Yoga Festival

Yogi on the Go: Wanderlust Austin

When I first learned I had won the Wanderlust Sage Tickets, courtesy of Yoga Travel Tree, I was both thrilled and scared for the adventure. I had begun my own yoga journey just a few years earlier and while I still consider myself a beginner, yoga already holds a very dear place in my heart. While I Traveling Yogi: Wanderlust Austin - www.YogaTravelTree.comhave considered going to a yoga festival or pursuing Yoga Teacher Training in the past, I never felt advanced enough to actually do it. After winning the tickets, I started researching more about Wanderlust, the classes, the locations, and talking to my current yoga instructors about their experiences at large festivals. At one point, I remember having a conversation with my yoga instructor shortly after winning and saying - ‘Shit! I am going to need cuter yoga clothes!’, Thankfully she reminded me that I was going to a yoga festival and everyone would be working their asses off for several hours a day and basking in the glow of their sweat so the clothes really didn’t matter. I was also worried because yoga has always been a very personal and introspective experience for me and I was worried that by attending a large scale festival, the authenticity I knew and loved about yoga would be lost. I can’t tell you how wrong all of these fears were and how amazing the Wanderlust experience turned out to be!  

After winning the tickets, doing some research and finding a yoga loving friend who was willing - ‘To Travel for Yoga’, we decided to attend the Wanderlust Austin festival in early November. Upon arrival, I was still nervous but my first class with Gioconda Parker, put me at complete ease. She taught a class that helped yogi’s get back to the basics and find their bliss. She taught us to feel the correct position and placements for each posture, explained how to break our bad yoga habits and she did all of this with a playful, mindful energy. Instead of going through the motions of a sun salutation, she challenged us to really feel each movement. In my first two hour class at Wanderlust Austin, I found myself learning - learning about the heart center, connecting the meridian lines, my own alignment and how to move my breath. I left the class completely ‘blissed out’.Traveling Yogi: Wanderlust Austin - www.YogaTravelTree.com

The day progressed from one amazing class to another. Elizabeth Davis taught a class entitled ‘Not All Who Wander Are Lost’. The session was a blend of hiking, meditation, yoga and reflection all wrapped into one. She encouraged us to be present, in both mind and body and to really listen – whether the sounds were from the city, from nature or from our hiking partner. Each of us in the session was paired up with a buddy for the hike and Elizabeth challenged us to answer deep questions to one another, questions like - “when was the last time you felt true joy?” And “when was the last time you were jealous?”. We had uninterrupted time to express these stories to our partner and to feel the emotions that rose up. Then we would release these emotions to the world, often with a hug do our best to move on. Elizabeth echoed a teaching from her father to the group stating, “You need five hugs a day for maintenance and 10 hugs a day for growth”, so we hugged it out a lot. We would pause to do yoga in random places – like the side of a buTraveling Yogi: Wanderlust Austin - www.YogaTravelTree.comsy road or next to a bandstand set up. The intention of this was to let go, be free, enjoy life, be spontaneous and to live and experience our lives in every moment. One of the best parts of doing random yoga on the street was when a woman walking by, ran over to the group, took off her shoes, proceeded to complete the yoga sequences with us and when we were done, she put on her shoes and walked away. This woman was the embodiment of all of those elements that Elizabeth had been teaching that afternoon.

These first two classes at Wanderlust Austin set an incredible tone for the rest of the experience. During the rest of the weekend, I continued to take classes from amazing teachers. I was challenged to really feel the Law of Detachment, which is something I had not connected with that deeply before. And although I struggle with heart openers, I took a whole class entitled “Free Your Heart” – which forced me into a multitude of heart openers, while asking me to evaluate my passions and my purpose. I can honestly say that this class really fucked with me mentally. For several weeks after WanderlustAustin and even still - I keep reflecting on the messages from this class and feeling a real need to connect my passions with a global purpose. While I am still working on those things, I am also remembering to breath, to let go, to live in the moment, to be free and to find my bliss.

After all those amazing classes and teachers, my Wanderlust Austin experience ended by doing - ‘Flow & Float -Yoga on a Boat’. Saying goodbye to Wanderlust couldn’t get any better than spending a crisp morning, floating around Austin, in the amazing sunshine, being told that yoga is a playground and participating in a let loose, unpredictable, fun flow. I entered Wanderlust Austin with excitement and nerves but after such a reflective experience I believe that was part of a journey which is shaping my future. I find myself looking at my home, my family and my work with a different lens, trying to determine where to let go and what to embrace and trying to live each moment.

