Entertainment & Events

The First San Diego Yoga Festival: Sunshine, Yoga Mats, and Positive Energy

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This weekend donned the first (of hopefully many) San Diego Yoga Festivals. The sun came back out in full force, creating an incredible atmosphere for yogis from all over to enjoy the gift of practicing their moves in the beauty of Ocean Beach.

Men and women lined the beach from the farthest north point of Dog Beach to the south tip of Sunset Cliffs, yoga mats in tow. The event, which started Friday night, had over 800 participants (plus staff and volunteers, making the total close to 1000).

Although there was some concern with what the weather would hold considering the rain storms of last weekend, the bright skies and warm weather was the perfect gift for this event.

Photo Credit: Melanie Williams

Classes included yoga and chocolate, surfing yoga, dog yoga, sound immersion, wine and yoga, body paint yoga, and so much more. There was even a wedding ceremony to marry yourself on Saturday afternoon, which invited several participants to commit to self care. They left with a string ring tied around their finger to help them remember what had taken place.

Friday and Saturday night, spiritual readings were available for festival participants to have an opportunity to slow down and hear what the Spirit might be calling out in their spirit. Several participants lined up and waited for meaningful words, which were noted as being “Tarot card readings without the Tarot cards.” Many left feeling encouraged, and shared that they experienced so much positive energy throughout the weekend of the festival.

Melanie Williams, co-founder of the event, exclaimed with excitement that the event was a great success.

“Everybody came back to me going, ‘this class changed my life’ or ‘I just learned the coolest thing’,” she shared.

One of the primary hopes for the event was to bring people outdoors and to spread an aroma of positive energy throughout the town. And there’s no question that that is what happened.

“At one point I looked over to Saratoga Lawn and saw a huge group of festival people doing yoga, and non-festival people doing acro-yoga, and other people shooting a dance video, and others playing volleyball,” Williams shared, proud of the energy that was experienced over the weekend. “The dream of occupying all of these outdoor spaces with positive vibes and outdoor intentions just became a reality. The collective energy was so positive.”

Williams had been in conversation with Sgt. Dave Yu for over a year about ways of getting good things to happen outdoors in Ocean Beach. Yu attended the event and was excited for how well the space was used to gather people together.

Late afternoon on Sunday, the event had a closing ceremony, encouraging all festival-goers to make their way to the Ocean Beach pier. Yogis spread out their mats across the cement pier and listened to the sound of a gong, centering their bodies and minds as they said goodbye to the event. A video of the closing ceremony can be found here.

Although the final pieces of the festival at large ended on Sunday, certification classes continued as part of the post-conference agenda on Monday. Thai Massage classes, Reiki certification, and 6-hour workshops were made available for those wanting to take their practices to the next level of teaching. Maybe next year some who got certified will get to teach a class of their own.

Photo Credit: Victor Alan

The overall intention of the event, as Williams shared, was to benefit every life that was touched by the festival in some way. The event not only impacted the yogis that were teaching and the class participants, but also filled the businesses of Ocean Beach, providing an economic abundance for business-owners in this beach town.
“We really hope it was a positive experience for everyone involved,” Williams concluded, “it certainly was for us.”

Katrina is an OBcean that spends her time drinking quality coffee and engaging in the community that she lives in.

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