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From physicality to spirituality


Stretch out for a weekend of Immersing Yourself in Yoga!

From mommy-and-me classes to stand-up paddleboard yoga, there seems to be no limit to the variety of practices of this health and relaxation technique. As yoga continues to gain popularity as a physical (and no doubt spiritual) workout, there are more and more places to try this practice.

Novice and experts alike are invited to the sixth annual Iowa Yoga Festival (IYF), which will be held Aug. 28-30 at the Iowa Events Center.

The sixth annual Iowa Yoga Festival (IYF) will be held Aug. 28-30 at the Iowa Events Center.

The sixth annual Iowa Yoga Festival (IYF) will be held Aug. 28-30 at the Iowa Events Center.

“The Iowa Yoga Festival is a three-day immersive event that offers participants the opportunity to experience teachers, practices and products from around the country and world, all under one roof,” said Mathew Koder, IYF producer.

Prep Iowa

Here in Des Moines, Koder has seen a growth in the yoga scene. However, it is primarily focused on the physical practices of yoga at this time, he said. It has taken a more exercise-based feel than in most other parts of the world.

“Yoga isn’t about turning yourself into a pretzel, although the physical practices of yoga are very powerful — they are just one part of a much larger discipline,” Koder said. “That discipline’s aim was to give human beings the experiential understanding of the interconnectedness of all things.”

The Iowa Yoga Festival is an opportunity to unite members of the yoga community under one roof for three days of connecting, learning, exploration and fun. Each workshop at the IYF is two hours long. It is designed to offer a variety of yogic practices — both physical and non-physical — to attendees.

“It is our hope that the festival will grow to serve even more members of our community in future years,” Koder said. “The more people practicing yoga, the happier our community will be as a whole.”

Zaplin Vermie, an Iowa City yogi who teaches a variety of yoga styles — “as many as necessary to bring balance to the practitioners body, breath and mind” — has been a consistent practitioner of yoga for eight years.

“Besides the incredible honor I maintain by simply presenting at the same event amongst my foremost teacher, Andrey Lappa, and the impressive array of acclaimed yogis from around the country, I am excited to be surrounded by a symphony of experienced and aspiring yogis from around the world,” Vermie said.

While the ticket price may seem a little steep, the Friday night portion of the event is free to the public and dedicated to giving back to the community. Anyone who is able bring items to donate to the food drive are encouraged to do so. All donations will benefit Move the Food. The evening will kick off with an attempt at setting the record for Iowa’s largest yoga class. Following class, guests will enjoy music by DJ Dess and food from Fresh Café and Market.

“I want festival attendees to leave feeling rejuvenated,” Koder said. “I want people to take action and create the lives they wish for themselves and use the tools, techniques and relationships they gain from the Iowa Yoga Festival to assist them in their journey.”

“This festival is an opportunity for many fellow yoga practitioners and teachers to congregate and celebrate our individual inspirations collectively,” Vermie said. “I hope that participants will leave my workshop with a firm understanding of how to explore and evoke easefulness on and off the yoga mat while returning home from the festival ripe, ready and recalibrated with some new friends, fresh ideas and an irresistible enthusiasm for the experience and process of life.” CV


Iowa Yoga Festival
Aug. 28-30 at Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center
Weekend pass: $295
One-day pass: $185
Aug. 28: 7-10 p.m.
Aug. 29: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Aug. 30: 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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