Welcome mats: Field of Yogis returns to Cedar Rapids

Festival to feature more art, music in its second year

Free yoga is offered at Newbo City Market on Thursday evenings. The second annual Fields of Yogi festival is slated for this Friday through Sunday in the NewBo City Market area.  (Liz Zabel/The Gazette)
Free yoga is offered at Newbo City Market on Thursday evenings. The second annual Fields of Yogi festival is slated for this Friday through Sunday in the NewBo City Market area. (Liz Zabel/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Yogis unite.

The second annual Fields of Yogis festival will be held next week on Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 13 at NewBo City Market and surrounding district.

Ally Thompson, founder of Fields of Yogis, said she is looking forward to this year’s event and cultivating a stronger community presence — partially by having more art and music available to the yogis who attend.

“I’m excited to have more music and art incorporated into scheduling and workshops available to the attendees and the public,” Thompson said, adding that she hopes the growth in opportunity will provide the feel of a more “well-rounded festival” that is all encompassing to both novice and advance yoga practitioners.

The idea to start a yoga festival in Cedar Rapids began bouncing around in Thompson’s head three years ago after she attended a yoga festival in Dubuque. She wanted to bring one here.

So, she was put in touch with Lexi Matthews, an event coordinator who has helped Thompson pull off the festival both this year and last.

“Lexi has done event planning and had the perfect expertise needed for all the operations,” Thompson said.

Matthews, who practices yoga when she has time — but not as nearly as often as Thompson, who works at Heat Yoga in Cedar Rapids — joked that Fields of Yogis is a “festival for everyone” because even she can do all the classes.

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But Thompson wants people to know that the festival is not all about yoga, all the time, either. Chakra stone painting, live music, slacklining and other experiences such as hula hooping will also be available.

There also will be a peace walk and drum circle, as well as a free community yoga and guided meditation class from 9:30 to noon on Sunday.

As for presenters, Thompson said that there will be some local instructors, but also ones from as far as Virginia or nearby Illinois.

“We looked locally for people that are renowned, well known and in the niche market,” Thompson said. “We also looked outside the community and have national presenters, too.”

To find the different styles they want to present at the festival, they had to look outside their own backyard, she said.

Thompson expects a couple hundred people to attend the festival this year. She said that the aim is to begin building a strong community so that participants will come back to the festival.

“Iowa, in itself, is tight knit in its yoga community,” she said. “We come together to support each other.”

A variety of yoga styles will be featured at Field of Yogis, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Iyengar and Acro.

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“There is something for everyone,” Thompson said. “Yoga is this path helping you achieve bigger goals.”

More information is available at www.fieldsofyogis.org. Passes are available for purchase online at www.eventsprout.com/event/2017fieldsofyogis.

Are you ready for class? Take this quiz to find out.

Full weekend rates are $140 on the day of registration. Check in will be inside the NewBo City Market to the left of the entrance. Yogis are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat, blocks or straps if they wish and water. To save 15 percent on a weekend pass, participants can enter the code FOY17GROW when purchasing tickets.

IF YOU GO

What: Field of Yogis

When: Friday, August 11, 9:15 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, August 12, 7:15 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, August 13, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Various locations in the NewBo District; check in at NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids

Cost: $85 to $140

Details: www.fieldsofyogis.org. Passes available at www.eventsprout.com/event/2017fieldsofyogis

l Comments: (319) 368-8531; alexandra.connor@thegazette.com

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