By: Shari Hall Smith Founder of Got Ballz | May 2018
I founded got ballZ with one essential goal–to empower and strengthen those facing the many challenges of long term illness. I sought out this mission with the understanding that healing is a multi-faceted process that must be addressed not only through the strengthening of the body, but through that of the mind and spirit as well. It is this understanding that has helped me personally navigate the trials of cancer for more than 25 years. What I realized is that in order to treat and support my body in healing, I have to seek a happy, healthy lifestyle apart from my cancer. I have to attend to all parts of my being, to pay consideration to my passions and desires that extend beyond my illness. That has not always been easy to do.
And that is why it is my objective, with got ballZ, to support and connect people battling illness, with resources, events, and organizations that empower, inspire, and strengthen the entire being.
The greatest of these collectives, I find, are those rooted in community. They are those that bring people together, employing the power of human connection and collaboration to strengthen the individual. One of my favorite community connection practices is yoga–in the way that it brings people together through physical closeness and energetic connection and allows the individual to face the limits of the body and mind, while supported by a community.
The New York State Yoga Festival is the epitome of yoga rooted in community. A gathering place for hundreds of New York residents, the festival seeks to create unity and friendship through the energetic practices of yoga, meditation, and wellness workshops. Even further, the festival strongly promotes the very necessary connection with nature. Taking place in the Letchworth State Park, individuals are nestled in amidst trees, boulders, and waterfalls, experiencing the raw touch of the outdoors and having the opportunity to connect deeper with the body through the vibrations of the earth and the music created by local artists.
People find their power and inspiration in so many different places and in a myriad of ways. What I love about this particular NYS Yoga Festival is how it seeks to appeal to the passions of such a diverse body of people, while also strengthening them through a core physical connection. The festival brings together artists sharing their music, artisans sharing their craft, and food connoisseurs sharing their culinary creations. The result is a community supporting one another in their passions, and thereby empowering one another at the core. The festival itself does not empower, but rather it creates the space for people to empower one another.
It is this community inspired empowerment that got ballZ strives to encourage and create for people. I would love for anyone seeking community to attend this inspiring event and to learn, grow, and strengthen from the fruits of the festival. I am happy to announce a special got ballZ giveaway for anyone attends the festival and posts a photo of themselves at the event with the hashtag #NYSYogaBallZ. Why not share the love?