KarmaFest Camping Weekend Comes to Pottstown

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KarmaFest, a holistic, psychic and yoga festival weekend of camping and fun, returns to Pottstown for the Labor Day weekend, September 1 through 4, at Fellowship Farm. The festival will feature enlightening lectures, meditation, live music, swimming, vegan and vegetarian food, 50 to 75 interesting vendors and a full weekend of yoga. Also available will be special workshops and a children’s program.

KarmaFest was founded by Patricia Hawse in 2005, after she experienced the effects of holistic health firsthand while serving for the Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Witnessing the immediate effects of yoga and meditation to relieve tension and increase energy and balance, Hawse vowed to spread the word through a festival—KarmaFest.

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Lovelight Yoga + Arts Festival

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by Dan Martinsen

There will be three days of peace and music taking place August 18 through 20, almost 48 years to the exact weekend of the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969. There will be yoga and meditation—maybe even a sighting of “Mud People”, depending on the weather. Just don’t expect any announcements warning about “brown acid” at the second annual Lovelight Yoga + Arts Festival, in Darlington, Maryland, the brainchild of original Woodstock producer Michael Lang. His goal, along with partners’ musician Wynne Paris and event producer Kim Maddox, is to channel the spirit and activism from the original Woodstock, minus the alcohol and drugs.

“We wanted to create an event based on the values of that generation but to make it appropriate for families,” Lang, now 72, said in a recent telephone interview. “This event isn’t just for millennials, it’s multigenerational—and we want everyone to feel comfortable and safe when they come, and for their peace of mind we decided to keep it alcohol-free.”

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Transformation Yoga Project Hosts ‘Pop-Up’ Festivals and Kirtan Artist David Newman

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Throughout the month of September, area yoga studios and community partners will host “pop-up” festivals across the greater Philadelphia area as part of #Yoga Heals: A Festival of Gratitude, supporting the Transformation Yoga Project (TYP).

The festival culminates with Songs for Transformation: An Evening with David Newman, on September 29, at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford. This unique gathering will feature a trauma sensitive yoga practice, followed by a performance by Newman, who is a Philadelphia native and world-renowned kirtan and chant artist. Sponsorship levels range from $500 to $2,000.

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Anahata Yoga Expands Mind, Body in New, Larger Space

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by Lauren Johnson

Kathleen Tooley, owner of Anahata Yoga and Wellness Center, in Lederach, has a simple mission: to show that yoga is accessible to anyone.

Tooley, a teacher of Kripalu-style yoga for seven years, became a yoga teacher to do just that. “People who felt like they couldn’t do yoga inspired me to become a teacher so I could show them that they actually can,” she says. “When folks come into the studio apologizing for being inflexible, I say, ‘I know, that’s why you’re here!’”

Kripalu yoga, which originated at the Yoga Society of Pennsylvania in 1965 and was named after kundalini yoga master Swami Kripalvanandji, uses standard yoga poses and breathwork to encourage inner focus, meditation and relaxation. At Anahata Yoga and Wellness Center (“Anahata” is the Sanskrit word for the heart chakra), yoga is taught from a more therapeutic perspective rather than a fitness perspective.

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Holistic Alternatives to Pain—Local Voices: BLAKEY ELKHART KORNFELD, Yoga and Meditation

LV_TransformationYoga_BlakeyElkhart_0617How do yoga, yoga therapy and meditation work to address pain?

Through breath-centered meditation and movement meditation, or yoga “asana” postures, the vagus nerve can be toned and the parasympathetic relaxation response can be turned on. It’s commonly said that there’s a “smoothing out” that happens when breath is focused on the places where pain is experienced. The phrase “send your breath to your knee” refers to the act of sending the energy, expansiveness and calm that can create that smoothing effect. It’s all because of the power of the mind, which doesn’t necessarily take away the actual pain but gives the person a different relationship to the pain by putting some space between them and the sensation.

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Lovelight Yoga and Arts Festival Returns

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Celebrate the spirit of yoga and community—from the grassroots of the 60s counter-culture, to the modern yoga and transformational arts gatherings at the Lovelight Yoga and Arts Festival. The second annual festival will be held August 18 to 20, in Darlington, Maryland, just a few hours from BuxMont.

The festival draws some of the most beloved national teachers, kirtan, music and yoga headliners, including Krishna Das, Dharma Mittra, Trevor Hall, Dana Trixie Flynn, Tina Malia and MC Yogi, as well as many other well-known, regional teachers. Throughout the festival, attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy musical performances, yoga classes, flow arts, themed campsites, drum circles, vegan and vegetarian food vendors, art installations, live painting, interactive art projects, workshops, fire dancing, wholesome libations and high vibrational food.

