Yoga studio offers free classes to nurses

Kim Blaine, owner of and instructor at Johnson City's Downtown Yoga Center, strikes a pose.

After more than a year of postponements and cancellations, festivals and events are slowly making their way back to Johnson City — including some newcomers — like Saturday’s Downtown Yoga Festival — that aim to be more than a one-off event.

Festival organizer and Downtown Yoga Center owner Kim Blaine said the festival was made possible by a grant from the Blue Plum Organization’s Blue Plum Gives Back program. The program aims to “support public programs, events and initiatives that stimulate art, music and culture in downtown Johnson City” by offering $20,000 in small grants to those who host a festival in June.

The Blue Plum Festival itself, which normally takes place in early June, has been canceled the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“First we thought we would just be one-and-done, we would just do this festival and it’d be fun and that’d be it, but Blue Plum and everybody else just got so excited about it that they want to sponsor us every year, and we’re going to try and turn this into a yearly event,” Blaine said.

“Now it’s becoming even bigger and better, and we’re hoping this is something we keep doing in the future.”

The festival will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in King Commons on June 12, and will feature yoga classes throughout the day and vendors. Tickets cost $12 for the day, and can be bought online at downtownyogafestival.com.

Blaine said she hopes the festival will promote an interest in yoga and healthy living in the city, and thanked her co-coordinators Ferris Kort, Melissa Glaze and Adria Pierce.

“I hope this serves as a reminder to everyone just to continue to take care of themselves and pay attention to their bodies and know what choices you can make yourself to be healthier,” Blaine said. “I’m also hoping that is residual and it impacts our yoga community more, where people are like, ‘Hey, this is something I need to do more in my life. I’m not just going to come to the yoga festival and do yoga for a day, I’m going to check out some of these studios in town and make it a regular part of my life.’”

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