Helsinki Yoga and Vegan Festival

UniSport Otaniemi, Finland, 02150
Sun 17th March 2019
Join Helsinki's first-ever Yoga and Vegan Festival at the popular sports hub, Unisport in Espoo. You can participate in Yoga and meditation sessions, treat your taste buds to some delicious plant-based foods, try henna body art, enjoy relaxing massages, attend talks on subjects of health and wellbeing (including mental health), and end the day with fun Bollywood dancing. There will also be free Yoga classes for children to make this a perfect family day out. Please see below to know the format of the festival.

Tickets: €4,50 (online) €5 (on the door). Free for children (below 14 years)

Language: All classes will be taught in English with key instructions translated by our volunteers of the teacher (if the teacher is Finnish). The only class taught in Finnish is Yin Yoga class with Annukka at 12ppm but our volunteers will translate key instructions in English.

Format of the Festival
Pay per class: We are planning to schedule a variety of Yoga/meditation sessions at the festival across two halls: Room A and Room B. Yoga and meditation teachers from 4 countries (Netherlands, Ireland, India and the UK) are coming together to teach at the festival and give you an amazing Yogic experience. Each session will be 45-minutes-long. There is a capacity of 200 participants per session. A professional sound system and a stage will ensure that you can hear/see the teachers easily. Doing Yoga and chanting with 200 like-minded Yogis could be a divine experience in itself. Imagine, what positive vibes we will create together!

Each session is priced at only 4.50 euros (plus booking fee). The ticket gives you unlimited access to our stall area, and talks & sessions in Room C. You can stay for as long or as little as you like. If you want to attend more than one session, you are welcome to do that - you just need to buy more tickets. Everything can be booked online and you will be guaranteed a space in the class of your choice.

We request you to bring your own mats. If you can't bring a Yoga mat, you can bring a Yoga towel as the surface is wooden.

Room A; Class 1 @ 10am: Flowing with the Breath via Vinyasa Yoga with Hannamari
An energising, dynamic vinyasa flow yoga class, incorporating breath work for connection with mind, body and soul. This style of yoga is characterized by stringing postures together so that you move from one to another, seamlessly, using breath. In vinyasa yoga, each movement is synchronized to a breath. The breath is given primacy, acting as an anchor as you move from one pose to the next.

The variable nature of Vinyasa Yoga helps to develop a more balanced body as well as prevent repetitive motion injuries that can happen if you are always doing the same thing every day.

This class taught by a lovely Yoga teacher, Hannamari, will leave you buzzing happily throughout the day.
This is a mixed-ability class. Suitable for both beginners and experienced Yogis.

Room A; Class 2 @ 11am: Qi Gong Yoga Flow to Balance Energies with Rach
Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is an ancient Chinese exercise and healing technique that involves meditation, controlled breathing and movement exercises.
Qigong has been called "Chinese Yoga", just as Yoga has been referred to as "Indian Qigong". Qigong can be considered as a combination of a number of Yoga (the science of self-realization) and Ayuerveda (the science of self-healing) practices. Both Yoga and Qigong are excellent for focused stretching, strengthening, and health maintenance. Qigong is the foundation of both Tai Chi and Kung Fu as well as being considered both part of and precursor to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

This class combines the key principles of Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Kung Fu with Vinyasa Yoga to create an energizing Yoga flow practice that will improve both physical and mental well-being. Challenging Yoga poses, breathing, guided relaxation and meditation - this class has it all!
This class is taught by UK-based Rach Cox, who has a decade-long experience in both Yoga and martial arts. She is coming all the way from Oxfordshire, England to teach at the festival.
This is a mixed-ability class. Suitable for both beginners and experienced Yogis.

Room A; Class 3 @ 12pm: Om & Bass Yoga Rave with Rach
Om & Bass draws upon the discipline of traditional yoga and combines it effortlessly with modern music. It rejuvenates your energy centres (or chakras), starting gently with ambient music and moving through various genres building up to an energetic “Drum & Bass” climax. It’s OM… and BASS.

