Festival Spotlight: Womanist Arts Festival

Festival Spotlight: Womanist Arts Festival

Festival Spotlight: Womanist Arts Festival

FESTIVALS

Upcoming Festivals

Looking for something to do this Sept? We are thrilled festivals are back and can’t wait to check out all the amazing events taking place around the world. This week we had a chance to connect with Tanya Birl, Artistic Director and Tanya Bishai, Executive Producer, Fundraising and Marketing from Womanist Arts Festival taking place Sept 10th in Washington Heights, NYC.

What inspired you to create a festival?

Our belief in artists as healers and inspired by the wisdom of Alice Walker’s womanist prose, this festival is in celebration of those who have come before us, taking on the mantle and moving forward into the future that we will co-create together. Women led and inclusive of all genders and non-conformists, race, religion and creed.

What makes your festival unique?

A call to the Washington Heights, NYC community to gather, connect and heal through music, movement, spoken word, art, self expression, interaction and celebration! We have some of the most talented people in the world living right here in our neighborhood. This festival will be an eclectic expression of the gifts that Washington Heights has to offer our souls and our bodies. It will aim to bring together neighbors living East and West of Broadway, creating a more unified spirit of belonging and trust

What offering/presenter or class are you most excited about for this year’s event?

Our final performance of the day at 4pm  featuring The SoapBox Presents and spoken word artists Caridad De La Luz

Learn more

https://www.instagram.com/womanistfest
facebook.com/WomanistFestival
http://sohumanity.com/wahi-womanist-fest

Upcoming Festivals
Take A Break

Take A Break

Take A Break

By Miko Hafez

PROFILES

Yoga Love Magazine - McKenzie Riepen - bio pic
May is Mental Health Awareness month, and our Seattle based team member Miko chatted with McKenzie Riepen who has been teaching yoga for 10 years, about what motivated her to take a month break from teaching. She shares her experience with us here:

You have been teaching for 10 years, why did you decide to take a month break?In my decade of sharing yoga, I had never taken a purposeful break from teaching (beyond the weekend getaway and holiday trip here and there) just to focus on studentship and reconnect to my Self. As a small business owner, I also wanted to take time to evaluate my offerings and ensure my work was reflective of my values. I completed a restorative yoga training in December, and rest in society came up as a big value for me. In addition to encouraging rest in my teachings, I knew I needed to give myself that time to do so.

What does taking a break mean to you?
Especially in a service-oriented business, taking a break means stepping back from others’ needs and attending to your own. It means valuing your rest over the world’s demands.

How was your overall experience taking a month break?
It was an amazing reset, and I highly recommend it. While I know not everyone may be able to take a month off, I highly recommend carving out time once a year to reconnect to your highest Self. I treated my time like a mini retreat: I nourished myself through practices in self care and continued education. I was able to reset some old habits into new behaviors that I am still including in my daily routine like mid-day yoga nidra: a physical reminder to rest and be still.

Learn more about McKenzie and her offerings at MIND.BODY.HUM 

905 Western Ave Seattle, WA

@connectedmindbody

@mckenzieriepen

Yoga Love Magazine - McKenzie Riepen - bio pic
Community Spotlight: Exhale to Inhale

Community Spotlight: Exhale to Inhale

Community Spotlight: Exhale to Inhale

PROFILES

FESTIVALS

YogaLove Magazine - Vegandale Festival
On Oct 19th, Exhale to Inhale will be hosting their annual gala at the beautiful Rubin Museum in NYC. This amazing organization uses the healing practices of trauma-informed yoga to empower survivors, while helping communities to develop the skills and knowledge to support them.Maggie LaRocca, Exhale to Inhale’s Executive Director shared more about the upcoming event with us and ways to support their work.

What inspired the creation of this organization:

Zoë LePage founded the organization while a student at Barnard with the idea that trauma informed yoga should be a tool offered to survivors of domestic and sexual violence

In what ways can people support Exhale to Inhale’s work and mission?

