Festival Spotlight: Catskills Mountain Yoga Festival
What inspired you to create a festival?
Several years ago Northface reached out to me to see if I would host a yoga retreat at Plattekill, for their employees. I was so excited. In the end, the weather turned bad and the company canceled their retreat. I was disappointed, but it gave me the idea to start offering special “Yoga on the Mountain “ classes in the summertime. People would get to ride the lift to the deck at the top of the mountain and I would lead yoga classes there.
Soon after that, I had people contacting me about bachelorette parties and morning yoga before their weddings. It was pretty cool and I thought, hmm…I’ve got something special here! Then I got thinking about all the amazing yoga instructors right here in upstate NY. We are so lucky to have so many amazing teachers here and people were loving the yoga on the mountain classes. My classes always sold out
Another part of this story includes my past as a yoga, dance and fitness instructor.I own The Cardio Club and Delhi Dance Studio. For a decade I would go to these large dance and fitness conventions in NYC or Philadelphia. I loved them and I would take classes all day! It was a dream come true! I thought that someday I would like to create something like this for my community.
I also do a lot of fundraising and events for my community. I am the chairperson for the Delhi Children’s Christmas Fund, I was the founder and president of the Catskill Ladies Association to support and inspire for ten years, the president of the Greater Delhi Area Chamber of commerce for four years and one of the founding members and President of the Delaware Academy PTA. Through these organizations I have gained knowledge and strength in event planning. I love working with my community, bringing joy to people and connecting people too! This helped me find my way as a festival coordinator.
Long story short, after the yoga on the mountain classes were such a big hit, I decided to take a leap of faith and host a yoga festival at Plattekill mountain. The first festival was scheduled for July 2020, then rescheduled for September 2020 when Covid hit. Of course, the September event never happened either. It was the height of covid and people were afraid to gather! we had to cancel the event for 2020, which was pretty devastating, but we bounced back and brought on the fun in July 202, the event was a success! Everyone loved it!! We grew and were even better in 2022 and plan to be the best fest yet in 2023! All of our Catskill Yoga Fest community love us as much as we love them! They keep bringing back more friends and family to join in the fun! We hope that rings true for 2023 too!!
What makes your festival unique?
We bring together instructors from all over the country, but many of these amazing folks reside right in New York State! There were so many amazing instructors in the area. I knew I had to bring them together! Another highlight of the fest is its location. It is located at Plattekill Mountain Ski Center. There is a deck at the mountaintop, which is a special place to practice yoga! It is a humbling experience. Participants ride the lift up to the top and get to practice in the clouds! We have classes for every BODY! Everything from restorative yoga, to focus on inversions, aerial yoga, yoga trapeze and everything in between! We have a hike led by the president of the Catskill Mountain Club, an amazing vendor village, awesome workshops, practitioners and plant walks too!
What offering/presenter or class are you most excited about for this year’s event?
It is hard to highlight just one! All the instructors are unique and bring something very special to the fest! We could not do it without them! Kelly Kamm, a world renowned Yogi, will be headlining the fest with her Mythical Vinyasa and fun, quirky style!