Yoga for Everyone: Monumental Yoga Returns for 7th Year
May 03, 2019 08:35AM
By Jenn Willhite
Indiana yogis are gearing up for the return of Monumental Yoga on June 21.
During this year’s summer solstice, thousands of yogis and healthy lifestyle enthusiasts will gather on Monument Circle for the largest annual yoga event in Indianapolis.
Established in 2013, Monumental Yoga has become a celebration of yoga, mindfulness, health and wellness, sponsored in part by Eskenazi Health and several yoga studios in the Indianapolis area, including CITYOGA School of Yoga and Health, and Practice Indie Yoga.
Dave Sims, owner of CITYOGA, says the free event was established as a way to bring the yoga community together in a public space and to build awareness around the benefits of yoga and the strength of the yoga community.
“It helps people to be intentional about taking time out to do some yoga in a group format and connect with people who are really trying to improve the overall health and wellness of the community,” Sims says. “It sparks collaboration and a sense of coming together.”
Monumental Yoga serves as not only the largest yoga gathering in the city, but proceeds from donations benefit the Indy Yoga Movement, a nonprofit organization that brings yoga and mindfulness into the schools of central Indiana. Last year’s event raised more than $10,000, Sims says.
Since 2013, Indy Yoga Movement has introduced more than 20,000 students to the practices of yoga and mindfulness, Sims explains.
“What’s great about Monumental Yoga is, first and foremost, it lets us know the community really cares about the kids,” says Suzy Bindley, co-founder and president of the Indy Yoga Movement. “It’s a beautiful event in that it is peaceful, quiet and unlike any other community event that I’ve found.”
Yoga teacher Hunter Meyercord says the first time she attended Monumental Yoga a few years ago she was impressed with the joyful atmosphere and in awe as she practiced while surrounded by thousands of other yogis.
“I think it opens a lot of people to yoga,” Meyercord says. “They might decide to go take their first class as they are seeing how the people move so beautifully together. It just raises awareness about the lovely practice of yoga.”
The event, which begins at 4 p.m. with the opening of the Yoga Vendor Village, features a variety of small yoga classes and activities that culminates in a large community class at 7 p.m.
“The community class is for all levels and is beginner friendly,” Sims says. “It will feel really accessible to everyone and is the opposite of trying to walk into a boutique yoga studio for the first time, which can be intimidating.”
The Vendor Village, which features more than three dozen area businesses and organizations, offers attendees the opportunity to explore a variety of areas related to health and wellness.
Sims says having so many local businesses and organizations that specialize in health and wellness is a valuable part of the event because of the opportunities it offers.
“Some of the alternative health therapies that are out there are somewhat of a mystery to a lot of people,” Sims says. “Whatever uncertainties people have, this is a great opportunity to come ask questions and learn.”
Monumental Yoga enthusiast Isa Lujan is a yoga teacher who resides in Columbus, Indiana, and says the event is of great importance to not only the Indianapolis community, but also to those who travel from throughout the state to take part.
“I feel like it is becoming a tradition and more people are joining every year,” Lujan says. “For the community, it is a great opportunity to walk by, get a taste of how awesome yoga is and allow themselves to ride the monumental wave.”
According to Bindley, the event is a way to educate people who are interested in the benefits of the practice of yoga and to help meet what has become an “unquenchable demand” for yoga and mindfulness throughout Indianapolis and surrounding areas.
Bindley encourages anyone who has entertained the idea of taking up yoga, as well as those who may have recently started a practice or are dedicated practitioners, to come out, lay down their mat and flow with thousands of people who also have an affinity for yoga, health and wellness.
“If you are pondering taking this on as a practice, you can talk with people from all kinds of studios and watch them practice,” Bindley says. “You can connect with people in this like-minded community.”