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 1 in 4 women have experience severe phyiscal violence by an intimate partner, and 1 in 4 women and 1 out of 6 men have been sexually absued in their lifetime. It is likely that all of know someone, love someone or have been personally impacted by sexual or domestic violence.  As Exhale to Inhale is a growing organization filling an unmet need, we need the support of our community to elevate our mission, help us raise funds to support our work, and bring awareness to the need for healing resources like trauma informed yoga that can help survivors with what is often a lifetime of healing.

What are you most excited about for this year’s gala event?  

After two years of virtual galas, it is our first time being back in person since 2019 for our first ever gala. We can’t wait to see so many of our supporters in real life, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to uplift our honorees: Ana Pincus, Dianne Bondy and Flamingo, all have had a tremendous impact on our work!

Learn more and support:

@exhale2inhale on FB

exhaletoinhale.org/gala2022

exhaletoinhale.networkforgood.com/events/44095-2022-celebration-of-healing-gala-a-year-of-inspiring-growth

exhaletoinhale.org/s/2022CelebrationofHealingSponsorshipPackage.pdf

YogaLove Magazine - Vegandale Festival
AWAKE Festival - Ananda Dancing
YogaLove Magazine - Vegandale Festival - Vegan Food
Festival Spotlight: Ogden Yoga Fest

Festival Spotlight: Ogden Yoga Fest

Festival Spotlight: Ogden Yoga Fest

PROFILES

FESTIVALS

Yoga Love Magazine - Festival Spotlight- Ogden Yoga Fest

Looking for something to do this Sept? We are thrilled festivals are back and can’t wait to check out all the amazing events taking place around the world. This week we had a chance to connect with Stephanie DeTar, Director of Ogden Yoga festival taking place Sept 18th in Ogden, Utah. This year the focus is centered around the arts and a percentage of proceeds will be donated to the OCA.

What inspired the creation of this festival?
Ogden Yoga Fest  was created by yoga instructor Michelle Taylor 10 years ago and I stepped in in 2020, though we did skip a year due to covid. As owner of The Lotus Cafe, Yoga Studio & Shop I am inspired in creating spaces and experiences for others to feel something positive from and knew that I could bring something of that to this fest, both energetic and esthetic. Last year I shifted it to The Monarch and added some experiential opportunities around yoga classes and workshops and this year we are building on that.

What makes this  festival unique?
We focus on highlighting those teaching right here in Ogden, and feel that it is important to build our community and awareness of all of the options practitioners we have very close and to continue uniting on this path. We also donate a percentage of our proceeds brought in from the event, and this year we are focusing on the arts, specifically supporting Ogden Contemporary Arts. Last year I chose to donate to Youth Impact, focusing on the Youth LBGTQ community.

What offering/presenter or sponsor are you most excited about for this years event?
I am excited about all of it as there is such a grand spectrum of offerings.  We have yoga classes, workshops and opening and closing ceremonies that we encourage everyone to begin and end with together.  It is a high vibe day and much to choose from.  Along with all of this we have vendors, a zen den, tarot readers, massage and more. May we continue to raise vibration within and throughout.


Learn more:
https://www.ogdenyogafest.com/
https://www.ogdenyogafest.com/tickets
https://www.instagram.com/ogdenyogafest/

Yoga Love Magazine - Festival Spotlight- Ogden Yoga Fest
Yoga Love Magazine - Festival Spotlight- Ogden Yoga Fest

Photos by: glohophoto.com

Festival Spotlight: Barefoot & Free Yoga Festival

Festival Spotlight: Barefoot & Free Yoga Festival

Festival Spotlight: Ahimsa Yoga & Music Festival

By iana velez

PROFILES

Yoga Love Magazine - McKenzie Riepen - bio pic

Looking for something to do this summer? We are thrilled yoga festivals are back and can’t wait to check out all the amazing events taking place around the world. This week we had a chance to connect with Beth James, the creator of Barefoot and Free Yoga festival about her festival, inspirations, and what she’s looking forward to! Check out this great festival taking place August 5 – 7, 2022 at Proud Lake State Park, Michigan.

