By Nami Nagaoka
Namaste in the YO, a free, campus-based community yoga gathering, is collaborating with the Youngstown Flea, a market held once a month that is dedicated to local artisans on Nov. 11. The event will take place in the Watson and Tressel Training Site from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Megan O’Neill, a Youngstown State University alumnus with a degree in physical therapy, runs the event with her friend and yoga partner, Jasc Romeo, a YSU graduate student and recreational advisory committee member.
The event’s goal is to bring the community together and encourage positivity, and it also helps to give back to the university.
O’Neill said last year, everyone seemed to enjoy Namaste at the YO.
“We had people from all ages and backgrounds, so it was embodying exactly what our purpose was … bringing the community together,” she said.
She said the yoga class is designed for all ages and all levels of experience.
Romeo said she and O’Neill shared the same vision for the event. The pair went to a yoga festival in Akron four years ago, and decided to bring the similar event to the Youngstown community.
“[We want to] showcase everything Youngstown offers and bring some positivity to the community,” Romeo said. “I’m really excited about the collaboration this year with the Youngstown Flea. This gives us a chance to expand and include more people from Youngstown.”
Derrick McDowell, founder of the Youngstown Flea, said more than 60 vendors have already signed up so far to partake in the event.
McDowell said a benefit to cross promoting is the possibility of uniting two different audiences and reaching more people.
“Youngstown Flea brings together an audience of people from a bunch of different communities, not just from Youngstown, but also from Salem, Columbiana, Kent, Akron, Cleveland and Pittsburgh,” he said.
According to McDowell, there is importance of including students in the event.
“It’s going to be full force and a lot of energy to really make sure we hold up our end of the collaboration and share ideas,” he said.
The event is free and open to the public, and participants are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to donate to the YSU food pantry to aid the Youngstown community during the holiday season.