We all have different intentions when seeking out a yoga festival. The uplifting feeling of experiencing meditation and movement with others of the yoga community is something many people find enriching to their practice. Attending gives you first-class access to the newest trends and products that can help elevate your practice that may have been inaccessible in your hometown. Yoga festivals can also serve as a mini vacation from the high speed of everyday life.
Whether it is your first time or you are a festival veteran, the number of festivals springing up all around the world can feel overwhelming to choose from. Take a moment to sit with where your intentions and goals lie in attending a dedicated multi-day practice. Each festival has something different to offer its attendees, and you will want to be sure to choose the right offerings to suit your wants and needs.
All Levels –
The following festivals make yoga available to all levels of yogis, and make for great options for those attending with partners or friends that may be at different levels in their practice.
Located: Boulder, Colorado
This three day festival may be the perfect place for you to finally learn how to fly into crow pose. Consider each day a chance to build and grow your practice, with the help and support of the surrounding yogi community. The name of the festival is in reference to Hanumanasana — the stance that celebrates humans for all that they are and what they have the ability to be. This festival’s intention is to allow all humans to express the devotion of the heart at all levels of practice. You can choose from a variety of classes to learn about different styles, such as yoga nidra, arm balances, and meditation.
Wanderlust’s four day festivals are gaining momentum and are spreading far and wide. They hold yoga festivals (and other events) all over the world. One reason for their rise in popularity is the wide collection of offerings from many different realms and practices of yoga. If you have ever wanted to try paddleboard yoga, aerial yoga, or yin yoga, then purchase your ticket to Wanderlust now. In addition to traditional yoga classes ranging from beginner to advanced, you can also attend one of their mind stimulating speakeasies. Their festivals bring in world-renowned DJs to keep the beats going while you get your mind right.
For those that look forward to their instructors new playlist each week, you may want to consider attending a music-oriented festival. This way you get to listen to your favorite bands while getting your “om” on.
Located: Loveland, Colorado
If waking up and falling asleep to the sound of music sounds like your kind of yoga festival, look into the Arise music festival. Big name artists like Michael Franti and Beats Antique can be seen on the roster, but this music festival also has a big time yogic following. The festival is held every August on recently plowed fields of a 350-acre organic farm and retreat center. Arise is a conscious, independent, family run, leave-no-trace event that plants a tree for every ticket purchased. The three day event also has a variety of different workshops, lectures, and documentary film showcases for when you need a break from the yoga tent.
Located: Boise, Idaho
TreeFort started out as a small town, three day music festival that hoped to highlight up-and-coming bands, plus a more well-known headliner (or two) to appeal to the crowds. It has developed and grown into much more than a music celebration. It has expanded to include other “forts” such as HackFort (tech), ComedyFort, StoryFort, FoodFort, FilmFort, AleFort, SkateFort, KidFort and YogaFort! Now a five day event, you can purchase a single general admission wristband for full access, or you can get a YogaFort only pass for a discounted price. The yoga classes offered are deeply saturated with music called kirtan, which has been shown to benefit your heart, and is played by both live bands and DJs.
Festivals for Foodies
Yoga, meditation, and a healthy diet are all investments in your overall well being. At these food-focused festivals, you can learn how to continue your self-care and how to use food as medicine.
Located: Sandpoint, Idaho
You read it right. The Northwest Yoga Feast is part yoga, part feast. The festival has adopted the motto “free the body, nourish the soul!” The focal point of this experience is feeding the body through culinary technique, in addition to nourishing the mind and soul through yoga practice. A resident chef educates the attendees on preparing wholesome foods that have the ability to heal and treat common disorders like GERD, heartburn, fatigue, and IBS. The concept that food can be used as medicine is put to practice at this feast. The idea that restrictive recipes or militant cleansing are the only form of healing foods is thrown out the window. Instead, there is an advocated use of organic, consciously grown healthy foods to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
Located: Salt lake City, Utah
The foundation of the Downtown Yoga Festival is highlighting the healing elements of yoga, and how combining it with nutritional foods can help you find the most optimal habits for your health. The festival welcomes all levels of practicing yogis and aspires to bring the local community together using the foundation of yoga. The festival also engages attendees using the invigorating gift of music, the effects that it can have on your mood, in minimizing stress and a rise in brain development. Instructors offer many different guided meditations in hopes of releasing one from “monkey brain”. There are cooking lessons that instruct on creating vegan and Ayurvedic recipes.
