West Coast wellness festivals to check out this spring
Written by Monica Krake, founder of Head + Heart, a spiritual and wellness resource and online calendar. Find events, retreats, teachers, tips and community to support your journey from the head to the heart. @headplusheart
There are so many reasons to take in a wellness festival. These multi-day events bring together top teachers in beautiful spaces, where you can explore a variety of practices, from yoga to Kirtan,] to shamanism, kundalini, and Gua Sha — and more. If you’re into spirituality and wellness, the Pacific Northwest attracts some of the most notable yoga and spiritual festivals in the world.
Here are a few of the festivals to take in this spring:
Victoria Yoga Conference
The eigth annual Victoria Yoga Conference brings in the top yoga and wellness teachers from BC to offer a weekend of inspiration, motivation, and deep learning about the practice of yoga and beyond.
At any given time over the weekend, something magical is available to support and inspire you. Want to try Acro Yoga? Ready to Desire Map your future? Walk a labyrinth? Maybe you want to learn about Ayurveda, or relax on a yoga mat for hours? Check, check, check. This weekend is truly for everyone. Expect 60+ classes on offer on everything from yoga to poetry writing to Bellyfit and breathwork. They also offer some beautiful scholarship options and energy exchange programs; contact the organizers to apply.
Dates: February 14 to 16, 2020
Location: University of Victoria, BC
Samsara, a Sanskrit word, means journeying, which is the theme of this beautiful healing and wellness festival happening just outside of Seattle. This festival first came to life with a mandate to support those who are grieving by offering a multitude of healing and wellness support.
Samsarafest has evolved to include a lot of celebration as well. Over 100 activities are planned across this three-day immersion — including a yoga village, healing huts, nature immersion, live music, adventure activities, several hands-on workshops, inspiring talks, intimate circles, Ayurveda teachings, drum circles, farm-to-table foods, and inspiring vendors, all planned with great love and care by a team of incredible giving teachers and artists.
No matter where you are on your journey, there is something special for you to experience at Samsarafest. Parents: Kids are very welcome at this festival, and there’s actually a full program for children to enjoy as well.
Dates: March 20 to 22, 2020
Location: Enumclaw, Washington (near Seattle)
Happening in May in Desert Hot Springs, California, this Kirtan-focused festival offers the ultimate experience in wellness and a chance to connect with the Divine Feminine that resides in all of us. Seekers will enjoy a lot of live music, yoga classes, healing, conscious workshops, gender-specific classes and more — plus it’s kid-friendly. Featuring popular teachers and artists such as Krishna Das, Shiva Rea, Dawn Cartwright, and many more, Shakti Fest is one of the few all-ages, alcohol-free, family-friendly music and yoga festivals on the circuit today. This festival’s intention is to be a vehicle for the evolution of human consciousness. Learn more here.
Dates: May 14-19, 2020
Location: Desert Hot Springs, California
Banff Yoga Festival
The fifth annual Banff Yoga Festival is a boutique wellness festival specializing in all things yoga, meditation, self-care, green cuisine, and outdoor adventure. Immerse yourself in three days of wellness and soak up the beauty of Banff at the same time. All budgets can be accommodated at this event. Expect to be moved, both physically and mentally, taking away useful tips and tricks to make your health and well-being easy and realistic at home. This festival is known for great community vibes, yoga teachers that also love the great outdoors, and eco-friendly yoga inspiration.
Dates: May 29-31
Location: Banff, Alberta
Okanagan Yoga Festival
One of the few yoga festivals that includes wine as a central piece, the OYF invites people from the Okanagan and beyond to create community and immerse themselves in three days of conscious celebration. From yoga classes to hiking to meditation to hands-on workshops and mindful wine tasting, you’ll leave feeling renewed and inspired. Previously set at the stunning Spirit Ridge resort in Osoyoos, 2020’s location has yet to be announced. This is one of the top wellness festivals the Okanagan has to offer.
Dates: September, TBD
Location: Okanagan, BC — exact location TBD
If you’re having a hard time deciding, do a little digging online to learn more about the teachers and schedules at each event. And if you need more help, I’ve written this how-to guide for choosing the right wellness getaway for you. If you’re looking for a wellness experience that’s a little more mellow, take a look at these upcoming BC yoga retreats and these meditation retreats in BC.