Special thanks to Beth for offering an exclusive code for our community: YOGALOVE for 15% off passes!! 

What inspired you to create a yoga festival?
I was first inspired 8 months pregnant at my friend’s wedding in the woods where Barefoot takes place. I kept going back to the woods, thinking about it and so I decided to try it out. I had been a yoga teacher in metro Detroit community for several years so I knew the community well but honestly had no idea how to put on something of this magnitude, but I followed my intuition and it said DO IT along with the beautiful forest & the trees. 

What makes your festival unique?
We are immersed in nature, plus I believe the forest spoke to me that day and every year the woods is blessed for us to be blessed in the forest. We are surrounded by tall pine trees, the clean Huron River and fresh clean Proud Lake. Yet we are going 30-45 minutes outside of the busy city area of Metro-Detroit. 

What offering/presenter or class are you most excited about for this year’s event?
I am excited to showcase all the amazing Michigan talent. In particular we have an emphasis on more shamanic healing; sound baths, plant ceremonies & talks and discussions regarding the benefit of alternative therapies such as psilocybin, ketamine, and cannabis. I am excited about the joining and understanding of how yoga and nature are the medicine people need most right now. 

Learn more:
@barefootandfreeyoga
www.barefootandfreeyoga.com


SPECIAL OFFER:
YOGALOVE for 15% off passes

Yoga Love Magazine - McKenzie Riepen - bio pic
Yoga Love Magazine - McKenzie Riepen - bio pic
Yoga Love Magazine - McKenzie Riepen - bio pic
A Meditation on Art as an Everyday Experience

A Meditation on Art as an Everyday Experience

A Meditation on Art as an Everyday Experience

Laura Dickstein Thompson, Ed.D., 2017

ART & MUSIC

YOGA PLUS MAGAZINE - Meditation on Art as an Everyday Experience

This essay is a mindful exercise. Find one small edible object, like an M&M, raisin, or piece of an orange. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Now, find a seat and sit up straight. Holding the object in your hand, take a few nice deep breaths. Get as comfortable as you can, and please pay attention to what you are experiencing as we go along. You may want to read over the next steps before you proceed with the meditation. If you lose your way or your mind becomes distracted, don’t worry, just go back to the breath, thinking about how it feels going in and out through your nostrils.

With your eyes closed, hold the object in your hand and feel the sensation of it rolling around on your hand. Roll it just in the palm, and then roll it from one hand to the other. Clasp both hands and shake the object in front of you. Place it near your ears and see if you can hear anything. Bring your clasped hands with the object near your nose. How does it smell? Now go back to holding the object in one hand and roll it around your palm using the other. Do you feel any textures? And stickiness? How would you describe this object to someone who has never seen your object or who cannot see?

Now take another breath in, and out. Open your eyes and reexamine the object. Turn it over on your hand and check out all sides. Do you notice anything that you didn’t see when your eyes were closed? Place the object up to your nose and take a whiff. Now the moment you have been waiting for: place the object on your tongue—but do not bite it. Notice what is happening to your tongue. Is saliva building up? Do you have the urge to bite it? Roll the object around in your mouth letting it go from side to side hitting your cheeks and teeth. Play with it a bit more in your mouth. Now bite and chew the object, trying to pay attention to how long it will take you to chew completely before you swallow it.

Consider this: What was your experience with the object? Did your perception change when your eyes were open? Were any memories evoked, such as thoughts about the first time you had an M&M? And what does this all have to do with art and creativity?

