Lamu comes alive with annual Yoga Festival as over 400 guests jet in

Participants of the Yoga festivals at Shela village in Lamu County. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]
The idyllic Lamu Island is bubbling with life as close to 400 Yoga enthusiasts landed there for a week-long festival that kicked off on Monday.

It run up to March 22nd, 2019.

Organisers of this year’s edition told The Standard that this year’s full house participation has surpassed their expectations with participants coming from as far as Australia, India, South Africa, United Kingdom, USA, Canada and Japan.

Event's co-ordinator, Ms Monika Fauth said that the event in its six edition has helped catapult destination Lamu to the global map.

''We have cordial working relations with the County Government that has ensured all logistics are in place for the huge number of visitors coming for the annual festivals,'' she said.

Monika added that the Yoga craze is gaining momentum and relevance in the whole country and in particular along the Kenyan Coast where international holidaymakers are flying in to partake Yoga activities.

''Lamu is the complete different location for Yoga. Lamu Island with its tropical climate, excellent variety in accommodation to fit ones budget, miles of empty beaches and car free sandy roads,  it is the ideal destination to relax and leave behind life’s stressfulness,'' she said.

She added that the fresh seafood, organic foods and the warm welcome of the Swahili people make it the perfect wellness getaway.

Lamu County Chief Officer for Tourism, Mr Atwaa Salim noted that prior to the event, flights touching down at the Manda Airport were full signalling growing interest from visitors to come and do Yoga in Lamu.

''The whole of Shela village is now heavily inhabited by Yoga enthusiasts who have taken up accommodation in all the available hotels, guests houses and home stays. There are those who are residing in Lamu town and Manda island respectively,'' Atwaa said.

Monika explained that there are over 25 teachers, 150 yoga classes, meditations and workshops in Shela, Lamu town and Manda Island.

''Enthusiasts are experiencing many different styles of yoga from wonderful teachers, including Aireal yoga and early bird yoga on the magnificent Shela beach. Get a taste of the Swahili culture and join the Swahili Dinner, Sunset Dhow Sail and final Dinner & Celebrations,'' she said.

Monika said that they are encouraging participants to go out of their way and offer support for community initiated projects like sanitary pads donations for the Shela Bright Girls Secondary School or making donations to Safari Doctors.

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