As soon as I walked up to the entrance of Kawai Purapura in Auckland, I knew I was in for something special! It was Saturday morning of the Annual Yoga Festival. Attending as a Newbie I didn't know quite what to expect other than what my friend Shelley had shared with me but it sounded great!
Our day had started with a wee blessing after arriving early and circling local shops in search of a morning coffee, we stopped to ask a lady what might be open when she replied me I'll open up early for you! Turns out she was Olga Barbina, owner of Gastronomy. While waiting for our coffees we looked around the brimming shelves and fridges boasting all kinds of Russian food and more.
"GASTRONOMY" is the Russian grocery of authentic food from Russia and New Zealand in Auckland. Fresh, quality food is at the heart of what we do. We want to bring you the very best of Russian traditional delicacies when they’re in season and at the peak of their flavour. All of our products are made with authentic recipes from certificated productions including the meat in our ready meals. We believe that eating well should be enjoyable. You can buy real food & drinks, sweets from Russia - Dumplings, Cakes, Dairy and more.
After checking in at the Kawai Purapura entrance, we meandered up the path to the Yoga Festival surrounded by lush green bush on both sides. Wow what a beautiful tranquil setting. I didn’t even know this venue was here.
Kawai Purapura’s is on 19 acres’ of native bush on the outskirts of Auckland near Albany and was hosting this year’s New Zealand’s 6th Annual International Yoga Festival. The Festival provides a full weekend of yoga and wellness immersion for all ages.
The Yoga Festival had already kicked off Friday night with an opening ceremony then it carries on through Saturday and Sunday until 5pm for a closing ceremony. The schedule on offer is huge for both days offering a chance to attend many different styles of Yoga, Mediation, Workshops, Music and in addition there are Kids Activities, Fresh Vegetarian Food, Market Stalls, Concerts, Dancing.
Yoga teachers from around the world have been selected for their ability to create space where you can experience Yoga as an evolutionary way of life, as ecstatic aliveness, as radical freedom beyond the boundaries of our conditioning.
Catching our bearings, we made our way down to the ‘Teepee’ where Shelley was teaching her 9am Bump Yoga class for pregnant ladies. What a fun way to enjoy yoga in Teepee set in the bush! The Teepee was so cool with an opening at the top and around the bottom then decorated inside with floor mats, artifacts, tree trunks rings and other native bits and pieces to create a unique ambiance.
Bump Yoga is a fantastic way to give you down time from your busy life. Invigorating and uplifting, the postures will strengthen and tone your body for the changes pregnancy and childbirth brings, while the relaxation and breathing will relieve stress and tension and encourage deep rest. These BumpYoga classes are suitable for all levels of fitness and yoga experience. Classes are small, enabling the teacher to keep an eye on you, ensuring you are safe and working within your limits. Suitable from 16 weeks pregnant.
Shelley’s Bump Yoga classes are great! I did them while pregnant with my youngest 2 and loved it. It was so valuable knowing you could do something safe during your pregnancy that was both rewarding and relaxing. It's also a great way to connect with other Mums. I’m still in close contact with one Mum I meet during these classes and we've been friends for years.
NB: Are you interested in learning how to teach BumpYoga? Shelley is offering 2-day training courses to learn Bump Yoga so you can teach your own pregnancy clients. You learn how to program sessions that are safe, uplifting and fun, along with tips and techniques to attract them to you in the first place.
Shelley also teaches pilates from a home studio and Howick studio
Fusion Pilates http://www.fusionpilates.co.nz/
There was so much to explore at the Yoga Festival with different unique buildings scattered about for the different classes, including a big fenced pool for paddleboard yoga (SUP yoga), there was a grass area in front of the main stage playing varying styles of live music, this was by the main building and cafe with outdoor seating, then lots of clusters of market stalls nestled under the trees and around other big grass areas. There is accommodation on site and a campground tucked away somewhere.
While soaking up the relaxed atmosphere, I discovered YogaTribe and their Eco-friendly yoga mats. YogaTribe mats come in gorgeous colours and what makes them so special is they are not only beautiful, they support you in your practice through the sacred geometry and the arrow directs you to always move forward and aim love...
The YogaTribe yoga mats are truly a thing of ethical beauty!
While at YogaTribe, I was blessed to meet Coka Klug, who is the owner and founder of all things YogaTribe love. After first chatting at their stand we wandered over to a funky Tepee tent cafe and sat down on the cushions spread out across ground mats to sip our coffee to hear more about her business and experiences. Coka is so lovely, soulfully beautiful, genuine, caring and down to earth. Just love her style too!
Originally from Chile and with 20 years incorporating yoga in her lifestyle, Coka Klug is delighted to share all her knowledge with her tribe …this beautiful gentle Hatha Flow Yoga class. She describes her yoga as “Yoga Therapy”, and she is happy to say that her focus is to work in a very holistic way where you not only working your body into asanas, you are also strengthening your mind and your spirit. By releasing what is tight in your body, mind and spirit, you will no longer be calling yoga a type of exercise you will now be talking about an INNERCISE…a moving meditation… a place to quieten
The YogaTribe yoga mats are made from Eco Friendly Natural Organic Jute Fibers & Per Polymer, Environmental Resin. Jute Fiber is a Natural Fiber from a vegetable plant, which makes it a Biodegradable Yoga Mat, Non-Toxic, free from Phthalates, Latex & Silicone Jute Yoga Mat provide more natural, elegant and high quality surface, excellent grip for yoga. 100% toxic free
There are some Yoga studios around the world who have been totally decked out in YogaTribe mats. They look so elegant and inviting!