In this activity I hope you have seen that skills of mindfulness, attention, and close observation are necessary to bring deeper understandings of an object (which could be something in your everyday life, as mundane as a raisin, or something intended for contemplation like an artwork). This focus also levels the playing field between the various objects that surround us because we can apply the same skills to build understandings and have deeper, perhaps even transformational, experiences with everything in life.

Anything can be art because art is the contemplative experience you have with anything and everything. Art is an experience, not just a product. A painting is just that, a painting: it is the precise language to describe an actual thing that was created with paint, a product of the art experience. Art is a vague umbrella term that doesn’t give us the ability to distinguish all the possibilities for art materials and art-­making techniques. Art can take on a broader, yet clearer meaning both as nouns (objects or products), and as verbs ( action as experience [see box]).

If we accept this definition that art is experience, it therefore does not necessarily require the creation of a tangible object; however, since the beginning of human history, we have made things, both utilitarian (spears and clothing), and creative (musical instruments and cave paintings). These things metaphorically become containers for holding histories and memories, symbols of thoughts and feelings, values and beliefs. They urge us to be alert to their embedded messages; to not ignore the lessons contained within the objects. Objects don’t necessary need to be made by humans, either, to be opportunities for artistic experience. They can just as well be the moon, sun, or the trees in our front yard. We need just to apply our contemplative skills to have a focused experience with whatever we are viewing, and the resulting exchange between object and person can be termed “art.”

Objects don’t have to exist at all to have an art experience. Art can be the images conjured up in your mind’s eye or in a dream. Art can be the sounds, senses and flavors of a memory; it can also be the pictures created in the mind while reading a good book, or as someone describes something to you. Art is experience because it is active; it is an action that you can apply in any context and with any object—or not. It is a way to experience life, to be in the present moment with the ordinary and the extraordinary.

Another way to look at it is that the arts can come out of the so-­called ivory tower, the grand marble monuments to history, the exclusivity of the gallery world and from those in the “know,” and given back to the people. In this way, we are liberated from thinking that artists are the only makers of art, and moreover, that art is only experienced in museums, only at certain times in our day, and only understood by certain people. Art is part of the everyday experience. It is not something that is done for 45 minutes once a week in the schools; it can be done all the time. It is a metaphysical exchange that sounds off like a gong, bringing us to the present and helping us to be sensitive to the influence of our past, and may help us to even alter our planning for the future.

The great 20th-century philosopher John Dewey wrote in his seminal book Art as Experience (1934) that museums display art and artifacts with the “vulgarity of class exhibitionism,” or for purposes of establishing and maintaining economic and social status. He makes a case for the arts as part of our everyday experience. Dewey asserts the original intention of art and artifacts is to enhance the everyday. He also argues that art is not necessarily designed for, or required to take place in, an institution; rather it is a part of an organized community and can be a social tool for interactions among people and things, to create opportunities for conscious, active experiences. A Deweyan experience from a mindful perspective means to be fully present, to apply our contemplative skills, to be bold with our innate sense of curiosity and wonder, and to have the courage to genuinely engage with others and the objects that surround us. In contemporary times, we have created what I have termed “objects of distraction” (i.e., iPhones, Facebook, Internet), that though designed to bring people together, adds stress to our lives to the point that we become overwhelmed with images and data. As Dewey might contend, we must no longer look for ways to calm, dull, or silence the noises of our lives; rather, now we should rejoice in letting the arts ring loud and clear in celebration our extraordinary everyday experiences.

So on that note, reader, I hope you will realize your own potential as an ingenious communicator as well as an observer and appreciator of all things, seeking the creativity in them that makes you feel connected to other beings, such as cooking a good meal, reading a great book, or viewing a majestic work of art.

Laura Dickstein Thompson, Ed.D. is MASS MoCA’s Director of Education + Curator of Kidspace, as well as an Adjunct Professor in MCLA’s Arts Management Program. She has over 27 years experience in arts education and is a trained mindful practitioner. This essay was the foundation for a workshop Dr. Thompson conducted at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, March 2017.