 25 assistants from various yoga studios between here and Rochester coming out to help. Everybody really, really wanted to be a part of it.”