NB: if you are interested in YogaTribe mats for yourself or your studio let me know.
You don't come to a Yoga Festival without actually doing some Yoga right so we picked out a class called Yoga Fire for the Body with Tim Suetter. Wow Tim's probably not quite what you'd expect as Yoga teacher?! He’s big and athletic with a charming Canadian accent and a firefighter!
Tim had traveled down to Auckland for the Yoga Festival. He's a yogi and studio owner based in Northland, NZ and has a passion for showing people the power, yoga can have in creating transformation. His Vinyasa yoga workshop incorporated Pranayama, Asana, and mindfulness
I found Tim’s manner refreshing and engaging, he chats away putting you at ease, letting you know what to expect from his class...phewl doesn't sound too scary! His style during the class is energetic and fun, even goofy and times…… what there’s no laughing in yoga is there?!! Great class I really enjoyed it and didn't feel overwhelmed! It was challenging though you felt comfortable working within your own abilities and without being judged. He advised how everyone's body is different, everyone's range of motion is different regardless of how long you're been practicing Yoga. I think at the end of the day its all about you and how far you are willing to push yourself to progress.
In keeping with all things yoga and comfort. I came across and fantastic market stall called Zeenya with a beautiful array of colourful active and yoga wear. I profess I’ve traditionally been a bit of a black pant Lycra wearing girl but wow these colours and designs are eye catching. You can add a rainbow of colour to your activewear here!
The owners of Zeenya, Chloe and Sarah traveled to Brazil in 2013 where they fell in love with the colourful, quality exercise gear available. They then wanted to inspire Kiwi women to embrace their uniqueness and express themselves through their clothing and colour. In Brazil, zinha [zeen-ya] is a term of endearment added to names of friends i.e. Carolzinha. Portuguese is an expressive language this is where they took their inspiration for Zeenya. Their clothing is about positivity, energy, fun and fashion. Like Brazil it's wildly colourful and they hope you enjoy it as much as they do. Zeeyna offers a one stop shop for Yoga clothes, Gym, Dance wear, Leisure wear & Swimwear. Ethically produced in Brazil for Zeenya.
The lovely girls at Zeenya have given me a 15% off discount code.
I'm going to share this through our Choose Organic newsletters. Make sure you pop over to the Choose Organic homepage where you can subscribe.
Zeenya and Choose Organic will also be releasing a joint promotion where you can win a $50 voucher to spend at Zeenya active wear and another $50 voucher to spend at Choose Organic.
It was so pleasant walking around and seeing what everyone was up to and I came across another very colourful and interesting market stall by Green Magic Crystals. They had an impressive array of crystals and stones. So many to choose from in different colours, kinds, shapes and sizes. They are fascinating!
Do you have favourite crystal? Would like to find out more? You can pop over to the Green Magic Crystal Facebook page or catch them at a market.
If you mention Choose Organic and you’ll also receive a free pendant or crystal with purchases over $20
I believe crystals can be like jewelry, sometimes they pick you!
Another lovely stall was the Three Feathers market stall. It was beautifully presented with their handmade mantra mala bead bracelets and necklaces. These beads can also be used for meditation or every day spiritual energy. Beautiful necklaces hung from the gazebo and laid out on the table. So many beautiful and special mala necklaces and bracelets all in different colours, sizes and designs. They were even offering to taylor sizing on the spot where possible. This pretty bracelet then picked me!
My bracelet includes a small Agate stone so its fascinating for find out what it represents. Agate is a grounding stones bringing about an emotional, physical and intellectual balance. They aid in centering and stablising physical energy. Agate has the power to harmonize yin and yang, the positive and negative forces that hold the universe in place. A soothing and calming stone. Agate works slowly but brings great strength.
I've certainly loved wearing it!
I met the three feathers (Mum, Dad and Daughter) all working together as a team hand crafting beautiful mantra mala. The do custom mala and can complete an order in 10 days if they have the gemstones in stock. Three Feathers can make a full gemstone tassel for $90-96 and other half gem, haft wood are around $62-70 and full wood beads are $45. Everything is made with lots of love from a caring family.
There are so many precious and beautiful pieces to choose from.... I think I'll be back!
Mention 'Choose Organic' when you purchase a mala from Three Feather and you'll receive $10 off your purchase and free shipping - thank you Three Feathers that's awesome!!
Three Feathers 027 161 6699
After picking out a lovely red Yoga style singlet it was time for lunch!!
Everyone's been so lovely including the people at the Falafel tent. This bowl of fresh salad and falafel was delicious!! Perfect for relaxing on the grass soaking in the last of the Yoga Festival, watching the crowd and listening to the music. The energy of the day has been amazing. In front of us there is a guy and girl in their 20's happily sitting cross legged, knees touching, calming chatting, immersed in only each others company.
This Annual Yoga Festival offers so much to do and see in a beautiful relaxed surrounding. Creating a special place to hang out and enjoy the activities, catch up with old friends or make new friends. You can immerse yourself in all things Yoga and make it your own.
I was delighted to be there this year and definitely keen to return next year. I loved it!
Have you ever attended a Yoga Festival? Feel free to comment below with some of your experiences or recommendation.
Activate Life with Choose Organic
Activate Life with Choose Organic Kimberly Sinclair Kimberly@chooseorganic.co.nz +6421302600
Welcome to Choose Organic, healthy choices for body and home.