Thank you so much to Yoga Travel Tree and Wanderlust Austin. Because of this opportunity, I have the tools in my mind and my heart to honor myself, to better respect my loved ones and to continue to seek bliss.

Traveling Yogi: Wanderlust Austin - www.YogaTravelTree.com

 

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Get Physched! Yoga Travel Tree is Going to Wanderlust Squaw Valley!

 

Wanderlust Here We Come!

 

We're excited to announce that we'll be attending and sponsoring Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley, taking place in North Lake Tahoe July 17-20! #CaliforniaDreamin!

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Wanderlust Festivals combine all aspects of healthy, happy living and bring it to the masses. Squaw Valley will be no exception! This year over 100 speakers, teachers, leaders, musicians, and artists will be sharing insights and talents! We're most excited to experience...

Gabrielle Bernstein, the original #spiritjunkie and one of America's most popular wellness bloggers • Yoga teacher and activist Seane Corn • Musical performances from Big Gigantic, The Polyphonic Spree, RJD2, and MC Yogi!

 

The event schedule is just plain cray cray with a multitude of yoga and meditation workshops,  hiking and yoga expeditions, guided trail runs, slackline and SUP yoga, science and history of yoga lectures, mountain biking, music, and TONS more! Did someone say wine tasting for yogis? #hellyes!

It's going to be a rockin' four days!

 

Meet the Pretty Faces Behind Yoga Travel Tree!

 

Brooke and Sarah - www.YogaTravelTree.com

Sassy and business-savvy yoginis Brooke and Sarah will be repping YTT at the lake!

Come by our booth, say hey, and let us know you follow us (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) and we'll have a special gift for you! We'll also have a special guest appearance from a surprise celebrity, so make sure come to see us!

 

WIN TWO FREE PASSES!!

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We're giving away TWO free Sage passes for ANY Wanderlust Festival!

Wanderlust's most inclusive pass, The Sage Pass, includes:

  • FOUR days of yoga!
  • Three event registrations per day, for a total of TWELVE events!

Entering is easy! All you have to do is visit our Facebook Page and show us some love!

Click here to ENTER TO WIN!

 

 
 

13 Awesome Summer Yoga Festivals You've Never Heard Of

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Learn more about 13 of the most awesome yoga festivals all over the world this summer that you might not have heard of yet.

This summer, many people are choosing to attend a yoga festival, where they will meet like-minded, high-vibrational individuals, experience wholesome fun and challenging yoga classes and workshops, enjoy spectacular musical entertainment, indulge in delicious, healthy foods, and more! Invite a few friends and plan a road trip this summer to a yoga festival near you – you won’t regret it! We showcase 13 of the most awesome yoga festivals all over the world this summer that you might not have heard of yet.

1. Esalen Yoga Festival

Big Sur, California June 15 – 20, 2014

At Esalen Yoga Festival, inner balance and harmony is restored as you tap into positive, healing energies right before the summer solstice. You’ll enjoy yoga instruction with world-class instructors Janet Stone, Sianna Sherman, and Saul David Raye, pranayama exercises, kirtan, meditation walks around the grounds, dance, satsang, and more. You can choose to have a massage, to dip in the baths that overlook the Pacific Ocean, and in the afternoons, there’s partner Thai yoga, restorative yoga, tantric philosophy, and meditation. Relaxation and rejuvenation alongside nature are the effects you might feel after attending Esalen Yoga Festival.

2. Solstice (Kundalini) Yoga Festival

Sigulda, Latvia June 19 – 22, 2014

The 2nd annual Solstice (Kundalini) Yoga Festival will feature a solstice celebration in Latvia, where the locals gather each summer around bonfires and celebrate with flowers, food, and song and dance in reverence of nature and the new season. There’s a live concert every night at the festival, as well as Kundalini yoga (other yoga forms as well), meditation, and Sat Nam Rasayan. The stage is set perfectly to delve into yoga and meditation amidst this Latvian energy. Teachers come from all over the world, and see special guests are singer Allexia Chellun from Spain and the world devotional music performers and yoga teachers Mirabai Ceiba from America.

3. Bhakti Fest Midwest

Madison, Wisconsin June 20 – 22, 2014

Bhakti Fest Midwest embraces all devotional paths, and participants will partake in yoga, kirtan, meditation, practices of ancient and modern wisdom, and traditional and non-traditional spiritual practices. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from world-class instructors like Krishna Das, Saul David Raye, and Sean Johnson. This festival seeks to serve as a conduit for the evolution of human consciousness.

