You want to go to a yoga festival, but your friends are dragging their feet and struggling to find the money. This isn’t the first time you’ve almost had the trip planned and friends have bailed on you. If you have a deep desire to go, let this post be your push to actually do it SOLO! This might be the biggest and best opportunity of your life! If this idea makes you apprehensive, there might be more to gain going it alone then you realize.
In your yoga practice, you’ve studied detachment. You’ve practiced hours on the mat letting go of discomfort in your asana, you’ve been practicing detachment from your inner chatter during meditation, but how are you doing letting go of old habits? As Wayne Dyer says, “You can’t be alone if you like the person you’re alone with”.
Grab your suitcase and get packing!
Here are a few things to consider when taking the plunge:
- Are you apprehensive about traveling alone? Consider finding a retreat within driving distance or in a city you’re already familiar with-this will settle the nerves and give you confidence. There are wonderful and beautiful retreats and festivals happening closer than you think.
Pick smaller festivals. Larger festivals might leave you feeling overwhelmed by choices, schedules and thousands of people. Talk to your yoga teachers and mentors at home and ask them which festivals would be a good fit for your level of practice or which ones will offer what you’re looking to experience.
Do your research. Call the organization putting the festival on and ask questions. Definitely tell them if it’s your first time attending a yoga festival and mention it’s your first time attending their festival. You want to know if you need to pre-register for any workshops, will you be able to walk to and from your hotel or dorm easily to the classes? Find out what the meal options are. Is there a local market or stores nearby?
Pack a journal. You’ll find perfect moments for quiet time where you’ll be inspired to sit down and write, and you’ll see others doing the same thing. Park yourself in a corner and be an observer. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded people. The power and energy at festivals is contagious. Don’t be surprised, you’re going to meet all kinds of people. When you’re solo, you’re much more available to have new experiences and chance encounters.
Be Open. Expect a little anxiety if the solo thing is new for you. Being open from the get-go will leave room for you to find humor in the mishaps and the fun of figuring out the lay of the land by yourself. You might have a few butterflies as you approach the registration table the first day, or you may simply feel awkward being alone in general, let those feelings pass with a smile. You’ll be in good company. Trust yourself, be confident and enjoy your independence!
Julie Konrad, RYT has been teaching and practicing Hatha yoga in Cleveland, OH for 9 years. Last year, she converted her living room into a yoga studio to create a space for her community to come together and practice. It’s a truly home grown and organic experience for students and family alike. It’s not unusual to find her three little girls using the space to teach yoga to their dolls or for a full class to be happening there! Julie's writing has been featured in Elephant Journal, The Magazine of Yoga and Natural Vitality Living. You can find out more about Julie at www.lunapresenceyoga.com.