Festivals to nurture the spirit
ady Gaga does surfboard yoga wearing a thong and Gisele Bündchen shows off her skills on the beach, as Instagram well knows. Naomi Campbell prefers practising yoga on the deck of a yacht, while Miranda Kerr chooses aeroplanes. Yoga is officially a religion and spiritual retreats are not enough for its most devout followers and so they now incorporate whole festivals into their busy agendas.
Together with activities related to personal wellbeing, such festivals enable yogis to increase their skills, with the emphasis firmly placed on enjoying the path to fulfilment. Much more than meditative retreats, festivals include music, conferences and other events designed to bring together people with the same goal: to find a physical, mental and spiritual balance.
Balancing on water
The festivals provide expert yogis with the opportunity to try Paddle Board Yoga or SUP Yoga, a version in which Hatha Yoga postures are performed on a paddleboard.
Wanderlust has just celebrated its fifth anniversary as the biggest organiser of yoga lifestyle events in the world. It is known for being an institution that creates experiences which combine yoga with getting back to nature. Music marks the beat of the festival, where the atmosphere for many sessions is curated by top DJs and mediation is carried out to the soundtrack of live acoustic music.
Held deep in the heart of nature, participants are allowed to go for walks at dusk, ride a bike or meditate in the middle of the forest. The festival takes place from 22 to 25 June in Stratton, (Vermont, United States) and the next edition will provide the chance to understand that the ‘true north’ is not a final destination, but a path, a journey to connect with the purpose of life.
The Bali Spirit Festival takes place between 19 and 26 March. It is based on the Balinese concept of Tri Hita Karana, which means living in harmony with our spiritual, social and natural surroundings. Live music, children’s activities, meditation sessions, seminars and yoga – lots of yoga – in a festival that celebrates the holistic search for wellbeing.
Along the same lines, but with a more urbane style, is The Groove Yoga Festival, which defines itself as ‘a celebration of movement, music + community’. A motto that materialises through an itinerant festival with editions all over the world, from Canada to Nepal. The next one will be held in Hamburg from 20 to 22 October. To form part of the community you only need a yoga mat and a bottle of water.
At spiritual festivals yoga is the driving force. A place for discovering yourself, where you can recharge your body and mind, and meet people with a similar life philosophy as your own, even if they are called Lady Gaga.