ASIA’S PREMIER WELLNESS & LIFESTYLE FESTIVAL

    COME JOIN THE TRIBE AND CREATE OUTSTANDING EXPERIENCES WITH THE BEST OF THE BEST PRESENTERS AND AWESOME WORKSHOPS IN FITNESS, YOGA, HEALING, MUSIC, DANCE & PERSONAL GROWTH
    1

    FITNESS

    Learn New Fitness Approaches in the market and Train with the Best Fitness Trainers in the Industry.

    2

    YOGA

    Get in the flow with Yoga sessions open to all levels of practitioners. Sweat, stretch and relax learning from international Yoga expert instructors.

    3

    MUSIC & DANCE

    Allow the beats to transform you. Flow, feel, move, sing, dance your soul away

    4

    HEALING

    Dive deep within and release, reconnect and experience healing of mind, body & soul.

    Upcoming Events

    MURFEST

    MURFEST is Asia’s Premier Wellness & Lifestyle Festival. Entering its 7th year, MURFEST is all about connection and evolution of body, mind & spirit. We bring together highly qualified yoga teachers from all around the world and an active tribe, eager to grow and learn, dance to ecstatic beats, attend transformational workshops and be a part of this unique experience.
    In an era of major stress, burnout and digital overload, MURFEST provides a haven of peace & stillness, flow and release, where individuals acquire tools and experiential knowledge to live healthier, happier lives. It’s been a grand journey for us all and our tribe. We’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings. With ❤ from us to you.

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    MURFEST ONLINE ACADEMY

    Let’s take it online! Learn and practice yoga, dance, pilates, and other powerful disciplines from the comfort of your home, at work, while travelling or even outside in the park, any time you want on desktop or mobile. Want to master inversions? Improve your backbends? Learn salsa or bachata with epic teachers?
    Join our online platform and continue to grow & evolve your practice. Launching soon! Stay tuned.

    Become a Founding Member

    Related Reading

    5 Energizing Annual Festivals in Southeast Asia

    Southeast Asia is known for its rich culture that can be seen and felt through its people, food, historical sites, and energizing festivals. The region boasts a myriad of celebrations throughout the year that welcome all kinds of tourists from around the world.

    Read on to discover some of the must-see annual festivals in Southeast Asia that will make you want to keep joining in every year:

    Songkran

    Distinct celebrations mark the beginning of the New Year for most countries, but Thailand’s Songkran is more noteworthy than most. Quite literally the world’s largest water fight, the festival celebrates the New Year by inviting its guests to rub colored chalk and throw water at each other. It is said to originate from Buddhism, as the chalk is used by monks to spread blessings, while the water is said to cleanse the world for the coming year. If you’re looking to experience this festival next year but don’t want to miss out on your own country’s celebrations, you’re in luck! Songkran now takes place in April instead of January to accommodate more visitors from around the world.

    Holi

    Perhaps one of the most recognizable and iconic festivals in the region, the Holi Festival of Colors celebrates ancient Hindu tradition in the most vibrant way. It starts with the symbolic lighting of bonfires the night before the festival, which comes with its own fun activities that revolve around traditional singing and dancing. The actual day of celebration sees huge crowds laughing and flinging colored powder at each other, all in an effort to celebrate Holi’s most valued ideas. The Independent’s feature on the Holi festival explains that it is a celebration of color, fertility, love, and the triumph of good over evil. You’ll have to experience it yourself in India around March to truly feel these Hindu tenets come to life!

    Malasimbo

    In a country known for its beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise that an annual festival is held every year against Puerto Galera’s stunning tropical forest, white beach, and clear waters. Daydreaming in Paradise’s feature on ‘The History of Malasimbo Festival, details how this successful event has solidified its position as one of the most highly-anticipated musical festivals in the country. This is no small feat, as the archipelagic country hosts a myriad of beach festivals all year round. What sets Malasimbo apart is its gorgeous backdrop, great local and imported music, and a crowd that knows how to party. It is usually held in March and in the same spot in Puerto Galera every year.

    Boryeong

    Many festivals and even fun runs incorporate throwing colored powder or water as part of the festivities. But if you head to South Korea, you can experience the largest mud fight in the world. The Boryeong Mud Festival is exactly what it sounds like – a unique celebration that includes activities like mud skiing, mud body painting, mud spa, and more. The South Korean city began the festival in 1998 through a marketing campaign, as the Boryeong municipality is known for its numerous mudflats that are rich in skin-rejuvenating minerals. It has grown since then and attracts international attention when it is held in June or July.

    MURFEST

    Finally, end your year right by embracing wellness and fitness at the MURFEST Wellness Festival. Touted as Asia’s premier wellness, music, dance, healing, fitness, and personal growth festival, you can’t leave this event without feeling energized and renewed. Now in its sixth year, you can expect the best yoga teachers, dynamic Bollywood dancing, and workout workshops that will leave you feeling like a better version of yourself. Don’t miss this opportunity to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself this November in Malaysia

    Embrace the Magic of Unicorns at MURFEST Wellness Festival 2019

    Unicorns have taken over the world, and we’re all a little better off for it. They’re prancing on our pajamas, delivering rainbow delight to our clothing choices, shining down us at from billboards… they’re even dancing around with our fabulously unicorn-inspired food! And you know what? At MURFEST - we love them too.

    The truth is that we all want a little more magic in our lives. Everyone is so busy coping with the real world that it’s often difficult to connect to something deeper. So this year at MURFEST, we’re putting the joy of magic and innocence at the heart of our journey. It’s time to unleash your inner joy with a truly magical MURFEST 2019!

