Pensacola, Florida
Friday December 19th 2014

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Mahabhuta Festival Returns

By Sarah McCartan

Seeking to “celebrate yoga, unite communities and inspire greatness” the Mahabhuta Yoga Festival returns to Pensacola for a second year. Held Nov. 15 – 17 at Sanders Beach Community Center, the three day festival hosts 24 regional yoga studios and is filled with 24 yoga workshops.

The term mahabhuta means “the great element.” There are five mahabhutas that make up the universe—ether, air, fire, water and earth. This year’s festival is set to honor water—specifically the sacred waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Not only does it honor the water, it highlights the coast’s network of vast talent.

“This is an event highlighting the talents of regional yoga teachers, artists, healers, and musicians from New Orleans to Seaside” explained featured presenter and longtime community yoga guru, Nancy LaNasa. “Pensacola has been chosen because of its’ natural beauty and Southern charm. It is also the perfect location to bridge all of these yoga communities along the Emerald Coast.”
“It’s amazing to teach yoga in the beautiful Sanders Beach Community Center with the backdrop of Pensacola Bay,” she added. “It’s the perfect serene setting for this kind of festival.”

If you didn’t budget your funds or time in anticipation of basking in an entire weekend of yoga, numerous ticket options allow you to pick and choose which presentations and classes throughout the weekend you select to attend. This includes portions that are not strictly limited to yoga—healing and bodywork opportunities including massages, reflexology and spa offerings.

“There is so much more than yoga—bodywork, healing natural vegetarian food, and amazing music,” said LaNasa. “Attendees can take advantage of single presentations and pay the day(s) of the festival.”

In addition to those yogis and artists coming from other areas, other featured local presenters include Divya Elting of Breathe Yoga & Wellness Center, and Michael Brandt DeMaria, PhD, psychologist, author, speaker and multi-award winning composer.

“This festival is just a great way to experience new things, be with friends and make new ones. It’s also a great way for us presenters to give back to the communities that we serve,” said LaNasa.

For those attendees with children, there is a kids tent offering arts and crafts throughout the weekend. A portion of all the proceeds will fund the Mahabhuta Yoga Foundation, which will fund a scholarship for a Gulf Coast resident to participate in a local yoga teacher training from a participating studio.

MAHABHUTA YOGA FESTIVAL
WHEN: Nov. 15 – 17
WHERE: Sanders Beach Community Center, 913 S. I St.
COST: $135-270 for workshop passes; $35 single workshop; $75 massage and bodywork options
DETAILS: mahabhutayogafestival.com