4. Telluride Yoga Festival

Telluride, Colorado July 10 – 13, 2014

13 Summer Yoga Festivals You've Never Heard Of - www.YogaTravelTree.com

The Telluride Yoga Festival is for you if you enjoy exploring the outdoors! You’ll hike and climb in Colorado, attend sound healing sessions, choose from all-day yoga intensives, workshops, classes of all kinds, learn fomr speakers, meditate, dance at the concerts, and choose from all kinds of outdoor events! Presenters announced for the event are Noah Mazè, Scott Blossom, Cat McCarthy, Monica Mesa, Denise Hatch, and Peter Sterios. More will be announced soon!

5. Nantucket Yoga Festival

Nantucket, Massachusetts July 11 – 13, 2014

This yoga festival on the gorgeous island of Nantucket celebrates the joining of community through yoga, wellness, and healthy living. There are a total of 40 workshops, 35 vendors and 25 instructors! Gebrielle Bernstein is the keynote speaker. A highlight of this festival is the location, Barlett’s Ocean View Farm, the oldest and largest family owned farm on Nantucket. The same land has been sustainably farmed since the 1800s, including organic crops such as corn, tomatoes, beets, arugula, all kinds of herbs, and more. There’s a full service kitchen serving sandwiches, salads, dinners, and more to go for guests of the festival.

6. Maine Yoga Fest

Portland, Maine July 12 – 13, 2014

Maine Yoga Fest showcases local yoga talent and has over 40 yoga instructors and studios participating in the events. They seek to highlight the many healing powers that yoga offers and how to live compassionately. The event takes place in the transcendent surroundings of the Coast of Maine.

7. YogaFest

Brisbane, Australia July 12 – 13, 2014

YogaFest is Australia’s largest celebration of yoga and offers five yoga halls, featuring over 90 teachers and performers, dance workshops, live concerts and kirtan, massages and Ayurvedic healing, an indoor and outdoor market place, healing and delectable fare, more.

8. Wake Up Festival

Estes Park, Colorado August 20 – 24, 2014

Wake up! That’s what one can seek to explore at the Wake Up Festival in Colorado. This festival focuses on transitioning through life or change through the support of a community and connection with life-minded, soulful individuals. This experience is inclusive and deeply engaging, where you will join with healing spiritual teachers like Jack Kornfield, yogini-activists like Seane Corn, and powerful healers like qigong master Robert Peng, to name a few. You’ll will learn about new advances in neuroscience as it pertains to spiritual awakening, how communing with others in the process of awakening expands our own ability to experience and give more love in the world, and more. Many rare performances and talents will be showcased. While the goal is to experience transformation in some way, it’s recognized that there isn’t only “one way”. We must each find our true path that’s authentic to our self, and this festival offers the opportunity to meet with others seeking the same. It’s a transformational experience.

9. Big Bear Yoga Festival

Big Bear, California August 22 – 24, 2014

13 Summer Yoga Festivals You've Never Heard Of - www.YogaTravelTree.com

At the Big Bear Yoga Festival, camp out in the mountains and experience a diverse range of yoga instruction (including fun classes like Belly Dance yoga), dance, meditation, eclectic music, presenters, delicious food, and outdoors activities. Yogis of all levels are welcome!

10. Pranafest

Ashland, Oregon August 22 – 24, 2014

Pranafest extends over a 35-acre botanical wonderland of natural mineral hot springs, pools, spas, exotic gardens, and more in the soulful Oregon Mountains. Enjoy kirtan chanting, all kinds of yoga classes and workshops, an unbelievable musical lineup (you have to go to their website to check out all the names because there are a lot!), sonic shamans, and meditation workshops.

11. Floyd Yoga Jam

Willis, Virginia August 29 – 31, 2014

The 3rd Annual Yoga celebration is a carbon-conscious event with a focus on homegrown, grassroots, organic offerings. There’s something for everyone at Floyd Yoga Jam, including yoga workshops and classes, kayaking, SUP, meditation, art, guided nature walks, or enjoying the trees and outdoors along the creek. In the evenings, you’ll dancing and enjoy live music and chanting.

