Unless you've been in an unbroken state of deep meditation for the last couple of decades, you're well aware that Asheville has become world-renowned for the quality, diversity, and amount of yoga it offers. From gong meditations to fast flow, SUP yoga to yoga at your favorite brewery, we pretty much have it all. That's why we're so excited for the return of the Asheville Yoga Festival, happening at locations downtown on July 27-30. Over 30 presenters will offer more than 70 classes, talks, workshops, special events, concerts, and more across the weekend. Whether you're new to the practice or you want to deepen your knowledge of this ancient tradition, the Asheville Yoga Festival is the perfect opportunity to take your next step.
The schedule is pretty extensive, so we've created a curated list of five unmissable things you should be particularly jazzed about.
5. THERAPEUTIC YOGA OFFERINGS
Two are on our radar: Connected Warriors provides trauma-conscious yoga to veterans, servicemembers, and their families. The program's co-founder, Judy Weaver, will be leading classes and trainings throughout the weekend, including a Saturday morning workshop and practice, "Connected Warrior Inner Strength," from 8-10 a.m. at the YMI Cultural Center Gallery. The other program is Y12SR (Yoga of 12-Step Recovery), which brings together yogic philosophy and tradition and 12-Step programs. Al-Anon member Tanya Rodriguez, who has studied yoga, meditation, and medical massage, will lead a meeting and practice on Friday afternoon at the YMI Cultural Center. Connected Warriors
4. MONDAY MORNING SEVA—KAYAK AND CLEAN
In Sanskrit, "seva" means "selfless service." It's an opportunity to help others and the world with no thought of reward, which can result in the greatest gift of all: a feeling of deep peace and spiritual fulfillment. The Kayak and Clean Seva is technically after the end of the festival, but it's a wonderful way to keep the good vibrations going after the official programming has ended. Chelsey Korus will lead a French Broad River paddle trip and clean-up; kayaks, canoes, paddles, and garbage bags will be supplied to participants. Seva Kayak and Clean
3. THURSDAY INTENSIVES
The festival kicks off early when you sign up for one of the offered Thursday Intensives, available to festival-goers who purchase the 4-Day Love Pass or the Thursday only pass. These full-day workshops will leave you feeling refreshed, amazing, and ready to take on the rest of the weekend. There are three to choose from: Sean Johnson & the Wild Lotus Band will lead a "Tune Your Heart Bhakti Yoga Intensive," Chelsea Jackson Roberts will offer "Finding Comfort in Our Purpose: How to Use our Yoga Practice to Reflect, Heal & Impact Change," and Biff Mithoeffer will offer "An Introduction to Yin Yoga."
2. ASHEVILLE WELLNESS TOURS
Whether you're from out of town or you've lived here all your life, Asheville Wellness Tours will give you a glimpse of a whole new Asheville. This two-hour walking tour will include fun facts and the history of Asheville between stops for local honey, essential oil, salt cave therapy, and more. You'll leave the tour with knowledge of all the hot spots in town and a goodie bag of items to take home. The tour is an additional $30 and meets at Pack Square Park on Saturday and Sunday. Note: These are filling up fast, so sign up ASAP!Asheville Wellness Tour introduce you to a new side of downtown.
1. YOGA PRACTICES with MC YOGI
Yoga teacher and musician MC Yogi, artist Amanda Giacomini, and DJ Sol Rising join forces to create two of the most exciting and fun practices of the festival at the YMI Cultural Center Ray Auditorium on Friday and Saturday. MC Yogi's uplifting spirit makes him an accessible and playful yoga instructor. He and wife Giacomini will share stories about life, love, and, of course, yoga as they lead a practice with live music from DJ Sol Rising, who has performed at Wanderlust Yoga Festival, Burning Man, and Lightning in a Bottle. You'll have another chance to catch MC Yogi at his set with DJ Sol Rising on Saturday night (at New Mountain Asheville). This is one of only two festivals MC Yogi will be involved with in 2017: Don't miss your chance to practice, flow, and dance with him (there is an additional cost of $15 for the concert).MC Yogi
Space at the events is limited to ensure the quality of the experience, which means that everything is filling up fast. Get your tickets now and secure your spot at this year's Asheville Yoga Festival. One day passes, weekend passes, and four-day passes are available. You can also purchase tickets to special events, including MC Yogi's concert, Wellness Tours, and the Farm to Table dinner (happening at Local Provisions), on the site.