Steamboat Movement Fest embodies ‘The Art of Being Human’ theme | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Movement Fest embodies ‘The Art of Being Human’ theme

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When renowned Kemetic Yoga instructor Jill Minard first started practicing yoga, she felt like layers were being shed.

"Doubt, things I was insecure about, things I've gone through — yoga helped me shed those layers, and through the practice, I became more sure of myself and realized it's OK to feel human and make mistakes," said Minard, who comes from Houston's Kemetic Yoga Studio to be one of this year's headlining instructors at the fourth annual Steamboat Movement Festival.

This year, the festival will be led by a variety of 32 distinguished yoga instructors, musicians and fitness specialists. (Danielle Zimmerer Photography)

"By shedding those layers, yoga takes you back to the beauty of yourself — from the inside out," Minard explained.

The four-day festival, which is a combination of yoga, music, dance and all things movement, kicked off Thursday and will continue with a slew of free and community-based events throughout the weekend until its closing ceremony from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Bud Werner Memorial Library, which is serving as “home base” this year.

Classes, workshops, immersions and panel discussions will also take place at various other locations, including the Depot Art Center, the Yoga Center of Steamboat, the top of Gondola at Steamboat Ski Area and Sundance Studio.

Other headliners include Jeremy Wolfe, Tyrone Beverly and Patrick Harrington, as well as music by the mantra rock band Katie Wise & the Bhakti Explosion, Buddha Bomb and others.

Talaya Thomas, executive director/co-founder of Steamboat Movement Fest, created the nonprofit in 2014 with Kristen Rockford. The festival has grown to include 25 distinguished yoga instructors, musicians and fitness specialists from around the country and seven local instructors.

If you go

What: Steamboat Movement Fest

When: Thursday, Aug. 9 to Sunday, Aug. 12

Where: Variety of locations with the festival’s homebase at Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave.

Tickets and schedule: SteamboatMovementFest.com

New this year is the "SMFx Speaker Series," inspired by TED talks, which consists of discussions on this year's theme, "The Art of Being Human." This series is free and open to the public as are the opening and closing ceremonies.

"We're taught so many other things — how to read, how to write, how to be good students, how to drive a car, etc. — what we’re not taught is how to be human, how to love ourselves, care for others or how we deal with our mental state," Thomas said. "Now, we go to yoga to figure out all of these things.

"We have faith that, if we can create a space for people to connect more with love, gratitude, compassion, kindness and connection within themselves, it will trickle out into the world,” Thomas said. “But, like Buddha says, ‘Change must start from within.’"

Through yoga, the Steamboat Movement Fest strives to provide a gateway to healing through breath-work, meditation and discussions aimed at inspiring mental and physical well-being. Thomas said the event is also an alternative to drinking activities.

"Self care comes from within," Thomas said. "Mental health and addiction, it starts with within. The theme this year is all about the tools that help us, as adults, deal with our mental health. For kids, it's how do we not even get there. It's about teaching them that we all belong and that being yourself is fitting in."

Visit steamboatmovementfest.com for a full schedule and list of instructors.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.