12. EvolveFest

Pottstown, Pennsylvania August 29 – September 1, 2014

EvolveFest is a top transformational and culturally transitional gathering where thousands cocreate with one another. Magic happens when participants act with intention. You’ll find yoga intensives, live concerts, DJs, drum circles, and interactive performances, themed campsites, artwork, art and fashion vendors and educational workshops, spiritual ceremonies, a healing sanctuary, an ascension temple, organic food and permaculture, and more! This is one of the bigger festivals which showcases over 100 bands, yoga instructors, artists, speakers, wisdom-keepers, and other spiritually conscious and uplifting inspirers.

13. Bhakti Fest West

Joshua Tree, California September 4 – 7, 2014

13 Summer Yoga Festivals You've Never Heard Of - www.YogaTravelTree.com

This is the West Coast version of Bhakti Fest Midwest and in the idyllic setting of Joshua Tree, California. Close summer right and expand your consciousness through instruction from Shiva Rea, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Kia Miller, Saul David Raye, and Sean Johnson. Yoga, dance, meditation, kirtan, and more!

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Rima Danielle Jomaa is from Los Angeles, California. She has an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. Rima is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (taking board examinations this summer, IMF 63338), a Registered Yoga Alliance yoga instructor, a Level One Reiki practitioner, a hypnotherapist, and an advocate for the rights of human and nonhuman animals through her work as an activist, nutrition advocate, educator, and healer. She encourages anyone she encounters to take responsibility for their own health, happiness, and freedom. Rima enjoys being active in the community in many various ways. She appears in various yoga productions and writes on a variety of topics for different websites. Rima is a student of evolutionary activism, she regularly practices yoga, meditates, surfs, bikes, skateboards, and cooks vegan cuisine.

Rima currently lives part-time between Santa Teresa, Costa Rica and Southern California. She hosts groups of all kinds for retreats in Costa Rica, among other things. Her long-term goal and vision, along with her business partner, is to open a Residential Treatment Center for adolescents and young adults in Costa Rica. It will be designed with a holistic, yoga-based curriculum where the clients will grow their food, harvest their food, prepare their food, and be fully immersed in nature and their surroundings. Find out more about all of this on her website. More information about Rima can be found here. Join her on Facebook, Twitter, PinterestInstagram, or Google Plus!

Images via: @littledeets, @tellurideyogafestival, @bigbearyoga, @acronauts_

Cannon Beach Yoga Festival: Tips for Making the Most of Your Experience

A Look Back

 

Going to my first yoga festival, I anticipated the beautiful setting, great teachers and a weekend full of inspiring workshops. I was prepared to be humbled by the level of experience among attendees and to transition from my identity as a teacher into that of a student. What I did not expect when I signed up for the Cannon Beach Yoga Festival, however, was the palpable energy of love and warmth I felt as I arrived at the opening ceremony, suddenly surrounded by a powerful collection of heart-centered men and women.

It seems obvious that a yoga festival would draw individuals who live according to a shared practice and principle, but it never occurred to me that the quiet little host town of Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast would be saturated in a loving, kind and splendid energy throughout the weekend. The rare beauty of the place with its spectacular ocean views, walkable downtown center and the hospitable nature of the small community, made the charming sea village perfect for this intimate, boutique festival.

At this particular festival, renowned teachers, Annie Carpenter, Aadil Palkhivala and Sarahjoy Marsh taught to approximately 200 attendees in small classes of 15-30 students. Group meditations were led each morning by yoga therapist Kelly Ponzi and followed by classes like, Yoga Body Buddha Mind by author and founder of NYC’s OM Yoga Center, Cyndi Lee, Hips Extravaganza by Julie Gudmestad and my personal festival highlight, Imagination Yoga® for Kids by Portland’s fun and enthusiastic sister team, Jamie Hopkins and Jessica McClintic. I came away having rejuvenated my practice and with many things to impart to my own yoga community. I also came away with some tips and tricks to impart to anyone attending their first festival.

 

Travel Tips

 

Pack as light as possible: I lugged around a heavy bag all weekend with one too many yoga mats (among other unnecessary items). It’s best to bring a lightweight travel mat and leave any extraneous items in the car or at the hotel.

Have a notebook handy: Fortunately, the Cannon beach Yoga Festival supplied its participants with a journal and pen. I utilized mine over and over again writing down new information or inspiration from festival speakers and teachers during class. You’ll also use it to collect contact information from people you meet.

Bring your own props: I brought with me two blocks, a strap and a blanket and used them all. I would also advise bringing lightweight foam blocks instead of heavy cork ones if possible, you don’t want to haul around a lot of unnecessary weight.

Pack snacks: There can be short breaks between classes, not leaving enough time for a full meal. Bring light snacks that won’t interfere with your practice or breathwork, and choose things like bananas, cheese, granola bars or grapes.