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Letter from the Publisher, June 2017

PAIN has an element of blank; / It cannot recollect

When it began, or if there were / A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself, / Its infinite realms contain

Its past, enlightened to perceive / New periods of pain.

~Emily Dickenson

Karen Meshkov, Natural Awakenings BuxMontPain is a chronic condition shared by 100 million Americans; it’s the leading reason people go to doctors in the U.S., costing the nation upwards of $635 billion a year—more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

WebMD explains how vast and amorphous the condition can be, saying, “Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating…the signals of pain remain active in the nervous system for months or even years.” Sometimes the cause is known, or eventually discovered; sometimes the source remains a mystery.

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A New Paradigm for Health and Healing: Unite for HER Opens Doors for Complementary Therapies

by Karen G. Meshkov

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It’s early on a Sunday morning, but the lobby at Bryn Mawr Hospital’s Newtown Square facility is already abuzz. The space is teeming with women in stylish athleisure-wear; banquet tables are adorned with balloons and centerpieces. As guests make their way to their assigned seats, only the number of heads that remain fully covered by knit caps and scarves reveal that this is no ordinary Main Line brunch affair—this Wellness Day event is hosted by Unite for HER, a cutting-edge women’s health organization, and the attendees are Philadelphia-area women that have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The “HER” stands for Healing to Empower and Restore, and Wellness Days are one of the organization’s signature programs. This interactive, one-day workshop will introduce these women to the range of services and education that will be provided to them over the next year through their fully-funded “wellness passports”.

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Escape to Bali for Yoga and Meditation

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Natassia Levine of Open Center Yoga will guide students in a week of daily yoga practice, guided meditation, gourmet vegetarian food and inward reflection at Sarinbuana Eco Lodge, in Bali, from May 15 through May 20. Rates include twice daily yoga, one workshop, a group temple tour and three gourmet, vegetarian meals per day, with organic tea, coffee and juice options.

A Yoga Alliance-certified Vinyasa Yoga Teacher, Levine describes the retreat as an opportunity to meet new faces, deepen one’s practice and recharge the soul. Students will begin each morning with yoga and meditation on the outdoor yoga deck. A relaxed itinerary will allow for spending the day freely, whether that entails swimming in a nearby waterfall, reflecting in a rice paddy or taking advantage of the Eco Lodge’s many options for self-care and personal enrichment, which are available for an additional cost.

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Kripalu-Inspired Yoga Teacher Training Open House

eb_kripaluanahatayoga_0117Anahata Yoga and Wellness Center, in Harleysville, is hosting an open house on February 18 for prospective yoga teachers to learn more about their upcoming 200-hour yoga teacher training. The information session is free to attend and will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the studio. Participants are encouraged to meet the staff, learn about payment options and schedules, and ask any questions.

anahatayogawellnesscenterThe spring Yoga Teacher Training, which runs from April through December, is held the first weekend of each month on both Saturday and Sunday. Trainees, who are required to have at least one year of yoga experience, also attend 18 Anahata Yoga classes and two chakra workshops (or a full-day chakra intensive) during that time. The curriculum includes teaching methodology, anatomy and physiology, yoga philosophy and ethics, and practicum. Electives, such as Teaching Beginner’s Yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, Ayurveda and the Chakra system, are also offered.

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Shiatsu, Yoga, Sound Journeying and More at Pipersville Open House

crg_internationalschoolofshiatsu_0117The International School of Shiatsu will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., on January 21, to celebrate the opening of their new location in Pipersville.

The day’s festivities will include the best de-stressing methods, including yoga, meditation, qigong, shiatsu, manual lymph drainage, reflexology and sound journeying.

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The school was previously located in Doylestown for over 23 years. “This has been such a long time coming for us and we are incredibly excited,” enthuses the school’s director, holistic health coach and longtime shiatu practitioner Shirley Scranta. “As soon as I saw it, I knew this was where to make our next home. There are walls of windows coming from three sides so the space is flooded with brilliant light. The floors are made of Canadian Maple wood, which supports the body.”

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Many Paths To Healing: Exploring Modern Mental Health Practices, Treatments and Modalities

by Karen L. Smith, Rebecca Antsis and Karen G. Meshkov

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Life is not without its ups and downs. At some point in the journey, we will likely be presented with circumstances that upset our mood and behavior. Though many tools and resources are available that can help us on our path to optimal mental health, the first challenge is figuring out what kind of help we need, and where we can get it.

As an advocate of integrative, holistic and complementary approaches to healing, Natural Awakenings offers this guide as our attempt to survey the contemporary healing landscape and raise awareness of the myriad resources available to those seeking inroads to a more emotionally healthy, happy and balanced life.

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