Taking in the View
Some of us benefit from long distance vantage points and wide open views when deepening our yoga practice. For those that crave a treat for the eyes and open skies, consider one of the following festivals.
Located: Telluride, Colorado
The peaks of Telluride are an iconic view of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The views are spiritually stimulating, and serve as a stunning setting to enhance your practice over this four day yoga festival. Escaping the city madness, this small mountain town encourages you to slow down, and to meet the calm demeanor of the locals. The event has been organized to allow you to take advantage of the breathtaking landscape. In addition to the copious yoga class offerings, there are also mountain hikes and paddleboard yoga on the schedule. This world renowned ski town turns into a lush green paradise in the summer, when this yoga festival takes place.
Located: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Steamboat Movement Fest is a transformative four-day experience of Consciously Connecting through yoga, live music, and outdoor adventure, while showcasing Steamboat’s talented community of yoga teachers, musicians, and artists. The intention of this festival is to connect yogis and outdoor adventurers from around the U.S. to consciously deepen awareness and appreciation of our bodies, our environment and our global community. The Movement Festival is here to celebrate yoga, live music and movement in the authentic mountain beauty of Steamboat Springs
Where: Sedona, Arizona
The stunning deserts of Sedona are known for having numerous energy vortexes that lend themselves to a rich experience. This spiritually charged area enriches this three day experience — making it unique when compared to any other festival. The surrounding red rocks in the area call out to you to explore them at any given chance. Hiking is largely encouraged, but be sure to make your way back to catch the singing bowls at sunrise or sunset. This soul-enriching experience will serve as a treat for your eyes, as well as your body and soul.
Mindfulness and Meditation
If you are needing a festival to help still your mind and step into a more meditative space, consider a more intuitive festival that will help guide you on your mental journey.
Located: Northlake, Illinois
This three day yoga event is centralized around meditation and healing, but offers diverse events available to all festival goers. The event features sacred music, and the festival’s vision it to be “a vehicle for evolution of human consciousness through a heart-centered revolution.” The event aspires to be a welcoming and safe family event, and is therefore an alcohol and drug-free space. There are classes available to beginner minds of meditation practice, as well as more advanced and extensive workshops focused on clearing the mind. For those looking to energetically heal their minds, bodies, and souls the festival has a healing tent where you can go to absorb the loving energy of other enlightened souls, and take some time to reconnect with the earth in a relaxing environment.
Located: San Diego, California
The San Diego Yoga Festival was developed “to positively transform the lives of every individual who attends or works with this event from a mental, physical, energetic, emotional, spiritual, conscious, subconscious, and superconscious level.” Over the course of three days, your time will be spent in deep focus on meditation, and utilizing it to expand your yoga practice. The opening ceremony is not to be missed — it consists of a drumming meditation, kundalini, and guided meditation with gong baths that cumulatively aid in centering yourself, as well as a kick off to this festival. If you feel a need to incorporate more movement to your meditation practice, there are offerings such as yogic surfing and sunset walks at the nearby beach.
No matter your intention, you are sure to find are a number of ways to build upon your yoga foundation by attending a yoga festival. Meeting new people with varying knowledge, attending lectures and demonstrations or meditating for your first time are all experiences that will travel with you throughout your yogic journey. Breath deep, cherish the moment and flow with ease as you enjoy a multi-day practice that benefits your mind, body and soul.
Story by W.M. Chandler
W.M. Chandler is a Colorado native and works best with her head in the clouds. She is an avid researcher and enjoys writing about unfamiliar subjects. She writes passionately about nature and the outdoors, human connections and relationships, nutrition and politics.