Yoga sessions help bring community together, raise funds for local nonprofits

Photos by Cydney McFarland

The Phoenix chapter of Yoga Rocks the Park draws hundreds of people every Sunday to participate in public yoga classes led by prominent yoga instructors from the Valley.

The first event on March 25 had more than 250 people, said Kristina Krump, Yoga Rocks the Park Phoenix event director.

“It far exceeded my expectations,” she said.

The event switches locations between Steele Indian School and Margaret T. Hance parks and runs through May 6 for $10 per person or $5 per person with early online registration.

All proceeds from the yoga class are donated to six local nonprofits, including The Real Gift Foundation, Krump said.

The Real Gift Foundation fed 22,000 homeless children, built playgrounds for cities in need, and filled 5,000 backpacks last year for children who couldn’t afford school supplies, said Connie Rogers, spokeswoman for The Real Gift Foundation.

“We want to create an opportunity for people to come together with the community and also
give back,” said Krump.

Yoga Rocks the Park includes other activities such as booths, vendors, music and even a children’s program called Camp Yoga Rocks.

The environment was peaceful and the experience was unique in its mix of people, said Jessica Packard, 27, who has attended two yoga events in the past.

“Having everyone come together from all over the state is just such an amazing experience,” Packard said.

The event originally started in Denver and has since branched out to other cities including Cleveland, Boulder, Milwaukee and Omaha. This is the first year Yoga Rocks the Park has come to Phoenix.

The Phoenix event is sponsored by various organizations including Jamba Juice and Smart Water, but the City of Phoenix is the biggest sponsor, allowing the event to use Steele Indian School and Margaret T. Hance parks.

“It’s very spiritual,” first-timer Adelina Lee, 39, said. “There’s nothing like doing yoga outside with all my friends along with the community.”

The next session on April 22 will be held at Margaret T. Hance Park and led by Patricia Tran Van and Rosa Rendon.

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