creativecommons.org/ Brad Coy
Wellness is integral part of our daily lives. More and more people are noticing the positive difference that it makes in our lives, and as a result, a number of interesting and unique mega-yoga festivals have been born. Yogis and Yoginis who have not had a taste of doing sun salutations en masse should check out some of these great events...
Might as well start with the big one, right? The Wanderlust Yoga Festival takes places at different times of the year, moving from place to place and living up to its whimsical name. This festival travels all over the world, but primarily sticks to venues in Canada and the United States. However, this has not stopped what is perhaps the most well-known yoga festival from attracting visitors from all over the world. So what has led to the success of Wanderlust?
They have attracted the best yoga teachers, renowned speakers on wellness and spirituality, chefs, performers and musical acts to provide a positive atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy fresh farm-to-tables dinners, take in some inspiration at the Soulful Cinema and even enjoy a glass of wine at the ‘Winederlust’ event.
Hanuman Festival in Boulder, Colorado
Hanuman is a community-oriented yoga and music festival that is set at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The festival aims to give back in the spirit of "Seva" (selfless service) and to make an impact through the power of community.
Through this festival the organizers try to honour the beauty of yoga and help others experience the healing and transformative powers of alignment, movement and breath. This is a great festival for the social Yogi or Yogini. It is, after all, all about the community - and there is no more welcoming community than the yoga community.
Alongside the musical acts, visitors can attend workshops and classes to further diversify their styles. Classes include Vinyasa, Kudalini, Hatha, Ashtanga and Therapeutic yoga styles. Visitors should be prepared to watch (and join in) as folks break into dance at a moment's notice, connect with others and expand their experience with yoga.
Zambhala International Yoga Festival in Bardo, India
Zambhala International Yoga Festival is not only one of India's most hip yoga festivals - being celebrated in Goa - but it is also one of India's largest yoga festivals. Visitors are tasked with seeing just how much bliss they can fit into a weekend during this festival.
Between hula hooping during breaks of Osho catharsis, Sufi-whirling before Shaolin master classes and being able to participate in group yoga lessons every sunrise, sunset and by moonlight, there is little in the way of downtime for visitors. While international visitors to this yoga festival will learn some yoga right from the source, they are often surprised by how energetic and modern it is.
Bali Spirit Festival in Bali, Indonesia
The Bali Spirit Festival is a vibrant and uplifting event that celebrates yoga, dance, art and music. This festival embodies the spirit of Bali by combing eastern and western cultures in their celebrations, and it focuses upon awakening and nourishing each individual's potential for positive change within. This festival hosts dance performances, yoga workshops and musical acts for the global yoga community.
While they host yoga philosophy and techniques from all over the world, this particular festival focuses on the Balinese Hindu concept of Tri Hita Karana - living in harmony with our social, spiritual and natural environment.
German Kundalini Festival in Wardenburg, Germany
While Germany is rather new to the yoga festival scene, the German Kundalini Festival has become a fast favourite with the international community. The event was created to support the spiritual family of Yogis and Yoginis living in Germany under the saying: "Kundalini rises in the company of saints".
Through the practice, visitors become “saints”, something that has inspired the Kundalini sect of yoga students. During the festival visitors can enjoy workshops, kirtan, singing, Gurdwara, Gtka, dance and saunas.
Yoga Festival Estonia in Haapsalu, Estonia
When visitors think of venues for yoga festivals, Estonia is perhaps one of the last places on the list. But this Baltic country is beautiful.
The Yoga Festival Estonia takes place on the grassy lawns of Haapsalu, surrounded by aged stone buildings and wide open sky right by the sea - making it one of the most peaceful places to practice. The goal of the Yoga Festival is to promote a healthy lifestyle by emphasizing the principles of conscious nutrition and providing an emotionally inspiring and uplifting atmosphere.
The festival attracts visitors and teachers from around the world that focus on every yoga style, from the traditional to the modern. There are inspirational concerts and mantra chanting alongside a market of healthy food and yoga lifestyle products. However, it is the group yoga events that really make this festival an inspiration.