    Get ready for a carnival of colour and innocence that whisks you away with the simple joy of unicorns, mermaids, and magic. This is a positive journey to connect with your inner spirituality that embraces the importance of heartfelt pleasures. This year - happiness comes in the shape of a rainbow unicorn!

    Join us at MURFEST 2019 - Asia’s Premier Wellness Experience, presenting the Dreamland Wellness Festival in Malaysia - the Unicorns and Rainbow Edition.

    Are unicorns real? Who cares!

    Are unicorns real you ask? It’s up to you to decide! The imagery of unicorns can be seen in ancient civilizations over millennia, with references found across the ancient world. That image of a single-horned magical creature has been passed down through generations, and today the unicorn is even recognised as the national animal of bonnie Scotland! Whether it’s a creature of myth or something more magical, unicorns have evolved to represent a strange and wonderful tribute to the possibility of magic and wonder in our modern world.

    In this unicorn-mad world, the question of unicorns isn’t so much a question of belief, but a question of accepting the simple joy found within our imagination. This magical take on the MURFEST journey is a way to embrace the power of letting go, of accepting the wonder of unicorns, mermaids, smiling faces and shimmering lights. So are you ready to unleash your inner unicorn?

    Alongside our inspiring assortment of wellness events, from the spiritual calm of yoga to the physical release of ecstatic dance, attendees at this year’s MURFEST enjoy the opportunity to enjoy a magical program of events and festivities.

    Our aim as a wellness festival is to provide the perfect space for you to unwind, to find the peace to connect to something wonderful, surrounded by like-minded individuals who share your journey. And this year we’ve got the perfect place to unlock that unicorn-inspired journey – the Palace of Golden Horses at the iconic Mines Resort.

    A Journey of Transformation

    Between November 8 and November 10 this year, the Palace of Golden Horses will be transformed into a space where you can connect to your spiritual being, supported by surroundings where the imagination can flourish.

    You can explore over 80 amazing workshops hosted by facilitators, artists and wellness practitioners from around the world. Discover our Organic & Wellness Vendor Village where you can sample the delights of fresh foods and vegan treats alongside the stunning artistry of homemade wellness products.

    MURFEST has something for everyone, whether you’re an experienced wellness practitioner or an eager new participant looking to explore various practices, disciplines and health & wellness offers. And our land filled with unicorns, mermaids, and imagination has the perfect spot for the kids too, with a dedicated Kids’ Zone filled with exciting activities to entertain your little ones with delights such as unicorn rides in magical carriages. Yes! Adults can ride on those too. We won’t judge.

    Where can imagination take you?

    So where can imagination take you? Explore all this and more at MURFEST Wellness Festival 2019. It’s time to experience the magic of connecting to a better you.

    Embrace a world of colour, beauty and joy at Malaysia’s premier wellness event this November.

    Dream of the magic of unicorns, mermaids and spirituality at an inspiring festival that praises the beauty of innocence, playfulness, trust and surrender.

    Celebrate the spirit of freedom and imagination that allows us to connect to the things that truly matter to us, alongside connecting to a tribe of loving, soul seekers.

    Connect to a better world where your mind, body and spirit are aligned, exploring over 80+ amazing wellness activities.

    Join us at MURFEST for three days of outstanding events from November 8 to November 10 this year.

    Early bird tickets are on sale now! Find out more about MURFEST 2019 - Asia’s Premier Wellness Experience, presenting the Dreamland Wellness Festival in Malaysia -  Unicorns and Rainbow Edition.

    See you somewhere over the rainbow!

    Unleash Your Freedom with Ecstatic Dance

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    Are you ready to unleash your freedom? Ecstatic dance is a joyous fusion of sound and movement that embraces the freedom of expression at the heart of its philosophy.

    It’s time to free your body, unleash your mind, and let dance carry you on a journey at once both intensely physical and rewardingly spiritual. This is ecstatic dance. So how can you connect to the rhythm?

     

    Unleash Your Freedom with Ecstatic Dance

    Ecstatic dance is an evolution of the conscious dance philosophy, providing a space that combines the spiritual element of physical movement through the liberated platform of free-form and freestyle dance.

    Participants in ecstatic dance immerse themselves in the soundscape around them, letting their body move freely, creating a spontaneous movement that soothes the mind while freeing the body.

     

    What are the benefits of ecstatic dance?

    Freedom is a kind of release that’s often overlooked in our modern world. Ecstatic dance aims to provide the space for you to express that freedom through physical movement.

    The goal of ecstatic dance is to guide participants on a path to physical and mental transcendence, unlocking your mind through the movement of your body. It is an intensely physical and liberating form of meditative practice.

    Many different spiritual practices embrace the vital link between body and mind. Popular disciplines such as yoga have long forged a spiritual connection of mind, body, and spirit by connecting physical movement with spiritual reward.

    Ecstatic dance follows this philosophy through an intensive but liberating physical experience. You enjoy the freedom to release your control on the purely physical space, enjoying free-spirited movement that at once elevates and relaxes your mind.

    Yet this invigorating philosophy doesn’t dictate participants travel on an intense spiritual journey. Ecstatic dance is supposed to be fun for all involved. So even if you don’t feel that instant connection to the spirituality of movement, you can enjoy the benefits of a freeing and relaxing space to let your body move to the beat.

    Alongside the healthy benefits to the mind that ecstatic dance can unlock, the physical benefits can be equally rewarding. Dancing is a wonderful opportunity for exercise, helping improve heart and lung function while promoting muscular strength and weight control. The unique health benefits have even been shown to improve mood beyond exercise itself, not only improve our cognitive function, but also releasing more of the welcome endorphins that stimulate a positive sense of being.

