All Is Well In Yellow Springs

All is Well in Yellow Springs
(written by Jessica P. Kinzer)

“This year will be a different kind of Experience,” says Monica Hasek, Director and ERYT at Yoga Springs Studios, on the Yellow Springs Experience (YSE) Wellness, happening September 21st – 23rd this year. Hasek and Brian Housh, Marketing Coordinator for the Yellow Springs Arts Council (YSAC), are excited to present a free-to-the-public, three-day Experience that celebrates and promotes total mind-body Health and Wellness.

“We have an amazing community of Wellness Practitioners, and it’s time we gather as a community and exemplify what Yellow Springs has been known for throughout history – A Destination for Healing and Wellness,” adds Hasek.

Back and better-than-ever, the second annual YS Experience Wellness Weekend will be hosted by the Yellow Springs Arts Council in partnership with DestinationYellowSprings.com, YS Community Foundation, Antioch University Midwest, WYSO and many other organizations.

“Wellness” is just one of the many fun and unique community “Experiences” celebrated in Yellow Springs each year. Though varying in theme, the Experiences have the common goal of uniting people.

“We live in a time when people are widely plugged into technology, and knowledge is widely accessible through web-based sources. People are seeking authentic experiences through which they can connect with others and share experiences. Our focus is on creative events and opportunities for artists and practitioners, empowering them to create content that draws people together. Yellow Springs Experience works to create a true sense of community and cultural exchange,”says Deb Housh, Arts and Cultural Manager at the YSAC.

Hopefully, you have had the pleasure of joining in at least one of the past Experiences. If so, you enjoyed (and perhaps participated in) diverse forms of live performance, self-expression and exploration, beauty, adventure and, of course, a good party!

If you have not yet made it to YS for an Experience, this Wellness weekend is the perfect opportunity for you to come out and delight in the coming of a new season. The Autumnal Equinox happens to ‘fall’ right in the middle of the YSE Wellness on Saturday, September 22nd and, on a more personal level, you can rejoice in the coming of the Season of your Best Self.

The YSAC welcomes everyone to share in this free Experience – “Come to Yellow Springs for a three-day celebration of the art of healing. Focus of unifying mind and body through self-renewal and personal exploration. Connect with the natural, creative and spiritual.”

The Wellness Weekend begins on September 21st with a Friday Fling during which you can Experience Art. Over ten galleries and cafes in the Village will be hosting art openings with live musical entertainment.

Saturday, September 22nd showcases the main event of the Wellness Weekend in Yellow Springs – the Wellness Fair – at the John Bryan Community Center (100 Dayton Street) from 10am-4pm. The Wellness Fair is a free event and will involve local health and wellness practitioners promoting their services. Also featured will be natural products, on-stage demonstrations, live music, Earth-conscious wares, healthy food and classes in the dance room all day. All you “early birds” should come to the Bryan Center at 9am to take advantage of the free Morning Yoga Stretch led by Monica Hasek and the Yoga Springs Team.

Many local practitioners will be offering free classes and demonstrations at the fair, including:

• Eden World Center for Wellness & Discovery, specializing in massage, Reiki, acupuncture and light spa treatments.

• Yellow Springs Chiropractic, specializing in helping children and adults sustain strong nervous systems to increase vitality and decrease disease. The YS Chiro team will be demonstrating applied Kinesiology muscle testing and featuring a new practitioner, Virgil Apostol, who specializes in an ancient Filipino healing art that is new to Yellow Springs.

• Miami Valley Equine Acupressure, specializing in energy balancing for mind, body and spirit.

Dr. Erika Grushon of YS Chiropractic has a passion for wellness that began in her pre-med days. After being introduced to her future father-in-law (who happens to be a chiropractor), Grushon learned the value of prevention and self-care over pharmaceutical prescriptions. Not only did she witness people being healed, but they were also staying healthy by boosting their bodies to take care of themselves naturally.

“I want to make this community as healthy as possible,” says Grushon of Yellow Springs, a place which she feels is wonderful, in part because people have the chance to bike or walk to their destination and to buy wholesome foods from local producers.  “We have capabilities that other communities don’t have. Yellow Springs has the power to beneficially change public health at the fundamental, grass roots level. We all deserve to be healthy, and we can do it!”

Continue the Saturday Wellness Experience from 5-10pm with Art Heals at the YSAC Community Gallery, located at 111 Corry Street. Art Heals will be an artistic and cultural feast for the senses with Mandalas, Mantras and Mudras. Glenn Owen, September’s featured artist at the Gallery will open the evening with a talk about how his work facilitated his recovery. Bettina Solas will follow, sharing Folk and Celtic music in a relaxing setting with accompaniment on the Mountain Dulcimer. Solas also sings and plays the Banjo, Autoharp and Bodhran (a traditional Celtic drum).

