After months of virtual events and gatherings, Union Market is offering a way for people to reconnect with themselves and others with Rise & Thrive, a month-long series of wellness-focused events. Running through Sunday, May 16, Rise & Thrive features Union Market District businesses in ways designed to get people off screens and back into the real world.
With Rise & Thrive, Union Market becomes a one-stop shop for all types of wellness needs. Throughout the month, a variety of events are scheduled to tend to physical, mental and emotional health, creating a holistic approach to wellness.
With multiple spaces that can accommodate groups of people, in-person and socially distanced fitness classes are a staple of Rise & Thrive programming. These classes include outdoor Zumba classes at La Cosecha, Cut Seven workout classes on the Rooftop and yoga at Dock 5.
“The real value of Union Market and its team is that they are always thinking about how to creatively use their spaces and partner with their tenants,” said Joe Lapan, owner of Byrdland Records. “As the weather gets nicer and people get vaccinated, I think they saw a demand for activations around health and wellness, and that’s what this is about.”
Byrdland is taking advantage of the space at Union Market with their event Vinyl & Vinyasa, a yoga class held in Dock 5. The spacious warehouse provides room to meet inside while remaining socially distanced. Since 2016, Byrdland has held monthly yoga classes with Vinyl & Vinyasa, and for Rise & Thrive, are holding classes every Friday morning where Mary Mbaba leads a yoga flow and meditation, while DJ Chalant plays music.
For the first week of Rise & Thrive, Vinyl & Vinyasa was held virtually from Byrdland Records, but Lapan realized the demand for an in-person event, so Byrdland started holding in in-person and continues to stream for those who do not attend in person.
“More important to us than having the event actually in our space at Byrdland was having an event that was best for the most people, safely of course,” says Lapan.
Other vendors in the Union Market District are offering their own takes on wellness. On Saturday, May 8, The Village Cafe is working with Light to Life to present a workshop about self-love. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Take Care, a holistic spa and natural skincare and beauty retailer holds a pop-up shop inside the market. Along with an exhibition, theTwelve is home to the St. Plant Therapy Booth on Saturdays.
“The St. Plant Therapy Booth is a live experience that meets people where they are — from an emotional, psychological and practical standpoint,” said Amira El-Gawly, St. Plant founder. At the St. Plant Therapy Booth, people can share their plant stories, El-Gawly will prescribe them a type of plant, set of tools to care for a plant or a book about plant care, which they can then purchase at the St. Plant Bodega in theTwelve.
“I want to offer people the chance to share their personal experiences with plants, and then help guide them to new ways of thinking about how to integrate nature in ways that are nurturing to their homes and spirits,” said El-Gawly.
Although some of Rise & Thrive’s events are outside of the typical approach to wellness, like the St. Plant Therapy Booth, they are ways for people to reconnect with each other and ease into in-person events.
“I’m thrilled to see the community emerge in ways that are life-giving and nurturing to the body, mind and soul after such a heavy year,” said El-Gawly. “We need to continue taking care of ourselves and each other, and what better way to do that than with our neighbors.”
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