Finding Community at YogaFest

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to offer healing arts at YogaFest as part of a Healing Arts Tent at Song of the Morning in Vanderbilt, Michigan.

Song of the Morning is a wilderness retreat center offering workshops, retreats, meditation, and holding space in Northern Michigan. My first experience at Song of the Morning was for the very first YogaFest, which took place two years ago. The first YogaFest is where I fell in love with Thai bodywork. Watching Tatianah Thunberg practice Thai bodywork in an outdoor pavilion sparked my interest in this beautiful, healing dance.

My second time at Song of the Morning was for a personal, solo retreat in April 2013. I was ridiculously lucky to get the entire Lodge all to myself. I spent mornings in silent meditation and soft stretchy yoga spaces on my mat in front of the fireplace. I took long, quiet, snowy walks through the woods. I shared delicious home cooked meals with the staff at Song of the Morning. I took time to connect within.

Song of the Morning is a special place where individuals can slow down and connect. YogaFest offered the opportunity for yogins and yoginis from across the state to connect to each other. Before this event, I had never practiced bodywork outside and in the grass, nor with a group of healers in a tent!

Here’s what I expected at YogaFest: I expected to take time for hikes and my personal yoga practice. I expected to get to practice on a few clients. I expected to have fun and meet new people. I did not expect the camaraderie of healing arts practitioners! Great conversations on how we got into our unique practices, what training and education we took and wanted to take in the future, and philosophy on practices, happened throughout the weekend.

I walked away from YogaFest understanding a little bit more about why people choose healing arts paths.

I also walked away with a deeper connection to my own community members in Lansing, Michigan. This city is full of fabulous people. It is rare to find the time to connect and be present with each other in simple ways – like playing on drums around a fire – or throwing down a yoga mat on the grass in an impromptu renegade yoga session, both of which happened at YogaFest!

YogaFest 2014 was all about connection. I am blessed to be connecting deeper within myself, and, to my local and Michigan communities. Namaste.


Fire dancing at Dixon’s concert!
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Dixon’s Violin!
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View of the buildings at Song of the Morning, from the woods.
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My healing arts tent space – a beautiful mural of natarajasana (dancer’s pose).



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