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Interview with Our UDAYA Yoga Festival Contest Winner

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At Yoga Lifestyles, we tend to think that in some cases, too much of a good thing can be a terrific thing. So in that fashion, we decided June 21st, the date of the second annual #InternationalDayOfYoga wasn’t enough and extended it from one one day to an entire week – it was a yoga-palooza, if you will, where we gave away prizes and held fun contests on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter – oh my!

Each day built up to a grand prize sweepstakes announced at the end of the week, which we announced would be two tickets to UDAYA Live, a retreat-style yoga and music festival in Bulgaria’s picturesque Rila Mountains. Our randomly selected winner was Ukranian native Tanya Budnyak, who also received all-inclusive meals, transportation and accommodations as part of the sweepstakes. We caught up with her after the festival to hear about her experience. Here’s what she had to say:


Hey Tanya! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Tanya Budnyak and I’m 26 years old. I live in a small city called Kamianets-Podilskyi in Ukraine. I’ve been practicing yoga since 2012 and I’m currently a yoga teacher.


Nice. What was your most memorable moment from UDAYA Live?

The most amazing moment in Udaya live was getting to do acro yoga with Koya Web [editor’s note: Koya Webb is an international holistic health coach and teaches acro flow yoga all over the world].


Could you tell us about what each day was like?

Every day was a unique experience. Every morning began with a private practice. We were doing cigun + yoga on a wooden stage and welcoming a sunrise followed by breakfast. The rest of the day was devoted to yoga until the sundown. In the evening, we went to a live concert with plenty of interesting artists. Sometimes, we’d go to the top of the mountains by a ski lift – it was breathtaking!


How were your hotel accommodations?

The hotel was an amazing. It had very modern architecture with plenty of Earth tones, wood and cute details everywhere. The room was a little bit dated, but it was very clean and comfortable so I didn’t care – I was hardly there anyway.


Did you meet anyone interesting?

Oh yes, there were a lot of interesting people. I met a new friend – this girl from Australia who was born in Macedonia and spends part of her time in New Zealand. It was fascinating to see how many people there were from all parts of the world.


How did this festival affect your relationship with yoga, did it enhance it?

I’ve never been to anything like this, and I felt that I became one with yoga, nature and myself. It’s hard to explain, it was just … sublime.



How was the music?

The music was magical. The instrumentals were unusual but so beautiful. I saw a few artists, such as Sonic Butterfly and Hung.


How was the local food?

There was SO much food! Every day there were unlimited amounts of tasty fruits and vegetables. Most of all I loved bryndza [similar to cottage cheese] and adjika [a spicy dip, similar to salsa]. It was impossible to be hungry there.


In one word, how would you describe your experience?

Unique. Mountains + yoga + English language practice.


Did you see any good speakers?

My favorite speakers were Caley Alissa, Vytas and Koya Webb.


Would you go to UDAYA Live again?

Absolutely, can’t wait to go next year!


Do you have a yoga-related experience or event you recently attended? Tell us about it for a chance to be featured on our site!


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