Back in the day, when I owned Thunder Bay retail store on Elmwood Avenue, I became friends with Jamie Lembeck, who had lost his mobility and was confined to a wheelchair. It was while helping him up a short step-up at the front door that we first struck up a conversation about ADA compliancy, and why there was a short step-up at the front of the store to begin with. At a loss for the reason, other than I had talked to the landlord about the impediment, we soon discovered that we were on the same page with most issues, which set the stage for hours and hours of activist discussions.
Every time Jamie paid a visit, I would greet him at the front door, to help him gain access to the shop. His visits were frequent, which means that we partook in many a talk. That’s how I came to appreciate his love for Buffalo and advocacy (he was a big proponent for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access -IDEA @ UB). Likewise, I believe that the reason that he continued to pop into the store, was to talk about my growing passion the city, which was fine by me. In my eyes, everyone should be able to enjoy the rising of Buffalo, no matter his or her abilities, or lack thereof.
Jamie passed away in 2008, but he left an incredible legacy behind, as an advocate for those who continue to deal with mobility issues. Recently, I learned that a Jamie Lembeck Yoga Series was being held at The Buffalo Foundry on Elmwood. The yoga series was designed so that everyone could participate, no matter their limitations. This particular Universal Design (UD) Yoga series was made possible thanks to the Jamie Lembeck Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.
Poses are offered in multiple orientations to gravity (sitting, standing, laying down, etc.), allowing anyone to participate in its practice at their own level of comfort and ability.
Coming up on March 18, starting at 1:30PM, everyone is invited to attend the last class in the series, no matter ability or skill level. The class is sponsored by East Meets West Yoga and UD Enterprises. Certified instructors from both groups will be teaching the class, which intends to open minds and quench spirits. It’s also an inspirational way to pay tribute to the memory of Jamie, who spent so much of his life advocating for inclusion for everyone.
“I like to think Jamie himself would have enjoyed these classes,” said UD Enterprises founder and yoga instructor Sue Dolce Mann. “It’s exciting to watch participants as they learn who they are in yoga, exploring poses and developing awareness.”
The Buffalo Foundry UD Yoga Series Honors Jamie Lembeck
March 18, 2018
Yoga class starts at 1:30pm
The Buffalo Foundry | 1738 Elmwood Avenue | Buffalo, NY
Class is $12 | To learn more, call 716-912-0775
The class will be followed by a celebration of Jamie Lembeck from 3 to 5 pm. Everyone is invited to attend and enjoy appetizers, beverages, and connect with the community.
Inset image courtesy Cherry Lawn School