Less common in yoga and dance workshops, Om and Bass features an incredibly good teacher, Rach. Rach is both qualified in yoga and dance, with a background in freestyle and hip-hop dance. Om & Bass encourages the participants to “feel” their way through the experience without feeling exposed or intimidated.

Room A; Class 4 @ 1pm: Fundamentals of Ashtanga Yoga for All with Tara

The Ashtanga method of asana practice originated in 1900s in the city of Mysore in India, and was developed by T. Krishnamacharya, who is considered as the father of modern Yoga.In Ashtanga Yoga, the order of asanas is entirely predefined, which distinguishes it from most other types of yoga.

Ashtanga practice consists of four parts: Opening series, a main series, a back-bending sequence and a finishing sequence.

This class is led by an experienced Ashtanga Yoga teacher, Tara, who is coming from the Netherlands to teach at the festival. She is going to teach a dynamic, strong class, going through the fundamental asanas of Primary series. Beginning by connecting with the ujayii breath, students will move through the key asanas of primary series – sun salutations, standing, balances, seated, hip-openers, back bends and finishing. Sweat stretch and feel goooood….

Room A; Class 5 @ 2pm: Invoking the Balariddhi: Challenging Yoga Flow with Arm Balances

The Sanskrit word, ‘Bala’ means strength, so Balariddhi refers to “extraordinary strength of mind and body. There is no limit to what your body can achieve, if you put your mind to it. This class will focus on enhancing the core strength (bala).In this workshop, you will learn the right breathing technique, posture and props that are needed to stand on your elbows, head and hand.

This class is led by a vegan Yoga teacher, Reg, who is coming from Ireland to show you how to use the strength in your body and mind to do challenging Yoga postures. You can expect a challenging power vinyasa Yoga flow with a few arm balances thrown in. Don't worry! Reg is an excellent teacher who will simplify the arm balances such as crow and handstands for you. He will teach you how you can prepare your mind and body to attempt the most difficult yoga poses with ease.

Experienced Yogis and beginners with good core strength are welcome to attend the class. Absolute beginners will also benefit if they are ready to work hard :)

Room A; Class 6 @ 3pm: Authentic Indian Hatha Yoga with Natha Yoga

Hatha yoga is the oldest branch of yoga. The Sanskrit word haṭha literally means “force” and thus alludes to a system of physical techniques. The Hatha Yoga Pradīpikā is a classic fifteenth-century Sanskrit manual on hatha yoga, written by Svāmi Svātmārāma, is among the most influential surviving texts on hatha yoga.

This class is scheduled to be conducted by teachers from Natha Yoga, Finland. Natha Yoga is the pioneering Hatha Yoga school in Finland that runs various classes, courses and retreats to make the original Hatha Yoga method available to all. This authentic yoga class taught will have a focus on connecting breath with movement to bring harmony to body and mind. Breathe, stretch, relax…

Suitable for all- beginners and intermediate.

Room A; Class 7 @ 4pm: Unblocking the Muladhara Chakra: Yoga for Opening Tight Hips and Hamstrings: The Journey to Yogic Splits with Tara

According to the Yoga philosophy, the seven chakras or energy centers comprise their model of the energetic or subtle body. Each chakra is located along the spine, starting at the base and running upwards to the crown of the head. Just like Pituitary Gland, Pineal Gland etc make up our physical body, the chakras constitute our subtle body.

The word Muladhara is a combination of two Sanskrit words.: “Mula,” which means “root” and “Adhara,” which means “support” or “base.”The seven chakras are all important and interconnected. However, the root chakra is especially important, as it is the base of our whole chakra system. It is the most instinctual of all chakras, the very basis of our survival center. Our “fight-or-flight” response is initiated here.

