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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Woodfordia’s first light

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Yoga at Woodfordia. Photo Stacey Schwenk.

Stacey Schwenk

Woodford Folk Festival – while this year signifies the 34th anniversary, it remains more diverse than ever.

Being awoken by the sunrise that lightens the 500-kilometre rural Woodfordia this morning, many season campers head to the 7.30am yoga class run by Ian Draaisma in the Dance Hall.

With a yoga mat in hand, the session commences with a full room of 30 exposed, sockless feet that are wiggling and ready to begin.

Ian starts by demonstrating a basic yoga exercise known as Asana. He goes on to combine this with a state of Mahamudra as a way to access patience, clarity and openness as a rising energy.

While these practices are traditional, Ian, who has been teaching yoga for 17 years believes that it is no longer deemed as modern as other teachings of yoga.

‘Yoga is about allowing the mind to sit within the heart and be present with your body… you are bringing grace and reverence… it is not just about you anymore,’ says Ian.

Festival camper Annette Devilee says she thought the class was a great and open experience.

‘It was a session that was very conscious of the people in the group… I think I carry tension in my body, and so he was focusing on being able to do things in a relaxed way,’ says Annette.

Annette will be returning to this class that will be taking place across the following two days throughout the morning at the Dance Hall.

Ian welcomes all and says that he hopes people who attend his class are able to ‘go beyond their own neurotic tendencies, greed and obsession and can actually start connecting more deeply with the land, our body and others.’


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