     

    Freedom and space with ecstatic dance

     

    The space in which ecstatic dance exists is integral to the philosophy it follows. There are no judgements, no active observers, no prescribed postures or designated moves. Ecstatic dance exists to provide the room for your natural grace and expression to flow.

    Ecstatic dance is built on an environment of love, friendship, connection, and ultimately – freedom. Participants are invited to celebrate their body and mind while connecting with those around them. The music provides the welcome natural backdrop to these connections, unlocking the power of music and improvised dance to provide a space that welcomes your natural expression.

    There are simple rules built on mutual respect to guide your experience. Ecstatic dance is a smoke-free, drug-free, and alcohol-free environment. It is a place of respect and freedom to express.

     

    Can anyone take part in ecstatic dance?

     

    Ecstatic dance is built on respect for the freedom of the individual. Your rhythm is the one which you choose, meaning you don’t need to be an expert dancer or experienced participant to take part.

    This is about unleashing the natural movement inside you, the freedom of expression to let your body move with your mind. There is no need to learn complex steps or elaborate pieces. You just need a desire to embrace freedom of movement and the joy of the dance.

    There are of course practical considerations to ecstatic dance. It’s a good idea to come with comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement to express. That’s not a dress code, simply a sensible consideration which allows you to take the most from this wonderful experience.

     

    What’s the best way to begin your ecstatic dance journey?

     

    Ecstatic dance is growing in popularity, creating an accessible and enjoyable path to physical and mental well-being. You don’t have to wait for that benefit to come to you, simply turn on your favourite music, and enjoy how the rhythm can connect you to a happier space to exist.

    Organised ecstatic dance events are also growing in popularity. MURFEST is proud to host several of these ecstatic dance parties as part of its upcoming festival, providing the perfect space to express yourself surrounded and supported by other participants. No ecstatic dance event follows the same rhythm or unlocks the same journey, meaning you’re free to explore your unique freedom of expression and movement with every time you participate.

    This year’s MURFEST will play host to the awesome dance inspirations of Crisanto Santa Ana, renowned DJ and a true champion of the power of dance. His experience includes seminal festivals such as Wanderlust and BaliSpirt Festival, turning out the beats alongside global icon MC Yogi.So are you ready to get your foot tapping, feel the movement flow, and unleash body and mind with the joy of ecstatic dance? Explore a variety of ways to dance and move this year at MURFEST!

     

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    5 Daily Mindfulness Tips to Help Keep Calm and Live in the Moment

    The world is loud, fast, an orchestra of sounds, shapes, and lights that are constantly demanding our attention.  In that hectic environment, it’s vital to take time to enjoy the moment, relieve your stress, and live for the now. That’s why mindfulness can be such a powerful tool in our daily lives.

    The meaning of mindfulness

    Mindfulness helps you live in the moment, to be fully conscious of your body, mind, and space around you. Mindful practice is designed to promote awareness, supporting your mental well-being through an appreciation and acceptance of your thoughts, emotions, sensations, and environment.

    The benefits of mindful practice are far-reaching and widely celebrated. A comprehensive analysis of research shows it can be instrumental in helping battle anxiety and depression, as well as tackling pain. So here are 5 steps you can take in your daily life to promote a more mindful existence.

    Step 1 – Mindfulness When you Wake Up

    Mindfulness offers the ability to ground your existence, to place yourself in the moment and prepare you for daily life. That’s a powerful way to start your day.

    When you wake up, take time to appreciate the moment you find yourself in. Focus on your breathing, live in the moment of each breath, let the acceptance and recognition of that moment provide the calming foundation on which to build your day.

    Take time to reflect on your purpose, the intent you have for the day ahead. Understanding your goals is an important part of mindfulness, providing a framework for the moments which follow. This intent should include ways to support your own positive actions, as well as positively supporting others. You can revisit these intentions throughout your day in moments of mindfulness, helping refresh your commitment to the goals you’ve laid out.

    Step 2 – Mindfulness as you Move

    It’s often at the time of travel that our world becomes the most frantic. The roads are cluttered with growling cars and honking horns, the MRT is a babble of noise as bodies press against each other, and even the pavements are frantic with shuffling feet and rushing pedestrians. These are the times which can be the most difficult to find our mindful moments.

    Centre yourself with mindful practice that helps you find that moment and understand it. If you’re travelling on public transport, put your screen to one side and ignore the temptation of distraction through bright backlit connectivity. Instead, connect to the moment around you by focusing on the sounds of travel and appreciating the space in which you reside. Pause, calm, and appreciate.

    When driving to work, take those hectic moments in frantic jams as another opportunity to calm and centre yourself. Focus on the cool breeze of the air con, the soft whir of fans moving the air around you, the private moment in your own world as you travel with purpose to your next destination. You can learn to look on these pauses in your journey as a time to live in the now, rather than a frustration at where you would wish to be instead.

    Step 3 – Mindfulness in the Office

    The office is often a place where our purpose and intent are supressed in favour of the goals of our working day. It doesn’t have to be that way. Our purpose is a crucial part of our mindfulness, and grounding that understanding can provide a powerful impetus for a better working life.

    Your mindful practice can provide a stimulus to your work, reduce burnout, and support a more creative mindset that inspires success. Use calming techniques to centre you when required during the working day. Close your eyes, bring your mind back to your breathing, focus on five slow breaths and find that moment. You can do the same by focusing on a sound, residing in that moment through the flutter of papers in the wind, the sound of a fan whirring in the air con, the ring of a phone. Find that moment, understand it, perhaps calmly name the sounds and sensations you are experiencing, and appreciate the now.

