Sjöbergen by Majorna shone of yoga practitioners and trainers on Saturday as the Pride Festival hit the streets of Gothenburg on Saturday, 15 June 2019. Gothenburgers aka Göteborgare who got the news of the event through traditional media and social media started to walk towards the wooded hill of Sjöbergen since the daybreak as the summer sunshine shone brightly.
“The main reason was from the start to be able to spread yoga to every one so we make it free festival so it does not cost anything to come here for the free festival and participate and we want to create space with the no commercial,” said Elin Rikkinen the organiser of the yoga festival called Sjöbergens Yogafestival 2019. One could not find any sign of poster of any yoga centre or any board and billboard of company trying to attract the sight of the audience to buy this or buy that. She said, “Today yoga can be a bit commercial…it is very expensive, it is lot of selling stuff like expensive equipment. Somehow we feel that yoga can lose its soul and meaning in some studios.”
The yoga festival celebrated its third year in a row in 2019. Many Gothenburgers who practise yoga attended the daylong festival and practised yoga. There were different teachers who have gained specialism in one of the several types of yoga. Imken Done, a yoga teacher from Hamburg in Germany said, “A big yoga festival with lot of love and lots of different offerings – music, sounds, yoga, kirtan.” She praised the spirit of Gothenburgers: “Coming to Gotheburg…lot of free spirited and colourful people…that are not involved in material side of things, in my understanding, but that is very global because I have got a very superficial view…material things means you have to have a big car, you have to have a big house, everything has to be perfect and in order for you to enjoy life.”
Elin Rikkinen is determined not to make the yoga festival in the woods to go ‘commercial’. She said, “But it is growing so we will see…we will not let it be big, we want to make it available not as a huge festival that will need other resources.”
“I wish we keep it simple, easy, with just enthusiastic teachers who wants to come here and share,” Elin Rikkinen noted, “all the teachers are doing this… musicians… the festival started with only friends sharing and it is growing.”
The Hare Krishna devotees from the ISKCON temple in Gothenburg and Govindas also organised kirtans and distributed ‘prasadam’ to those who joined in their chanting and singing.