Thinking of taking in a wellness festival this year? These multi-day events are a great way to explore different wellness practices you’re interested in, in a beautifully flexible format. Unlike going on a wellness retreat, which is usually focused on a particular practice or two, a festival or conference is an invitation to explore a diverse selection of workshops and modalities such as Ayurveda, shamanism, breathwork, energy healing, Desire Mapping, and much more. In the following list of festivals, even those with ‘yoga’ in their title, you could fill up your entire weekend and never take a single yoga class —that’s how many workshop options each offers! Here are a few of the festivals I’d like to take in this year —let me know if you have others to recommend!
1. Victoria Yoga Conference
The 8th annual Victoria Yoga Conference brings in the top yoga and wellness teachers from BC to offer a weekend of inspiration, motivation, and deep learning about the practice of yoga and (well!) beyond.
At any given time over the weekend, something magical is available to support and inspire you. Want to try Acro Yoga? Ready to Desire Map your future? Walk a labyrinth? Maybe you want to learn about Ayurveda, or relax on a yoga mat for hours? Check, check, check. This weekend is truly for everyone. Expect 60+ classes on everything from yoga to poetry writing to Bellyfit and breathwork –and prepare to be impressed. They also offer some beautiful scholarship options and energy exchange programs; contact the organizers to apply.
Samsara, a Sanskrit word, means journeying, which is the theme of this beautiful healing and wellness festival happening just outside of Seattle, Washington. This festival first came to life with a mandate to support those who are grieving by offering a multitude of healing and wellness supports and workshops. However, Samsarafest has evolved to include a lot of celebration as well. Over 100 activities are planned across this 3-day immersion –including a yoga village, healing huts, nature immersion, live music, adventure activities, several hands-on workshops, inspiring talks, intimate circles, Ayurveda teachings, drum circles, farm-to-table foods, and inspiring vendors… All planned with great love and care by a team of incredible giving teachers and artists. No matter where you are on your journey, there is something special for you to experience at Samsarafest. Parents: kids are very welcome at this festival, and there’s actually a full program for children to enjoy as well.
Dates: March 20-22, 2020
Location: Enumclaw, Washington (near Seattle), USA
Prices: Full Festival pass is $150 USD; Day passes available, and several discounted rate options for seniors, teachers, and students.
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3. Shakti Fest
Happening in May in Desert Hot Springs, California, Shakti Fest is a Kirtan-focused festival aimed at celebrating the Divine Feminine connection that resides in all of us. Seekers will enjoy a lot of live music, yoga classes, healing, conscious workshops, gender-specific classes and more —plus, it’s kid-friendly. Featuring popular teachers and artists such as Krishna Das, Shiva Rea, Dawn Cartwright, and many more, Shakti Fest is one of the few all-ages, alcohol-free, family-friendly music and yoga festivals on the circuit today. This festival’s intention is to be a vehicle for the evolution of human consciousness. Learn more here.
4. Banff Yoga Festival
The 5th Annual Banff Yoga Festival is a boutique wellness festival specializing in all things yoga, meditation, self-care, green cuisine, and outdoor adventure. Immerse yourself in 3 days of wellness and soak up the beauty of Banff at the same time. All budgets can be accommodated at this event. Expect to be moved, both physically and mentally, taking away useful tips and tricks to make your health and well-being easy and realistic at home. This festival is known for great community vibes, yoga teachers that also love the great outdoors, and eco-friendly yoga inspiration.
5. Muskoka Yoga Festival
The Muskoka Yoga Festival and 10k Forest Run takes place in the pristine nature of Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve in Ontario, offering a full weekend of yoga, music, a 10k Forest Run, camping, a food and vendor market, and lots of other activities. This is a family-friendly festival with a mandate of “Community, Connection, and Conservation.” Festival-goers can explore a range of workshops from Kundalini to Ashtanga to Power to Flow to Acro, as well as a tent dedicated to mindfulness, meditation, and restorative yoga. If a nature festival is what you’re after, the Muskoka Yoga Festival is an excellent bet. Interesting extras include Stand-Up Paddleboarding workshops, Silent Disco, and a Vegetarian Market.
6. Okanagan Yoga Festival
One of the few yoga festivals that includes wine as a central piece, the OYF invites people from the Okanagan and beyond to create community and immerse themselves in 3 days of conscious celebration. From yoga classes to hiking to meditation to hands-on workshops and mindful wine tasting, you’ll leave feeling renewed and inspired. Previously set at the stunning Spirit Ridge resort in Osoyoos, 2020’s location has yet to be announced. This is one of the top wellness festivals the Okanagan has to offer.
If you’re having a hard time deciding on the above list, do a little digging online to learn more about the teachers and schedules. And if you need more help, I’ve written this how-to guide for choosing the right wellness getaway for you. If you’re looking for a wellness experience that’s a little more focused and intimate, take a look at these upcoming BC yoga retreats, Washington meditation retreats, California yoga retreats, and wellness retreats in Oregon.
Written by Monica Krake, founder of Head + Heart, your go-to spiritual and wellness resource and online calendar. Find events, retreats, teachers, tips and community to support your journey from the head to the heart. On socials: Instagram + Facebook.
Edited by Ely Bakouche
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