First Annual Festival of the Sun Celebrates Yoga

The school of ACRO Yoga Tampa Bay & Beyond leads beginners' class under the sun.

The school of ACRO Yoga Tampa Bay & Beyond leads beginners’ class under the sun.

The local yoga community gathered in the Deuces neighborhood Saturday, May 2, to celebrate the first annual Festival of the Sun and to say farewell to its host Andrea Kraiosky from St. Petersburg’s Yoga by the Bay.

“I wanted to give back to my community, to all the people that have been supporting my yoga classes. It’s my way to say: I love you, St. Pete. I’m gonna miss the heck out of you,” said Kraiosky, instructor, with 10 years of experience and 20 years of yoga practice, who is soon moving to Portland, Oregon.

The festival featured local vendors, belly dancing and acro-yoga performers and held diverse yoga classes in two parking lots donated by Physiques by Damon Reio and Zion Baptist Church, observable from Tropiccool’s Double Decker.

A portion of the proceeds were donated to the IMpower Project, a local nonprofit organization for suicide prevention.

Stephanie Davenport (left) and Kimberly Chaffin at Zen with an EDGE - Mindful Wellness

Stephanie Davenport (left) and Kimberly Chaffin at Zen with an EDGE – Mindful Wellness

Kimberly Chaffin, yoga and fitness trainer from Zen with an EDGE, who helped with vendor coordination, said the turnout was “Amazing!” She said the “very kid-oriented” event was a great way to introduce people to different types of yoga, and to “set a platform to get together, practice and stay mindful. “Everyone involved in the festival helped set up the overall great presentation on the day Chaffin calls “the most beautiful day of the month.”

Kraoisky says she will return next year for the annual Festival of the Sun.

“We want to celebrate yoga,” she said, “to build a community where people connect to each other, support local businesses and just have a good time.”

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