BREATHE in, breathe out.
As you settle your body on top of a clean yoga mat, empty your mind of worries and troubles. Minding your breath, dedicate this time for yourself. Let go of expectations and simply allow yourself to be present in this practice.
Take a deep inhale as you whisper manifestations, hold, then exhale all of the negative energy. Once you’re ready, bow to yourself in gratitude and start your flow.
This is Yoga.
Yoga is a 6,000-year-old physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India, and on June 21, 2021, when the day is at its longest, the entire world celebrates International Yoga Day.
Hidden within the luscious greens in Cebu City is Soul Sierra, a wellness retreat center that offers holistic healing for the mind, body, and spirit. In line with International Yoga Day, Soul Sierra will hold a three-day event called Soul Fest, which is dedicated to yoga and wellness starting on Saturday, June 19.
Kymberly Maitland-Smith, one of the owners of Soul Sierra, said Soul Fest is an event where everyone—including pets—can indulge themselves in dedicating the weekend for wellness and relaxation.
The three-day event will be packed with a multitude of activities, such as Yin Yoga, Set Free Yoga, Pet Yoga, a special yoga class with Jen Martinez, and even a mini obstacle challenge! Local entrepreneurs are also welcome to showcase their products during the weekend getaway.
According to Smith, people have the option to simply enjoy the activities planned for the day, or camp in Soul Camp to fully immerse themselves in the wellness retreat. For those who will be going to Soul Sierra but won’t camp, a shuttle will be provided for easy access.
“We’ll have local food, locally made products, a thrift store, and face painting,” she said.
She assured that while this will be a wellness-dedicated weekend, meat will be available for those who are not following the plant-based diet.
In addition to the various yoga classes that are beginner-friendly, pet-friendly, and even child-friendly, Smith said Soul Fest will also offer Sound Bath Healing, which is an ancient healing ceremony that uses crystal bowls and south meditation allowing the body to heal from stress and anxiety, to name a few. A cacao ceremony will also be available during the fest.
This will be Soul Sierra’s first time to celebrate the International Yoga Day with the Cebuanos.
“Because we want to have social distancing and limited space, people have to register as soon as they purchase their ticket. So at least we know who are joining the classes,” Smith said.
“It’s okay if you’re a beginner. You have to start somewhere, right?” she added.
For interested individuals, you may message Sepfry Rivera on Instagram (@sepfrygrace) to purchase tickets and register in Soul Fest’s wellness classes.