Like many, I tend to be motivated to write letters to the editor on environmental issues or pending legislation. Not this time.
This time, I want to give a huge shoutout of love and appreciation to the July 26-29 Asheville Yoga Festival! Wow! What a beautiful way to enjoy Asheville and share the beauty of these mountains with others. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to promoters Amanda Hale and Sara LaStella for the vision and manifestation of a festival that embodied yoga and wellness in a rich, full, meaningful way. Their mission — to invite the community into conscious connection and compassion through practice, discussion, communion with nature and celebration — worked on every level.
They created a diverse lineup of presenters, from local teachers to international teachers. I loved the underlying energy of action and community involvement — from bringing in Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts (a teacher who focuses on issues around yoga accessibility and yoga for marginalized populations), to designating Light a Path (a local nonprofit that brings yoga and other somatic practices into area correctional facilities, schools, homeless shelters and more) to receive a portion of ticket sales, to ending the weekend with a French Broad River cleanup. Wow! Can we have more of this?
I’ve lived and worked in Asheville since 1995. Over the past 10 years, I find that I mostly work in Asheville and tend to spend my off time out of the city as much as possible. This past weekend gave me so much hope for Asheville and attracting positive participation in our city from visitors and residents together, as well as for the diversity of the participants. To walk the streets of Asheville and see a rainbow of people engaging in wellness, health and larger discussions of access and change is exactly what we need, right now.
I hope that this festival becomes an annual event. These are the kinds of things we want to be known for.
— Sierra Hollister