The second annual Kootenay Spirit Festival is this weekend.

The second annual Kootenay Spirit Festival is this weekend.

Kootenay Spirit Festival aims to include everyone

The second annual yoga-based festival will include live music, dance, yoga, meditation and community events this weekend.

According to Kootenay Spirit Festival organizer Trisha Wilson, you don’t have to be a yogi —or even be interested in yoga at all — to enjoy the consciousness-raising, community-building ethos of this weekend’s event.

“It’s an important element of our vision and evolution to attempt to be as inclusive as possible. This is about uniting people and celebrating the spirit,” she said.

To that end they’ve included a program for teens and youth, they’re offering a workshop on conscious aging and once again will have a free Saturday afternoon event at Lakeside Park that will include family-oriented yoga classes.

“There’s something for everyone. There’s dance events, there’s a late night concert at Bloom. It’s not only for yogis, it’s for people who care about one another and themselves and the Earth.”

She’s stoked to be bringing back Youssoupha Sidibe, who was popular last year.

“He plays West African harp, very soulful music, and it’s kind of blending African music and reggae. This year he didn’t make it to Starbelly Jam, and I think a lot of people were disappointed he didn’t make it out, because he has quite a following here in the Kootenays.”

Wilson said many of the teachers offering yoga classes during the weekend will be familiar to locals, but they’re also bringing in special guests from all over BC and Alberta.

One returning teacher is Jeff Mah, and she believes his class will probably be popular.

“He has a really down-to-earth and playful way of presenting yoga.”

A new addition this year is Christine Selda, a Squamish-based yogi who specializes in shamanic yoga.

“There are a lot of people in this region who are interested in medicine, so it’s a nice combination. She blends yoga and shamanism, and practices an honouring of nature-based spirituality.”

This year will also see an increased emphasis on dance, with dance teacher Lisa Gilmour of Calgary bringing her special form of dance “core connexion.”

Tickets are $85 for the day or $168 for the weekend.

For more information visit kootenayspiritfestival.ca.