Del Ray Is Well Ray

Mind the Mat hosts free Pilates classes on Mount Vernon Avenue. (WILL NICCOLLS)

By Maureen Schweers

ALEXANDRIA, VA- Known for its top-rated fitness studios, holistic health professionals, and the neighborhood’s healthy vibe, Del Ray earned the nickname “Well Ray” — the inspiration behind the community’s annual health and wellness festival on June 22.

The 6th Annual Well Ray Festival will take place on Mount Vernon Avenue in the heart of Del Ray, with free fitness demonstrations and classes along the Avenue. With over 60 health and wellness vendors, there are a wide variety of opportunities for festival-goers of all ages and fitness levels to explore, heal, move, taste, and listen. Here are The Zebra’s can’t miss festival picks:

Discover Your New Favorite Workout

Well Ray features free fitness classes in a range of disciplines and for all ages and fitness levels, led by some of the top fitness professionals in Del Ray and the surrounding area. Classes include yoga, Pilates, CrossFit, spin, barre, dance, and more for both adults and children; visit www.wellraydelray.com for the complete schedule.

Free Health Screenings and Consultations

A wide range of medical professionals region will offer free health consultations and screenings, including blood pressure checks, body alignment, nutritional analysis, B-12 shots, and Q & A with doctors.

PK Move, this year’s featured non-profit, brings obstacle courses to Well Ray.

Be A Ninja

Parkour — the sport of moving rapidly through urban environments, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing — was brought to Alexandria by the team at PK Move, this year’s featured non-profit at Well Ray. “We are the only nonprofit that brings parkour, the art of traversing your environment, to special populations, mainly Title I schools, and older adults,” said PK Move founder Nancy Lorentz. The program creates a workout from any environment, and has been proven to help reduce falls for seniors. At Well Ray, PK Move “will bring new obstacles, more obstacles, and lots of fun games,” said Lorentz. “The PK Move Team is totally dedicated to bringing parkour training and ethos to everyone.”

Reach New Heights

After a sweat session during a free Pilates, spin, or Crossfit class, reward yourself with a view from top of a rock climbing wall, or take a spin down low during the annual big wheel races — both are fun for all ages!

Jump In The Ring

Work off stress with free group boxing classes with Foundation Fitness, “something that anyone, at any level could enjoy,” according to Foundation Fitness owner CJ Wesby. “We focus on making sure we understand the needs of our clients and exceed them,” said Westby, whose fitness studio is located in the heart of Del Ray. “It’s about the fit. Goals, personality, commitment. It has been the cornerstone of what we do.” Learn more at foundfitpt.com/del-ray-va.

Rediscover Your Fit

The demands of motherhood often mean women put their own wellness on the back burner. At Well Ray, moms can bring the kids along and try out a free demo class with FIT4MOM. “We help mom find her fit at every age and stage of motherhood,” said FIT4MOM owner Jennifer Lungren. “We provide mom the support, community, and self-care she needs during pregnancy, postpartum and throughout every stage of her motherhood journey, we believe these moms will raise healthy, strong families.”

Ascend Cycle hosts free outdoor spin classes (WILL NI

Connect Mind, Body, and Spirit

The wellness community in Del Ray firmly believes that wellness is more than just physical fitness. Four Directions Wellness, affiliated with the GW Center for Integrative Medicine, specializes in helping individuals intuitively connect to body, mind, emotions and spirit. “There is tremendous wisdom within us and it is all connected,” said Four Directions Wellness founder Mara Benner. “When you listen to your intuitive guidance, it supports your optimal health, healing and overall wellness.” During Well Ray, Four Directions Wellness will offer free, 10-minute intuitive energy readings, where Benner will explore your energetic chakras, and provide an analysis of the mind-body connections that show up.

Get Creative

Stop by the Del Ray Artisans for their June exhibit Art in Meditation – The Chakras, which celebrates the seven energy centers of the body, which are associated with vibrations, moods, and colors, and are frequently used in yoga and meditation practices. In celebration of Well Ray, the Del Ray Artisans will offer a wide range of wellness programs throughout the month of June, including group meditations, workshops on painting the chakra energies, gong sound meditations, and a chair yoga class. Visit www.delrayartisans.org for more information.

Sheriff Dana Lawhorne participates in the annual Big Wheel race. (WILL NICCOLLS)

Bring Your Best Friend

Learn more about canine fitness and conditioning with Wholistic Hound Academy. Alexandria’s first and only training and learning center for people and their dogs will host a canine fitness course, and will have dogs with advanced skills provide demonstrates to help show how dogs learn body awareness, increase balance, flexibility, muscle tone, strength, and build confidence. “We believe that working a dog’s brain and providing mental stimulation along with good physical activity are essential to having a healthy and happy dog, which makes for a better and more positive relationship between dog and owner,” said Wholistic Hound Academy founder Sandy Modell. Learn more at www.wholistichound.com.

Give Back

Celebrate health and wellness by helping save a life. Waxing the City will host the Inova Bloodmobile at the intersection of Mt. Vernon and Raymond Avenues, featuring snacks, prizes, and more. Visit tinyurl.com/wellraybloodmobile for more information on donation requirements and to make your appointment.

Well Ray takes place on Saturday, June 22 from 9am to 1pm and is free and open to all ages; participants are encouraged to bring their own mats and water bottles. For more information on available classes and more, visit www.wellraydelray.com.

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