The first ever Bantry Yoga Festival is fast approaching. Running from October 7 to 9, this three-day festival is set in beautiful venues around Bantry, including Bantry House Stables, St Brendan’s Hall and the Maritime Hotel.
As well as yoga, there will be meditation, sound circles, qigong, eastern dance and Ireland’s only soul voice practitioner. The festival showcases teachers from the locality, region and nation such as Mark van Dam, Anne Marie Hynes, Alan Lyons, Bella Hancock, Ellie La-Trobe Bateman and Irene Dunne. And as if a packed timetable of classes and workshops was not enough, there are a variety of walks and music to restore you back to your real self again!
Bantry’s wonderful Organico Café is going to be serving up delicious, healthy, nourishing vegetarian meals on the Friday night and Saturday (see page 18 to find out more about Organico).
This festival looks set to be a real success and with limited tickets the organisers are encouraging people to book as soon as possible. A weekend pass is €149 and includes two meals in Organico Café and unlimited access to all classes, sessions and talks.
Below is just a selection of yoga forms on offer over the weekend for all to experience;
Purna Yoga: Purna means complete or integrated. Purna yoga is grounded in ancient wisdom. It aims to integrate mind, body and spirit through a series of postures and sequences in a flow of movement, similar in some ways to Hatha yoga.
Yoga Nidra: Yoga Nidra is a state of conscious deep sleep. In meditation, you remain in the waking state of consciousness, and gently focus the mind, while allowing thought patterns, emotions, sensations, and images to arise and go on. However, in Yoga Nidra, you leave the waking state, go past the dreaming state, and go to deep sleep, yet remain awake. Yoga Nidra brings an incredible calmness, quietness and clarity.
Restorative Yoga: Restorative Yoga is a gentle, conscious, body and mind relaxation practice. Restorative helps melt away the stress of your day as your entire being unwinds in the art of passive yoga. With great precision and the help of props (like walls, chairs, blocks, bolsters, blankets, straps and eye-pillows) you will be guided into a yoga position with a deep understanding of anatomy to restore healthy alignment.
Hatha Yoga: Hatha Yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body – especially the main channel, the spine – so that energy can flow freely.
Physio Yoga: Physio Yoga in the Hatha style accommodates people who have injuries or health problems but want to improve the way their body performs. The yoga exercises are graded according to fitness level and ability and are gradually progressed to maximise improvements. Physio Yoga Classes focus on precise movements and usually include flexibility postures (asanas), breathing practices (pranayama) and relaxation.
Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga yoga is challenging, quick-paced, and just the thing to open your tight hamstrings, hips, and shoulders. Ashtanga yoga involves a set sequence of poses that a practitioner follows in the exact same order every time, it can be seen as a form of moving meditation.
Qigong: Qigong comprises of many gentle exercises for the whole body and is suitable for young and old. The movements are widely known for their health benefits, achieved through the unobstructed circulation of highly oxygenated blood and energy around our body. Qigong exercises strengthen and straighten the back, relieve tense shoulders, lower high blood pressure. The exercises combat addiction, arthritis, asthma and nervous disturbances and improves the quality of sleep.
Bantry Tourism and Development association are proud to be involved with bringing another great festival to Bantry and will be giving their space in the Tourist office for registration and a meeting hub during the weekend.
The complete festival programme can be found at www.bantryyogafestival.com and booking can be made online. This is a festival where you can park up your car, roll out your mat and embrace the good life.