    When it comes to leadership, mindfulness can be a powerful route to empathy that enables you to connect with your workforce. Taking time to appreciate the moments around you also offers the opportunity to grow understanding of your employees. Mindfulness is about listening, and comprehending, the world about you, making for a more compassionate environment that inspires confidence and encourages workers to excel.

    Step 4 – Mindfulness and Makan

    Makan should be an experience we cherish, the subtle flavours and exquisite moments of eating offer a near-spiritual path themselves in Malaysia. But so often we find ourselves sacrificing that pleasure of the moment to the functional need to acquire sustenance in our fast-paced world. Mindfulness can help unlock that pleasure in the moments of eating once more.

    Engage your senses through eating to truly unlock the pleasure of each mouthful. Ground yourself with a breath to start, focusing on the sensations you’re experiencing, and offering a foundation of calm for the experience to come. Centre your physical self, understand your needs, hungers and desires before you eat.Sample your food using small bites, focusing your senses on the moment and sensations that the food inspires. Identify the subtle flavours and ingredients as you enjoy your food, exploring the different levels of the experience revealed in the moment. A comprehensive approach to mindful eating can not only help you enjoy the experience more, but provide a powerful tool in combatting overeating and weight gain.

    Step 5 – Mindfulness to Sleep

    Switching off is an important part of mindfulness, respecting the bodies need for its own rest. With a modern 24/7 lifestyle, that challenge is more immediate than many would like. Mindfulness can provide a gradual process that moves you towards moments of rest and sleep.

    Light can be an important part of this journey towards rest. Reduce the brightness you experience in the hour before sleep, dimming lights, changing to soft lighting in rooms, and trying to avoid the use of mobile devices in particular.

    The period immediately before sleep is an important opportunity to calm your mind by appreciating the moment. Focus on your body and the sensations pushing against it, the press of bed sheet against your leg, the pressure of your body against a seat.

    Mindfulness on the path to sleep is about a focus on the now, putting aside any concern outside your immediate environment. Understand your body, calm your mind, and live in the moment. Focus on your breathing, the moment in which you exist. Simply be.

    Connect to more mindful practice

    Mindful practice is not a rigid discipline with rules you must follow. It’s a way of living that empowers you to live in the moment, providing a philosophy that supports you in everyday life. That means a healthier way to live, work, and play.

    Mindfulness is designed to connect your awareness of the world around you, to understand and appreciate the moments that make up your life.

    If you want to find out more about mindfulness, or the benefits of meditative and mindful practice to the way we live and work, why not explore the range of events at MURFEST. And if you’re looking to promote a more mindful workspace, why not see how our Corporate Yoga event could help connect you to greater awareness and better practice at work.

    CONNECT TO THE PERFECT MOTHER’S DAY GIFT WITH A WOMEN’S CIRCLE

    Connect to the Perfect Mother’s Day Gift with a Women’s Circle

    Mothers’ day is a day to honor the feminine spirit. It is a celebration of those souls who nurture us and guide us, who bring us into this world and raise us to be the best person we can be. So why not enjoy a happy Mother’s Day, and take the opportunity to connect your love today, with the revered ancient tradition of a Women’s Circle?

    The Women’s Circle represents a sacred space shared by mothers and daughters across generations. It is at once an ancient tradition practiced across a diverse range of cultures, and a beautifully contemporary example of the chance to connect a circle of friends, sisters, aunts, mothers, and daughters.

    Connecting the circle of history with Women’s Circles

    Women’s circles inhabit a revered space in cultures across the world, emerging from ancient traditions passed down, and across, the generations.

    The Circle is a form that has long been held as a path to spiritual connection, celebrated as a divine link in cultures spanning the globe. The UK’s prehistoric Stonehenge circle was constructed around 5,000 years ago, widely held to be a ceremonial monument and focal point of religion. The world’s oldest temple, Turkey’s Gobekli Tepe, is a stunning landscape of circular constructs built over 11,000 years ago. The Dhamma Chakra, or Wheel of Dharma, represents the Buddhist teachings and path to enlightenment. The empowering spiritual connections formed by the circle are timeless.

    The Women’s Circle is a safe and open space to connect stories of womanhood that embraces the spiritual significance of a circle. This coming together of women has a powerful historical resonance as part of cultural evolutions passed down through the ages. It is a revered practice that truly puts the spiritual power of women at its heart.

    Connecting to Women’s Circles in our modern world

    Women’s Circles are built to empower us, to provide the space for women to support each other with shared wisdom while building confidence and emotional connections. That ancient tradition is enjoying a fresh new renaissance in our modern age.

    Today’s world rarely gives us time to truly connect in an emotional and spiritual way. A Women’s Circle enables that connection by providing a powerful and empowering space that energizes women on a deeper level than a simple conversation. This is the power of feminine connection, built on the vital journey to connect the feminine spirit.

    What to expect at a Women’s Circle

    Women’s Circles can follow different paths to the same spiritual and emotional connection. Some are simply a safe space to talk, bringing women of diverse backgrounds together for an affirming and honest conversation, unlocking the power of shared moments through communication. Other Women’s Circles may choose to embrace the power of calming meditation and other practices that unify mind, body, and spirit.

    What connects each Women’s Circle is the powerful women who create them. They are the nexus of its energy, the heart of its journey, and the opportunity to create a better way for women across the generations to connect, support, empower and enable each other on their own unique journeys. This is a community that empowers the female spirit, supports inner beauty, and promotes shared wisdom passed down through the ages.

