TELLURIDE - Hundreds of yogis from near and far are flowing, stretching and ommmming their way toward Telluride for the fifth annual Telluride Yoga Festival.
The four-day festival extends from Thursday through Sunday, July 12-15. Daylong intensives with four internationally known yoga teachers take place on Thursday, and the festival proper gets underway on Friday morning.
In the past, the festival has been based in Mountain Village. This year marks the first time it is centered in downtown Telluride, with headquarters at the Camel’s Garden Hotel near the base of the gondola in downtown Telluride, and classes taking place at various locations around town.
Throughout the long weekend, attendees will immerse themselves in the ancient practice of yoga, taking a total of nine two-hour workshops with a broad range of respected teachers representing many different yoga lineages, including Iyengar, Anusara, Viniyoga, Ashtanga, Yin, Forrest, Jivamukti and more.
“You won't find another yoga experience even close to this one,” said TYF founder Aubrey Hackman. “It is a truly incredible festival where the yoga is potent, the teachers are real and the experience is unique and authentic.”
Some of the “big-name” teachers this year include Duncan Wong, Beryl Bender Birch, Annie Pace and Allison English.
Two of the world's most respected yoga philosophy and Sanskrit teachers will also lead several sessions at the festival. Dr. M.A. Jayashree and M.A. Narasimhan, a brother and sister duo, are traveling to Telluride all the way from Mysore, India to share their knowledge. “This is a very rare and special experience to host teachers of this caliber and is something not to be missed,” said Hackman.
On the slightly kookie side, there will be classes and public demonstrations in Elks Park Friday and Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. with Guinness Book of World Records hooping athlete Betty Hoops and the YogaSlackers, who offer Thai Yoga Massage, AcroYoga and slackline instruction.
In addition, festival participants and the public are invited to enjoy a Friday night kirtan (devotional call-and-response group chanting) from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Elementary Gym with New Orleans mantra musicians Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band, and a special performance by Kelsea Rae Little and her five-foot tall harp, Neil. (The public will be charged a small entrance fee; be sure to bring something to sit on.)
As a gift to the community, TYF offers free public yoga classes Friday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-6:30 p.m. (locations include Wilkinson Public Library, Telluride Yoga Center, Ah Haa School for the Arts, and Telluride Elementary School cafeteria), with a variety of festival instructors.
Full festival passes cost $325, and are available online at www.tellurideyogafestival.