Photo of the 9-OM-1 Yoga Connect event courtesy of Steve Jones Photography ( and Memphis Yoga Festival

On January 18, hundreds of Memphis yoga enthusiasts came together for an all-day festival designed to showcase the many benefits the ancient practice can have on the body and mind. Founded by the Memphis Yoga Festival, LLC, the first biannual 9-OM-1 Yoga Connect event featured more than 30 workshops, classes, and lectures from local instructors and yoga studios. In addition, the event offered arts & crafts, live music, vendor booths, and delicious food – and a unique opportunity for participants to support the Universal Parenting Places.

Event organizer Susan Wilcox said the idea for the festival “came together organically” after she and a friend realized how fragmented the local yoga community was.

“The Memphis yoga community is growing so fast,” said Wilcox. “Yoga isn’t just found in studios anymore, it’s everywhere — gyms, churches, schools, rock climbing gyms, parks. But we were hanging out in our own studios not knowing many of the other students that were at these places where yoga was being offered.”

Photo of the 9-OM-1 Yoga Connect event courtesy of Steve Jones Photography ( and Memphis Yoga Festival.

A portion of the proceeds from the January event will benefit the Universal Parenting Places, which also offers yoga as an alternative therapy to help parents practice self-care through mindfulness.  Using this event as an opportunity to benefit the Universal Parenting Places was important to 9-OM-1 organizers.

“Giving back to our community is important because we must go beyond the physical practice of yoga and to what yoga is intended to do, and that’s to connect us, unite us, and to inspire us from within,” Wilcox said. “We, as humans, have the capacity to offer so much love and selfless service to make our world, city, neighborhoods, and homes better places.”

Event organizers are planning to host another connect in June. To learn more about 9-OM-1 Yoga Connect, visit