July 27, 2024
Chihowa Retreat Center, near Lawrence, KS


Looking for something to do this July? 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 Krystal Denham, Creator and Director of Free State Yoga Festival taking place in Lawrence, KS who we are thrilled to partner with! You will be able to get complimentary copies of our magazine at this festival! 

What makes this year’s festival unique? 
The third annual Free State Yoga Festival offers a day of soul-nourishing, authentic connections through yoga and nature. Past attendees have described it as healing, the best day ever, an unexpected treasure, and a magical reset for the mind. Every student will be provided with an organic cotton yoga mat bag from the Free State Yoga Festival, along with a festival wellness guide and integration workbook. Additionally, they will receive a one-class pass to supporting studios.

The day is truly enchanting, and we carefully curated this year’s festival. We commence with “Call the Winds,” a serene ceremony harnessing Earth’s energy to commune with Chihowa spirits, blessing our festivities. The initial three hours were dedicated to communal activities before venturing into personalized healing ventures. Following the ceremony, we geared up for a 5K fun run, preceded by partner stretch sessions. After a 15-minute warm-up, we immersed ourselves in a day full of healing experiences. The 5K route, traversing the retreat center’s land and forest, allowed participants to run, skip, walk, cartwheel, and more, engaging with nature and their inner child. Laughter filled the air as students paused at the tribal yell station, some shouting affirmations like “I love myself!” – a testament to the pure joy and mindfulness cultivated throughout the day. Leanne leads the live music community yoga flow, infusing her diverse background experiences into her teachings. From storytelling to hands-on assistance, she intertwines ancient wisdom with modern-day practices, imbuing them with humor, humility, and grace. Her classes serve as gentle reminders of self-love, resilience, strength, and unity. The live music accompaniment features a blend of percussion and sound healing instruments, enhancing the practice’s depth. 

Following the community session, we embark on five hours of personalized practice, offering 5 to 6 healing modalities for exploration. Thirty-minute breaks between sessions allow students to rejuvenate and access additional healing services for their mind, body, and soul through our health and wellness partners. Each session provides a space for interactive wellness, conversation, and opportunities like SUP Yoga and local healing practices. At 6:35 PM, we come together for a 20-minute dance party, integrating the day’s experiences into our beings, leading up to the festival giveaway drawing and closing ceremony featuring live music, sunset meditation, and breathwork. 

Share with us what you LOVE about your festival location? 
The retreat center is situated about 10 miles from Lawrence, Kansas, an eclectic town with a deep appreciation for yoga and healing practices. Having been rebuilt, it provides an ideal backdrop for a transformative day of healing and self-discovery. The Chihowa forest surrounding us offers a serene environment for outdoor yoga, meditation, and breathwork sessions. 

The theme of our issue this year is JOY, how do yoga festivals inspire JOY?
Yoga festivals empower students to explore various yoga practices, along with other healing modalities, to find the teachers and community that deeply resonate with their soul.