9 Benefits of Attending a Yoga Festival
A gathering with hundreds of spiritual seekers, yoga practitioners, international teachers and gurus. Yoga festivals became very popular in the past years – there are more than a hundred official registered Yoga festivals all over the world!
But what are the benefits of attending a Yoga festival? What is the motive that drives so many people to travel thousands of kilometers/miles just to join and participate in a festival?
Here are the 9 most common reasons why you shouldn’t miss to visit a yoga festival:
#1 – Make friends and grow your network
Meet like-minded people and make new yoga friends from all over the world. If you just want to connect to people on a private level, to those who are interested in yoga the same way as you are, a festival will be perfect for you. Sharing the tips for your next yoga retreat, singing together, chanting together, helping each other with new asana variations. This are just a few reasons, people like to go to a festival. But also can you even benefit on a business level. Maybe you are a yoga teacher or working in a yoga business, a yoga festival is the perfect spot to make new contacts. Great international teachers, yoga beginners, musicians, spiritual healers, life coaches, meditation instructors, musical performers, speakers, artists and retreat organizers are all gathering there to celebrate the highest way of consciousness, to share and to experience as a community and big family. And around the fully packed program, there is enough time between to have some good conversations with potential partners and expand your network.
#2 – Try new yoga styles
Explore exotic styles like Yoga Synergy, Jivamukti Yoga, Soul Fire Vinyasa, Empowered Arts Yoga…or local styles, depending where the festival takes place, which you normally won’t find at home as Standup Paddle Yoga. At a festival you can just explore and decide spontaneously which class you want to join. There are always a few different classes at the same time. So there are enough choices for all the different Yogi hearts! You can easily drop in any class and if you don’t like it, leave silently and join another one. It’s also worthwhile to join a special workshop, for example about philosophy, Thai massage or a music workshop. To book a single event like one of these in your yoga studio, will cost you probably a lot more money.
#3 – Find a new yoga teacher or guru
Take the chance to practice with new yoga and spiritual teachers, who are normally not in your region. Maybe there will be very famous ones you always wanted to see at least once in your life, or just new characters or personalities who teach in their own unique way. Maybe you are a yoga teacher and need new creative input – get inspired by their performance and different styles of teaching. Every teacher has his or her own style and way to show the path of yoga and transmit a way to the higher state of consciousness.
# 4 – Learn
Some of the bigger festivals (like the BaliSpirit) offer a rich program of seminars and practicums. You could for example learn about Human Designs, Archetypal Astrology or Spiritual Nutrition. This is a unique chance to connect with experts and gain a lot of new knowledge in a short period of time – exercise the brain along with the body.
#5 – Sing
Every yoga festival offers a lot of kirtans, music workshpos and concerts in its program. From chanting classes to workshops where you can learn an instrument like harmonium or even wonderful kirtans and concerts of world-class music artists. Music sessions are usually full with beautiful music lovers who have come together to sing, chant and dance.
#6 – Take a time out for a weekend trip
Use the chance to dive deep into a short, but intensive weekend trip. It’s like a short retreat, where you can take a break from your daily routine and dive into the depth of yoga and your own spiritual practice. If you have more time, you can explore the country or just the city where the festival is located. It’s a perfect opportunity to combine it. Join a Yoga event in a city as New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Vienna, Berlin. Or explore a Yoga retreat in the nature, in the mountains, at the beach, at a lake… You can go for a hiking trip, rent a bike and explore the environment or relax at the beach, in parks or in the woods.
# 7 – Try some of the healthy and delicious food
A yoga festival can easily be combined with a healthy diet or detox. At the market place or food booths in the festival area you will find a variety of vegan and organic food, which is freshly prepared and delicious. The menu offers nearly everything from power green smoothies, vegan raw sweets, raw chocolate and young coconuts to ayurvedic meals. All produce is organic and consciously prepared. Some are even offering food and nutrition talks or workshops at the festival. You can learn how to eat with more awareness and cook healthier.
#8 – Join local activities and groups
Maybe you will find a group of AcroYogis in some parts of the area jamming their own session, where you can drop in and join. Or try slack lining between the trees at the grass fields. Areal Yoga and other inversion tools are offered for testing. Take a special chakra massage or try other healing techniques. Attending a yoga festival is a great way to discover relevant people and groups in the locality of the festival.
#9 – Buy latest yoga fashion & props
Most of the yoga festivals have a market area with a rich variety of small sales booths. Next to food booths and massage tents, you will find a lot of Yoga clothes and props. Most of them are sold at a discount relative to the normal selling price and many brands introduce their latest collections. You can get everything for a yogi lifestyle: yoga mats, bottles, yoga and spiritual clothes and jewelry, yoga events and retreats, music, books, incense sticks, music instruments and much more. Use this opportunity – take your time between your classes and do some shopping.These are just a few reasons why visiting a yoga festival like the Bali Spirit Festival is worth your time and money. But be prepared – once you start, you will want to keep going! Because yoga festivals offer a life transforming experience.
(All pictures are from BaliSpirit Festival. To see some videos, check out our YouTube channel.)
Written by : Suparni Neuwirth