An Interview With The Creator Of The San Diego Yoga Festival

An Interview With The Creator Of The San Diego Yoga Festival

So tell us! What is The San Diego Yoga Festival? San Diego Yoga Festival is an epic, four-day event happening in Imperial Beach, California. Imperial Beach is the last beach town in all of the United States, and this place is beautiful. The festival is right on the beach! Saturday and Sunday, March 2 + 3 are the main dates of the event. On these two days, we will provide non-stop yoga, meditation, and holistic health classes along with unique Southern California experiences (including yoga on skateboards and free surf lessons) every hour on the hour from 9 AM to sunset! The classes will be right on the beach: people will be doing yoga on the sand with the ocean crashing right next to them. It is going to be amazing: we are Namastoked!!

Do you know how a little kid feels on Christmas Eve? That is how I feel about this festival! I just cannot wait for it to be here! We have so much to offer! Our classes are on all topics and led by some of the best teachers not only in San Diego, but the world. I am really big on accessibility. This festival is super welcoming to all people. Everyone is welcome!!

How can I really say that more clear? I know that when I just got started doing yoga I felt so embarrassed and shy (and I am not a shy person at all). It can just be so intimidating. I couldn’t touch my toes and didn’t look like the other skinny or flexible people in the room. They looked all so calm and stress-free. I thought, “I don’t belong! Who am I kidding? I am not peaceful or calm.” I was a ball of stress.

The thing is, that is why I needed yoga. Yoga taught me how to calm down a little. Still today, being an international yoga teacher with two yoga businesses and a published book, I still sometimes can’t touch my toes and sometimes feel like a ball of stress: but I know that is human!

Yoga teaches me how to let go and be healthy, and this is everyone’s birth right. I want everyone to feel welcome. If you don’t feel like you belong, that is the reason to come. If you feel unhealthy physically, mentally or emotionally, feel safe knowing this festival is open to you. We are very beginner friendly and will welcome you with open arms. Don’t feel shy or like you can’t. All the negative things you may feel, the yoga will teach you how to move past them.Yoga was designed for the inflexible and stress burdened. So, the more stressed and tight you feel, the more reason to come to this event!

Give some specifics: what will some of the classes be like? For those who do yoga or yoga teachers, they will be blown away by the talent and classes offered. We are having almost every style of yoga, lots of meditation, breathwork, and just many classes that honor the lineage of yoga. For those who are new to yoga, this is the best way to try it out to see if you like it. It is like a “yoga buffet.” You can try any class: it may just change your life. We will be outside under the sun and all the classes are all levels! It is a fun place to be!

There will be a Kid’s Yoga center for our littlest yogis (even classes for toddlers), Family Yoga classes, and specialized classes for various populations including Yoga for Cancer/Cancer Survivors and Yoga for the Military. There will be two classes offered in Spanish and there is an even a yoga class you can bring your dog to, that’s right, the class is called: Meditation with Your Pet!

I will be teaching a class on self-love where you marry yourself! You will even get a wedding ring! You see, this event is just all about teaching you how to take care of you and be a part of the community. You can check out the rest of our classes on our website at www.sandiegoyogafsetival.com

We will also offer a free vending area open to the public that will have around 80 vendors offering healthy food, holistic products and healing services like massage, sound healing and reiki. Participants can shop, eat, do yoga, meditate, and learn other holistic health activities with their feet in the sand! The event will also have live music. Festival goers can buy a pass and attend all the classes or buy specific class tickets and come when they want! There are hotels right in the center of the event on the beach and lots of Air BNB opportunities so festival-goers are invited to spend the weekend with us!

I heard you are going to break to a World Record this year! Tell us about that? Yes!!! This year the festival is aimed at breaking the Guinness World Record for the “largest partner yoga class.” There needs to be 2,548 people in this class to break the record. The Mayor will join for the class, and the festival is asking for as many people as possible to come out to make history in San Diego! We are going to do it! My third eye sees it!

How did San Diego Yoga Festival begin? The festival came to me 3 years ago during a deep meditation I had! I had no intention at that time to create a yoga festival. I was meditating at another yoga festival, the Sedona Yoga Festival, where I was teaching! I attended a drum meditation class, and I was overly excited from teaching all day and I was stoked to just lay there and let the sound heal me/calm me down. The sound of the drums was so powerful that before I knew it I was in a trance. To this day I can affirm that that was the most potent meditation of my entire life. I saw the flower of life, I got answers to many things that were hanging around in my brain and my soul, I saw past lives and spirit animals and colors!

In one part of the meditation, I had a very clear message that I needed to bring San Diego Yoga Festival to fruition. Before that we didn’t have a yoga festival in San Diego. I am a yoga teacher in San Diego, I have my own business, a yoga school, donation-based yoga studio and reiki clinic, Yoga with Shawna, and the meditation was clear that I was the person to do it. The meditation even showed me exactly how it needed to be done! This was amazing because I was not an event planner and never did anything like that before. That was 4 years ago! I remember talking about this idea to the entire 8 hour car ride home! As soon as I got home from that trip I started planning.

