September 2, 2012

The Copenhagen Yoga Festival—A Complete Rainbow.

Photo: Tanya Lee Markul

A Complete Rainbow

Denmark hosted its second annual yoga festival August 25 and 26 along the coast of Amager. Thousands of newbies, curious beginners and experienced practitioners showed up on their mats to breathe, meditate, take part in lectures, dance, eat, listen to live music, sing, chant and move under the open sky. Two coordinators, more than twenty volunteers and over forty teachers came together to offer their time, energy and support in the name of: yoga.

Co-coordinator, Stina Madelaire said that what she hoped participants would take from the festival was that it felt great to do yoga, that’s it’s fun to do it with others and that it’s possible to create a powerful uplifting together.

Photo: Tanya Lee Markul

“The festival was a chance for people to see if the stereotypes of yoga are true—also to experience that yoga is many things. It is music, children playing, asana practice, meditating—it’s all the same. It’s energy and heart. If people felt any of that, my mission was accomplished,” said Stina.

Stina described the festival in three words: abundance, fluidity and happiness or in another way, a complete rainbow.

The festival hosted teachers from many styles of yoga including Ashtanga, Dynamic, Jivamukti, Partner, Anusara, Kundalini, Acroyoga, Hatha, Children’s Yoga and more.

The other half of the dynamic duo coordinating the two-day festival efforts was Mai Brøndsted. Mai said she felt extremely grateful and happy about how the festival went.

“The festival was our dream come true. It was everything we had hoped it would turn out to be. We were extremely pleased to see so many people, experienced yogis, beginners and curious passers by, come together and play. The support from everyone involved and the participation was simply heart warming. It was, above all, that support that made this year’s festival such a great success,” she said.

Mai described the festival in three words: connection, exploration and expansion. 

Photo: Tanya Lee Markul

Bente Ramsing, festival volunteer (and yoga teacher for the blind and deaf) said, “The festival filled up my heart with love and happiness. During the two days I attended several nice classes with many different styles of yoga. It is not easy to pick one out, as they were all extraordinary good, but the peak for me was the class of ‘little miracles’ taught by Nanna Wagner and Stina Madelaire. The class was very powerful, but still guided by the two teachers in a very beautiful and feminine way—the taste of bliss that they are both known for.”

Local yoga studios and small business owners also participated in supporting the festival. To name a few—Yogacentralen, Hamsa Yoga, Yoga Mudra, Yogatid, TakingCare and Soupanatural had a tent to provide food, information about their services and information about yoga classes—and to support the general awareness of the benefits of yoga to participants and the surrounding community.

Peter Huber, co-owner of Yogacentralen in Frederiksberg said the festival felt like two days of happiness. “A great way to meet existing and a lot of new customers, and share and have fun. The location was great and the festival should remain intimate and rather informal and unbiased. The most important thing—to be open to and for everyone and to present the many faces of yoga to people not familiar with yoga yet.”

From nine in the morning on Saturday until the late hours of the evening, the local community including a significant amount of travelers participated in yoga classes during the day and enjoyed a Saturday night bonfire with live music and good company.

Sunday started also at nine and ended around eight in the evening—even after the late afternoon down poor, dedicated yogis took homage under protective tents, finished their classes and danced in the rain. Given the success of this year’s turnout, it seems the festival is going to become a local tradition.

“With the support of a great community we have made a strong foundation to continue to build on. We are already excited about getting started on building Copenhagen Yoga Festival 2013,” said Mai.

See you all next year! To follow, join the Copenhagen Yoga Festival on Facebook. All classes at the Copenhagen Yoga Festival were free to the community.

A video compilation of the festival compliments of Rebelle Society:

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