Different tastes of yoga at Evolve Festival
WITH a program as flexible as some of the presenters themselves, Byron Bay's Evolve Yoga Festival on Saturday was a celebration of all things yoga and all things Byron.
The event saw over 60 presenters come together to offer a diverse range of courses featuring everything from beginners level yoga to chakra meditation workshops, even a Chocolate Yoga class combining a traditional Cacao Ceremony with Kundalini Yoga.
Maria Kristen was one such presenter whose class, How Yoga Works, encapsulated a major aspect of the festival, which was to make yoga accessible to those who wish to become involved in yoga as a sport and a lifestyle.
"I teach householders and middle aged people at Lennox Head and I teach new teachers how to be safer when teaching beginners," she said.
Event founder and director John Oglivie said the day-long event, which usually attracts up to 500 people each year, was about providing people of all levels of skill and interest a chance to expand their existing knowledge of yoga.
"The festival has been going for four years; I saw a need for it at that time, there wasn't any national festivals being run and everyone was talking about how good it would be to come together in an environment like this, " he said.
"Still the yoga community is quite fragmented; there's a yoga school here and a yoga school there scattered around the place and people have got their own little flavours of yoga.
"This festival is an opportunity for us to come together and share our different ways of doing things and for our own students to be exposed to other people's approaches and styles.
"Yoga is very much like dessert; you've got ice-cream, you've got apple crumbles and even just with ice-cream you've got all the different flavours, so at a festival like this everything is there on the table so people can come and get a taste of different things."
Mr Ogilvie said he started around 1980 doing yoga and started teaching in this area not long after that. "Now the Byron Yoga Centre has been going for 28 years. I think now we're the longest-running business in Byron Bay."