The Little Yoga Festival

Chakra giant silk flags, craft zones with luscious coloured pencils from Europe and cartridge paper-like art from the 80s.

Soulful local musicians and food trucks, enriching workshops and curious talks. Emily Mowbray-Marks is keen to bring us out of our winter caves and ugg boots and into the May St Reserve at Mount Maunganui for three days of arts and wellness.

“It’s going to be three days of yoga, food trucks, inspiring speakers and live music. It’s a wellness and arts festival with a massive focus on family. And it’s drug-free, alcohol-free and smoke-free.”

I went to chat to Emily about the festival and found her both immersed in creativity but also organised, her bookcase and books colour-coded, exemplifying her ability to create but maintain order and poise.

“We’re going to have a library of books, inspirational, philosophical and children’s books, in a little belle tent.”

Aotearoa’s most hand-made and whole-hearted Little Yoga Festival will be sandwiched between Mount Mainstreet and the Mount Main beach with easy access to the beach and local cafes. A great location, the May St site is also home to the Yoga Collective and the Mount Community Gardens.

“This is the third festival that wild & grace have produced,” says Emily. “Little Yoga Festival happened in 2015 in May St.

“In 2016 we had the Festival of Body and Sound at the Robbins Park Rose Gardens. This is the third of this type of wellness and arts festival.”

The Scout hall used by the yoga group will be the main building that the festival will centre around, with large marquees set up on the May St Reserve.

One marquee will be a makers’ space for kids and adults to draw, fold origami, make paper snowflakes, dolls and planes.

“It opens on Friday night, then all day Saturday and Sunday, from sunrise on Saturday until 10pm. And from 8am-6.30pm on Sunday. Thirty hours of yoga or being able to listen to really interesting people.”

People such as Karangahake Gorge’s Lucy Aitken Read who has a yert on her property, “unschools” and writes a blog called ‘Lulastic and the Hippyshake’.

“She has brought people out here to teach about non-violent parenting and advocates for children’s rights,” says Emily.

“Also Mig McMIllan will speak on how to be aqua with your teenager rather than green. And Kate Bruning is coming, she is an international sensation, lives in Whakamarama.”

Tickets went on sale through the website, launching on International Yoga Day – June 21 – winter solstice.

The 30 hours of enrichment with local and imported teachers include stand-up paddle-boarding classes at Mount Hot Pools, acroyoga, aerial yoga at Float Fitness, laughter yoga, and yin.

There will also be arts experiences including ukulele, didgeridoo, drumming, Indian dance, stilt-walking and kapa haka.

Come along and find ways to be a kinder, more relaxed and happier human being with reflective listening, sign language, compassionate communication, Death Cafe, Indian head massage and mindfulness talks.

The Little Yoga Festival will run from September 15-17.

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