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Summer is all about feeling great in your skin. It is the perfect time to get outdoors and work on your health. If you are seeking fun and entertaining ways to get active this season, look no further. There are plenty of wellness activities around the Hudson Valley that you and your family will enjoy.
June 11 through August 13
Yep, you read that right. This summer, get active by walking a donkey. Walking a donkey can lower cortisol levels (which is a stress hormone), not to mention that their big ears make them great listeners. They will quietly listen to your stresses and worries on your peaceful stroll through the beautiful pastures, sheep paddocks, and past the bass pond at Clover Brooke. This wellness event is great for both children (not recommended for children under five years old) and adults, as the donkeys are friendly and bound to make everyone smile.
Your time on the farm will start off with a tour of the grounds and an introduction to other animal friends that live there, such as the sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, and barn cats. Finally, you will get to meet the donkeys, who will surely be delighted to see you. Then you will have an hour to walk around with your donkey.
July 22 ; Rain date July 23
Held for the third year on top of Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury, this wellness event is quite possibly the best day of the year for any yogi (or aspiring yogi). Join Raegan Reed, owner of The Cardio Club & Delhi Dance Studio and yoga/fitness connoisseur, and headliner Kelly Kamm (known for her yoga storytelling), along with many other amazing yoga instructors.
Start the day with a free breakfast and coffee bar at which you can purchase coffee. All are welcome to attend the festival, and those who purchase a basic or VIP class pass can take part in the yoga classes all day long. Kids’ passes are available as well, which include two kids’ yoga classes. General admission passes for the wellness event can be purchased if you want to take a ski lift ride to the top of the mountain or check out other happenings while friends and family are attending yoga classes. The vendor village is open to the community; no passes need to be purchased to check out all the amazing vendors. Vendor offerings include tarot card readings, henna, local artisans and crafters, natural hair dye, and massages. Also be sure to stop by Ty’s Taco-ria or Health on Wheels for a delicious bite during the hour lunch intermission in the middle of the day and find a seat in the vendor village to enjoy.
Throughout the yoga festival, there will also be workshops, including a morning meditation, Mastering Your Mindful Morning Routine, Ayurveda 101, and Building Resilience. The workshop on Building Resilience is taught by Lara Land and based off her newly released book, The Essential Guide to Trauma Sensitive Yoga. The festival offers something for everyone, including unique classes such as acro-yoga (where you will learn acro poses using the correct techniques with a partner, although having a partner is not necessary to sign up for this class) and chair yoga (which is gentle and uses a chair for support). Classes will be held indoors, outdoors, and on the mountain top. Be sure to read the class descriptions online before registering and check out the event on Instagram @catskillmountainyogafestival. Visit catskillmountainyogafestival.com to purchase passes. Additionally, for those interested in a yoga escape, group retreats with Catskill Mountain Yoga Festival teachers are being offered in 2024 to Costa Rica and Mexico (more info can be found on the festival’s website).
June 24 and 25
Many of us know someone who has been touched by mental illness. Enjoy a scenic bike ride experience through the heart of the Hudson Valley while helping to end the stigma around mental health. The Ride for Mental Health, dedicated to a young man named Eric who lost his life due to mental illness, is one of the first charity bike rides in the country where the proceeds will support education, research, and treatment of mental illness. The Mission of The Ride for Mental Health is to raise funds for McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, and help accelerate the progress being made to help people who suffer from mental illness.
Meeting in New Paltz, the ride offers a variety of routes, with plenty of rest stops on the way, including a 25-mile, 50-mile, 100-mile, and 14-mile family rail trail ride (if you are not comfortable riding around cars). Attend the wellness event one or both days, and feel free to sign up as a team for the ride. An essential way to take care of your mental health is by moving in a way that feels good for your body, so it is fitting that the event is centered around cycling.
Attention all wine lovers – do you love to run or walk? Then this 5K at the beautiful Millbrook Vineyards is for you. Running and walking are excellent ways to care for your health and support overall wellness. End the summer right with this 5K race, which includes a T-shirt, wine glass, finisher medal (which is also a bottle stopper), and pour of wine. The first finisher in each age category will receive an award. If runners choose to participate virtually, they can do so when registering for the event. The charity partner for the event is Angels of Light, an organization aimed at helping children and families with life-threatening illnesses. Sign up for the 5K here.