Now in preparation for the second annual Peace Love Yoga Fest, the event promises to offer a wonderful mix of the lively, the artistic and the contemplative scene in Washington, D.C. This year the full-day festival is being held on May 15 in the beautiful Brookland Arts Walk. According to organizer, Heather Markowitz, the Peace Love Yoga Fest sits at “the junction of yoga, meditation, music and art. It is an opportunity for the entire D.C. area community to come together and celebrate love and acceptance.”
The original mission of Peace Love Yoga Fest was to present a daylong festival that was both affordable and metro accessible. Markowitz explains, “While I’ve practiced yoga for many years, I never felt like I could easily participate in some of the bigger and more popular festivals due to travel and overall cost. I wanted to create a full-day experience for people who love yoga and meditation that they could easily get to and afford.”
The joy that radiated from the festival last year made the decision to hold the event again in 2016 very easy. Markowitz notes that “Everyone who came enjoyed themselves and the energy all day was really high with lots of hugs and smiles.” Riding on this wave, the event this year is in a bigger, more open space, with very close access to the metro and the thriving arts community in Brookland. With more than two dozen permanent artist studios and galleries, the experience for the attendees will be greatly enhanced. Plus, they are adding a film component this year. At nearby Busboys and Poets, a screening of Fly by Light, the documentary by HawaH, from One Common Unity, will be offered.
Throughout the day, there will be several asana classes ranging from very active to very restorative, guided meditations, lectures/workshops, a silent meditative bike ride, and Artoga, workshops where individuals paint on a canvas while participating in a yoga class at the Latela art studio. There will also be some events for children, including classes, craft tables and a kirtan, which is fun for the whole family. The full schedule will be coming out on the website, PeaceLoveYogaFest.com by mid-April.
The Washington, D.C. area is replete with amazing yoga teachers, in all different styles. At the festival, there are more than 10 different teachers, including: Jess Pierno, the co-owner and founder of Yoga Heights studio in Petworth; Heather Honstein, a local yoga teacher who recently returned from several months in India where she completed the first Jivamukti yoga 300-hour teacher training to be hosted in India; Maddy Bortes who weaves together influences of postmodern dance and vinyasa flow to cultivate a deeply nourishing practice; Naomi Gottlieg-Miller, who has been teaching in the D.C. area for more than 10 years and has been voted one of DC’s best yoga teachers; and Dean Hively, an environmental research scientist by day and a certified teach of AcroYoga the rest of the time. Check the website for a full list of teachers.
Local music will be a big part of the day (and night) as well with area funk band Aztec Sun and local DJ Choppy Oppy, providing the soundtrack. They will also have opportunities to participate in kirtan, with Wynne Paris, Gita’s Dream and Hannah Allerdice.
Most importantly, the planners are hoping that there will be a great response, just as there was last year. According to Markowitz, the festival is for “anyone who believes that sharing in love and fostering acceptance will strengthen our community.”
Location: 716 Monroe St., NE. For tickets and the full schedule, visit PeaceLoveYoga.com.