Yoga Festivals in 2013
Ready, set, mark your calendars! If your wish
list for 2013 includes enjoying
asana and music with like-minded folks at a yoga festival, it’s not too
early to start planning. The festival season is right around the corner.
You can expect to pay $100-300 a day for a pass that
includes asana workshops, live music and kirtan, and outdoor activities in
inspiring settings from beaches to mountains. (Often,
part of the fee is donated to a charitable cause.) Accommodations run the gamut
of prices and amenities, from camping to resort hotels. Pack according to
location: swimsuit, water shoes, hiking boots, a sarong or prayer shawl, etc.
Because most festivals highlight their natural surroundings, sun protection is
as important as your yoga mat and water bottle. And be sure to leave space in
your suitcase to bring home some of the cool handcrafted items you’ll find at
The ultimate yoga gathering is BhaktiFest,
held in Joshua Tree, CA. The lineup includes A-list teachers, and it’s nirvana
for kirtan lovers. Past performers have included Krishna Das (a recent Grammy nominee), Jai Uttal, and Deva Premal. But be prepared
to test your tapas—summer still has its grip on the Mohave Desert in
September—and make plans early, especially if you hope to
stay in the retreat center.
another hugely popular event, heads to both Chile and Oahu in February, with a
lineup of yoga luminaries (including Shiva Rea
and Baron Baptiste), gourmet food,
and surfing. The five-year-old fest features hip urbanities like art exhibits,
a teahouse, and dance club against natural backdrops.
If the thought of a big festival overwhelms
you, smaller gatherings are held throughout the year. Beginning in February, Sedona, AZ, hosts its first-ever yoga
festival. As you might expect in this metaphysical mecca of red rocks and
green forests, the focus is on the healing arts. In April, Kundalini yogis
gather at Joshua Tree to celebrate sadhana and community. Among the musicians
and teachers headlining the Sat
Nam Fest are Snatam Kaur, Gurmukh, and Gurunam Singh. The Tadasana Festival, held on Earth Day
weekend in Santa Monica, CA, uses the common language of yoga to promote
mindful, holistic living.
Things start heating up in May with ShaktiFest (a
more intimate version of BhaktiFest). Also held in Joshua Tree, it’s an
“ommersion” in the Divine Feminine with music, yoga, and meditation. The warmup
for BhaktiFest continues in July at BhaktiFest
Midwest, in Madison, WI. Or you can cool off in Colorado’s gorgeous high
country at two blissful events, the Hanuman
Festival held in Boulder in June, or the Telluride Yoga Festival in July.
Wrap up summer at the Flagstaff
Yoga Festival, a friendly, well-organized event featuring regional
teachers, situated 90 minutes from Grand Canyon. (Bring hiking boots and a
jacket; nights are chilly.) A handful of autumn festivals are still in the
incubation stages, including the Austin
Yoga Festival, a family-friendly weekend that includes kids’ classes,
films, and other activities.
These are just a few of the yoga festivals already on the calendar for
2013. What’s happening in your yoga neighborhood?