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Shannon Bryan

mainetoday.com editor Shannon Bryan has a fondness for Maine’s peculiar goings on. And helmet cams. There’s definitely a fondness for helmet cams.   Since she arrived in Maine from the Midwest seven years ago, it’s been her mission to experience it all firsthand – from the cardboard boat races to the paddleboard jousting tournaments. With any luck, she’ll persuade you to try it, too.

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Things to do This week





Posted: March 24, 2014

Maine YogaFest returns to Portland July 12-13

Written by: Shannon Bryan - mainetoday.com editor - sbryan@mainetoday.com
Sarah Morrill/mainetoday.com file photo

Sarah Morrill/mainetoday.com file photo

Win a 5-workshop pass to Maine YogaFest

WHAT: We’re giving away two 5-workshop passes to YogaFest in Portland on July 12 and 13. Winners will also get to attend the Friday night YogaFest reception and get a sweet VIP gift bath filled with goodies from Alex & Ani, Sol Republic, LiveMe, UnderArmour and others.
CONGRATS! Thanks to everyone who entered – you came up with some fine (and some funny!) yoga poses. And congrats to Jocelyn and Jackie, who each won a 5-workshop pass to this year’s Maine YogaFest!


Roll out the mats. Maine YogaFest returns to Portland on July 12 and 13. The yoga-centric festival drew over 500 yogis to Portland’s East End last year – from novices to the well-practiced – for a weekend of yoga workshops and meditation. This year there will also be more local music, food, children’s activities and an even greater variety of yoga styles to learn about and try.

It’s an effort to bring Maine’s yoga community together, said Justine Carlisle, one of YogaFest’s organizers, and hopefully to grow it.

It’s about “practicing yoga together all weekend long, inspiring people to learn more about their own practice and meet other people who appreciate yoga,” she said. “Yoga helps so much emotionally, mentally and physically,” so the more people who are exposed to it, the better.

The 2014 YogaFest schedule includes workshops on Yamuna body rolling, aerial yoga, partner yoga, family yoga, stand-up paddleboard yoga, and vibrational yoga, among others. And the sessions are open to attendees of all levels. “It’s not so much about advanced levels of yoga,” said Carlisle. “We wanted it to be accessible to anyone who wanted to come.”

Sarah Morrill/mainetoday.com file photo

Sarah Morrill/mainetoday.com file photo

With the festival just around the corner, it’s no surprise that some of the workshops have already filled up. But there are still plenty of open workshops like hip hop yoga, roots reggae flow, spa yoga, “Anchor and Wings,” and family yoga, just to name a few. And to really challenge your balance, try slackline yoga or “The Radiant Bliss of Being Upside Down,” which is focused on inversions like headstands and handstands. (Check out the full schedule)

There are also sessions dedicated to breathing and alignment and others that promote strength and stamina. Also on the docket: lectures (like “Yoga in Treating the Whole Person”), meditation (“Meditations to Find Inner Peace and Contentment”) and two free community classes. The all levels community class on July 13 is ideal for the yoga-curious and the “Yoga for the over 50 crowd” class on July 12 is designed for the “baby boomer body,” although it’s worth noting that all the weekend workshops are open to practitioners of any level. (Meaning, “come try and check it out and see what it’s all about,” said Carlisle.)

And because every Saturday night should include good tunes and a bit of glow-in-the-dark body paint, there’s the Sweat and Surrender Black Light Yoga Throwdown from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The session is open to 150 participants and will be held amid black lights and music spun by DJ Revolve. It’s open to all levels, said Carlisle, and includes some really fun transitions. “I think it’s going to be one of a kind.”

To get everyone ready for the black light session, there will be some pre-party prep in vendor village from 3 to 7 p.m. will glow-in-the-dark markers, hair mascara and nail polish. And, of course, attendees are encouraged to wear any and all the neon clothing they own.

Sarah Morrill/mainetoday.com file photo

Sarah Morrill/mainetoday.com file photo

The whole YogaFest weekend is a chance for local yogis to expand their practice (or start it) and try new styles they’d never experienced before. Classes are taught by yoga instructors from all over the state – from Kittery to Fort Kent – as well as a few instructors from out of state, and workshops take place at the East End Community School (the paddleboard yoga classes take place on the water off East End Beach).

Between sessions, attendees can check out the Vendor Village, which opens at 11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be a host of vendors, food trucks and live music from local performers like Amy Allen, Adam Waxman and Sara Hallie Richardson. There will be 15-minute complimentary massages and free adjustments, as well as a family tent with lots of activities for the kids – they can tie-dye for free, make their own prayer flag, and test their own strength and flexibility.

And both mornings begin with a complimentary breakfast bar with Stonyfield yogurt and Grandy Oats granola both days.

The Vendor Village is free and open to the public, so all are welcome to check it out. “Even if you’re just passing through,” said Carlisle, “Come on in and have breakfast.”

But organizers hope most folks will stick around to experience the spirit of event and seize the opportunity to try something new.

“I think, once you come to YogaFest and feel the energy that’s there among all the people – it’s contagious,” said Carlisle. “It’s amazing and it stays with you afterwards. You leave and your practice is invigorated. You have a new perspective…and you carry that into your daily life.”

A three-workshop pass costs $95 and includes admittance to three 90-minute workshops, one lecture from a health and wellness expert, daily guided meditations, access to Vendor Village and local music performances, and a five dollar donation to Maine YogaFest’s charitable partner, the Preble Street Teen Center of Portland. A similar five-workshop pass is $130.

For more information and tickets: www.maineyogafest.com


Maine Yogafest

Yogis, instructors and healthy vendors came together to practice and share a passion for the yogic lifestyle during the 2013 Maine YogaFest. Chakras opened and positive energy flowed freely.

Check out photos from last year

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