A Summer of Yoga Festivals

From entire festivals dedicated to yoga to the classic summer music celebrations incorporating asana and meditation, the summer festival and yoga are becoming inseparable. This year announces the Wanderlust Music and Yoga Festival as one of the headliners of the list, as well as the second annual Telluride Yoga Festival, the Flagstaff Yoga Festival and others. Yoga is also making appearances at music festivals across the country like Bonaroo in Tennessee, LEAF festival in North Carolina, Floyd Fest in Virginia, and many others.

This year as yogis evaluate their budgets, they may find that a weekend yoga festival is a great alternative to a traditional summer vacation. Still providing an opportunity to get away, the yoga festivals happening across the country offer affordable, educational and uplifting experiences for yogis of all levels.

The combination of yoga and the summer music festival is not a new idea. Sri Swami Satchidanada helped to introduced yoga to the Western world during the original Woodstock in 1969. Now, as yoga grows in popularity, so does its inclusion in the summer festival tradition. Though, the Summer Yoga festival itself is gaining popularity. This year’s Wanderlust festival at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, CA July 24-26 is billing itself as a groundbreaking partnership between the biggest names in yoga and the biggest names in rock and roll. With performers such as Michael Franti & Spearhead, Gillian Welch, and Spoon, the musical line-up is an impressive mix. And, teachers the likes of John Friend and Shiva Rea bring the upper echelon of yoga to the stage as well.

The Telluride Yoga Festival is less focused on the glam and more directed toward the green. 25% of the festival’s net proceeds will be donated to an environmental cause. This summer’s proceeds will be donated to the Telluride Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, a local non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the natural environment in the Telluride region. Every attendee will also be given the opportunity to offset the environmental impact of their travel by donating $10 to Telluride’s New Community Coalition to support sustainable living in Telluride.

The Flagstaff Yoga Festival in the mountains of Northern Arizona will be held August 7-9 and includes 100 workshops, classes, and special events. It has a full schedule of classes and workshops that feature local and regional teachers as well as a children’s festival which includes yoga classes, Waldorf-inspired days, and gymnastics, and evening Kirtans. Though these festivals doesn’t offer the same big names as the others, they do have a dynamic mix of experienced teachers with a community feel and affordability.

As Yoga continues to be an important part of the summer festival experience, it is sure to grow in scope and in popularity. Keep your eyes open for a festival near you, and share with us your experiences at the summer yoga festivals that you attended.

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