On an emotional level, the root chakra is associated with grounding, vitality, and stability. But on a physical level, it regulates the lower part of the body – legs, inner thighs, hips and hamstrings. So, in this class, the Yoga guru, Tara, will help you open the blockages in the Muladhara chakra thus helping you develop flexibility in your legs. Keep following the practice and eventually you will be able to slide into full splits.
This powerful workshop is led by experienced Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, Tara, who is coming all the way from the Netherlands to teach at Brussels Yoga and Vegan Festival. At age 42, she glided into splits for the very first time in her life. She is going to combine a dynamic strong Asthanga based sequence followed by yogic breathing and meditative yin style hip-opening stretches. Be ready to dive deeper inside. Beginners are welcome.

This class is extremely beneficial for runners or if you are into any physical sports.

Room A; Class 8 @ 5pm: Panchatattva Yoga with Reg: Vinyasa Flow for Connecting with Five Elements

According to Ayurveda, everything in the universe is made up of the five great elements: We all have them within.Referred to in Sanskrit as the pancha mahabhutas: bhūmi (earth), ap or jala (water), tejas or agni (fire), marut, vayu or pavan (air or wind) and vyom or shunya (space or zero) or akash (aether or void). Each of these elements offers unique qualities to our experience of living, yet together they create connection with everything around us. The system believes one should keep all five elements in balance, otherwise violence, stress, destruction and confusion can take over when the elements are out of balance.

On the mat we can include all of these elements to make our practice deeper and more powerful. When applying the five elements to our yoga practice, we have the ability to not only better connect with nature, but to also engage the meaningful characteristics of each within yourself. The teacher, Daria, who is also well-versed in Ayurveda, will guide you through a sequence of Vinyasa flow postures that focus on enhancing the balance of the energy flow of the 5 elements within your body to establish and keep the balance in your life.

The class is suitable for beginners as well as for long term practitioners.

Room B; Class 3 @ 12pm: Yin Yoga for Stress Release and Ultimate Relaxation with Annuka

Yin Yoga is one of the most relaxing and static style of Yoga that allows you to make a deep connection with your body and release hidden tension. A passive practice, Yin Yoga involves variations of seated and supine poses typically held, accessing deeper layers of fascia.

If you struggle with too many racing thoughts and crave for calm, Yin Yoga is perfect for you. Yin is the stable, unmoving, hidden aspect of things; yang is the changing, moving, revealing aspect. In the body, the relatively stiff connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia) are yin, while the more mobile and pliable muscles and blood are yang.

Led by Yoga teacher, Annuka, the founder of one of the most popular Yin Yoga studios in Finland, this class will make you feel super relaxed.

Room B; Class 4 @ 1pm: Chakra Meditation with Rach Cox

Chakra meditation is a form of meditation that consists of a set of relaxation techniques focused on bringing balance, relaxation and well-being to the chakras. “Chakra” is an ancient Sanskrit word that means vortex or wheel that can be traced back to India.

Chakras are the human body’s seven main energy centers with each one corresponding to individual glands that govern our specific body parts plus various areas of the psyche. They are located next to a hormonal gland along the human spinal column.

In this class, the teacher, Rach, will teach you how to remove blockages of all 7 chakras and how to bring them in perfect harmony.

Room B; Class 5 @ 2pm: Yin-Yang Yoga with Inari: Blending the Stabilizing and Dynamic Powers Within

The concepts of Yin and Yang originate from China in the ancient Taoists texts. Yin is a feminine, passive, cooling energy. On the other hand, Yang is the masculine, dynamic, warming energy.
It is believed that Yin and Yang complement and balance each other. This class aims to combine the static nature of Yin Yoga and dynamic Vinyasa flow (bringing out the Yang) to provide you with both physical and spiritual practice.

The carefully selected postures in the class will warm the body, stretch and strengthen the muscles, lengthen the connective tissue (fascia) and encourage a balanced chi (energy) flow. The session led by an experienced Hatha Yoga teacher, Inari, will improve your energy and fitness while promoting relaxation and healing. What a wonderful combination!