    Connect to a Women’s Circle this Mother’s Day

    Mother’s Day provides the perfect backdrop on the journey to shared feminine wisdom. That’s why this year for Mother’s Day, on Saturday 4th March, MURFEST is proud to host its own Women’s Circle event.

    This unique event provides the perfect space to connect mother and daughter in an empowering shared experience. Enjoy a journey of inner strength, shared wisdom, and calming feminine connection that transcends every day to explore the importance of self-love and self-acceptance across generations.

    The empowering event will offer a platform for a range of shared activities, alongside a soothing guided meditation session, providing the perfect tribute to your mother and daughter relationship in celebration of the ancient tradition of the Women’s Circle.The Women’s Circle takes place on Saturday 4th May, 2019,  5:00 – 7:00 pm. Find out more about this empowering Mother’s Day gift and book tickets here.

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    What is Yoga? A Journey Through the Fascinating Types of Yoga

    Yoga has become one of the world’s most recognisable spiritual disciplines: celebrated for its physical benefits while respected for its accessible approach to spiritualism and meditation. But when you get to the bottom of that downward dog, what really is yoga?

    The term ‘Yoga’ incorporates a wide range of disciplines and practices, unifying physical, mental, and spiritual elements. At its heart is a powerful guiding philosophy that body, mind, and spirit are one.

    The origins of Yoga

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    Yoga developed from the civilizations and cultures of ancient India, with the historical date of its origin a matter of debate. Some scholars and spiritual practitioners argue that yoga could date back as far as 6,000 years, creating a spiritual tradition that has transitioned through cultures for millennia.

    The practice of yoga is likely to have originally formed part of an oral tradition, passed down between practitioners in ancient India. The developing practice of yoga as a unified spiritual discipline truly emerged around 2,000 years ago, first laid down in the sacred Hindu text of the Katha Upanishad, putting a voice to the principles of yoga which still resonate with practitioners today. At its heart is the concept of the soul, or Atman, and the meditative practice at the core of yoga philosophy:

    He (the Atman), difficult to be seen, full of mystery,
    the Ancient, primaeval one, concealed deep within,
    He who, by yoga means of meditation on his self, comprehends Atman within him as God,
    He leaves joy and sorrow far behind.

    What is yoga today?

    Those spiritual roots laid out thousands of years ago still form the foundation on which yoga is built. Yet modern practice incorporates a wide range of spiritual and physical disciplines beneath the wider banner of ‘yoga’. These different paths ensure that practitioners from all over the world can benefit from a school of yoga which suits their own unique spirit.

    While its roots may emerge from ancient Hindu teachings, yoga is not itself a religion. It is a way to connect with the meditative state and relaxation that, for some, forms the path to enlightenment. It is a focus on your own core of being, to benefit from the sense of one-ness that emerges at the heart of yoga practice.

    Estimates by leading yoga gurus suggest as many as 2 billion people around the world today practice yoga in one form or another.  That means billions of people are connected by a powerful spiritual practice which can trace it roots back to a journey of enlightenment over thousands of years.

    Of course, modern practice for many is as much about health and fitness as it is about a true journey to enlightenment. The physical elements of yoga provide a unique framework to the mental and spiritual benefits of this popular practice. Participants engage in their own exploration of body, mind, and spirit, unlocking the benefits of exercise, enjoying a welcoming environment of spiritual calm, and supporting better mental health through powerful reflective practice.

    Exploring types of yoga

    There are many types of yoga practiced today, creating an accessible path to explore mind, spirit, and body for people of all ages and capabilities. Let’s explore that route to enlightenment with popular yoga styles practiced today.

    Hatha Yoga:

    One of the most practiced traditions globally, a physical-driven yoga practice that is favoured by many for the focus on physical movement. Hatha Yoga explores that one-ness of mind and body through the use of yoga postures (asana), yoga breathing (pranayama), body gestures (mudra), and internal cleansing (shatkarma). The physical core of breathing and posture provides an active yet meditative practice which empowers a feeling of calm while providing a positive physical workout.

    Vinyasa Yoga:

    This school follows the Hatha discipline of physical-focused yoga practice. It is sometimes referred to as ‘flow yoga’, providing a school of yoga focused on the flow of movement, merging physical shifts in posture with steady breathing to bring mind and body together.

    Ashtanga Yoga:

    Ashtanga Yoga, or the eight-limbed path, is an advanced path of physical expression and enlightenment. This focused practice is founded on vigorous physical movement, with practitioners transitioning through a range of poses as part of an energetic Ashtanga series.

    Power Yoga:

    Power Yoga is another popular discipline that falls beneath the Hatha school, once again promoting vigorous physical movement in that journey towards unity of mind, spirit and body. Power Yoga combines the athletic nature of Ashtanga Yoga with some of the styles of Vinyasa Yoga.

    Bikram Yoga:

    Bikram yoga incorporate environmental elements on the path to spiritual release, combining physical poses with sauna-like temperatures to provide an intense journey to calm and one-ness.

    Yin Yoga:

    Yin Yoga offers a more relaxing physical path to enlightenment, incorporating passive yoga postures with a more slow-paced transition and extended periods of stretching. The focus is on calm, steady movement, relaxing the body and mind through paused moments rather than vigorous and continuous movement.

