Grow together. Become together. These words have guided the direction of cOMmon Grounds Yoga and Music Festival since it began in 2011. The local yoga and music festival is gearing up for its fifth annual event taking place in Loring Park on Saturday, July 9, when the entire park will transform into a place for the community to connect through a day of yoga and wellness workshops along with performances from local musicians and artists.
Kristin Rosa, a local yoga teacher, founded the festival. She had the idea to create a festival to showcase the expertise and knowledge of wellness experts, yoga teachers, artists and musicians right here in Minnesota. “cOMmon Grounds is really a platform to share the wealth of knowledge that our [local] instructors have and for students to learn and connect,” she said.
Andrea Krejci Paradis, a Fargo-based yoga teacher and Ayurvedic specialist, who has been part of the festival both as an attendee and instructor believes everyone can benefit from a forum like cOMmon Grounds. After attending her first festival as a volunteer, she knew right away that she wanted to share her expertise with festival-goers.
“Teaching yoga and Ayurveda is my passion and the prospect of sharing the information with the kind people who attend this festival was a no-brainer,” Paradis said. “Everyone there is so hungry to deepen their practice and learn new things and that energy is infectious.”
While the vision of the festival remains the same, this will be the first year that cOMmon Grounds will take place in the heart of the city. In previous years, the festival has been weekend retreat taking place in Crane Lake, Taylors Falls and Richmond before landing in Minneapolis.
Rosa said the goal for the Loring Park event is open it up to more people.
“It really is just about accessibility, making it more accessible for everyone: participants, instructors, musicians,” she said. “It also makes it more affordable. I think this is really important.”
Most of the workshops offered at cOMmon Grounds are open to all levels and experiences, including Krejci Paradis’ workshop called “Decoding Your Doshas” which she explains is the perfect session for those with little or no experience with yoga or Ayurveda. Some other yoga classes and wellness talks that will be on offer include Tribal Buti Yoga, AcroYoga, and Yoga & Nutrition 101.
Because of the change in location, Rosa says that they were able to secure more local businesses to showcase their services and products in the vendor village which attendees can browse in between workshops. Vendor Village will also be open to the public and doesn’t require a ticket, as well as Slacker Park, an area of the festival grounds where participants can relax and connect with friends, new and old. After the final workshop of the day, the festival will conclude with a performance from Dragon Fire Theatre and a dance party with DJ Omaur Bliss.
Moving the festival to the city also makes it convenient for families to attend and enjoy the full day of wellness together. A complimentary Kids Yoga Camp will be available for children from ages 4-12 where they will have their own activities including kids yoga classes, art activities, and storytelling.
Everyone involved with cOMmon Grounds truly believes in the importance of creating a bond within the community and that connecting with each other helps us grow and develop.
“We elevate each other,” Rosa said. “We lift each other. We grow together. We become together.”
Katie Kohlbeck is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer interested in yoga, health and wellness.
Tickets for the full day, morning or afternoon are available. Find more information at www.commongroundsfestival.com.