Take a folder or envelope: You’ll meet lots of people you want to connect with. Bring an envelope for collected materials like business cards and brochures for other programs you're interested in attending in the future.

Stray from your comfort zone: The advantage of traveling out of town for a yoga festival, is the opportunity to gain new experiences on and off the mat. Be open to trying new postures and learning different disciplines. Take classes from teachers you wouldn’t ordinarily get to learn from and classes that aren’t offered at your home studio.

Leave your ego behind: Yoga festivals draw heart-centered people who make it a priority to grow as individuals and practitioners. These festivals are not about what you’re wearing or showing off. Be humble and work on bettering yourself and make a point to learn from, not only new teachers, but other students.

 

Attending a yoga festival is a beautiful way to connect with respected teachers, participate in inspiring workshops and deepen your practice. “These kinds of experiences can lead to big shifts in people's lives. These shifts may not be immediately evident, but knowledge leads to growth and transformation.” Says Cannon Beach founder and director Christen Allsop. Whatever festival you attend, make knowledge your aim and be open to the many possibilities for growth.

Find information on next year’s Cannon Beach Yoga Festival, March 6-8, 2015 at cannonbeachyogafestival.com.

Have you attended a yoga festival and want to offer some advice to fellow yogis? Please share in the comments below!

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Kristin Daemon is a yoga teacher, freelance writer and owner of Seaside Yoga, a new studio in the small town of Seaside, Oregon on the rugged Pacific Northwest coast.  You can find and friend her on Facebook or check out and follow her blog, kristindaemon.com.

 

Images via: North Coast Citizen,

5 Reasons to Fly Solo to Your Next Yoga Festival

You want to go to a yoga festival, but your friends are dragging their feet and struggling to find the money. This isn’t the first time you’ve almost had the trip planned and friends have bailed on you. If you have a deep desire to go, let this post be your push to actually do it SOLO! This might be the biggest and best opportunity of your life! If this idea makes you apprehensive, there might be more to gain going it alone then you realize.

In your yoga practice, you’ve studied detachment. You’ve practiced hours on the mat letting go of discomfort in your asana, you’ve been practicing detachment from your inner chatter during meditation, but how are you doing letting go of old habits? As Wayne Dyer says, “You can’t be alone if you like the person you’re alone with”.

Grab your suitcase and get packing!

 

Here are a few things to consider when taking the plunge:

  1. Are you apprehensive about traveling alone? Consider finding a retreat within driving distance or in a city you’re already familiar with-this will settle the nerves and give you confidence. There are wonderful and beautiful retreats and festivals happening closer than you think.
  1. Pick smaller festivals. Larger festivals might leave you feeling overwhelmed by choices, schedules and thousands of people. Talk to your yoga teachers and mentors at home and ask them which festivals would be a good fit for your level of practice or which ones will offer what you’re looking to experience.

  1. Do your research. Call the organization putting the festival on and ask questions. Definitely tell them if it’s your first time attending a yoga festival and mention it’s your first time attending their festival. You want to know if you need to pre-register for any workshops, will you be able to walk to and from your hotel or dorm easily to the classes? Find out what the meal options are. Is there a local market or stores nearby?

  2. Pack a journal. You’ll find perfect moments for quiet time where you’ll be inspired to  sit down and write, and you’ll see others doing the same thing. Park yourself in a corner and be an observer. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded people. The power and energy at festivals is contagious. Don’t be surprised, you’re going to meet all kinds of people. When you’re solo, you’re much more available to have new experiences and chance encounters.

  1. Be Open. Expect a little anxiety if the solo thing is new for you. Being open from the get-go will leave room for you to find humor in the mishaps and the fun of figuring out the lay of the land by yourself. You might have a few butterflies as you approach the registration table the first day, or you may simply feel awkward being alone in general, let those feelings pass with a smile. You’ll be in good company. Trust yourself, be confident and enjoy your independence!

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Julie Konrad, RYT  has been teaching and practicing Hatha yoga in Cleveland, OH for 9 years. Last year, she converted her living room into a yoga studio to create a space for her community to come together and practice. It’s a truly home grown and organic experience for students and family alike. It’s not unusual to find her three little girls using the space to teach yoga to their dolls or for a full class to be happening there! Julie's writing has been featured in Elephant Journal, The Magazine of Yoga and Natural Vitality Living. You can find out more about Julie at www.lunapresenceyoga.com.

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