Martha’s Vineyard Yoga Festival this weekend

Kelly Morris – "New York's most popular teacher" according to New York Magazine – is one of many instructors at this weekend's M.V. Yoga Festival. — Photo courtesy of Kelly Morris

The second annual Martha’s Vineyard Yoga Festival kicks off on Friday, October 7, at 8:45 am, with a power hour class taught by the festival’s founder, Kathy Bega.

For the second year running, the Beach Plum Inn in Chilmark will host the festival, where off-Island participants can stay and most classes will take place.

Ms. Bega and her “integral helper,” Mollie Doyle, have been working hard to bring yoga teachers and alternative health professionals from a wide range of backgrounds together to share their wisdom and practices. Local favorites as well as internationally renowned instructors will be represented at the festival, providing a well-rounded schedule where you can, according to Ms. Doyle, “sweat your butt off,” or relax and restore.

Some highly anticipated instructors include Barbara Verrochi and Kristin Leigh of the Shala in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and Kelly Morris of Conquering Lion Yoga, also in New York City.

Ms. Verrochi and Ms. Leigh are former students of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga Yoga, a system intended to synchronize breath and movement by combining an athletic series of poses with Ujayi breathing – a class sure to get your heart pumping. The duo is co-teaching two two-hour workshops on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9, from 10 am to 12 noon at the Chilmark Community Center.

Ms. Morris is one of five senior instructors of the Jivamukti practice and a one-time cover girl of New York Magazine, which touted her “New York’s most popular teacher.” Jivamukti yoga has roots in Ashtanga; it’s a guaranteed good workout but places special emphasis on yoga philosophy and how it can be applied to daily life. Ms. Morris will teach to live music from 2 to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday, also at the Chilmark Community Center.

For a restorative experience, “slow flow” classes will be held in the afternoons. Check out Vanessa Kent’s Mommy, Daddy and Me class for yogis age eight and up, on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3 pm.

The festival also has activities including morning beach meditation and evening Kirtan (call and response chanting that doesn’t require any experience, just some gusto). On Friday night from 6 to 8 pm, check out the yoga clothes trunk show at the Beach Plum Inn. Hyde Organic and Yoga Mat clothing will be featured at a fraction of its retail cost.

Island chiropractor Dardy Slavin will speak Sunday about chiropractic work and how it can work in conjunction with yoga. This lecture will focus on hormones and their role in pregnancy, miscarriage, and menopause. Massage and acupuncture appointments are available throughout the weekend as well.

This is an exciting opportunity for Island yogis to learn something new from knowledgeable, talented instructors and to experience their favorite teachers in a new setting.

“Everyone who does yoga should come, the more people the better,” Ms. Doyle says.

If you are already signed up and want to plan your weekend, check out for schedule information. If you haven’t signed up yet, call Kathy Bega at 508-274-4682, or visit the website for details. Tickets are available at as well. Tickets are available for half-day, full day, and three-day passes. Ms. Doyle and Ms. Bega are looking for volunteers for half-day shifts, in exchange for a half-day of yoga. Contact Ms. Bega if you are interested. And, get your yoga on.