Yoga is coming to the park — a full day of it.
Saturday marks the return of the Alaska Yoga Festival, an all-day event in Ester Community Park centered around the popular exercise. The festival is noon to 9 p.m. and concludes with a concert by local band Ice Jam starting at 7 p.m.
“Whether you are new to yoga or a seasoned pro, this is an open environment to learn and grow mentally, physically, emotionally and socially,” said event founder and coordinator Teal Rogers.
No experience is necessary, and the scene is one that is kid-friendly. To ensure that, this year’s festival features classes geared toward children including butterfly yoga, a Hula-Hoop workshop and laughter classes, among other activities.
Rogers started the yoga fest in 2018 as a way “to unite people, place and practice into one day of fun,” she said.
“Yoga is a way of living with gratitude,” Rogers said. “I’m forever grateful for the Fairbanks community and wanted to share that energy through the practice of yoga.”
The festival starts at noon with a laughter yoga class taught by Michael Bork. Then, every hour on the hour, one yoga class is guided on a main stage while workshops take place in a grassy field. Classes run 50 minutes and are taught by educators from across the state. Instructors include Bork, Jody Hassel, David Westlake, Natalie Huffman, Sarah Goetz, Donna Lanni and Ana Canosa, among many others.
The evening ends with a “happy heart” class taught by Goetz, which will be followed by the concert.
The yoga festival is adhering to COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the state and social distancing will be in place, according to a news release.
“To keep our community safe we are asking all participants, vendors, volunteers and educators to wear a mask unless you are on your yoga mat. Yoga mats will be placed 10 feet away from one another with clear markings on the grass. Workshops will have markings at 6 feet of social distancing. We have ample amounts of room,” the release states.
The release also asks that if you have any symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, please refrain from attending as the goal is to keep the community safe.
The day, however, is still centered around exercise and community.
“Laughter yoga is at noon, our kick off. It’s so fun,” Rogers said. “No yoga mat or stretchy clothes required, a great way to start the day.”
Contact Features editor Gary Black at 459-7504 or at twitter.com/FDNMfeatures.
If You Go
What: Alaska Yoga Festival
When: Noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 11
Where: Ester Community Park, 3566 Old Nenana Highway
Tickets: The yoga festival is a ticketed event. Tickets can be found online at AKyogafest.com.
FYI: See AKyogafest.com for complete details including a schedule of classes and COVID-19 guidelines.