Peace, Love Yoga Fest

Peace, Love Yoga Fest

What happens when art, music, meditation and yoga are all brought together in the city’s newest, hippest gathering spot? Love. The Peace Love Yoga Fest, the first of many to come, is a daylong event where meditation, music, art and yoga all come together in one place on May 16 at the Blind Whino, in Southwest Washington, D.C. All are invited.

The festival will offer a variety of classes and workshops in different styles, giving participants an opportunity to try out a number of different forms, teachers or trainings throughout the day. The main yoga room, with soaring ceilings, will be the main space for classes throughout the day. On the lower floors, there will be “quieter” styles of classes, including yoga nidra, yin yoga, kunalini movement meditation, energy workshops and acro yoga.

One of the rooms will be designated for meditation, with teachers sharing their different practices in teachings and workshops throughout the event. There will also be a room geared to “all-ages”, in which family yoga sessions will alternate with kirtan chanting – sing-a-longs to yoga music.

All the classes and workshops have been scheduled for inside the building, just in case of bad weather, but outside, there is a lot happening as well. Musicians will be providing the soundtrack for the creation of public art projects, inspired by local artists and by the participants. One Love Bus, known as D.C.’s largest moving art installation, will be on hand to provide inspiration to all who are ready to grab a brush and start painting.

The festival is the natural next step for the sponsoring group, WithLove DC that has been leading pop-up yoga throughout the city for the past year. The group has a simple mission, to sponsor and support events and activities that promote love, joy and acceptance within the community. Their first project, MadeWithLove Kitchen Project, started a year ago at L’Arche, a group home in Adams Morgan for adults with intellectual disabilities and their assistants. WithLove DC cooks healthy vegan meals on a regular basis with the residents who live in this a beautiful community. By spring, WithLove DC started the pop-up yoga in parks throughout the community, offered on a donation basis, believing that yoga should be accessible to all who want to try it. Their efforts are supported by selling vegan lunches and snacks by made at the MadeWithLove Kitchen Project.

The idea for the festival was, in part, inspired by the venue, the Blind Whino, which has a rapidly growing following for amazing community and music events. A converted and abandoned church in the Southwest Corridor of the city, the Blind Whino is a work of art unto itself, with every inch, inside and out, painted by street artists.

For the festival, there has been tremendous community support. Already, the volunteer roles have all been filled and tickets are likely to sell out. Sponsors, in addition to Natural Awakenings, include yoga studios, BuddhaB and Yoga Heights; as well as Gouter, a local juicing company and Core 72, a local boutique specializing in women’s athletic clothing.

Organizer Heather Markowitz was inspired by huge yoga festivals held across the country but wanted to home-grow an event that was accessible and affordable. “I wanted to bring the experience of hundreds of yogis who care about the same things, like spreading love, being mindful and being conscientious about the world we live in. Everyone should get the chance to be in a community like that, in a festival setting. D.C. has such a thriving yoga community with dozens of studios, hundreds of instructors and so many yoga and meditation practitioners. I really feel this will be a special event to bring everyone together for just one day and make something wonderful. And don’t forget your mat!”

Location: 700 Delaware Avenue SW, Washington DC. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit PeaceLoveYogaFest.com

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