Yoga Festivals and Retreats to Help Dynamically Shift and Focus Your Energies

Venture the country from one yoga destination to the next with this guide to popular yoga festivals, retreats and conferences.

Whether you’re packing up for a cross-country vacation or looking to get away for a weekend of downward facing dogs and eagle poses, today a wide range of yoga festivals are bringing together mindfulness and practice all over the U.S. Ranging from retreat-style programs at mountain monasteries to convenient escapes at resorts, these yoga getaways will have you ready to roll up your mat and pack for a trip.

Yoga Festivals

Yoga has leapt straight from the studio into the realm of immersive yoga festivals, and the community appeal is what draws most attending yogis. 

Such is the story with Wanderlust, a festival series designed for music lovers and yoga enthusiasts alike, It's a multi-day experience for yogis of all experience levels, with events across the U.S.—including Austin, Texas, and Turtle Bay Resort, in Oahu, Hawaii—plus stops in Canada and Australia. Musicians like Michael Franti and Moby are regularly on the lineup.

Wanderlust Festival includes live music in yoga sessions at their event.
(®Ali Kaukas/Wanderlust Festival)

Wanderlust promises a serene event for patrons to engage in meaningful yoga practice as well as listening to Speakeasy, Wanderlust’s lecture series geared toward green practices and mindfulness. There are also high-energy musical performances, as Wanderlust's second passion is connecting patrons with new music.

For something with a little less pop culture, point your energies to Bhakti Fest. This festival series, which describes itself as a "yoga, dance and sacred music festival" has several events located across the U.S., typically held in early to late summer. Expect to find unique music and chanting performances, yoga classes, workshops and vendors.

Festival attendees partake in a guided meditation session at a Sat Nam Festival.
Sat Nam Festivals offered guided meditation sessions to participating festival-goers. (Courtesy Sat Nam Festival)

Another stellar multi-location festival to check out is the Sat Nam Fest yoga festival series. With an event for West Coast and East Coast yogis, these festivals are packed full of Kundalini yoga and novel music performances. Sat Nam East features swimming, chanting and lake views at Capital Retreat Center, in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

If you’re near the east coast, head to Unifier Transformational Healing & Expressive Arts Festival in Tolland, Massachusetts. This yearly festival is four days that are all about connecting you with your inner spirit and strengthening your yoga practice, no matter your skill level.

a patron practices warrior pose at Unifier festival in Tolland, Massachusetts.
A patron practices his warrior post at Unifier. (©Megan E. LaBonte/Unifier)

Unifier connects patrons with in-depth music experiences as well as transformative yoga practices. In previous years, Unifer has hosted performances by artists like Luminaries, Peia and Zebbler Encanti Experience. 

Looking for a one-day excursion in to your yoga practice? Check out the national Yoga Rocks the Park outdoor series. These locally-organized yoga series happen all over the U.S. in the summer months, with weekly yoga meetings in cities far and wide. Collaborators come together to organize a one- to two-hour yoga and music session, followed by healthy eating and mingling.

Yoga Rocks the Park in one of several cities that host weekly yoga sessions for free.
Patrons attending weekly sessions at Yoga Rocks the Park events can enjoy a free one- to two-hour yoga class and more, weekly. (Courtesy Yoga Rocks the Park)

Yoga Retreats and Conferences

Yoga festivals are wonderful, but if you’re looking for a yoga retreat with different calendar options other than the summer yoga festivals, look deeply into the calendar of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in Carmel Valley, California.

The Retreat Hall at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in Carmel Valley, CA, hosts yoga retreats and monastic training.
A yoga class in the Retreat Hall at Tassajara. (®Margo Mortiz/Tassajara Zen Mountain Center)

Tassajara offers retreats in a calm, residential community setting. Tassajara is one of three sites in the San Francisco Zen Center, with retreats led by a variety of yoga instructor from all over the U.S.

Yoga conferences and gatherings are held all over the U.S., annually, in many states and regions. Travelers looking to pop in for a quick weekend of yoga in their state or region should check out some of the yoga conferences we’ve seen.

For those adult yogis who teach little ones, a special yoga conference happens only once a year, in Washington. Located in the nation’s capital, the National Kids Yoga Conference is geared toward adult practioners who are ready to introduce yoga to children.

Patrons can enjoy an annual, one-day yoga conference in Washington D.C.
Patrons can enjoy an annual, one-day yoga conference in Washington D.C. (©HoonPhotography/National Kids Yoga Conference)

This conference is open for teens from ages 13-17 and for adults who want to strengthen their practice and teaching. Teens are invited to the teen yoga track, while there are several resources for adult yogis to use and to learn from in teaching children of all ages.

For yogis in the Deep South, unroll your mat at Charleston, South Carolina's Yogapop! This conference is a one-day, bi-annual event is held in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, and is open to the public. There are scheduled yoga sessions, workshops, crafts and community mingling sessions that are planned throughout the day. 

Over in Atlanta, what was once the Atlanta Yoga Festival is now the The Southeast Yoga Conference, or SEYC. This annual conference celebrating 10 years of yoga instruction and motivation. It features two days of yoga intensives, workshops and presentations by notable yogis.

the Southeast Yoga Conference happens yearly in Atlanta with yogis flocking to the event for the two-day festival.
(Courtesy Southeast Yoga Conference)