Eagle YogaFest returns to Eagle Oct. 3-5 | VailDaily.com
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Eagle YogaFest returns to Eagle Oct. 3-5

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Eagle YogaFest participants stretch into a pose during the festival's Community Yoga Session last year. The Eagle YogaFest returns Oct. 3-5.
Kristin Anderson | Special to the Weekly |

EAGLE — Yoga festivals have been cropping up across the nation the past few years, and anyone who has attended sings the virtues of the experience. From inspiring classes, to renowned teachers, to a supportive sense of community, to the physical benefits, there is plenty to praise.

For Vail Valley residents, and even Colorado mountain dwellers, having a yoga festival in the proverbial backyard means easy access. Eagle YogaFest, set for Oct. 3-5, and it is one of the lower cost, higher value festivals in the country, according to festival organizers. Add in the close proximity of many smaller mountain towns and Front Range communities, as well as discounted room rates throughout the area this time of year and Eagle YogaFest becomes an experience that’s tough to pass up.

LEAVE INTIMIDATION AT THE DOOR

Of course, there is another hurdle that keeps even dedicated practitioners from committing: intimidation. Some wonder if the renowned teachers will only teach the toughest poses; others worry about how they’ll look in yoga pants compared to the other practitioners; still others are absolutely positive they aren’t good enough to attend festival classes. The greatest thing about Eagle YogaFest is its purpose: yoga for every body.

“When I began envisioning Eagle YogaFest, I wanted to create a gathering that was totally inclusive,” said founder Yvonne Schwartz, the owner of Eagle’s Yoga Off Broadway. “You won’t find attitudes here. This festival is about acceptance and support, and discovering what you enjoy about yoga — and about our community. There really is a class for every ability and interest, from beginners to those committed yogis looking for unique challenges.”

Schwartz’s insistence on including everyone means yogis of different abilities can practice and learn together in several instances throughout the weekend. Multilevel options at the festival include community yoga, the Lunch and Learn series, Glow yoga, the lawn party with live music from HardScrabble and The Yoga Pants After Party at Bonfire Brewery.

Eagle YogaFest options for beginners and those new to yoga include Intro to Baptiste Yoga with Dave Farmer, Anjali Restorative Yoga with Shannon Paige, Slackline Fundamentals with The YogaSlackers, meditation and aromatherapy.

Festival options for longtime practitioners include: Budokon Yoga with Tara Goike, Ashtanga Improv with Jim Keegan and Downdog Teaches Handstand with Nancy Kate.

Eagle YogaFest also gives attendees the opportunity to give back. Proceeds from this year’s event, as well as all funds from Glow Yoga and any donations collected during the weekend support UB.U, a program that addresses the need for social emotional learning and character development in the schools by teaching mindfulness, yoga-based movement and relaxation to kids in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.

“We’re so honored to be part of a festival that carries such an important message: that you’ll be accepted here and that it’s OK to be who you are,” said Anne-Marie Desmond, UB.U founding partner. “We provide kids with tools to promote self-awareness, resilience and thoughtful response. Yoga is a lifelong journey of self-discovery and Eagle YogaFest represents one incredible opportunity for growth along that road.”

In addition to a variety of classes and gatherings, opportunities for outdoor exploration, live music and the chance to meet and mingle, Eagle YogaFest also includes an expo. This year’s expo is located on-site at Brush Creek Park and Pavilion and features artisans, demonstrations, healthy food, retail and information.

To learn more about Eagle YogaFest, which takes place Oct. 3-5, or to register, visit http://www.eagleyoga fest.com. The site features information about festival teachers, classes and special events during the festival, as well as a peek at the venue.


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