2020 Event Update

Dear New River Gorge Yoga Festival Family, 

Over the past month or so, we have gone back and forth countless times on whether or not to continue on with the festival.  In many ways we wanted to give everyone something to look forward to and an escape from the world being tipped on end.  On the other hand, everyone’s safety is key.  With this in mind, we have decided to postpone our inaugural event to August 2021.  It was a difficult decision to make, but in the interest of the safety of our community, teachers, and volunteers, it is the right thing to do.

We are incredibly gracious to those of you that have supported this year’s event from the beginning and hope that we can only create more interest with the extra time we will now have.    

The recent outbreak of cases in our county here in West Virginia in particular underscored the likelihood that the summer will remain uncertain regarding the reach of the virus and the ability to hold large gatherings.  Events across our mountain state are struggling with the same decisions and although our event was to be held mostly outdoors, social distancing guidelines, and the constant possibility of rain which would drive us to inside venues, would leave a veil of uncertainty as to whether or not we were keeping everyone safe. Plus, who wants to wear a mask all day while practicing yoga and trying to chant their heart out?

Other factors that lead to this decision included:

  1. Reduced sponsorship amounts as all businesses have been negatively impacted
  2. Potential consumer fear to gather in large groups in addition to state guidelines not released yet for large groups
  3. Planning, infrastructure, and advertising expense that can’t be recovered if the event does not take place
  4. Potential difficulty recruiting volunteers because of safety concerns
  5. Restrictions in travel for teachers and attendees as well as their own safety concerns

Studios that have been closed are just starting to reopen their doors with restricted numbers, social distancing and increased cleaning standards.  While we are certainly capable of putting guidelines in place, the ideas we have for our first event would all come to a halt and it would not be the event we want to put out there.  We have no idea what the end of summer will look like and do not want to wage the risks.

That all being said, please stick with us through all this.  We are brainstorming virtual events, and once things have cleared a little more, maybe even some weekend studio take-overs and mini-events leading up to NRG Yoga Festival 2021. 

If you have already purchased a ticket, we have a few options for you moving forward:

  1. Roll your ticket to the 2021 event without any additional fees if ticket prices change.
  2. Donate your ticket value to the event
    1. We know this is an uncertain time and we have already incurred some expenses that will have to in some way be recouped to successfully start up the 2021 planning.  If you are not able to make the new dates, but still have the means to donate, we would greatly appreciate it.
  3. Request a refund.  We get it, times are tough.  Let us know if this is the option you choose and we will start the process.

If you have reserved lodging or activities through ACE Adventure Resort please reach out to them to reschedule and see what options are.  Agnes will be your best point of contact within group sales.  

Please understand that although Erin and Kelsey have been in the yoga industry for quite some time, and Kelsey in the reservations/event industry for a good bit, this is a new process and event for us and we want to do it to the best of our ability.  We greatly appreciate your patience and hope to see you all very soon. We are always open to suggestions and input so do not hesitate to reach out to us at newriveryogafestival@gmail.com or if you have any further questions or concerns. 

Thank you for your patience and flexibility, 

Erin Larsen and Kelsey Regan

To Our Yoga Community

Like all of you, we too have been following the coronavirus updates carefully as well. At this time, we are moving ahead with our plans to host the New River Yoga Festival August 28-30. Luckily this event is quite a few months out and by then there is a good chance that the coronavirus dies down, or off entirely. We will continue to have ticket sales and announce our teachers for the event. If you purchase a ticket and we have to cancel the event, you will receive a refund. 

What can you do to protect yourself for now? 

  • Follow all the protocols that are circulating; wash your hands more frequently and rigorously and for 20 seconds or longer with hot water and soap, avoid large public gatherings, wipe down all surfaces you touch regularly with a disinfectant and take care of yourself. 

As yoga practitioners we have a lot of tools on hand to use during times like these:

  • Eat a plant based diet to ensure that you are getting antioxidants and nutrients that can help you ward off infections of any kind. Especially up your intake of B12, Zinc and Vitamin C. 
  • Try a mixture of ½ tsp each cinnamon, turmeric and ginger in 2 tablespoons of local honey to make a paste. Eat a teaspoon three times daily to boost immunity.  
  • Practice meditation and deep breathing exercises. With some possible extra time on hand there is no better time to start. 
  • If you are continuing to go to yoga classes take your own mat and props. If you aren’t, there are exceptional resources online to take classes in the comfort of your own home. Try Surya Namaskara for 5 rounds morning and evening. 
  • Take a walk in the woods. Here in the New River Gorge we are spoiled with our mountain trails but if you have a trail near you take some time to enjoy the fresh spring air and sunshine. 

We hope that you and your loved ones stay calm and healthy during this time. 

Mauni Amavasya

Today, January 24th, is known as Mauni Amavasya in Vedic Astrology. Mauni means absolute silence and amavasya means to dwell together. So on this day we should live or dwell together in silence. Chandra is the moon god is the ruling deity of the mind, and when the moon is not present in the sky, it is said that the mind is not able to make decisions easily, and in general oscillates more frequently. 

It is an auspicious day to spend time in silence for all or half of your day, or at least allowing time for meditation, since most of us aren’t able to abstain from silence for extended periods of time. Yogis are recommended to limit their activities, especially powerful asana as well as abstaining from electronics (social media!), writing and reading, talking and listening to music. You can perform silent japa mala, engage in yoga nidra or extended savasana, take a slow walk in the woods, soak in a bath, and of course, sit in meditation. 

You can chant mantra silently, either with your mala performing japa mala or simply in silent meditation. Mantra means literally mind tool. And so on this new moon day when our mind may feel especially out of control, we can use a mind tool to distill our thoughts. A simple mantra you can use is so hum. So hum translates to I am that, and that is the universe or ultimate reality. When you chant this mantra you are identifying yourself with the ultimate reality, or ultimate consciousness. 

May we all take some time today to sit in silence, ease the distractions of the mind and dwell together in universal consciousness. Shanti Om. 

If you are interested in japa mala check out this video which will show you how to use your mala correctly. 

ACE: What You Need to Know

Welcome to the gem of West Virginia, the New River Gorge.  If you’re from our Wild and Wonderful state then you know there are hidden wonders and amazing views around each and every corner.  The winding roads and rolling hills will lead you into the 1,500 acres that makes up ACE Adventure Resort and the home of the New River Yoga Festival.

All the magic will take place on Mountain Top.  There will be four venues for classes, including the stage area with set up for music, Mindfulness tent, Healing Arts Tent, and Conch Overlook.  Camping and private bath-houses are all in walking distance and included with your festival ticket.  

If you prefer to upgrade your stay, ACE Adventure Resort offers other options. Cabin tents and family tents allow you to leave the gear at home and still be outdoors.  Cedar Cabins, which are equipped with air conditioning and a small kitchenette. Want a hot tub to soak in after your full day of yoga? Got it. Whatever your lodging preference, ACE has it.  Upgraded lodging will be booked directly through ACE, so be sure to snag yours early and let them know you’re there for the yoga festival.

Now that you have a plan for a restful night’s sleep, consider adding an adventure into your schedule.  Right on property ACE offers a variety of activities; some of the most popular are rafting, zip lining, rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking.  All of these are offered in a half day (3.5-4 hour) format allowing you to sneak in an activity between classes at the festival or make a longer weekend out of it for even more fun!

We encourage you to take advantage of all that the New River Gorge offers and if you ever have any questions about how to do that, please reach out to us.  We love where we live and we are excited to share it with you.