Yogafort at Treefort Music Fest
By Janelle Stear
Photography by Peter Lovera and Matthew Wordell of Treefort
What is Yogafort? It’s Boise’s unique Festival within a Festival
“I go to Yoga, I meditate, I dance, I drum, I sing; because when I do, the world makes sense”~ @kateswarm Boise
Yoga is an ancient practice that blends breathing practices, meditation, and movement to relax and reduce stress. Combine this age-old practice with live music and soundscapes, then drop it into the mix of a five-day music, arts and culture festival. Welcome to Yogafort, Boise’s three-day music and movement festival in connection with Boise’s annual Treefort Music Fest.
Treefort brings in a diverse lineup of emerging artists and musicians to perform at different venues around town; while Yogafort goes a step further to blend the serene movement of yoga + dance with energetic tunes from live musicians.
Treefort, a community arts celebration that’s been happening in March since 2012, involves nine other awesome experiences at the fest:
- PERFORMANCE AND VISUAL ART
Yogafort’s Creative Minds
Yogafort is the grassroots initiative of Marisa Weppner and Celeste Bolin, who are both instructors at Marisa’s studio Sage Yoga & Wellness. Six years ago, the pair joined for Boise’s first Yogafort “with the intention of offering Treeforters a break during the festivities to rejuvenate and realign after days and nights of good times.”
“Instructors and musicians from the global yoga community descend upon Boise to ignite the heart and soul of our unique, intimate experience,” Marisa and Celeste exclaim. “Yogafort is your place to drop-in for a recharging yoga session, get your sweat on, and find center amongst the high vibes of festival life. We are here to anchor you!”
Yoga is all about finding a center within yourself; it is so much more than just Feng-Shui mumbo-jumbo as some might think of it. Yogafort is “a refuge, a safe haven,” reflects Dena Stotlz, Yoga Instructor at Boise’s YMCA, “for all who just need to release some tension or who want to try something different.” Think of it as moving meditation that is good for your body, mind, and soul. “Yogafort is such a judgement-free zone,” Celeste admits. “It is intimate, personal, and easy.” Marisa adds.“My 64 year old step-father even participated last year, and he’s just getting into yoga, but he loved it!”
“It is a transformative experience when the community comes together in collaboration…,” says Celeste, “You meet others you never would have met if not for Yogafort.”
The duo further welcomes the support of local businesses to participate and set up a booth in the lobby.
Celeste shares, “Last year, we had different local churches and religious groups added to the schedule in what was nicknamed ‘Spiritfort.’ They put on their own rotating spirituality class, and it was awesome to see people of so many faiths involved together in one space.”
“We love that we get to pair musicians and yoga or dance instructors who have never met before, what they end up collaborating on is always more than we ever imagine,” adds Marisa. Yogafort is all about creating networks and providing a sanctuary; “From the beginning, the driving motivation has been for Yogafort to be a community-centric event celebrating the vibrant movement scene of Boise and the surrounding regions.”
Celeste and Marisa travel around the US, and even to Bulgaria, to teach at other music and yoga festivals, where they meet other instructors who eagerly ask to be included in Boise’s unique Yogafort. Celeste is inspired by the “healing, fun, and [inspiration she finds] at music and movement festivals.” Marisa loves “[bringing] the magic and joy she experiences while traveling and teaching at yoga festivals all over the world to Boise; to give Treeforters a sanctuary to realign and ground in the midst of festival life; AND to introduce Treefort Music Fest to yogis who might be shy about engaging in the absolute awesomeness that is Treefort.”
“Renowned artists such as Sheela Bringi, Masood Ali Khan, Sol Rising and East Forest, and instructor Tony G have come to almost every Yogafort and feel like old friends. They tell us each year Yogafort and Treefort Music Fest are their favorite events, and they can’t wait to come back! And that is what Yogafort is all about – music, movement, healing, laughter, connection and COMMUNITY all nestled into the place we lovingly call home, Boise, ID.”
Yogafort takes place at JUMP (corner of 9th and Myrtle) where the breathtaking foothills surround your view and the modern art-deco feel of the building inspire you.
Try Yogafort for Yourself
Truly, even if you have not tried yoga before, Yogafort is a unique experience “[demystifying] the idea that yoga is not for everyone,” and, as Marisa explains, “Our mission is to make it an affordable and accessible experience to anyone of all ages and abilities.” Anyone with a festival wristband can attend Yogafort, but a wristband isn’t necessary to experience the magic of Yogafort. Yogafort passes are $60 for a three-day pass to all Yogafort classes and events.
Celeste and Marisa are keeping some of their 2019 Yoga Instructors a secret for now, but they are excited to bring in new comers Cristi Christensen and Bibi McGill to lead classes. The festival has announced more than half of the 2019 music lineup, which includes great bands from Boise and beyond, like Toro y Moi, Liz Phair, The Bright Light Social Hour, Black Mountain, The French Tips and more.
Yogafort is an amazing experience for those who love and practice yoga, and those who are interested in learning more about the yoga experience. Yogafort is your chance to participate with world-class instructors, musicians, and yogis in a laid-back atmosphere.
Whether you get your friends together for a yogis’ weekend getaway or pop in to center yourself in between shows at the Treefort Main Stage, all are welcome and embraced at Yogafort.
Festival tickets can be purchased at
Dates: Fri, Mar 22, 2019 – Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM MST
Location: Find Yogafort on JUMP’s 5th floor “Move” studio, 1000 W. Myrtle St. Boise, ID 83702