How has San Diego Yoga Festival grown since it has began? The first yoga festival happened last year in January 2017: I had no idea what I was doing but I had a lot of faith. My creativity went wild because I didn’t have any money to invest into this idea: we had over 100 classes: we had the youngest yoga teacher, she was 8, and the oldest yoga teacher, he was in his 90s teaching! We had almost a thousand people and it was super successful. So much good came from this risk! I took a leap of faith. My yoga mat supported me through the challenges. People left changed for the better, the community was brought together a little more and that is all I wanted.

From year one to year two, even more, magic happened. I made some shifts in my professional and personal life and felt grounded and ready. I can honestly say I never worked so hard in my life. The success was unreal. The mayor addressed the yogis in our opening ceremony! We increased our success rate by 300% having over 4,000 people. We set the record of the largest meditation circle in San Diego. We got deemed one of the top festivals to be a vendor in due to the amount of money the vendors made. It actually rained on the second day (It never rains in San Diego!) but still over a thousand people came out and did yoga in the rain. It was incredible to see the heart and dedication the community has to be better and use the medicine that is yoga.

Going into year 3, I feel so excited as I can feel it in every part of me: some serious magic is going to happen in even a bigger way. This event is unstoppable: it changes lives and makes the community better in a way that can’t really be put into words.

What are you most excited about for this years event? Well of course breaking the world record!! But, I am also so excited about being around these amazing people: the teachers, the sponsors, the vendors, everyone involved who gives at this event, they blow my mind….these people are just so full of heart and wisdom. They are inspiring and being around them is inspiring. Then, the festival-goers. Geez! They make my heart smile! Last year I deemed the event one in that attracts the nicest people. Everyone was just laughing and smiling and genuinely caring about one another. You could feel the open hearts of everyone there. The energy was so beautiful.

Teaching is my livelihood: the festival planning/running the business is the labor of love, so I am most excited to teach! I’ll be leading the Guiness World Book record class, the marriage to yourself class, a special class on breathing and the closing ceremony: we will AUM 108 times as the sunsets. We will be livestreaming with other groups of people from throughout the world who will be joining us in this class including people from New Jersey to India! You should join us!

Then on March 1 and 4 I will be teaching Master Classes. These are only open to 80 people (they sell out!). On the first, we will spend all day learning about Plants and how they help us. Attendees will try over 50 plants! On the fourth, the class will be on manifestation and your inner power. This festival is nothing but a reaction to the reality I create in my head. You can create anything and this Master Course will teach you how to do it. I can stick a penny on the wall with just my thoughts! No joke! I will be teaching how to do this and many other things (mind over matter!) in the class.

How do you do plan all of this!? Well, it takes a year to plan and it is a lot of work, organizing, and balancing. I have my own yoga business in Imperial Beach: Yoga With Shawna: it is a donation-based yoga studio, yoga school offering various certifications in yoga and energy medicine and the only Reiki Clinic in the country! I listen to my heart: it is in charge and calls all the shots in my life. I feel I was born (and we all are born) to do something important and to help and serve each other, so that is what I dedicate my life to.

I have a daily yoga practice that is over 2 hours long each morning. This practice teaches me everything I need to be able to serve the masses in a meaningful way. So, I thank the yoga: that is how I do it. Actually, that is how I do everything. It is a practice that teaches me how to live and because of all its given me, I have dedicated my life to passing that on to others.

Why is yoga so important to you? It changed everything for me. I was an anxious, depressed girl hiding from here dreams out of fear. I had panic attacks and didn’t understand why I was full of so much suffering. I was unhealthy in my food choices, relationships and I drank a lot of alcohol. Yoga showed me I didn’t have to suffer and I can live any life I want. This is priceless and I want to share that with others. Being a teacher for close to 8 years, I have seen the miracles the medicine of yoga brings so I am not stopping being the advocate for this practice anytime soon. It has helped too many. I trust it.

Where can we get tickets? How can we follow you? Tickets can be purchased on our website at www.SanDiegoYogaFestival.com

I’d like to gift all readers a promo code for 50%. I feel it is destiny for you to be there if the universe put this article in front you. Come on! You can spend your time reading or doing anything. There is no coincidence. Use promo code: Namastoked

You can follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sandiegoyogafestival

Instagram @SanDiegoYogaFestival

I’ll see you on the sand!

San Diego Yoga Festival, Yoga, Meditation, Classes, Festival, Guinness World Record.
San Diego Yoga Festival, Yoga, Meditation, Classes, Festival, Guinness World Record.
San Diego Yoga Festival, Yoga, Meditation, Classes, Festival, Guinness World Record.
San Diego Yoga Festival, Yoga, Meditation, Classes, Festival, Guinness World Record.
San Diego Yoga Festival
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