Last year we schlepped our mats and stretchy pants along to the Yoga Day Festival and had quite a bit of fun while we were at it. Who wouldn’t want to do downward dogs at the beach alongside hundreds of other Gold Coasters? With Yoga Day about to hit Burleigh once more we decided to have a chat to one of the festival volunteers Samantha Doyle about just why this team of ardent yogis chose this special way to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Yoga.
Tell us a bit about the team behind the Yoga Day Festival…
The Yoga Day Festival team is built entirely from volunteers! The presenters are all local Gold Coast teachers. We have a team of about 40 gold coast helpers from the general public who have come through our Seva (selfless service) program of all ages and backgrounds. Everyone involved is volunteering their time and skills free of charge, out of the pure joy of sharing the amazing gift of yoga that has enhanced their own lives and giving back to the community. The core team behind the festival are The Australian School of Meditation and Yoga, who are one of the major sponsors of the event.
How much bigger is this year than last year?
Last year we had one main stage where we held yoga asana classes and kirtan (sacred yoga chant) with around 600 people attending throughout the day. This year we have expanded the festival to include not only the main stage activities, but a separate meditation chill out area where there will be free meditation workshops, deep relaxation sessions and talks on yoga wisdom as well as a kids yoga zone. We have arranged vegetarian/vegan food marketplace to satisfy the hungry yogis.
Why do you think this event resonates so much with Gold Coasters in particular?
The universal appeal of the yoga lifestyle is being embraced more and more by the health conscious. With the amazing weather, Gold Coasters love to get outdoors as much as possible and enjoy our beautiful beaches and parks. Thanks to the Gold Coast City Council and the crew from the Active and Healthy program we are able to provide the perfect venue at Justin’s Park right on the Burleigh Heads foreshore.
What are some of the activities included?
Yoga (of course!), meditation, relaxation, music, wisdom, free family fun, (kids yoga and meditation, eco art & craft, storytime, songs and yoga games), yummy food. And, if yoga all day isn’t quite enough, and you’re feeling like you want to keep celebrating into the night, then float over to the Yoga Day Festival after party- hosted by Australia’s leading kirtan hub, The Mantra Room.
The Yoga Day Festival takes place from 10.30am on Sunday 19 June at Justin’s Park, Burleigh Heads. The after party starts ay 5.00pm at The Mantra Room. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Judson Photography