A new study has revealed that going to a live music concert creates more happiness than practicing yoga. Fortunately, yogis can get a double boost of happiness when they attend a yoga festival that offers yoga classes and workshops during the day and live music performances in the evenings! With at least 29 North American yoga festivals happening this year, you can attend a festival near or far, with famous or not so famous yoga teachers, and with various outdoor activities. To help you plan your summer yoga festival itinerary, we have compiled a complete 2018 yoga festival lineup below! As most festivals offer early bird discounts, now is the best time to pick your faves and dish out the cash for your passes.
Find your festival focus
While yoga festivals are similar, no two are alike. As you peruse the long list of yoga festivals below, you will notice each schedule has a unique variety of options. The big four areas to focus on are the type of teachers and presenters, the genre of music and bands, outdoor activities, and pre- and post-festival options.
Most festivals offer a broad spectrum of classes and workshops, which is excellent if you like to dabble and explore different styles and teachers. Some festivals host local or regional teachers, while larger and more established festivals such as Boulder’s Hanuman Festival has more national and international teachers, including Seane Corn, Gurmukh, Tiffany Cruikshank, and Tommy Rosen. The type of classes and workshops vary from a potpourri to a more thematic and curated selection.
The two main music options at a yoga festival are kirtan/chanting bands and chill or yoga music bands. Many festivals feature one or the other, while some offer a diverse mix of all. Shakti Fest and Bhakti Fest both have kirtan and chanting music from 8 am until midnight and also have a sound healing temple featuring musicians and healers playing gongs and singing bowls. Since music will be the main or only evening entertainment, you might want to preview the music of any unfamiliar bands on the lineup (especially the headliners).
Even though yoga and music will consume most of your time, yoga festivals offer other unique activities such as massage/healing modalities, hiking, rock climbing, stand up paddle boards, acro yoga, aerial arts, hula hooping, and mountain biking. Also consider the festival’s food options, the size, and diversity of their vendor village, and if they have a children’s program.
Attending a yoga festival can invoke a deep sense of connection and community, and you will find yogis attending the same festival year after year. Many festivals are expanding into offering different platforms to continue to connect, educate, and inspire their festival-goers throughout the year. If you want a more in-depth experience of connection and community, look for festivals that offer day-long intensives, retreats, or online courses before or after the festival.
Pick your perfect festival location
Just as students favor a specific yoga studio in town, yoga festival-goers gravitate towards specific venues based on location, cost, accommodations, and amenities. If travel time and cost are a big deciding factor, focus on festivals in easy to access sites (near major airports or a few hours away from home); if not consider a more remote or adventurous location.
Another big factor to consider is where you’ll be laying your head down after a long day of yoga: local hotels or camping. City-based yoga festivals take advantage of nearby hotels for accommodations (and may have some or all classes in their ballrooms). In more remote locations you’ll likely find camping or cabins. The Floyd Yoga Jam has camping options for just about everyone: two tent campsites (wooded or meadow), car/RV camping, and a glamping (deluxe furnished tents) village.
Every yoga festival will be a unique and fun experience and be heavily flavored by its location and presenters. Once you have found the festival with the right mix of teachers, music, and amenities think about what to pack and what to expect.
Summer Yoga Festivals for 2018
|May 4-6||The Midwest Yoga & Oneness Festival||Dubuque, IA|
|May 10-14||Shakti Fest||Joshua Tree, CA|
|May 18-20||Hurricane Mills Yoga Festival||Hurricane Mills, TN|
|May 18-20||Ozark Mountain Yoga Festival||Echo Bluff State Park, MO|
|June 8-10||Wanderlust||Snowshoe, WV|
|June 14-17||Hanuman Festival||Boulder, CO|
|June 14-17||Mammoth Yoga Festival||Mammoth Lakes, CA|
|June 17-22||Esalen Yoga Festival||Big Sur, CA|
|June 21-24||Wanderlust||Bondville, VT|
|June 22-24||The Groove Yoga Festival||Sydenham, ON CA|
|June 22-24||Heartland Yoga Festival||Kansas City, MI|
|June 29-July 1||Maine Yoga Fest||Portland, ME|
|July 6-8||Nantucket Yoga Festival||Nantucket, MA|
|July 12-15||Soul Yoga Fest||Chicago, IL|
|July 19-22||Telluride Yoga Festival||Telluride, CO|
|July 19-22||Wanderlust||Lake Tahoe, CA|
|July 26-29||Asheville Yoga Festival||Asheville, NC|
|July 26-29||YogaFest||Vanderbilt, MI|
|August 2-5||Wanderlust||Whistler, BC CA|
|August 3-5||Vermont Be True Yoga Festival||Fairlee, VT|
|August 8-12||Sat Nam Fest||Lenox, MA|
|August 23-26||Wanderlust||Mount Tremblant, QC CA|
|Aug 30-Sept 3||Acroyoga Unity festival||Enderby, BC|
|Aug 30-Sept 2||Floyd Yoga Jam||Floyd, VA|
|Aug 31-Sept 3||Sukhava Bodhe||Paw Paw, IL|
|September 7-9||Harvest Moon Yoga Festival||North Freedom, WI|
|September 12-17||Bhakti Fest||Joshua Tree, CA|
|September 21-23||Love Yoga Festival||Falmouth, MA|
|September 21-23||Lovelight Yoga Arts Festival||Reisterstown, MD|