SpiritFest 2014 Review by Karin Liebenberg


spirit fest 2The sun saluted this weekend with love and light over Mountain Shadows, and as this guesthouse’s name implies, is a breathtakingly sublime venue closely embraced by Paarl’s mountains. An estimated 350 yogis and their kids came together to share a beautiful experience with an attitude-free collective consciousness.

This could be one of the few Cape Town festivals where the only spirits you will encounter are the high spirits of enthusiasm of those around you (alcohol and other substances strictly forbidden!).

About the Festival
Spirit Fest is a 48 hour event, which runs from a Friday at 3pm until 3pm on Sunday. To get the full of experience, its probably best to camp over, or alternatively stay at the Mountain Shadows guesthouse or a lodging nearby – this way you can roll straight out of bed and be present for a 5am Sadhana!

Although there is an array of classes with the schedules running back-to-back, everyone truly floats at their own pace. There were the dedicated who swiftly shifted between the Ida and Pingala tented marquees, whilst others preferred to watch, soak up some rays on the ‘beach’ or have a cat nap on the grass.

A dedicated Kids Programme kept the young ones entertained; but generally they seemed to keep themselves well-occupied running around or even joining adult classes, being water babies in the dam or having a hula-hooping marathon in the vendor village (adults included).

My personal highlights included:

  • Marissa’s Acro Yoga class – the largest display of trust ever witnessed! Bodies contorted and poised into all configurations, including the longest human chain. If that wasn’t enough to get those muscles flexed, her witty teaching method further worked the abdominals 🙂
  • Kate Ball’s Vinyasa – a pure hour of continuous flow! Just what I needed to wake up after lunch.
  • The Drumming Circle – an uplifting and celebratory way to end off a Saturday afternoon. Hand-made music using skin drums and plastic boomwhackers – everyone was in perfect rhythm and did an amazing job, never skipping a beat.
  • Dee’s Nia – even though I sat this one out, I loved the vibe and energy rush I picked up from all the dancers.

The 2014 line-up also included: 5 Rhythms Dancing, Kirtan Meditation, Sound and Visual DJs, Feldenkrais, Kundalini, Iyengar, Forrest Yoga, Satsang, Synergy and more.

Vendor Village
I believe the Las Paletas Roasted Banana and Coconut & Lime Sorbet Lollies were a huge hit. Other vegetarian foods on offer included raw juices, gluten-free chocolate crêpes and falafels to name a few. Once the hungry had fuelled up, there were stalls selling yoga merchandise, such as clothes and mats, henna tattoos and Thai massages.

Final Thought
Spirit Fest 2014 was worth the wait (I wish it wasn’t only once a year) and worth its weight in gold! It is a festival that sends you home with more vitality than when you arrived. For those who are not residents of Cape Town, I’d highly recommend you make some travel arrangements next year. Another word of advice… sign up to their mailing list to be informed when their early bird tickets go on sale!


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