Summer Yoga Festivals: August

As summer starts to wind down, you may want to squeeze in one more yoga festival in the sun, to experience the joy of stretching your yoga muscles and meeting new friends in a fun and communal setting. Here are some of our top picks for yoga festivals to attend in August:

Santa Fe Yoga Festival – August 6-9

Featuring the music of festival favorites Michael Franti and Spearhead, this gathering shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the southwest! The festival includes classes by over 35 yoga instructors, as well as inspiring music, daily meditations and dharma talks.

ARISE Music Festival

ARISE Music Festival – August 7-9

The scope of this event in Colorado encompasses not just yoga and music, but exciting visual performances and thought-provoking workshops! Whether you want to practice Jivamukti, Kundalini or Laughter yoga, there’s a class for you. On top of that, you can attend concerts by a variety of musicians, shows by talented aerial performers, and insightful discussions about culture, art and spirituality.

LoveYogaFest

LoveYogaFest – August 14-16

Cape Cod’s yoga festival includes two classes that you just can’t miss: beach yoga and paddleboard yoga! You can experience the natural and fragile beauty of the New England coast at the best time of the year, and get your yoga at the same time. In addition to beach yoga, there are aerial, restorative, and Vinyasa classes, and a whole lot more.

Big Bear Yoga Festival

Big Bear Yoga Festival – August 21-23

In beautiful Big Bear, California, you can enjoy a festival filled with yoga, music, meditation and lectures, surrounded by the picturesque San Bernadino Mountains. And on top of all that, the event is located at a YMCA camp that offers canoeing and swimming to cool off in the heat.

Iowa Yoga Fest – August 28-30

For those in America’s heartland, there’s this three-day festival that kicks off with a yogi party in downtown Des Moines! During the rest of the weekend, you’ll enjoy workshops and classes with a variety of teachers from around the world. Whether you’re interested in mandalas, mantra meditation, or gong baths, you’ll find something to excite your interest at this eclectic event.

For ultra-portable yoga supplies including Hybrid Eco Mats, Eco-Foam Blocks and Yoga Mat Bags, visit www.barefootyoga.com!

Posted under Health and Fitness, Meditation, Styles of Yoga, Yoga Events

This post was written by Lauren on July 31, 2015

Yoga Trends: Paddleboard Yoga

BH_PADDLEBOARD_YOGA_LS_751

 

Keeping your balance during practice on dry land: sometimes challenging, but pretty manageable. Keeping your balance during practice on water? A whole different story.

A recent yoga trend that’s caught our eye is “yoga on water” (A.K.A. standup paddleboard yoga) which provides a sometimes not-so-sturdy surface to really beef up on your balance and strength.

It also offers a truly unique, meditative – and some yogis have said spiritual – experience by providing a very close connection to the outdoors while practicing. Feeling the water all around while practicing can provide an amazing and brand new feeling, with your feet planted firmly on the board and the gentle current of water underneath.

Some yogis feel it offers a brand new way of feeling grounded – more of a temporary stillness that is always changing with the tides and might offer a sudden flash of instability, quelled by an almost as sudden stillness.

Another great benefit of paddleboard yoga is the extra kick your muscles get from keeping steady on the board! Your body will feel the burn (in a good way, we promise) from the extra strength and care needed to stay “on board”. (A tip for the easiest way to keep your balance? Use small, slow movements when moving from pose to pose!)

While paddleboard yoga may seem like more of a stateside trend, it actually originated in Rishikesh, India! It began as a new way for yogis to get their OM in, and has grown in its popularity within the past few years as an awesome way to mix up and reinvigorate any practice.

For all of your dry land yoga needs, visit us today at BarefootYoga.com!

 

Posted under Health and Fitness, Styles of Yoga, Yoga News

This post was written by Carolina on July 30, 2015

Yoga Revival – Week 5: Fighting Gravity

outdoor-yoga-300x200

 

I am now more than a month into my Yoga Revival. It began with a free outdoor class on the Solstice, which was the first international yoga day as declared by the United Nations last December. My goal was to have a ‘regular yoga practice” – and so far I do! Woo-hoo!!

“Talk to me in a year,” immediately pops into my head. “It’s only been a month.” In my adult life I’ve had periods of serious dedication to yoga – but moreover, I’ve been rather a dabbler. Particularly over the past 8 years since becoming a father.

Many people have been surprised. They assumed since I’m part owner of a yoga supply company that I must do yoga regularly. I did at times in my life. And, I suppose in my mind I have told myself that I am practicing yoga daily. Generally I do – even if just for a tiny piece of the day while waiting for the microwave, or the water to boil. And there are times when I am waiting in line for something, and feel a little impatience starting to grow, and turn inward, and listen to my breath, while staring at a little speck on the wall (“drishti” definition here. Source: Drishti Yoga Journal article)

On a particularly turbulent coast to coast plane ride the other day a thick line of people formed in front of me when the air smoothed out and seatbelt sign finally went off. It was a big claustrophobic crowd in the aisles, then a dad and his toddler cut the line, and we were all trying not to look at each other, and it felt like the oxygen might be running low in that tight little space. I logged about 10 minutes of meditation, and almost took a picture of my drishti point, or some sort of selfie, but I feared someone might wrestle me down in the aisle because of suspicious activity. People were probably already a bit suspicious by the way I was smiling about this.

I believe these are valid, very useful moments of yoga practice. There are 8 limbs to Yoga after all, lest we forget. Here is a good description of them by Yoga Journal:  http://www.yogajournal.com/article/beginners/the-eight-limbs/

Reading over this reinforces something I know and love about yoga. It is BIG. And it is comprehensive. It is spiritual. I’ll never forget when my East coast Catholic mother was visiting in San Francisco in the late 90’s, and she was flipping through the Yoga Sutras sitting on the couch. I thought she might be just judging that here was further evidence of my deepening plunge in hippy oblivion. But much to my surprise, she was pleased by the similarities in the messages of the Yoga Sutras to what she had learned in church all those years. Her acceptance made me so happy.

For my purposes now – I am NOT looking at the BIGNESS of yoga. When I set out for a Yoga Revival in June, I intentionally set my sights on small (half hour) increments of yoga per day. When I first started practicing yoga regularly in the early 1990’s I was recovering from having a disk (hastily) removed from my lower back (L4-L5).  My yoga teacher friend visited and showed me a SHORT yoga routine that took roughly a half hour, stretching and strengthening muscles all around my back, without straining it. She made some crude stick drawings to ensure I remembered the poses.  A week into this, I felt the results, and kept doing it, and the results got better and better.

The briefness of this practice (25-45 minutes) helped me to DO IT DAILY back then. But even so, when I eventually felt like I’d never had a back problem – I quit doing yoga so regularly. I have discovered through my conversations with injury prone friends and physical therapists that most people stop doing their rehab exercises once they feel better – even though these are often meant to go on and on to help prevent further injury. So my conclusion is it’s our nature to take the easy way out, and so – for now at least – I need to “fight gravity” – to keep this yoga practice “regular.”

One of the best examples of fighting gravity is when my alarm goes off in the morning. Seattle’s cool nights make for some sweet sleep – so given the choice between staying in my warm comfy bed and getting into downward dog – I’m going to need some motivation to beat gravity.

Today gravity and the snooze button won for an hour, but I finally staggered to the mat, and salvaged a good 40 minute practice before work. Which means no full belly meditation tonight. And also, I have felt a balance and peacefulness from it, which might be the motivation I need to make tomorrow’s fight against gravity a bit easier.

 

Posted under Health and Fitness, Meditation, Styles of Yoga, Yoga Supplies

This post was written by David on July 29, 2015