To the Editor:
This past weekend was the Second Annual Martha’s Vineyard Yoga Festival. We are grateful to the Martha’s Vineyard yoga community and the Island community at large.
First and foremost, we would not have been able to do any of this without the generosity and support of Sarah and Bob Nixon, owners of the Beach Plum Inn, which hosted the festival and housed the off-Island teachers. Whether it be a film that champions the health of our planet’s oceans, their support of the MV YMCA, hosting the Salt Water Challenge, or a wedding at the Beach Plum Inn, sharing their homes with the visiting yoga teachers or making sure a meal at the Homeport is just so, they are profoundly invested in others’ happiness and wellbeing.
Buddhists place great importance on generosity and have many words for it. But our favorite is caga, which means, “a heart bent on giving.” And we cannot think of two people’s hearts that this word describes more than Bob and Sarah Nixon. Thank you both so much.
The weekend included: 23 yoga classes, expert talks with chiropractors Dardanella Slavin and Krisine Kopp, communal acupuncture with Cathleen Vincent, Tong Ren energy work with Karen Krowski, massages, reflexology with Betsy Shands, tarot card readings with Trilette Smith, a trunk show featuring Hyde Yoga and Yoga Mat yoga clothing, a kirtan with the Shala ladies, and amazing food cooked by Robin Forte at the Beach Plum Inn.
Needless to say, dozens of people helped make this happen.
We had a crew of devoted volunteers including volunteer coordinator Nevette Previd and her team: Emma Bena, Thomas Bena, Irene Bright Dumm, Anne Caldwell, Yoojin Cho, Julie Flanders, Dawn Bellante Holland, Suzanne Koorse, Aubrey Kupstas, Maureen McAllister, Jesse Miller, Susan Nightingale, Coral Watkins.
Island businesses including the Chilmark Store, Little House Café, Menemsha Market, Mocha Motts, and the Scottish Bakehouse all gave us prime ad space at their shops. Martin Whitecotton oversaw our website. Susan Sigel Goldsmith of MVTickets helped with ticket sales. Christa Mcinturff who designed our amazing logo and homepage, and Paige Guizzardi who designed our flyers. We thank Kind Bars for giving us snacks to feed tired yogis and yoginis and Vineyard Bottled Water for satisfying their thirst; and the expert staff at the Beach Plum Inn — Dennis J. Barquinero and Maria Black especially — were absolutely invaluable to us in the planning process. Thank you all for stretching to help us.
We also thank Island yoga teachers Bennet Coffey, Meghan Grennan, Kristin Hall, Scarlett Jarrell, Vanessa Kent, Fae Kontje Gibbs, Stephanie Mashek, Bonnie Menton, Josh Montoya, Jane Norton, Claire Parkhurst, Sherry Sidoti, Robert Sidoti, Sandra Washburn, and Sian Williams. Beyond teaching, these teachers helped us set up, loaned props, cancelled classes (to encourage their students to attend the festival), created altars (thank you Jane Norton), attended classes, and helped us welcome Baton Rouge teacher Michelle Bouillon, western Mass teacher Lindel Hart, and New York teachers Kristin Leigh, Kelly Morris, and Barbara Verrochi.
And of course, thank you to all who attended. Your support made it a festival.
Kathy Bega and Mollie Doyle
MV Yoga Festival