Right now I should be face-down in child pose in a Yin class at Wanderlust in Whistler. But life always has a way of making you rethink your ‘shoulds’ – it’s looking like I will miss the whole festival instead. There are some major forest fires burning in BC right now and the air quality is at a high risk. Having both a chronic illness and lung condition this means the best place for me to be right now is indoors with my trusty air purifier. As the festival kicked off yesterday and I wasn’t there I started to feel a little stressed and frustrated. I was supposed to cover the festival for a client and help out Tourism Whistler with some live story telling on their Instagram account. Thankfully, everyone has been super understanding and accepting that health comes first. So I let all that go, because while sure it’s disappointing- not attending a wellness festival isn’t an issue big picture. (It does make for a little practice in non-attachment!)
However, I did find attending last year really helped me learn more and grow both as a student and an instructor. Also, it was just super fun and inspiring. I loved meeting people, taking classes from new instructors, trying new forms of meditation and in general seeing what good a lot of members of the industry are up to – from inclusivity to activism. So all this got me thinking, yoga and its teachings can be accessible – I don’t need to go to an festival to deepen my practice – and neither do you! All we need are a few resources, space and time.
Create your space
It only has to be enough room for you to move around in, I set up right behind my couch where I can comfortable stretch out without hitting anything. If essential oil or smoke cleansing is a part of your practice go ahead and do that before you get started setting up. Next, remove any distractions from the area and bring in your mat and any props or tools you might need. Then you can add the ‘fluff’ – things that aren’t essential to your practice but if you have them on hand might make the space feel a little more dedicated to this experience. For me, that was a couple of candles and crystals.
Now we’re ready for the good stuff. There are three major components of a yoga festival and that’s learning, your physical practice and lectures- all these can be done right in that space you made. I’ll be switching it up throughout the day like I would at a festival, doing an hour of learning here, an hour and a half of practice there and finishing my days off with an inspiring talk (and maybe a glass of wine, at home bonus!).
Select your own topic and dedicate an hour to delving into it just as you would at a workshop.
Where to find reading material:
- Local library (BC even has an app for e-books)
- Local yoga studio (may have a book borrow program)
- Friends and family book stashes
- Yoga U blog and resources (lots of good stuff!)
Areas of study to get you started:
As for your physical practice be it asana or mediation there are a lot of online resources so set up your laptop or device and check out these sites:
- Do Yoga with Me, free- you can select by class length, style, difficult and instructor (for the true festival experience try a style you haven’t done before)
- Wanderlust TV, mostly free- offers guided meditations, classes AND short videos that break down poses in a workshop like format
- Cody, paid- but a lot of the plans are reasonably priced (it’s where you’ll find classes from the usual festival headliners)
- DJ Taz Rashid, if you want to add some music into your practice this guy is awesome and makes free playlists for your yoga practice
- YouTube, this is where I head for free guided meditations, easy to click around and find one that resonates with you or you can search ‘mediation for ____’ if you have something specific in mind
- Headspace, a meditation app that offers a free 10 day trial
And of course you can stay offline and practice out of a book too!
For the lecture or Speakeasy (as Wanderlust calls it) experience check out these:
- Wanderlust Speakeasy Playlist, a whole 91 lectures!
- YouTube, if you know a particular speaker you want to hear a talk from just search their name, many of these speakers have lots of content out there already
- From The Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl Podcast
- TED Talks
- More podcasts as recommended by Yoga Trade
The only thing you’re really missing out on now is the community connection part but that is easy to solve- invite your yoga friends over OR comment below! Share a little bit about your yoga journey and leave an article or resource recommendation you think someone else might like.
Massive THANK-YOU to all the individuals and brands out there creating free online resources and making yoga as accessible as possible.
I hope this serves as a helpful resource for you, happy at-home festival-ing!