Yoga Connects Festival launched its first UK festival in July 2015 and at the heart of the vision is the ethos of connection. The team with its core of kindred spirits, Sally Griffyn and Daniela Olds, has naturally aligned around the idea of connection. To walk a path with others, to create a festival based on the founding values of connection and shared vibration. How can you not love it?
The Yoga Connects Festival is an invitation to artists, musicians, vegans, vegetarians, sustainable conscious people to get together do yoga and have fun. It is genius in its simplicity. We invite everyone, there is no separation. We often hear this idea banded around in spiritual circles but once the conversation is over the separation exists. We aimed an arrow at the old world and popped that bubble with a vibrant new calling; how can we get the yoga scene together? Those who have adhered to a specific practice for years; a specific system be it Ashtanga, Iyengar, Rocket, Yin, Jivamukti – they all tend to keep in a groove.
Sometimes it is injury that causes a transformation, whereby someone who is fired up with a dynamic practice has to take a different teaching in order to heal. For women it’s often birth that shakes up their routine. The truth is there are many ways to the centre and finding a healing path. There are a lot of ways to make your body and soul feel good. We want to bring together teachers to showcase the best of their teaching. We mix it up and share knowledge.
The niche market of connection developed very quickly into the Connection Tribe. We realised our brand is all about people. So we decided to film and photograph teachers who represent the idea of connection. They are all unique, many ethnicities, ages, gender and sexuality, represent our universal vision of connection.
We asked them to talk about the word connection and to let us film them doing do their passion, whatever it is. Throughout our social media feed this intertwining of lives, of people doing what they love and sharing passions is what has come to be our brand. It is also reflected in the events we are creating. The flavour will be of at least two or more teachers working together to create a unique yoga experience.
Our Yoga Connects Winter Solstice event is one such event. Held at the time of year when the light is about to return, we take this sacred time and put together an event in London combining the talents of four yoga teachers. We start with Luis Valentine setting the scene. He is a Jivamukti teacher and will ask people to create their intention and add devotional chanting to uplift the spirits. Followed by Daniela Olds who will take us through a fiery practice to warm us up on a winters night. To bring you into deep relaxation Diahann Love Holder and Felix Price will give our guests a 40 minute sound scape meditation to crystal singing bowls and didgeridoo. Added to this there will be a variety of refreshments Avatar Juices, Vita Coco, Roxyrara’s vegan cupcakes, oils, Chant mala beads, Catalyst Active Wear and We Are Starseeds yoga clothing to create the feeling of a mini-festival. All of them except Vita Coco are start up brands, small businesses with beautiful ideas who came to us to connect. Our intention is to always say YES, let’s collaborate and grow the vision.
There is a famous African proverb: If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We have established Yoga Connects as a vision and business of legacy.
Long after the founders are gone we imagine a future group of aligned people joining forces and creating magic together. The yoga goes on. The ageless joy of connection is a glue to our tribe. We have created a space for people to grow and flourish together with the most elevated ideas and at the heart of it all, a love of having fun. Nothing binds the human spirit more than fun. You remember all the times you had fun and our events and festival is designed to create fun. Serious yoga of course but with a smile on your face.
The next Yoga Connects Festival takes place from the 14th -17th July 2016. Find out more about the festival at yogaconnects.co.uk