From September 13 through 15, Hartford, Connecticut’s riverfront will be the site of a brand new experience: Spirit Festival, a three-day immersive event celebrating yoga, wellness, music and dance. Participants are invited to unite at the soul level with others who share the dream of a balanced, healthy and vibrant planet for all. This celebration will provide a safe and moving space for discovering new paths to harmony, healing, creativity and community. Spirit Festival will feature a wide array of conscious teachers, practitioners and performers that will appeal to the novice and the experienced alike.
Natural Awakenings caught up with Spirit Festival’s Program Curator Amy Sailor to find out what attendees can expect from the inaugural event.
What did you think when you first heard about a three-day yoga, wellness and music festival on the Connecticut River?
When I first heard about the festival, I did not think. Rather, I felta strong sense of hope, anticipation and pride because of the roughly 350 towns and cities considered, the Connecticut River and Hartford’s Riverfront Plaza was selected as the locale for this event. I then envisioned a large gathering of diverse, creative, energetic, curious and caring souls engaged with one another in a safe, affirmative and simply beautiful environment.
I imagined that as much as yoga and wellness practitioners value the offerings of more established venues, they might equally value an opportunity to contribute their respective expertise and participate in the creation of something new and unique to area. Indeed, the outpouring of enthusiasm, benevolence and support from yoga studios, practitioners and artists confirms my faith that this Spirit Festival will be all it is intended to be.
You have been spearheading the programming of yoga, presenters and musical acts. What has been your guiding philosophy?
In my decades of practice as an educator and cultural professional, I am mindful that individuals naturally gravitate toward and revisit the people, places and experiences that affirm their sense of beingin the world. In as much as we have come to rely on technology to maneuver through the complexities of practical living, we maintain the desire to be in fellowship with those who look and think like us even as we make new discoveries or add to our existing stores of knowledge. Having witnessed and experienced the transformative nature of spirit as expressed through music, art, movement, healing and yoga, I am optimistic that Spirit Festival will continue to evolve intentionally and sustainably for all who seek community, balance and well-being for all.
Will this event be good for beginners who are just starting a yoga practice?
This event is intentionally suited for all levels of practitioners. Classes for those new to yoga, including those with mobility issues, will be offered throughout the weekend. It’s important to note that the asanas, or postures, are but one way of benefitting from the practice of yoga. There will be a variety of modalities available by which participants of all levels and abilities can be guided into self-awareness, concentration, relaxation, play and pure fun.
What can people expect during the evening music programs?
People can expect to hear, feel and move to an eclectic mix of music genres and performances. You may move in place for a Native American Stomp dance, “jack, jack your body” to some groovy house music, wind your hips to some Soca, Calypso and Reggae. You might even tango!
How does this differ programmatically from other yoga festivals?
I think the more distinctive characteristics of this event can be experienced most in its connection to beautiful public park space, the flow of the riverfront and the pulse of a highly diverse and burgeoning urban environment. It represents the best of what our region has to offer.