This is the third festival wild & grace in association with Arts Kitchen Charitable Trust have given Bay of Plenty.
little YOGA festival 2015 began after Amy Mansfield asked Emily Mowbray-Marks for a yoga recommendation during her week-long soiree to the beautiful Bay of Plenty of good times. Amy was going to treat herself to a week of retreat, create her own hand-picked health spa, and wanted to start with Y O G A.
An avid blogger, Emily started to compile what became a Directory of Yoga types, teachers and studios on offer in the Bay. Emily was amazed by the number, dedication and skill of the region’s Yoga Practitioners and wanted to celebrate them, direct students to them, and YOGA them, bring them all together.
This little tale was entangled with another. Anna Hewlett a Toi Whakaari, first OE, Bridesmaid friend, dancing with friday drinks friend, had discovered Naam Yoga. Anna was blissful.
Emily wanted some… bliss.
Try as she might to attend a class in Grey Lynn at 5.30pm on a Friday night (whilst on an Auckland trip visiting friends and family), with a young still breastfed family (no not all of them were breastfed at the same time in case you were wondering) she couldn’t quite squeeze in that promise-of-bliss yoga class.
After 2 years Emily surrendered and opted instead to invite this Grey Lynn dwelling teacher Nilamani Wright to teach on her home-ground. Nilamani of Naam Yoga was the first teacher to be asked to teach within little YOGA festival. What was supposed to be 1 day, 1 hall of 1 dozen teachers a top Ohauiti Hill, looking down upon Mauao, became 20 teachers, 2.5 days, a website, posters, volunteers, a pet-day-lamb on a lead, yogaing ‘alongside Mauao’ and the most remarkable teachers, timetable and students a town could wish for.
And so lives the story of little YOGA festival.
The following year wanting to combine her love of the arts and wellness Emily and her team Christine, Viv, and Line from Denmark along with some sponsors and committed volunteers mid-wived Delightful Festival of Body & Sound 2016 at Tauranga’s Rose Gardens in Autumn. This festival had a day dedicated to children with African Drumming, Breaking, Capoeira, Bollywood Dancing, Ukulele. It had food trucks. It had a marquee. It had a sell-out Soundbath, there was Satsang and Singing from around the world, Tipis and Death-Cafes, Kapa Haka and Meditation. And the aforementioned Amy Mansfield enticed her Auckland based choir ‘The Souls’ down to sing, wearing white, amidst the roses, thorns and all. It was gentle and loved festival for all the family.
And now we are here.
This year arrives with the alchemy of three. Our third festival builds on the former and is to be a sensation. With a village of marquee workshop spaces. An abundance of workshops and inspiring talks. Delicious & Nutritious Food available. Live & local music circling around. A continuous craft zone keeping the kids creative. A physically active area too. Mount Hot Pools discount voucher. Mount Maunganui Beachfront Holiday Park deals too. A library in a belle tent. A community garden to wander through. All just a beach access away from Mount Maunganui’s main surf beach, or Main Street Shopping and Cafe areas. What more could a being ask for?
little YOGA festival 2017 (as my husband said to me on what became our first date) will be the best day of your life. And just as he said, as if to cinch the deal…
“So, (pause for dramatic effect) are you coming?”