Nelson is hosting its first ever Kootenay Spirit Festival, a yoga-centric weekend event that aims to help residents explore their body, mind and spirit from September 12-14.
“Expect to see a lot of people with yoga mats criss-crossing all over town,” said festival coordinator Trisha Wilson. “Well, even more than usual.”
Workshops will be held in a variety of yoga studios and venues. Participants can choose their classes and move from one venue to the next. All levels of classes are offered, and no experience is required.
On Saturday local and visiting teachers are offering workshops on subjects ranging from meditation, yoga, dance, Ayurveda, shamanism and more from 8 a.m until late evening.
“The general concept is to bring together yoga, music, dance and meditation,” she said. “We believe the vibrant community of Nelson is the perfect place to celebrate connection with nature, self and each other.”
Wilson said the festival includes something for everyone.
“Top presenters, teachers and musicians will guide us through a spirit-lifting weekend of workshops and concerts. Explore tree pose, learn about Ayurveda, dance your heart out and find inner balance. Spirit Fest celebrates mindful living in the Kootenays.”
The festival will open with a blessing from local healer Rosalyn Grady on Friday (September 12), which will be followed by an evening concert by classical Indian fusion band Prakriti at the United Church.
“We wanted something that represented yoga’s roots and traditions,” said Wilson. “The music of Prakriti creates a link back to the ancient traditions while also carrying us forward on our present day journey.”
Prakriti’s music is intended for listening and contemplation, but other concerts throughout the weekend will encourage singing, dancing and wild abandon, said Wilson.
On Saturday there will be a free community event at Lakeside Park from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. with family-friendly yoga, a hula hooping workshop and concerts by John de Kadt, Sparrow Grace and Buckman Coe.
“Those up for a late night dance party can head over to Spiritbar for DJ Emma Star and Desert Dwellers on Saturday,” said Wilson.
Those tickets are available separately from the Hume Hotel.
On Sunday a full day of workshops will be held at the Prestige from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“All of the visiting yoga presenters offer classes on that day as well as a medicine wheel workshop with Duncan Grady, dance church with Bernice Raabis and a panel discussion,” said Wilson.
One of the closing events is a kirtan concert with Sat Purkh Kaur.
“This is the first year of the festival and we are thrilled to feel the Kootenay community coming together to create what we hope will be an annual event,” said Wilson.
General admission to the festival is $168. The Friday night opening concert is $23. A Saturday or Sunday day pass is $85.
For more information visit kootenayspiritfestival.ca.