    Jnana Yoga:

    Jnana Yoga is a practice focused on the spiritual path to enlightenment, and often called the ‘yoga of knowledge’. This search for Atman follows a less physical path than widely practiced Hatha Yoga, focusing on strength of will and intellect over the pursuit of the physical journey. This is a school built on reflection, exploration of spirit and intellect, and an understanding of self.

    Bhakti Yoga:

    Bhakti Yoga is another school which follows a more committed spiritual path, built on devotion to one’s self. It is sometimes described as the ‘yoga of love’, or ‘yoga of devotion’, with practitioners following a path to enlightenment built on spiritual reflection that incorporates mind, emotion and self.

    Karma Yoga:

    Karma Yoga is often referred to as the ‘yoga of action’, highlighting the focus on spiritual service to others. The path to unified mind, body and spirit is built on a practitioners dedication and selfless service to create positive karma through action.

    Kundalini Yoga:

    Kundalini Yoga provides a positive mix of the spiritual focus of practices such as Bhakti with the physical elements reflected in Hatha yoga. It offers a path to connect with self through dynamic breathing, meditation, chanting, and physical movement.

    Find your yoga path

    Yoga is a welcoming discipline which embraces the concept of spirituality as part of an individual’s own journey of discovery. It is also a discipline which can help promote a healthier body and mind through physical practice and a calming environment.

    This year’s MURFEST is home to a range of exciting yoga events, providing a unique opportunity to explore your own mind, spirit, and body. So are you ready to breathe deep, move your body, and relax your mind and spirit as part of a spiritual journey dating back millennia? With yoga, you can benefit from the physical, or access the spiritual. Your journey is down to you. Try out different yoga styles and see which one suits your needs best.

    Exploring the Healing Power of Sound

    There is beauty and power in sound. It has the ability to uplift us, to inspire us, to stir forgotten memories, and to create in us a vibrant sense of positivity. So it’s no surprise to find that sound can also play a valuable part in healing.

    This year’s MURFEST will be host to a wide range of exciting wellness events, and we’re delighted to see that the fascinating world of sound healing will play a part in that. So how could sound stir you towards a happier, healthier life? That’s the right note to resonate in our exploration of the positive power of sound.

    A shared culture of sound

    People around the world have used sound for healing and spiritual purposes for millennia. That fundamental concept transcends culture, showing the elementary nature of sound and music to not only connect us but connect with us.

    Ancient Greeks used musical therapy as a source of healing spiritual wounds, with some schools of thought committed to daily music healing rituals. Buddhist rituals have long used standing bells and bronze bells to provide deep, resonant sounds to enable meditation and support altered states of mind. Hindu traditions have long relied on dance, music, and sound as a spiritual connection which can aid in healing.

    Australia’s indigenous aboriginal people used the soothing tones of the didgeridoo as a healing instrument for thousands of years. This practice of wellbeing was believed to resonate with the sounds and frequencies created by the instrument. This ancient practice found a breath of new life with a prize-winning 2006 study that showed how playing the didgeridoo can help tackle the serious medical condition of sleep apnoea. So how can we connect sound and healing in our modern world?

    The positive impact of sound

    How does the external generation of sound create such strong internal reactions? It all starts with the cochlea. The cochlea is a sensory organ that offers a link between the fundamental waves that make up sounds and the nerve impulses that stir our mind and body. It is the meeting ground where mechanical and neurological processes interact to inspire us through sound.

    Studies about the positive impact of sound and music offer a fascinating insight into the way our bodies react to sound. A key 2011 study explored the melody of joy that music can inspire in us, showing how the powerful organic chemical dopamine can be released in our bodies thanks to the pleasure inspired by sound. Dopamine plays a fundamental role in managing emotions, motivation, and ability to concentrate. The absence of dopamine can cause low moods and mental health challenges, alongside being linked to neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

    Dopamine is just one element of how sound stirs us. Sound healing provides a deeply relaxing space for you to calm and heal. That not only enhances your wellbeing but may help build your own resilience against sickness.

    Staying healthy with positive sound

    A recent study by academics at the University of California explored the particular benefits of singing bowl therapy to a number of individuals. The results showed that participants undertaking this sound healing therapy reported significant reductions in tension, anger, fatigue, and depression. So why is that so important to our health?

    The human form is a complex mix of physical form and emotional wellbeing. Studies have consistently indicated the fundamental link between negative emotions such as depression, fatigue, tension, and the severity of serious physical health conditions like heart disease, asthma, and even stomach problems.

    The link between the human immune system and stress has long been a field of study. Evidence shows a clear link between stress and negative immune response. This connection not only provides a potential route to serious conditions such as heart disease but can directly link to problems with inflammation, as well as reducing our ability to fight off infection. That’s aside from the serious mental health challenges that sustained stress can create.

    In our modern world of constant connectivity, 24/7 work lifestyles, and fast-paced adventure toning down your stress can be a challenge in itself. That’s another key area where sound therapy can help us heal.  

    Connecting you to sound therapy

    There may still be much we don’t know about the interaction of sound and our body. Yet we only have to think back on our own reactions to the ringing of a doorbell, the soothing crash of the ocean against a beach, or the wind through the treetops, to realise the power of sound to move us.

    Sound healing can play an important part in our physical and mental wellbeing. Healing isn’t about providing an instant cure to sickness, it’s about creating a positive environment to nurture that union between mind and body. So why not take it a step further with an escape into sound designed to support your own journey of healing?

    Find out more about sound healing at MURFEST, or sign up to your healing session today.

    Your MURFEST prep checklist: Top 5 Tips for Yoga Beginners

    If you’re not sure how to get yourself ready for MURFEST these five tips from Summer Dien of SoulScape will give you a gentle nudge in the right direction.

