I am currently spending my week at Envision Festival, Costa Rica!
This week I am joined by Ashleigh Sergeat,
Yoga & Movement Director of Envision Festival!
You’re the director of yoga and movement for the Envision Festival. What inspired or encouraged you to take on this role?
This is my fifth year doing this role and well it’s funny what inspired me to take it on is actually I live right across the street from here. I didn’t move down here to specifically work for Envision, because I actually hadn’t been to Envision when I first came down here. But it immediately became this passion project that I wanted to be apart of. It has always been my desire to help to create spaces where people can come and have an experience of awakening and connection to the Earth, to themselves and to one another. I was really honored and excited when I got invited to come in and curate the yoga and movement space because we were just starting to build the whole yoga and movement village then about five years ago. And it just completely expanded since then and has been this amazing kind of playground for me to be able to bring in teachers, leaders, philosophers and scholars from all over the world who I think are really amazing and I want to help them share their message. And the audience, the people that come to Envision are so amazing, special, unique and so open and willing to learn. It’s one of the most amazing places to be able to offer and to share all of our wisdom. I couldn’t ask for a better platform honestly.
Since you’ve been with us for five years, can you tell us where we can see your influence or your energy within the yoga shalas and classes?
We sometimes refer to the space as the yoga space. Really it’s called Mundo de Luz which is the world of light. And it is the yoga, movement, meditation and breathwork. We have so much more than just yoga. We have amazing yoga teachers, martial arts teachers, philosophy teachers, break dancing, we have self defense like women’s empowerment self defense, belly dancing, partner dance, thai massage. So many different things. This year I’m really excited to have Jai Dev Singh here who is an incredible Kundalini yoga teacher and he holds some really beautiful classes and spaces that help people ground and center within all the festival energy. We have a Brazilian partner dance teacher who’s teaching Zouk and different connection and flow based ways to interact and partner dance. We have so many dance floors going on here and in my experience, sometimes we’re dancing fairly disconnected so my vision for that was to help to bring some technique in to show people how to dance consensually in a way that is sacred, sweet and fun and not crossing over any boundaries. Amber Ryan is leading something called The 360. It’s sacred dance embodiment movement practices. I could go on and on, there are so many, but those are some of my key highlights for the year.
You will be leading two classes at Envision Festival can you tell us about those and if it’s our first time to yoga or first time to Envision what should we expect going into it?
I already taught two classes because we did the 7-day experience which was really amazing. We had three hour workshops for the last three days and I was so impressed at our community. People were showing up and they were fully alert and present for three hours in the blazing heat listening to these teachings and really engaged with one another. I’m excited for my two remaining classes which tomorrow Friday morning at 11am is me and David Block from The Human Experience so we’re going to have live music. It’s called Slow Deep Flow. It’s open to absolutely anyone and everyone. We’re going to be moving slowly and going really deep with our breath in order to get into a flow between sound, movement, and breath. It’s great because having the live music presence and the feeling of just being able to move in sync with one another. I think my intention for it is to help everyone whether if we’re staying up late at night or if we haven’t slept as much as usual. The space that we’re creating is to help people come over and have a safe and comfortable space to reconnect to their bodies, to nourish themselves and to rest. And that leads me right to my last class which is on Sunday at 3:30pm which is called Total Nervous System Reset which by Sunday everyone needs it and so everyone knows by the time Sunday comes around in the festival one of the shalas in yoga is dedicated to helping you lay down and meditate and ground and breathe and revitalize and cool off and nourish your nervous system. We will be doing Yoga Nidra which is a guided lying down meditation practice with some really cooling breathing techniques basically guided in different ways to roll around and stretch on the floor so that you can make your body feel nice and strong and nourished and so you can go back out on the dance floor Sunday evening.
You currently reside here in Costa Rica, what are your teachings outside of the festival?
For the most part I use Costa Rica as my landing place to come here and create and work and write. I don’t teach regularly right now. I travel every couple of weeks to the states. I’m in Colorado, Nevada, Montana and Florida. I teach a lot of immersions and teacher trainings. They’re not just for teachers. They’re open to the public and open for anyone more interested in diving into the practice and study of yoga, meditation and philosophy as a way to bring out your own unique creative freedom. I will get back to teaching some weekly classes here, but right now I travel so much that I come back here and kinda hybernate in the jungle to be honest.
You spoke about Reno, Nevada. I know you have a 25-hour teacher training coming up there. Can you tell us a bit about that?
It’s a teacher training, but also a workshop immersion open to the public as well. It’s called Living Through the Lense of the Goddess. It is a practice and a study dedicated to the work I’ve been doing for a little over 10-years now with my teacher Sally Kempton about the transformative energies of the goddess archetypes of yoga. We actually work with the archetypal energies of Durga, Saraswati and Buvaneshwari who are the goddesses that help us to embody and understand different aspects of our personality and our power. We do meditation, journaling, movement and contemplation about Durga which is about stepping into your power and your courage. Saraswati which is about your creativity and intuition and your capacity for clearer speech. Buvaneshwari is this mysterious energy of what does it mean to hold space for healing or to be spacious in your life. We’re going to dive deep into that. This training is not just for women, because these energies of archetypes exist within all of us. It’s not just women who are cultivating courage or intuition. These are more qualities that might be considered more feminine qualities within our psyche. It’s not just women who are cultivating courage or intuition. We work to develop them and connect with them. It’s my favorite stuff to teach. It’s three days Friday-Sunday from May 1st-3rd in Reno, Nevada. I hope people will come and join it.
Is it required for people to have their 200-hour training before taking your 25-hour?
No it’s not, but if you do have your 200-hour and you’re working toward your 500-hour it is part of my 500-hour program which you can piece together with lots of different modules.
Do you have a mantra or meditation you are currently living by or want to share with the Envision Festival community?
You can do hard things.
I had an experience with myself recently where I was getting down in this space of self pity. I was going through this heartbreak. I was going through a really difficult time and found myself wallowing and feeling like I didn’t have the power or the strength. I went to a retreat over New Years when I met these two really amazing women who both lost their children. It just hit me that I’m over here with this white woman of privilege wallowing. It had me look outside of myself and wow I’ve been so connected with my strength for most of my whole life and I was like girl you ain’t strong at all right now like pull up your boot straps. These incredible women are dealing with such powerful and such intense loss and I’m over here dealing with something that yeah it’s big for me but in comparison to what other types of suffering and other struggles are going on in the world. It really helped me connect to this understanding of the white privilege that I have and the privileged life that I have and how my responsibility and our responsibility with this privilege is to realize that we can do some pretty hard darn things. We’ve been given a lot of really powerful gifts and privilege in this world and to really say that I can step into that and live that. And when I get into a place where I think I can’t, I remember that I can do hard things. You can do hard things. Go do it. Thanks Chelsey Korus. That’s my mantra I’m working with right now.
Yoga & Movement Director of Envision Festival
Ashleigh Sergeant lives in Uvita, Costa Rica. When she’s not in Costa Rica, you can find her teaching and leading teacher trainings in the United States. To sign up for her upcoming teacher training you can do that HERE. To connect with her on social media follow her on Instagram @AshleighSergeant.