For experienced yogis, or those new to the practice, a festival this weekend in Fountain Valley aims to promote wellness while introducing participants to a gym focused on building an inclusive community where people can live, be and move.
The Yoga Movement Winter Fest takes place Saturday and Sunday at Fountain Valley Movement, a ropeless climbing gym with a well equipped yoga studio and fitness center, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to one-hour yoga classes with live deejayed music or sound baths, the festival will feature a massage, acupuncture, painting and slacklining provided by local practitioners and members seeking to share their passions with a wider audience.
Mitchell Kaufman, the gym’s yoga program manager, worked with gym director Do Nguyen to create the event as a fun way of welcoming people of all ages and experience levels to yoga.
“Sometimes yoga is kind of intimidating. It might be an unknown for some people,” said Kaufman, who’s practiced in studios and ashrams across four continents. “[We] want to incorporate it in a way that’s fun and approachable.”
Nguyen, who grew up in Costa Mesa and moved from a Movement location in Portland to open the Fountain Valley facility in 2019, began climbing 18 years ago and found a certain personal power in the enterprise.
A self-described skinny Asian kid who joined the marching band and “avoided PE like the plague” in school, he never saw himself as athletic until he went climbing with friends.
“[It] was the first time I did a physical activity and could see myself excelling at it,” Nguyen recalled. “I want to make sure somebody like me — no matter their ethnicity, body type or socioeconomic status — I want to make sure they can see someone like themselves doing this thing, to know that it’s possible.”
For Kaufman, the discipline not only offers mental and spiritual benefits, but physically complements the sport of rock climbing.
“Climbers do a lot of pulling, using certain muscles to pull themselves up,” Kaufman said. “So, what we want to do is balance that out by working on the pushing muscles through yoga and fitness.”
The festival, he added, is a perfect way to come and see how it all works together.
“If you’re a first time practitioner or a longtime practitioner, you’re going to get something out of it,” he said. “It’s going to be an awesome, fun time.”
While the gym offers $29 day passes, as well as monthly and annual membership packages, $40 festival admission allows holders to use the entire facility both Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Movement Fountain Valley is located at 18030 Newhope St. For more details, call (657) 201-5054 or visit Instagram or movementgyms.com/fountain-valley.
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