Newly Redesigned Festival to Include Internationally Acclaimed Presenters
Asheville Yoga Festival is pleased to announce its dates for 2017. The Festival, formerly Asheville YogaFest, is in its fourth year and is now under the ownership and direction of Asheville residents and veteran yoga practitioners Amanda Hale and Sara Levine LaStella. The festival will feature over 30 presenters and 70+ offerings, including yoga, music, outdoor activities, and unique health & wellness vendors.
“Asheville has long been a place for healing, where people come to nourish their bodies and spirits,” said Amanda Hale, Festival Co-Director. “The city is also deep in the practice of yoga, with more studios and practitioners than most cities of similar size. It is well known in the yoga community across the country that there is something special happening here, and Sara and I hope to create a space for soulful connection to take place, both with self and others, in the midst of the some of the oldest, most beautiful mountains on earth.”
Yoga Journal has also recognized Asheville’s restorative vibe, “Since the 1700s, folks have flocked here for the healing powers of the crisp mountain air and nearby mineral springs, and today’s plethora of yoga studios, spas, and holistic treatment options bolster the health-conscious culture.”
There are many changes in store for the Festival this year. The location of the festival has transitioned from the Montford neighborhood to the heart of downtown Asheville. The increased footprint utilizes multiple indoor and outdoor venues, including Pack Square Park, the YMI Cultural Center, Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt Place, the Masonic Temple and the AC Marriott.
Additionally, the Festival will offer a variety of experiences and personal enrichment opportunities beyond intensive yoga practice, like guided nature hikes, a farm to table dinner, and evening concerts. There will also be a Vendor Village that will be open to the public, allowing everyone to explore an exceptional mix of health and wellness businesses, both local and from across the country.
It is important to Hale and LaStella that Asheville Yoga Festival is a catalyst for change, and their desire is to offer a space for convergence to happen on a personal, social and energetic level. “We acknowledge that life is messy and uncomfortable,” said Hale, “and to do this work requires us to be bold and courageous. The invitation is to join us on a pilgrimage to reconnect and receive, so that when you return home, you will be inspired to put your yoga in action and be of service, that what you have received will ripple out.”
“Asheville has long been a place of convergence in so many ways – geographically, philosophically, creatively,” continued Festival Co-Director LaStella. “The city itself was founded on land where two Native American trails crossed, or converged, and it’s where the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers come together, so the concept seemed to us the perfect theme for Asheville Yoga Festival. And after a year of extreme divisiveness, we wanted to focus on bringing people together.”
Asheville Yoga Festival continues its evolution into the preeminent yoga festival in the Southeastern United States. The Festival will continue to highlight many of the amazing local teachers, while also bringing in more nationally recognized presenters to offer new perspectives on the practice of yoga. Notable Asheville presenters include Stephanie Keach, Adi Westerman, Michael Johnson, Sierra Hollister, Shala Worsley, Brooke Tyler, Joe Taft, and Cat Matlock, who will align with many of the country’s best: Rusty Wells, Chelsey Korus, MC YOGI, Anton Holmes Mackey, Krista Cahill, Taylor Harkness, and Chelsea Jackson Roberts. The objective is to create an immersive experience and expose festival goers to a wide variety of yoga styles, while also taking advantage of the opportunity to explore the vibrant culture of Asheville.
Giving back to the community is also an important component of Asheville Yoga Festival’s guiding philosophy. A portion of the Festival’s proceeds will be donated to local non-profit Light a Path. Conceived as an “expression of service” by a group of Asheville-based yogis and other practitioners, Light a Path’s mission is to create community and resilience in underserved populations of WNC through offering yoga, mindfulness, and other somatic therapies at no cost. For more information visit lightapath.org.
Full information is available at ashevilleyogafestival.com. Follow @AshevilleYogaFestival on Facebook and Instagram.