Room B; Class 6 @ 3pm: Hot Yoga 26 with Yoga Valo

This Yoga sequence is unlike any other Yoga class. It is a series of twenty-six asana poses designed to scientifically warm and stretch muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the order in which they should be stretched. The practice of these twenty-six poses will enhance mind and body, relax, strengthen, reshape and heal all of you over time.

As the body works to stay cool, the mind must focus in a challenging environment. As in all forms of yoga, hot yoga puts emphasis on deep breathing to increase the flow of prana or vital life. The breath connects the body to the mind and carries the practitioner through the poses. Deep breathing helps to calm the body and mind and circulates fresh oxygen throughout the body.

Although in Hot Yoga class, the room temperature is usually turned up to 40 degrees Celsius, we will only heat the room up to 30 degrees Celsius for this class at the festival.

Get ready to sweat it! The skin, the body’s largest organ, eliminates toxins through perspiration. The function of sweat is to cool the body through evaporation. Hot yoga practitioners purport that perspiration removes waste from the body on a surface level through the pores and on a deeper organic level by carrying waste away from the kidneys and liver. Sweating has also been found to stimulate the metabolism and immune system.

Beginners are welcome to attend the class. Not suitable for pregnant women and those suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure), asthama and migraine

Room B; Class 7 @ 4pm: Relaxing Slow Flow with Sound (Gong) Bath for Stress Relief with Yogi Tea

Treat your mind, body and soul to this relaxing gentle yoga class. Taught by Yogi Tea, this class will include a sequence of very simple yoga poses done slowly, a guided sound meditation with singing bowls.

This class is the perfect way to put yourself in a zen-line state and create a strong sense of inner peace.

Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Room B; Class 8 @ 5pm: Yoga for Healthy Spine - Working on Your Back's Vulnerable Areas

This class will focus on the anatomy of the spine and safe movement of the vertebral column.
In this session, there will be Yoga postures that illustrate the four main functions of the spine and how to avoid stress in the vulnerable areas. This will also involve strengthening the core muscles that support the spine in its variable range of movement.

The diverse set of postures in the sequence will work on all areas of your back. You'll learn how to stretch it, strengthen it, relieve lower back pain, and soothe your spine.

This workshop will explore the best way to improve your back bend and explain how and why it works, and why, sometimes, it doesn’t. The workshop also includes pranayama and relaxation.

Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Room B; Class 9 @ 6pm: Kundalini Yoga and Meditation with Kuldip

Kundalini Yoga is one of the most comprehensive styles of Yoga. It encompasses Bhakti Yoga (the yogic practice of devotion and chanting), Raja Yoga (the practice of mediation/mental and physical control) and Shakti Yoga, (for the expression of power and energy). The Kundalini energy is a poetic metaphor which describes the potential energy that exists within each of us. The Kundalini energy is considered to be located in the energetic body at the base of the spine. With the practice of Yoga, the Kundalini energy expands upwards awakening our potential to connect with our higher selves

This class will be taught by Kuldip, an experienced Kundalini teacher in Finland and United States.
Suitable for all levels - beginners welcome.

Free Sessions in Room C
If you have bought any paid class in Room A or B, you are free to attend these sessions. No booking needed. Entry on first-come basis. Please note that these sessions are subjected to changes. Final timetable of Room C will be displayed at the venue on the day of the festival

Room C| Capacity: 20
11.30-12.00Kids YogaTBD
12.10-12.50Peas vs Pills: How Diet Affects Mental Health (Talk)Reg
13.00-13.30Kids YogaTBD
13.40-14.10 Yoga beyond Mats and poses: Philosophy of Yoga        (Talk)Natha Yoga
14.20-14.50Eating Vegan: How to get all nutrients on a plant-based diet (Talk)Dominica 
15.00-15.30Kids YogaTBD
15.40-16.10Chi Kung Energy MeditationJarko Taivasmaa
16.20-17.00Isha Yoga Meditation Isha Yoga

Google map static shot of UniSport Otaniemi, Finland, 02150
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