Welcome To The LYF Community: See Who Is With You, And Celebrate!
Cape Cod’s yoga community is rich, diverse and ever growing. This was never more evident than on a warm, clear August evening in 2012 when more than 200 people converged on the Hyannis Village Green for the first-ever “Yoga to the People” gathering of live music and yoga.
Organized by local yoga and wellness guru Jill Abraham, owner of Power Yoga of Cape Cod, the two-hour event was transformative for all who participated. Jill collaborated with a handful of other teachers to create and co-lead the community-driven class, including Alicia Mathewson, Leigh Alberti, Diane Kovanda, Eric Clark and Annika Iliadis who was, at the time, owner of Centerville Yoga and Wellness and is one of the founders of Love Yoga Fest (LYF).
In attendance at the event were Amanda Converse, Kate Sheehan and Jen Villa, founders of LoveLiveLocal, a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the year-round Cape Cod economy and lifestyle.
“Even as we gathered on our mats, we were amazed at the diversity of the group,” Kate explains. “Young, old, beginners, experienced yogis – everyone was welcome. It was truly a community event, which speaks to the broad appeal of yoga as a source of health and healing. The energy was palpable – we knew something positive and special was about to happen.”
The teachers seamlessly co-led the crowd through breathing, vinyasas, backbends, balances, twists and more. Annika says she and the other teachers – all of whom are featured presenters at LYF – felt blessed to have the opportunity to share their practices with the community. “I was in awe of the way it all came together and just flowed. Being able to offer our teaching to the community was a gratifying feeling.”
“As we took reverse warrior,” Amanda recalls, “a full, clear rainbow appeared in the sky over the green. There was a collective gasp – it had been a perfect day, no rain, so it was surprising to see. We created a really powerful energy through our practice and to me the rainbow was a manifestation of that. I truly believe that we feed the universe with our energy and it responds.”
Jen recalls the moment that resonated deeply for her personally, and became a source of inspiration for both LoveLiveLocal and Love Yoga Fest. “Eric Clark shared a reading that has been attributed to Hopi elders. It is a prophecy describing a river flowing fast, so fast that trying to fight it is not the answer. Instead, we’re to join the river, see who is in there with us, and celebrate. We connected to the idea that spiritual growth will come for us individually and collectively when we come together – ‘the time of the lone wolf is over.’”
For all who organized and participated, Yoga to the People on the Green was a magical event. The possibility of bringing forth such powerful, nurturing energy through yoga and cultivating awareness compelled Annika, Amanda, Jen and Kate to create Love Yoga Fest in the fall of 2013. With the support of local studios and teachers, as well as the Town of Barnstable, the fest founders are thrilled to invite friends new and old to join them for what promises to be a fun and transformative weekend.
Photo credit: Robert Tucker