With yoga retreats, trainings and workshops calling you from distant shores and foreign lands, isn't it great to know that one of the best yoga gatherings is right in your backyard? November 13-15, 2015, the Village at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ontario plays host to Shri Fest, the yoga, music and food festival that celebrates the great tradition of yoga and life in all its beauty. Festival founders Shirlee and Simon Williams agree: this year's festival will be the best one yet.
When Simon and Shirlee left Toronto and moved to Collingwood with their two sons eight years ago, there was virtually no yoga offered in town. Since then, having nurtured an enthusiastic and welcoming community of yogis through Buddha Rider Yoga + Cycle Studio and having thrilled to the active lifestyle and beauty of the Blue Mountains they realized that the Blue Mountain Village would be an ideal place to bring yogis together to celebrate healthy, active, spirited living. The inaugural Shri Fest in 2012 proved them right, and the festival has been gaining momentum and earning accolades year after year.
What makes Shri Fest a distinctive draw? Perhaps the most important selling feature is its relaxed atmosphere of intimacy and camaraderie. Unlike other yoga-focused gatherings that draw thousands of practitioners into gargantuan halls where miked teachers meander among hundreds of mats, Shrifest yogis enjoy smaller classes, and have plenty of opportunity to connect with teachers and to mix and mingle.
This year's 4th Annual Shri Fest is taking place at Blue Mountain Inn and highlights some of Ontario's top teachers. The schedule offers classes in a wide variety of styles and accommodates practitioners of all skill and knowledge levels.
Musician/singer Jim Gelcer will once again be coordinating a wonderful group of musicians who will accompany classes and reach their rockin' peak during Kirtan. The Vendor Village, which is open throughout the weekend, will once again showcase original arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing and a wide variety of mind-body related products.
And what would a grand gathering be without good eats? Primary sponsor RawFoodz will be on hand with their raw, vegan, organic delights. Furthermore, Saturday evening's Farm-to-Table dinner will feature delicious food prepared from locally-grown ingredients.
So pencil the date in your calendar! When glorious autumn colours descend - along with the mercury - you can look forward to the heart-warming, spirit-lifting beauty of Shri Fest.
For more information on the ShriFest offerings, or to purchase tickets (which run from $35 for a single class to $199 for the entire weekend), go to the ShiriFest website.