Harmony at the Brighton Yoga Festival

When your ‘work’ involves a trip to Brighton to attend a Yoga Festival you count yourself pretty lucky. But when you get to practice with yoga teacher Emma Newlyn to a live harp you begin to wonder if you’ve died and gone to heaven.

 


by LUCY EDGE

‘Peace, strength and vitality for all’

The Brighton Yoga Foundation, who run the festival, exists to spread the word about the benefits of yoga to everyone. Over 60 volunteers worked tirelessly for two days to make the UK’s biggest free festival a big success. And it was. With classes ranging from Kundalini Yoga and Gong with Maria Valanpal to Vince Starr’s Tribal Yoga Flow there was something from every one of the 3000 who made it to the Hove County Cricket Ground.

Shop Chant Malas at YogaClicks

My first stop was Helen Forster of Chant Malas – Helen is one of the first yogis we started working with and will always have a special place in my heart. But we’d never met – so I was very excited to meet this wonderful woman who makes beautiful malas after a full day of teaching and after her kids have gone to bed. Her stall was the prettiest in the room and I felt calm just being in her presence. Or maybe it was the mala?! A spot of retail therapy followed – making new yogi friends at every stall – with Jacques at Coco Caravan who force fed me vegan chocolate, Corinne at Corrine Taylor – temptation beyond endurance in the form of bergamot and ylang ylang candles, and Julie and David (a fellow refugee from Adland) at Juno – who had somehow managed to bottle the smell of a Provencal summer.

Shop Positivitea at YogaClicks

Basking in the heat of a glorious afternoon I propped myself up at the bar – yoga style. The drink? A cup of Throat Chakra blend tea (peppermint, liquorice and echinacea) served up by the lovely Ellie, creator of Positivitea. It must’ve worked because Ellie and I were soon firm friends – discovering a mutual appreciation of the creative voice we’d both discovered through our practice. Ellie’s children’s books have sold more than 200,000 copies in the US alone! We made an on the spot decision to work together – and now Positivitea is available at YogaClicks. My chakras are re-aligning as I type!

Mindful Flow with Emma Newlyn, with Tracy Sullivan on Harp

My final resting place was Emma Newlyn’s class. Accompanied by Tracy Sullivan on harp she basically took us to the heavens – which seemed fitting as Emma’s fuzz of golden curls and Tracy’s celestial playing reminded me of two angels. While Tracy’s free falling harmonies calmed my mind, Emma’s free flowing moves softened my muscles, easing me into a state of late afternoon peace. Most remarkably Tracy wasn’t following a particular score – she simply intuited her playing to flow with Emma’s teaching. It was like watching one of those great band partnerships – where the musicians seem to instinctively know the next note.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that harp music has been proven to be healing – lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety and pain. Together with Emma’s yoga the effect was amplified to the power of ten – a beautiful restorative class – in the true sense of the word – able to iron out all the kinks of a 5 hour journey from Norfolk, and smooth the road ahead. Utter bliss.

Shop Pawpaw Yoga Wear at YogaClicks

When I finally managed to rouse myself from my mat I went to say hello to a woman who looked to me to be wearing Paw Paw (created by Swedish yoga teacher Anika Westerlin) – which she could only have bought from us as we are the only ones to sell the brand in the UK. The woman turned out to be another yoga teacher, one Jean Muir, visiting from Tunbridge Wells – quite possibly the smiliest yoga teacher on the planet!

About Emma Newlyn

Emma Newlyn is a 500hour RYT, Musician, Writer, Blogger, Published Author & Therapist.

She is also a Brighton Yoga Foundation Trustee and Manager.

Visit her website here:

http://www.emmanewlynyoga.com

Join Emma for an Ayurveda Inspired Autumn Self-Care Workshop

Saturday 14th October, 2-4pm

Be-Yoga, Haywards Heath (£20)

If you feel as though you’re running on empty most of the time, this workshop is your opportunity to learn techniques you can bring into your daily life to care for yourself, so you feel stronger, more energised, less tired, and more nourished every day.

Join Be-Yoga teacher, musician, therapist, published writer and 500hr RYT Emma Newlyn for a 2 hour workshop full of different practices and techniques including a yoga flow suitable for all levels, self massage techniques, an opportunity to learn more about how to apply Ayurveda to everyday life, aromatherapy, mantra, breathing and meditation techniques, and complementary healthy treats.

To book, visit: www.be-yoga.uk.com

Credits

Photographs of Tracy Sullivan by joanne@politephotography.com, Photograph of Emma Newlyn by Emma Newlyn.