Some of the action from the 2018 Ekam Yoga Festival.
Some of the action from the 2018 Ekam Yoga Festival. Alicia Fox

Enjoy bringing out the yoga mats at Ekam retreat

THERE will be random acts of yoga galore at this year's sixth annual Ekam Yoga Festival at Francis Retreat, Bonny Hills, on September 14-15.

The weekend festival, presented by the not-for-profit organisation Random Acts of Yoga Inc, is a weekend of yoga, music events, natural health talks, community activities and a Sustainable Health and Living Expo, according to event organiser Denis Juelicher.

She said the event had started at the Glasshouse but was now settled in at the Francis Retreat.

"We have really found our home there," Denis said.

"It has beautiful grounds, gigantic gum trees and great yoga spaces.

"In 2019 we welcome back some of our much-loved presenters from previous years, such as Eve Gryzbowski and Amelia Disspain.

"The festival is a two-day event and most people buy a two-day pass."

Denis is the founder of the festival and The Yoga Shala in Port Macquarie and loves the community of yoga.

She is committed to a life of learning, sharing and delving deeper into everything that yoga has to offer.

She said she decided to put the festival together after moving to Port Macquarie in the 2000s to bring a wide range of yoga practitioners to the regional area.

These days Ekam, which attracts more than 400 people, brings together yoga teachers, musicians and alternative health professionals from across NSW and beyond.

It is a weekend that aims to provide opportunities for yoga practitioners of all levels of experience to come together to learn, be inspired, connect, relax, and deepen their experience of yoga.

Denis has been practising Ashtanga yoga since the late '90s.

She is accredited as a senior teacher (L3) with Yoga Australia, doing workshops with many highly recognised Ashtanga teachers.

While not specifically for older people, she said the older demographic was well represented at the event.

"The majority of people who come to the festival are over 50s," Denis said.

"We also have some people who have been teaching and attending who are into their 70s."

She said the event wasn't about being competitive or wearing the best tights, but more about enjoying yourself.

Throughout the weekend the broader community is invited to enjoy free activities in the grounds.

"It is a chance for your grandkids, family and friends to participate in free taster yoga classes, talks and activities," Denis said.

"On the Saturday, community activities will focus on families with children."

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