    Whether you are a beginner or an advanced yoga practitioner, it is always good to come back to the basics. These five simple tips, when applied, will take your yoga practice to the next level.

    Breathe

    The breath is the most important part of yoga practice. Focus on the breath, even if you forget the posture or the sequence. Breathe through the nose with sound, constricting the glottis, and creating an aspirated sound in the throat. The breath should be soft, smooth and audible. Breathing with sound creates an object for the mind to focus on, creates heat within the body, builds an internal fire, and helps to circulate the blood. Coordinate one breath with one movement, and let the breath initiate the movement. Breathing properly ensures that you receive the subtle benefits of the practice.

    Keep a Positive Attitude

    Just show up on the mat every day and do your best. Your best is going to vary from day to day. Stay true to yourself, and do the best that you can for today. Be aware of any self-talk during practice. If you catch yourself in a negative or unkind thought, think positive: ‘You can do it! Keep going! You’ve got this! I love this pose!’ Keep a sense of humour and do not be afraid to laugh at yourself. Smile!

    Listen to Your Body

    You are your best teacher—you know your body better than anyone else. Many teachers will tell you many different things, and sometimes that information is conflicting. Listen to your body and what it tells you, and only go as far as you feel comfortable. If you feel pain, then proceed with caution or back off. Some people force their bodies into a position it is not ready for, and this results in injury. Some people will stop before they have reached their edge. Go to a place where you feel challenged, yet without pain. Be kind to your body, and honour where you are at. There is no need to rush or force anything, everything will come in its own time. If you plan to commit to a yoga practice for the rest of your life, then a couple of weeks, months or years to learn something is a short time. Keep this perspective in mind.

    Practice, Practice, Practice

    Make time in your day to practice. If you really care about your practice and you find benefit from it, then you will make time for it. Consistency is key. One sun salutation is better than none! Keep up the thread of practice. Focus on quality over quantity. Find the balance here. More practice does not necessarily mean that you will get better, faster. Give yourself at least one rest day. Practicing three to five days a week in the beginning is a good start.

    Rest

    Always rest in savasana after practicing for seven to 10 minutes, or stay until the sweat has dried off your body. Savasana ensures that the body absorbs the benefits of the practice. Allow the breath to return to normal and focus on the navel. Come out slowly, roll onto your right side and stay for awhile before sitting up. Savasana is the most important pose and should never be skipped!

    Summer Dien is an international pranayama and ashtanga yoga teacher, trained in the classical pranayama practices of the Khaivalyadham lineage and in the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa system. She completed her training in 2013 with Paul Dallaghan then worked at Samahita Retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand for two years, where she taught pranayama, mysore/ashtanga, restorative, and guided meditation. Summer continues to study extensively with her teachers, Sri OP Tiwariji and Paul Dallaghan, in the areas of pranayama and asana. Summer has a liberal approach and believes in using the body in the most intelligent way possible, while adhering to the general principles of the Ashtanga Vinyasa method. She advocates modifying the poses to suit the student’s current needs and abilities. Summer is committed to the path of yoga and dedicates her life to fully supporting and uplifting others by passing on the ancient yogic practices of asana and pranayama.

    The Artist Series: Amar Singh on why Dance is a Metaphor for Life Itself

    You can find him most probably on the dance floor in one of his studios helping a student master a particular move. And while he’s always ready to help, it was a little challenging to ‘pin’ him down long enough to answer these questions. But

    1.  Would you say that anyone can dance?

     I often say if you can walk you can dance. Especially in my salsa and bacchata classes I relate the very basic step to our usual walking motion; once you see similarities between the basic step and our usual walking motion you would break the code and your dance will be as natural as walking.

    2. How do you feel dancing enriches a persons life ? How do you feel it relates to wellness? 

    Dancing definitely has enriched my life in many ways personally beside the obvious being  PHYSICAL HEALTH. It has taught me to:

    • BELIEVE IN MYSELF to be able to do a challenging dance or a move,
    •  Increase my CONFIDENCE level when I get those dances/move,
    •  It has taught me to always be HUMBLE as there’s a lot to learn when it comes to new moves and choreography. There’s always space for improvement no matter what level you are in.  The better I get the more humble I become and there is no room for arrogance.
    •  It has thought me HOW TO BE INSPIRED by better dancers out there instead of being jealous of them. Learning stops when jealousy comes in the way.
    • For the couple dances that I do..MAKING THESE DANCES WORK IS LIKE MAKING A RELATIONSHIP WORK. When we do a partner dance that doesn’t seem to be working I try my level best to analyse where I’m going wrong in leading my partner into a particular move and once I do that I then try my level best to understand the move from my partners perspective as a follower to the move. I apply these concepts in real life issues with every other relationship in my life; analyse where I went wrong and try and put myself in the other persons shoes to have a holistic approach.
    • Most of all it has taught me how to be HAPPY and I feel RESPONSIBLE to share the happiness with everyone and build a happier community.
    🙂

    I BELIEVE THE MORE YOU GIVE THE MORE YOU GET  AND THE MORE YOU GET THE MORE YOU GIVE.To me this is wellness at every level. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

    3. What attracted you to be a part of MURFEST? 

    MURFEST has truly been a festival with an overall wellness theme. It has music – dance -yoga. Music makes you explore the different feelings that exist in your heart. It’s amazing how different instruments and sounds have an effect over you emotions. It makes you feel alive. It also teaches you how to control these feelings. It’s divine.Yoga just has countless positive effects on mind ,body and emotions. The only festival that incorporates all the above for overall wellness.. all that MURFEST has to offer are all interrelated; we just have to break the code and find similarities of all that is offered to enrich our lives.