But, don’t get too relaxed! After Solas’ performance, Judith Wolert-Maldonado, a.k.a. DJ JuJu, has coordinated a Saturday night dance party – Art Heals: Dance Piazza featuring West African Drum and Dance with BabaaRitah Clark – beginning at 7pm on the outdoor patio at the YSAC Gallery. This all-female drum and dance ensemble, Akwaaba, will lead a 45-minute pulse-pounding performance with interactive instruction that will be sure to get you on your feet and grooving to the beat!

“I believe in transformative moments in Art and Dance. I want others to have this experience,” says DJ JuJu. After you have learned a few new dance moves from BabaaRitah’s West African Drum and Dance Team, DJ JuJu will keep your body in motion until 10pm with a high-energy mix of Latin dance music (Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Reggaeton) along with Afro Beat, Bhangra, Middle Eastern and other world music that reflects where she grew up.

“You don’t have to have a partner or be a good dancer to come, and all ages are welcome. Those who don’t want to dance can come too, to experience the music and movement of worlds very different from their own.”

Growing up in New Jersey in an Argentinian family, Wolert-Maldonado was given the nickname “Juju” at birth and was immediately introduced to music and culture. In 1999, she adopted the title “DJ JuJu” for live performances when she started spinning records at local clubs.

Wolert-Maldonado is devoted to public access to cultural diversity, and Dance Piazza is one way that she links herself and others to the ancient custom of art, music and dance. “I miss the East Coast, I miss my family, and I arrange these events to satisfy my needs. I can’t get enough cultural Experience,” admits DJ Juju.

Dance Piazza reflects the timeless tradition practiced each weekend in Argentina – public music and dance in the town squares! However, this wasn’t always so. For many years, the people of Argentina were suppressed by a violent military dictatorship. All forms of public artistic expression were extinguished. By 1982, after the fall of this oppressive government, cultural groups gradually began to re-form and art, folk dance and music filled the streets once more!

“In the US, we have so much freedom in that sense, and we should take advantage of it…We don’t have a dictatorship, but you never know what some people have been through. Practicing Art is a great way to cultivate collective and individual healing.”

Be sure to visit the YSAC Gallery throughout the weekend to enjoy an exhibit of paintings by artist, Glenn Owen. Though he resides in Yellow Springs, Owen’s skill with the paintbrush has taken him all over the country. In his fifty-six years as an artist, he has done over thirty solo shows and has taught at several universities. There really isn’t much that Owen hasn’t done as a visual artist.

“I focus on the round, cellular and modular,” says Owen. He assures of his upcoming exhibit at the YSAC Gallery, “No painter that I’ve seen living or dead is working in this vein. I’m on my own out here… I don’t have a Guru right now.”

It is certain that Owen’s work could be described as innovative, “fractal” and ”psychedelic,” but the inspiration for this body of work is related to his own personal wellness story. Born with a heart condition, Owen spent 73 years living life to the fullest before he found himself in cardiovascular turmoil. During a visit to the hospital after almost dying, the artist witnessed images of his own heart beating on a monitor screen.

“It was a new visual experience for me to see internal landscapes I never knew existed,” confesses Owen. Inspired by his findings, Owen grabbed a pen and paper and started drawing. “This work is a continuation of that drawing.” The Opening Reception for ‘The Last Two Years of My Life’ is on Friday, September 21 from 6-9pm.

Many can attest to the healing power Art holds, including YSAC Gallery Manager, Nancy Mellon. For her, a weekly sculpting class brought solace from the stresses of being the primary caregiver to her mother, fighting the final stages of Parkinson’s and Dementia.

“I’d go in with a heavy heart and ripping headache, and after three hours of quiet meditation with clay on my hands creating what my eyes see, I’d come out feeling refreshed and minus my headache. Art quiets the mind of chatter and nattering thoughts… it reminds you to contemplate the mysteries of life,” Mellon recognizes.

To close the Wellness Weekend, Sunday, September 23rd will be a day of free Wellness Workshops revolving around art, nature, poetry and movement. Among the educators will be Carol Allin, Intuitive Reader, Shamanic Artist and Vibrational Healer at SunPath Oracle Spirit Drawings in Yellow Springs, presenting “Creating A Personal Staff.” Also, Jen Ater from Innerlight Yoga & Wellness will facilitate “Express Your True Bliss: Exploring the Creative Dance between Yoga & Art.” Both of these creative community workshops will happen at the YSAC Gallery.

There are other workshops happening during YSE Wellness such as Jill Becker’s “Moving Meditation.” Becker is a professional dancer and choreographer as well as the Education Coordinator for the YS Kids Playhouse. For a complete listing of events, visit www.yellow-springs-experience.com or call 937-679-YSAC (9722).

The best local practitioners will be on hand in one convenient location during the Yellow Springs Wellness weekend, providing an ideal opportunity to receive the healing support you or a loved one may need. You are invited to come to Yellow Springs from September 21st to 23rd to truly Experience Wellness.

Posted by ysartsadmin in Past Events