YogaFest hits Kawana with plenty of twists and turns
HUNDREDS of bodies will be turning, twisting and stretching when the spotlight is turned on the Sunshine Coast this weekend, October 29 and 30, for Australia's largest yoga festival.
Now in its 10th year, YogaFest will boast nearly 70 workshops and presentations on Saturday and Sunday at the Lake Kawana Community Centre and its tranquil backdrop.
With the event catering for such a wealth of new styles of yoga and some of Australia's leading teachers, some novices may be left asking: Which style of yoga would suit me?
Having titles of yoga teacher and certified relax and renew trainer, Marian Cavanagh sounds like the type of person many of us need in our hectic lives.
Marian began her love of yoga with a book in her early teens before attending evening classes at her local community college.
Working with a number of different teachers, Marian eventually trained in restorative yoga as her specialisation with one of the world's leading teachers of that discipline, Judith Lasater - something which Marian said had changed her life.
"I realised what really deep relaxation could feel like and that I hadn't felt like that in a really long time," she said.
"Anyone can do restorative yoga, even if you've never done yoga before, as the poses are so gentle, yet the practice gives really deep benefits."
Targeting the nervous system, Restorative Yoga is ideal for people who are stressed out, overstimulated or their minds just won't switch off at night and it can be a way of accessing a deep level of relaxation, soothing the mind and raising resiliency to stressful situations.
Restorative yoga is a style of yoga where those involved support the body with props to allow themselves to rest in gentle yoga poses with ease - similar to resting in a hammock.
"Because the props do all the work, we get really deep benefits from holding the poses for so long," Marian said.
"It's especially soothing for the nervous system, and like hitting an internal refresh button.
"With regular yoga, we're actively stretching and strengthening the body.
"However, with restorative yoga, the body is supported in the pose with no stretching, allowing the healing relaxation response of the body to activate."
Marian is looking forward to YogaFest based on the fact that it is such an amazing collection of styles of yoga.
"You can try out different styles with different teachers and get inspiration from a whole heap of different approaches to yoga," she said.
"It's also a great starting point for someone that's never tried yoga before.
"Many of the classes are perfect for a beginner, and there are even free beginner classes each morning.
"It would make for a great morning trying the free beginner class, wandering through the market stalls and having a delicious brunch from the food stalls.
"Yoga has become so popular because it's not just an exercise system, it brings all of us into the practice, and as a result, we feel more integrated, energised and strong in ourselves after each practice."
Visit www.yogafest.com.au or phone organiser Jonathan Murphy on 0404 050501.