Yoga festival returns to Hove

Brighton Yoga Festival (Photograph: Jonathan Jones/www.movementand.photography) SUS-181007-154908001
Brighton Yoga Festival (Photograph: Jonathan Jones/www.movementand.photography) SUS-181007-154908001

Sussex Cricket Ground will host the fifth Brighton Yoga Festival this weekend – and it’s free.

The event on Saturday (July 14) and Sunday (July 15) includes yoga classes, meditation, live music, retail stalls and workshops.

Set up and run by charity the Brighton Yoga Foundation, the festival invites seasoned yogis and complete beginners to the two-day event.

This year’s event will include larger spaces dedicated to beginners, a children’s area, retail zone and food stalls. It expects around 5,000 visitors over the weekend.

Programme highlights include: leading international yoga teacher Esther Ekhart; ex-Sussex pro-cricketer, now yoga teacher, Lewis Hatchett; a workshop discussing the benefits of ‘Yoga in Space’ hosted by the Space Agency and Guerrilla Science; and musician and yoga philosopher Ram Vakkalanka.

Brighton Yoga Foundation has also launched a crowdfunding campaign for an office and part-time member staff to help expand its work taking yoga into the communities that need it most.

Since 2016, the Foundation has provided outreach projects in the community, including: A Yoga For Teenagers project in East Brighton; yoga in schools; yoga for women; yoga for LGBT young people; and yoga for the elderly and young children.

All community projects funded by the foundation are free to attend.

The classes give the opportunity to try yoga for people who may have otherwise felt excluded due to lack of funds or feeling that yoga was not accessible to them.

Sarah Pailthorpe, yoga teacher at Threshold Women’s Services, said: “All the women who come [to the classes] say it makes them feel better. Some people come in and they feel quite anxious, some people say they feel quite desperate when they wake up, they have some problems with anxiety and depression and when they leave they feel relaxed, more confident, they go out feeling much better than when they came in.

“These classes also provide a safe space for those most in need, allowing them to experience the healing power of yoga, free from stress or anxiety.

Caroline Vitta, from the Yoga Project for Teenagers, said: “Young people have said in class and after class that they feel calmer, that the world feels like a better place.”

The Foundation aims to raise £10,000 through a Chuffed.org crowdfunding campaign. The money will be used to open a small office and hire a part-time organiser.

Davy Jones, co-founder of the Brighton Yoga Festival and chair of the Brighton Yoga Foundation, said: “After five successful years, we feel we are ready to take the next step and put the Foundation on a more stable footing with a part-time organiser and an office. Both these things are crucial if we are to expand the work of the Foundation in the city.”

The crowdfunding campaign will run until August 8.

To find out more, visit: chuffed.org/project/brighton-yoga-foundation

Brighton Yoga Festival runs from 11am to 7pm on Saturday (July 14) and 11am to 5pm on Sunday (July 15) at the Sussex County Cricket Ground, Eaton Road, Hove.

To find out more, and to register, visit: www.brightonyogafoundation.org