An Interview with Hikyoga Founder, Nicole Kazimer
By: Abigael Rice
Trees are in full bloom, the smell of lilacs fill the air, and oh yeah, did anyone notice that beautiful vitamin D expanding your happiness muscles? With summer right around the corner, weekends are filling up with outdoor plans, as New Yorkers know full well the limited summer days we are provided. Hiking tends to be on the top our list, and with a plethora of parks to choose from, outdoor activities are endless in upstate New York.
Yet still, adventurers like Nicole Kazimer are thinking up new ways to enjoy the surrounding landscape and bring those who may not have imagined themselves as hikers, into the great outdoors with the perfect blend of hiking and yoga. Hikyoga brings the beauty of nature together with the meditative and active practice of yoga. What better way to experience this practice then to attend a Hikyoga festival! I interview Nicole Kazimer, Hikyoga owner and founder, to learn more about the New York State Yoga Festival Presented by Hikyoga taking place at Letchworth State Park on June 8th.
1. How long has the NYS Yoga Festival been running for?
“This is the second year of the NYS Yoga Festival and the third festival! We led the 1st festival in June 2018, and the Fall Festival in September 2018.”
2. What was the turn out for 2018, the first year of the NYS Yoga Festival, and how were your expectations met?
“Our goal was 350 people for the first yoga festival, and we sold over 1,400 tickets with close to 2,000 attendees.”
3. How did you get started as a yoga teacher?
“I started practicing yoga as I was working on my MBA. I turned to yoga first for the physical practice and found it very helpful for relaxation as well as mentally beneficial. I became a yoga teacher while living in Sydney, Australia. I wanted to become a teacher to share my experiences with others.”
4. What led to you to create Hikyoga and start the NYS Yoga Festival?
“I love teaching yoga outside. I was always drawn to the outdoors and yoga, so why not combine them? When I was a new yoga teacher, I was renting studio space and teaching classes outside. The outdoor classes were very successful, and I soon learned people loved being outside just as much as me! We began to infuse the hiking aspect into the start of our class as it helped us relax our minds before practice. Our third class was at Letchworth State park - They loved what we were doing and invited us to lead a yoga festival! We decided to call it the NYS Yoga Festival to invite all of New York!”
5. Are there any changes to the yoga festival since 2018?
We have moved the festival to Highbanks Recreation Area for better views of the gorge, and closer to more parking and bathrooms!
6. What should guest expect for the day of?
“The day will be full of all-day yoga and live music on the main stage which is included with everyone's ticket! There will be workshops, a HIIT class, boxing, and other various activities to give a try! Hikyoga classes will run throughout the day as well as a self-guided Hikyoga for those to explore!”
7. What is recommended for guests to bring?
“Good vibes, lots of love, a yoga mat and strap (this can be for purchased the day of), sunblock and sunglasses.”
8. Are there more events in the Rochester area if guests are interested in exploring more
while practicing yoga?
“We have Hikyoga classes offered all summer just about every weekend on hikyoga.com!”
9. Where can individuals find more information about the NYS Yoga Festival, other yoga
events, and follow along as we countdown to June 8th?
Thank you, Nicole and partners, for providing New Yorkers with an amazing new way to experience this breathtaking state! The number of attendees from the first NYS Yoga Festival should be enough to convince the sceptic to attend the event this coming June. Now that you have everything you need to prepare for this summers NYS Yoga Festival, here is a link to purchase your tickets. We look forward to seeing you there! Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors, Premium Mortgage and Bootleg Bucha for making this years festival possible!