Inaugural ‘Be the Peace’ event blends yoga, meditation and food

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Be The Peace
Be the Peace coincides with the UN’s International Day of Peace. — photo by Sebastien Wiertz

Yoga and food will be used to unite people both spiritually and socially this Sunday, Sept. 21, at Dirty Face Creek Farm (3714 500th St. SW, Riverside) for the area’s inaugural Be The Peace event.

The gathering is part of a larger, worldwide Be The Peace meditation which coincides with the International Day of Peace. Holding this event in Iowa City was born from the reflections of Heartland Yoga instructors Natalie Benway and Fannie Hungerford.

“I’d been thinking about all the really intense things that have been taking place in the world,” said Benway. “I wondered, ‘What can I do about it?’ It just made sense to have this event that has people connecting to each other and to the whole idea of peace through yoga, meditation and food.”

For Benway, a personal yoga and meditation practice is a great way to honor and extend peace.

“If you’re connected to yourself in a loving way, you’re more likely to be connected to other people in the same way,” Benway said. “Not just the physical practice [of yoga fosters these connections], but also meditation and other observances that are basically rooted in love and kindness and peace.”

Be the Peace will start at 3 p.m., when Benway will lead a yoga practice that will synchronize with others celebrating International Day of Peace around the world. At 4 p.m., Hungerford will facilitate a 30-minute meditation. Afterwards, Dirty Face Creek Farm’s Shanti Selz will serve up farm-fresh snacks including an eggplant dip, kale salad and grilled veggies.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own yoga mats and an empty stomach. The organizers are asking for a $15 donation, a portion of which will be donated to the Johnson County Crisis Center, but nobody will be turned away from the event.

“If you wanna come to the event, we would just love to have people there,” said Benway.

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