So for the past four days, I’ve been at the 2nd International Yoga Festival, held at Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nasik, India. It’s at the same location as my yoga teacher training that starts on November 15, which makes it super convenient for me to attend the festival before my TTC begins.
Having attended quite a number of previous BaliSpirit Festivals (another international festival of yoga, music and dance but based in Bali, Indonesia) as media, this current festival in India is very different.
For starters, there’s a huge focus on the Indian culture. This is done through several different workshops such as Ayurveda, rope yoga, sari tying, flute, bhajan, dance.
Next, food is included in the price of the festival ticket. It’s vegetarian, it’s all freshly made, it’s satvik (yogic food), and it’s without flavourings, sauces or cream.
Third, it’s shared accommodation, as it’s held on the grounds of an ashram! We have to clean up after ourselves, and volunteering your time & services is very much welcome.
Fourth, the cosy number of 300 people on location means there’s sufficient opportunity to really connect with people of different nationalities and races. The festival brought together Singaporeans (there were about 18 of us!), Indonesians, Thai, Hong Kong, Koreans, Indians, Dutch, Germans, Russians, Americans, Australians, Middle Eastern, Italians, and more. Doing yoga, sharing meals, and sharing rooms together gave us the chance to really see each other.
Lastly, the vibe. It’s hard to describe the vibe, but if I had to pick a word, it will be real. Perhaps due to the fact that the setting was in an ashram, where there are rules on dressing and behavior. So there weren’t any random squeals or shouts, there weren’t males walking around topless or females in only their sports bras or tops that exposed their midriff & shoulders. The schedule for each day was the same, where the only change was the yoga classes being offered during their designated time slot. I really enjoyed the easy-going vibe of the entire festival.
There’s so much more about this festival to share, and the best way to do it – I feel – is with photos.
Before that happens, here are my top 5 tips on what not to do at any yoga festival:-
1. Skip yoga sessions.
2. Skip meditation sessions.
3. Skip havan.
4. Ignore people as they walk past you.
5. Take my advice — experience it on your own to know.