Yoga festivals are the perfect way to give your practice the jumpstart it needs. Whether they last for a weekend or a week they are bound to be full of adventure and fun. While there are endless opportunities to practice with famous teachers and be present with other yogis at yoga festivals, I believe one of the best things about yoga festivals are the lessons you take home with you. The last several yoga festivals I’ve attended have provided me with five potent lessons about yoga, life, and living your yoga.
Vira Bhava Yoga at Brevard Yoga Center
A radical recalibration of your life and experience in the world.
1. It’s more than just the asanas
Asanas are a very powerful part of the yoga practice, but they are still just one part. Most of us are not exposed to more than the asana practice at our regular yoga studios. We might get a bit of meditation or yoga philosophy here and there, but even that is limited. It’s a whole different story at a yoga festival. Almost every class revolves around greater themes, and there are lectures all day about topics such as chakras, kundalini energy, and connecting with the elements. If your understanding of the philosophical, historical, and energetic side of yoga feels limited, a yoga festival is a great way to immerse yourself in deeper knowledge.
2. There are infinite ways to live your yoga
You are bound to meet every type of yogi at a yoga festival. In one class you might meet someone who goes to power yoga every morning and has no interest in the subtle body. In the next class you could befriend someone who has dedicated their life to teaching kirtans. All kinds of yogis are attracted to yoga festivals for a variety of reasons, which makes a yoga festival a great way to get exposed to every way people integrate yoga into their lives.
3. Only you know what you need
When you attend regular yoga classes your teachers get to know you. Your yoga teachers can see what each person needs and help them modify the postures according to their bodies. This isn’t as easy at a yoga festival where most classes consist of 50+ students. In yoga festival classes you are left to your own devices, and it forces you to listen to your own body and modify the practice according to what you need.
4. There’s strength in numbers
There are a lot of wonderful things about a private yoga practice. Connecting, dropping in, and really being with yourself are all great. But there’s also something beautiful about a collective practice, and that’s what you find at yoga festivals. Everyone comes together at a yoga festival to support one another’s practice and the lessons you can learn from this collective energy alone are powerful.
5. You are not alone
Whether you are tired of your morning commute or struggling to progress along the spiritual path, each and every one of us experiences loneliness at one point or another. It’s a big world out there, and with so much going on it’s easy to feel like you’ve been left to handle it all on your own. Yoga festivals destroy that kind of thinking. Suddenly you are surrounded by people who want nothing more than to love and support you. Chances are you’ll leave the yoga festival with a new tribe that will be there for you whenever life feels insurmountable.
Bonus lesson: You are never done learning
Even if you go to a yoga festival convinced you’ve learned all there is to learn, you are bound to learn something new. Because one of the things attending a yoga festival does is make it abundantly clear that you are never done learning. So even if you cannot imagine how a yoga festival could benefit you, trust me, it will. And by the time it’s over, you’ll be shocked by just how much you’ve learned.
What are some things you’ve learned at yoga festivals?