Monday, 15 July 2013

Yoga festival packing list

Woohoo! Got my Schengen visa and I"m off to Fondjouan in Loire Valley to attend the Summer Solistice Yoga Festival.

This is different from any other yoga festivals. Each year there is a theme and for this year, the focus is on the first sutra of the Aquarian Age -  "Recognize that the other person is You." Yogi Bhajan said 'don't live at each other - live for each other..."

The site says that the festival begins with yoga and meditation "in a big meadow as the sun slowly rises" from 4:30  to 7 am. Breakfast is simple vegetable soup and some oranges and banana. At 10 am, the camp breaks into Missels (same language groupings) to meet and do Seva (selfless service). Then, the morning workshop is scheduled from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. There are 29  international teachers conducting different kinds of workshops from Karam Kriya, Sat Nam Rasayan, and many more. My problem is to choose which workshop to attend because as Marisa would say, they are all "rockstar" teachers.

In the afternoon, there is a watermelon break followed by an all camp yoga workshop from 2 to 4 pm at the Big Top. The teachers are Dharm Singh (New Mexico), Simran Kaur (USA), Hari Har Ji (UK) and Shiv Charan Singh (Portugal),  Then dinner at the Lungar field where mung beans and rice, hot sauce, carrots and salad will be served. After which, an evening workshop from 5:30 to 7 pm where again, there are 29 international teachers to choose from. Then an evening yoga class followed by a special healing meditation from 7:30 to 8:45pm and the day is capped with an evening program from 8:45 to 9:45pm.

As it is, the day is pretty packed - -three yoga classes, Seva, morning and evening workshops. There are only two meals - breakfast and dinner, and a snack in between.

The festival area is quite vast covering 70 hectares (refer to the map below; the upper left hand corner is a top shot of the venue Le Domaine de Fondjouan).

Considering everything - i.e. the extensive field, lots of moving around, the weather (from a high of 31 degrees Centigrade during the day and drops down to 17 degrees),  the warning to pack light - I'm just bringing the following:
Weather forecast during the week from
1. Clothing -  mostly white cotton yoga pants and tops, easy to wash by hand if I have to (note:  bring environment-friendly laundry detergent)
2. Mess Kit - plates, cutlery, cups (my camping mess kit)
3. Footwear - mountaineering sandals and havianas; may consider bringing sturdy walking shoes
4. Sadhana - - sheepskin, yoga mat, blanket and a hoodie (although my only hoodie is bright pink)
5. Tote bag - to keep everything (note:  for the tantric shelter, they give one uniform size bag)
6. Head lamp and extra batteries- to walk around the camp site as early as 3am. According to Kundalink who went to the same Festival in Guru Ram Das place in New Mexico (USA) last June, the day started with a merry band of 30 to 60 walking around the camp at 3 am singing  "Rise up Rise up".
7. Water bottles - one for water and another for the hot yogi tea
8, Money belt (that I use for running) so I can shop in the bazaar and/or do treatments
9. Nuts or trail mix- to snack in case I get hungry and if there's no food to buy in the bazaar

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