Surrender your saris

Emily Mowbray-Marks is looking for more saris. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

The common sari is arguably the world’s most fascinating costume. For a start, they date back to 100 BC. They can measure up to 8m in length and nearly seven million people are still engaged in the traditional handloom manufacture of saris in India.

Now the call’s gone out for saris a little closer to home.

What’s been described as “a Little Yoga Festival like no other” is planned for the Banks Hall and Mauao Performing Arts Centre, as well as several other Mount locations, from Friday, September 10 to Sunday, September 20.

The idea is to decorate the Performing Arts Centre with more than 50 colourful saris to create what organiser Emily Mowbray-Marks hopes will be a “brilliant visual feast”.

So if there’s a spare sari in the closet you could drop it off at Sam’s Dairy on Tilby Drive, Matua or at the dairy near AstrolabeBrew Bar in Mt Maunganui.

The event will carry you to other lands and other cultures. There will be a collection of yoga forms, more than 20 types including traditional and more radical such as acro-yoga, a blend of yoga and acrobatics which has its roots in the circus. There will also be anti-gravity yoga which is performed suspended in harnesses from the ceiling.

The three day Little Yoga Festival will also feature dance, chants, satsang, which is explained as “a gathering together for the truth”, song, drumming , massage and meditation.

On Saturday night, there will be Yoga Rhythms with R.I.A and Kara-Leah Grant. It’s yoga to DJ music and on Sunday morning there will be Rise and Shine – a daytime yoga and dance party for all-comers. It’s a phenomena which has captured a following in Wellington.

In the meantime we need your spare saris.For more information go to, And you can also contact Emily Mowbray-Marks at