Being a busy person working passionately in my professional and personal life leaves me with little time to get away, to decompress and refresh. I’ve been yearning for a retreat, constantly perusing these amazing trips, imagining myself in Bali and the Galapagos Islands each night before I fall into a heavy sleep. Many of us simply can’t carve out 7-10 days to jet off as we deserve, so while you’re planning and looking forward to that retreat set some date in the future, I highly encourage you take a little less time and experience one of summer’s many Yoga festivals!
A month or so into the summer yoga scene, there are a number of three day festivals around the country that will invigorate you and reignite your love of Yoga. Whether it be the numerous locations for Hanuman, Bhakti, Evolvefest, Tadasana or Wanderlust, there are a myriad of dates from now until the end of September that will serve to give you the short vacation you deserve. If one is within driving proximity to your home, you can opt to participate in one, two or three full days of the festivities and then sleep in your own bed once the fun is done.
I recently traveled to Madison, Wisconsin for a little work and even more play at Bhakti Fest Midwest. I carpooled with two kick-ass yogis, hit up an air bnb for a cozy, reasonable stay, and enjoyed three days in the warm Wisconsin sun. I met yoga and life enthusiasts from all over the country who’d traveled to enjoy the likes of Sara Ivanhoe, Saul David Raye, Darren Friesen, Jai Uttal, Krishna Das and a slew of other yoga professionals. People traveled via trains, planes, and automobiles to experience a confluence of joy and exuberance. Vendors selling handmade clothing, organic foods and drinks, Indian and Nepalese jewelry, eco-conscious yoga equipment, and many more goods and services encircle the perimeter of Bhakti fest, all facing a stage showcasing the talents of many kirtan artists.
Inside the venue carries workshops and classes provided by some of the world’s most renowned teachers. You bend, sweat, laugh and maybe cry tears of joy as these enlightened beings bring you closer to your own truth. You can opt to camp under the beautiful trees and stars, stay in a local’s warm home, or rest in a nearby hotel. Each of the three days are jam packed with classes, workshops and kirtan options to enjoy passively or actively. You can choose to take class with teachers you’ve yet to experience and/or take pleasure in the tutelage of an old favorite. The festival will showcase talent from many corners of our globe, including the home town’s very own rock-stars.
What is truly remarkable about attending a Yoga festival, regardless how long or how much you absorb, is the pure joy and elation beneath everyone’s eyes and heart. Each person there carries positivity and excitement, only wanting to share that goodness with similar souls. Whether a certain teacher or artist resonates with you or not, you will leave different and better than you arrived. There is always something to glean from Yoga, on or off the mat. Let this opportunity refuel you, shake you up and reassemble stronger than before, and let it only be a jump-start to more yogic experiences, festivals and retreats in your future. You deserve it!
All About Danielle: Danielle Robinson is Never Not Hungry. A Yoga, travel, food, laughter and life enthusiast, Danielle lived, studied and traveled in Italy for 3 years, and then embarked on her teacher training in New York City with Sonic Yoga. Since, she’s lived and taught in Chicago, stretched, folded and chewed throughout the U.S., and now is thrilled to lend her passion as a writer and teacher to the Travel Yogi. She is stupefied to be alive and grateful to share the gift of Yoga to the world.