Lamu Yoga Festival 2019
Coastal island brings together Yogis from around the world
This year saw the 6th edition of a celebration of yoga held on 18th-24th March. With the heart of the festival at the idyllic Shela in Lamu, the week oﬀers an unbeatable opportunity to experience a variety of yoga styles here in Kenya, guided by teachers from all four corners of the world. These talented individuals congregate in this magical location once a year to spread what both yoga and this beautiful coastal region have to oﬀer. The history and culture of Lamu compliment the multi-layered nature of yoga itself. The festival also supports organisations such as the African Yoga Project (AYP) oﬀering free classes to local communities; sanitary pad making for Lamu Girls Secondary School and Safari Doctors to name a few. A striking factor of the festival is the strong community atmosphere. After all, yoga comes from the Sanskrit word of 'yog', meaning 'one' and the event deﬁnitely embodies this unity.
The organiser, Monika Fauth, after falling in love with the island has since dedicated her time creating a platform to share yoga, wellness and the magic of Lamu. Over the years the festival has grown in popularity and it is obvious why. The event is extremely well organised and the location means every activity is just a short journey away. Whether that journey be a tranquil stroll along the beach, an exploration of the maze-like streets of Lamu - getting lost amongst the donkeys is all part of the adventure - or a small boat trip across to Manda or Lamu town with one of the many shuttle boats arranged by the festival.
This year's opening began with a sunset coastal walk to the fort at the idyllic tip of Shela beach. The sense of unity could be felt as over 300 participants walked together with the beat of local Anidan drums. This was followed by an introduction to the 32 teachers this year along with a sunset salutation in unison. The last rays of sunshine saw our soul-felt intentions blowing in the wind as they were tied to string framing the iconic Lamu sand dunes. With a wealth of partnerships, the yoga activities oﬀered ranged from the more traditional Hatha, Pranayama and Meditation to Vinyasa, Kundalini and Yin as well as more modern Acro, Aerial and SUP and even yoga fusions with African dances. With over 30 activities a day, the challenge was not ﬁnding a style of activity to suit you but experiencing as much as possible within the festival!
Yoga not only brings physical health beneﬁts but a deeper awareness, releasing emotional stresses and bringing harmony between our body and the world around us. With it's tranquil nature, history and mostly untouched natural beauty, Lamu is the perfect place for a yoga ﬁlled de-stress week. The event is a fantastic edition in harmony with local culture bringing people together to appreciate and preserve this gem on our north coast. Long may the
festival last for people to enjoy the fruits that Lamu and yoga oﬀer hand in hand.