Why to attend a Yoga festival in 2023

There are so many yoga studios, driving, and let’s not forget creating time and the investment that goes into finding the right class. If there was only somewhere you could go for a weekend to sample a variety pack of yoga. Oh, wait there is: a Yoga Festival! A yoga festival is not something you do: it is a unique event that you live and experience in all its blissful facets. Throughout your experience you will be engaged in so many ways: set your personal

intention, let yourself go, get out of your comfort zone and get ready to make the most out of it! There is something special about joining a community, at least for a few days, where you can unleash your trueself, and people won’t judge you. Here are some tips and benefits of attending a yoga festival this summer:

1) Get out of your comfort zone:
You probably don’t practice yoga everyday or constantly think about chakras and yamas. Between the hundreds of strangers and new environment, there’s no doubt that a yoga festival will be at least a little outside of your comfort zone. But that’s the beauty of it! Outside the comfort zone is where you grow, learn, and redefine your limits. It is this open and safe space of acceptance that can open doors you might not have known even existed. Suddenly you catch yourself climbing on a stranger’s body in acroyoga as if you were born to do so. You take the courage to try that handstand off the wall and fail in laughter. You gaze into a fellow student’s eyes in a partner yoga class and don’t feel shame for tears running down your cheeks. You chant mantras in a Kundalini class while realizing just a minute ago, “chanting” didn’t seem to be your thing. So many amazing things happen when you push the limits of your comfort zone and open your mind to all the possibilities while being surrounded by like-minded individuals.

2) Plan your weekend:
You’ll be introduced to various speakers, workshops, arts, amongst other, so ensure to plan accordingly. During a yoga festival you’ll most likely practice more than what you are used to: your body needs to be prepared for this. Before arriving at the festival weekend, make sure you scope out the line-up of offerings and plan your classes accordingly. I know you want to make the most out of your weekend but make sure you are realistic about how many classes you will be able to physically attend. While you are at the festival, remember to listen to your body. If you feel fatigued do not overwork or fight against it. Instead, respect what your body is telling you: you have nothing to prove. Self-care is key! Tip: You know this already. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate The best way to keep your body energy up whilst practicing yoga is to drink plenty of water. Also, don’t forget to eat regularly during the yoga festival. You’ll probably be so excited by all the classes available that you might sometimes be tempted to skip breakfast or lunch. Please don’t! Delicious, healthy, and nutritious food is always available and plays a crucial role in making you feel strong and ready to make the most out of your yoga festival.

3) Try something new:
How do you know if you don’t like something if you’ve never done it? There will be some workshops you wouldn’t get in your local studio or gym regularly, so make maximum use of this opportunity. Most yoga festivals highlight both local as well as renowned teachers. You can experience class led by individuals who have been teaching for 10+ years and some who are newer in their teaching lives. There are benefits to both end of the spectrum, and I encourage you to try both. Most of us get in the habit of going to the same class every week. Yoga festivals force us to explore different ways of practicing and thinking. If there has always been a style of yoga you have been interested in exploring, this is your opportunity!

4) Meet your tribe:
Yoga festivals provide the opportunity to find your tribe. You have your family. You have your friends. But there’s a different kind of people you meet at a yoga festival. If you enjoy yoga and mindfulness, you’ll be overcome with a sense of home at a festival. Consider how you feel after a yoga class at your favorite studio, and then multiply that feeling by a million percent. As you OM in unison with people, you sense the oneness, you realize that you are not alone, and hundreds and thousands of people are here searching for the same thing: connection. Whether it’s chatting over dinner with your new friends, practicing amongst hundreds of sweaty bodies, or swaying together to the beat of the music, there will be countless times at a yoga festival when you’ll feel the collective vibrations flow through you and light you up. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

5) Take time to relax and rejuvenate:
Most of us live in a state of constant stress. We’re overworked and exhausted. Going to a yoga festival is a perfect way to take a short vacation with big impacts on your health. As much as we need certain routines to save energy, the constant drive on autopilot, that many of us so easily get trapped into, can eventually make us feel chronically tired or even depressed. A weekend in the vast and colorful yoga world is opening the door to step out of our comport zone. Meeting new people and absorbing new ideas can inspire us to a new perspective on our practice and on our life.

6) Give your practice the jump-start it needs:
Finding it difficult to shake yourself of the lethargy that runs rampant in winter? You’re not alone. We all get in funks, and sometimes it can feel impossible to pull ourselves back to our yoga practice. A yoga festival is the perfect answer. You’ll be surrounded by people who are dedicated to the practice and excited to get on their mats. A drastic shift in behavior can be key in breaking bad habits, and yoga is addictive, so a few days of intense practice at a yoga festival are sure to send you home wanting more.

Now that we discussed some tips and benefits of attending a yoga festival, you are rearing and ready to go! But now lets talk about yoga festival essentials and what to bring with you during your festival weekend to make sure you are prepared.

1) Yoga mat: This is a no-brainer! But remember this is outside, so if you are bringing you favorite mat bring something to put down first.
2) Sun protection / rain poncho Be ready to receive Mother Nature’s gifts, in all forms of sunshine or rain.
3) Reusable water bottles Make sure you have enough water to keep you properly hydrated throughout the day
4) Layers- Be prepared for all weather from morning to night!
5) Snacks- Keep yourself fueled in between classes before you sit down and have a delicious lunch or farm to table dinner!
6) Portable charger– You will definitely want to keep your phone charged to get some epic pictures of your weekend at the yoga festival!
7) An extra towel: Good to have to make sure you wipe off the sweat from all of your classes!
8) A small backpack or tote bag: to carry your things around during the day.
9) A journal and a pen: You’ll learn so much, and you’ll want to keep track of all your new ideas, inspirational quotes from teachers, people you meet, your intentions, and so many memories!

Don’t forget: Unless you are practice aparigraha (Sanskrit for non-greediness or temperance), you might want to bring some extra cash and extra space in your bag. There will be vendors at the festival which I highly encourage you to check out. It is the heart-opening mixture of intense practice and a supporting and warm community in yoga festivals that melts away our inner limitations. Beyond fear, self-doubts, and shame wakes a deeper truth of ourselves: We are full of potential. Our life can be ecstatic and adventurous. We are wild and free. We are love.

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