Authors: Anne-Marie Huurre, Katie Darling, and Lisa Napora
Festival. The word likely conjures images of family, fun, games, entertainment, new learning experiences, shopping and of course, great food. So how can Mindfulness – a stress reducing and brain-changing tool be associated with a festival?
Uplift Buffalo, the region’s first Mindfulness festival will have all the same variety and excitement! The Uplift Buffalo festival, brought to you by The Mindfulness Alliance, will include activities for anyone and everyone interested in mindfulness, meditation, yoga and other awareness-based practices. It will host expert practitioners to demonstrate these techniques and highlight their positive impact on your personal and professional wellbeing as well as our community wellbeing. Today, mindfulness practices are extensively used within every sector of western life – from schools, hospitals, and fitness centers, to community organizations and businesses.
The main stage boasts featured mindfulness teacher, NY Times best-selling author, and world- renowned speaker, Sharon Salzberg (grew up in Buffalo). Salzberg will guide attendees through the joys of compassion and loving kindness. Attendees can also anticipate a book signing opportunity. From Shambala to Zen, expert leaders from community-based local organizations such as the Himalayan Institute, Yogis in Service, East Meets West Yoga, Shakti Yoga, Mala Contemplative Education, and Be Embodied will guide a variety of awareness-based practices one can use for personal exploration. A diverse set of dance troops will also offer embodied expression reflecting the value of mindful connection and presence in community. And any attendee can join in the opportunity to walk an indoor labyrinth in a peaceful, musical setting.
The festival provides education and engagement for all ages! For young kids and teens, specially-designed yoga, crafts and activities will introduce calming practices for use at home or in school. Each Kids Corner attendee will leave with a self-created ‘Calm Down Kit’. Teachers and parents will find a plethora of resources not to be missed! In the Learning Center, 15 local experts will showcase how mindfulness is used in education, healthcare, law, and the workplace, in addition to supporting healthy relationships and beginners.
To add to the fun, the festival marketplace also offers a bookstore with 150 titles, more than 40 vendors with products and mindfulness-related services, and of course, food trucks.
This festival will set a precedent in showcasing the pioneering work of The Mindfulness Alliance and its efforts to create a culture of wellbeing across the WNY region and beyond. “The purpose of the festival is to educate the general public about the benefits of mindfulness and illustrate its impact in every aspect of daily life. We will showcase local mindfulness initiatives and organizations, provide an array of experiences to engage in, and ignite hope and joy!” says Dr. Lisa Napora, Executive Director of The Mindfulness Alliance.
The Uplift Buffalo festival will take place on Saturday, September 28th from 10 – 4p in the heart of downtown at the Buffalo Grand Hotel. Tickets are only $10, and children under 10 are free. For more information about the day’s activities and programs, and to purchase tickets visit: www.themindfulnessalliance.org/festival.html.
Lead image: Photo by JR Korpa