From the warmth of sunny Florida comes a yogi’s call to protect the polar ice that safeguards all life on Earth.
Across the Tampa Bay on the Gulf Coast of Florida is the picturesque St. Petersburg, often known as the “Sunshine City”. Within St. Petersburg is a century-old botanical paradise called the Sunken Gardens. Since 2011, this garden has played host to the St. Pete Yoga Festival, showcasing the diversity of yoga and engaging the community in a family-friendly day of yoga, music, food, laughter and love. This fall, the St. Pete Yoga Festival becomes the first yoga festival participating in Yogis Unite championing MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary.
Longtime yoga and meditation teacher Vandana Dillon founded the St. Pete Yoga Festival in 2011. The St. Pete Yoga Festival has hosted a wide range of international talent. Its performers, including Nimesh “Nimo” Patel, Daniel Nahmod and Parvati, have hailed from India, the United States and Canada. She says, “Bringing yoga’s message of unity and peace to the St. Petersburg community means the world to me and I’m so proud that this is the first yoga festival to join Yogis Unite.”
The festival this year features various yoga (Hatha, Dosha, Yin, flow, Kundalini, iRest Yoga Nidra, Thai Yoga, chair yoga, OsteoYoga), meditation circles, drum circles, sound healing and breath work classes with live music, and much more. Also on offer are local artists, boutiques and shops. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample classes, hear inspiring speakers from the local community, and take in musical performances.
Ashanka Kananda, who also serves as the communications director for the Great Whale Conservancy and who is on the board of the American charity Parvati.org, will present at the festival about the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) and how it protects all life on Earth. Ashanka says, “The St. Pete Yoga Festival is one of the yoga community’s favorite events of the year and supports Embracing The World, a global humanitarian NGO with multiple projects here in St. Petersburg. I will be speaking on the critical importance of MAPS and launching Yogis Unite this year. Floridians are all too familiar with the direct impact of rising ocean temperatures on hurricane strength.”
Florida is greatly affected by the changing weather patterns of today as the ice melts. Just a few hours south of St. Petersburg, Miami faces regular flooding as sea levels rise and scientists say the city is unlikely to exist in its current form at the end of the century. St. Petersburg’s city administration acknowledges the challenges of climate change for the city and the need to transition to clean energy and adapt its infrastructure to face the potential storms and flooding to come. The picturesque Sunken Gardens with Nature’s beauty and diversity on display are an ideal setting for the message of yoga, interconnection, and protecting all life through MAPS.
By Parvati Magazine staff