    4. What was your personal takeaway from being a facilitator at MURFEST last year ? 

    My take away would be the holistic experience which has enriched my life on many different levels. Music yoga and dance. I hope more people would try and  have a holistic approach like what MURFEST has to offer and enrich their lives.

    5. Besides the actual dance steps what else do you hope to teach- either through dance or other ways? 

    I would love to teach them all that I’ve learnt through dancing. (see question 2 above).

    6. What would you like to share with those who attend Murfest this year?

    I hope more people would try and  have a holistic approach like what MURFEST has to offer and enrich their lives. Like it did for mine.

    7. What does the future hold for Amar Singh ?

     Through dancing I want to teach others how to enrich the different aspects of their lives.-Believe in yourself-Be Confident-Be Humble-Be Inspired-Make relationships work-Be Happy-Be Responsible – the more you give the more you get and the more you get the more you give.Now apply all the above to any areas in your life and you’ll see improvement.For instance if u want to build a business out of something you’re passionate about try applying these ideas. 

    Find out more about him here or better yet attend his dance workshops and be swept away by exotic cuban and salsa beats! You can choose from the ‘Cuban Rumba’ on Day 2 or the ‘Raggeathon’ on Day 3. If you live in KL and would like to attend his classes you can register on his website: www.danceblazeacademy.com

    In a nutshell MURFEST is a wellness movement set out to revolutionize the way Wellness and Health is thought of in Malaysia. Starting from the individual. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet you can get them here.

    Excerpts with Les Leventhal: On Hip and Heart- Openers, Facing and Embracing your Fears

    Another of our exceptional Facilitators takes time to share his thoughts on life, yoga and what makes him tick. He’ll be sharing his expertise at MURFEST in one Masterclasses – Anhata Chakra Vinyasa- and two other workshops; Detox Vinyasa and Facing and Embracing Fears.

    1. First thank you for agreeing to be at MURFEST; we’re looking forward to having you! As this is your first time….what made you want to be part of MURFEST?

    We have been trying to schedule me at MURFEST for a few years now and this is the first time dates worked out for everyone. I’ve been teaching in this region for over 10 years – so it was time to connect.

    2. As an experienced yoga instructor/guide do you have any expectations for the students in your class? Do you have any expectations for those who will attend your workshop at MURFEST?

    My only expectation is that people will commit to practice a willingness to investigate and not watch others do things and sit there and say they can’t do that. Everyone can everything and everybody’s body is different, as in our biography is our biology. Find out what you can do.

    3. When did your own yoga journey start; in your website you mentioned that you hit rock bottom….so what pulled you into doing yoga? And then moving on from just learning to becoming a teacher and training others?

    Ha, this is a long story – if folks want the long version, get my book, Two Lifestyles, One Lifetime. Basically, I was using drugs and other things and stumbled upon yoga, as we do, and it saved my life and I found that one of the things that continues to save my life is to share my journey and help others discover what their purpose is in life.

    4. You’ll be doing 3 different workshops at MURFEST; I also noticed that you describe some poses as being ‘Heart Openers’ or ‘Hip Openers’, and one of your workshops is about Facing Fears through doing Arm Balance and Inversion poses- do you intentionally focus on some poses? Or is it unintentional? Could you share a little more about the focus of your workshops?

    I always teach the same way, Warm up, hot part, peak poses, warm down/cool down, savasana. Hips are where we store challenges of our relationships. So, I’m asking people to get honest in their relationships and what they contributed to those relationships. We always have our part in everything. Heart chakra is the collaborator of all the other chakras and peak heart opening poses are exhilarating and for some, begin the UN-guarding and -protecting phase of opening up. Arm balances and inversions are all about courage, strength and finding out what we can do. Many people say I can’t do this or that but they never try it. Simply put, that’s lying to self. Investigate, be a spiritual detective and build a foundation. All of these things are inside of everyone and if we give ourselves permission to have the relationship with them on the mat and not bail the poses, then we can see similarities in our lives off the mat and find the middle path.

    5. Are your workshops designed for any level? How do you integrate the different levels into one class? I would imagine thats always a challenge for any teacher.

    Everything I teach is designed for all levels. The challenge is the student that crosses their arms and huffs and puffs, “I can’t, I can’t”. I don’t let them sit there in that muck and mud. So, I tell people, level 1 stay here, level 2 stay here and level 3 come here. Many people will bail the pose and say I want level 3 but they give up where they are at in level 1 and 2. People need more patience these days. Instant gratification seems to not be quick enough. It took us years to bind all this energy up in our bodies. It will take a while to unwind.

    6. On your website it mentions you run a program called FIT which stands for Fun, Inspiration and Transformation – what or who inspires you to do what you do? And do you feel that yoga helps people express themselves better or is it more about a control of the emotions?

    It is definitely not about control. Rather, it is about surrendering the illusion of control over anything. My teachers inspire me, Ana Forrest, Seane Corn and Tias Little, to name a few but also, anyone that falls down over and over and over again and gets back up. I learn the most from watching these people on and off the mat, especially drug addicts and alcoholics that relapse a lot (I used to), prostitutes, gamblers,tragedies where most people would just tell these people – oh you’ve had it rough, take a break and they don’t. That energy comes from within and I watch how they source it.

    7. Finally… for your participants who attend your class- how can they contact you if they’d like to further their training with you?

    Easiest way to stay in touch with me is check my website for workshops, retreats and trainings.