The Blog : 10 things to pack for your next yoga festival January 13 2016
Here are our top 10 things to pack for your next yoga festival! Before we dig in, remember to leave your expectations at home, bring an open heart and mind and be prepared to feel everything .. deeply .. from exhaustion to elation and everything in-between that's the beauty a yoga festival brings us ...
1. Word to your Mala
Of course I love our Mala beads and no festival is the same without a few of your favourites to mix and match. But more importantly I've found that they help me to stay grounded with the high energy environment that is a part of weekend long festival.
"Mala beads have been worn for thousands of years in the traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Yoga. They are worn for their spiritual and healing qualities as well as a tool for certain types of meditation. The purpose of a Mala depends on the wearer’s needs and when worn by intuitive prescription based on the type(s) of stone, it is a powerful amplifier of mental, physical and/or spiritual needs."
I love wearing my Mala beads to yoga class and placing them along the top of my mat, where they are ready to be held during Shavasana or Meditation as the class closes. They are a reminder of what I want to create in my life and are a physical talisman of these prayers.
If you're looking for a special Mala, do check out our featured collection of handcrafted Mala Beads and take a look at our 'what are mala's and how to choose yours' page to help in finding the perfect piece for you.
2. Favourite yoga mat and bag
If you're anything like me your yoga mat is something deeply personal. You very own little slice of home in a yoga class, it's likely been to many studios, been to many festivals and has been packed for trips and travels and has been handy as you lay under the stars contemplating the meaning of life with friends on a balmy summer evening!
Being a yoga teacher I have a few different mats in my collection, all from Manduka* as I really value their commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices. My eKO Lite Mats are my "go to" mats for both the studio and festivals as they're light, grippy and always feel like home :)
I use the Manduka commuter strap for hands free fun. It also doubles as a yoga strap for class which can be handy, alternatively a yoga mat bag can be a great way to stash away a few snacks, water, hair-ties and the all important journal. Do check out Manduka's online store to find the perfect mat, carrier or bag and a stockist near you.
"At Manduka we believe it’s possible to honour your practice and the Earth. That’s why we take the hard road to find sustainable product solutions. Together we celebrate the deep and profound bond yoga shares with the world. Whether it’s zero waste and emissions free manufacturing, the sourcing of recycled materials, or creating the first ever 100% recyclable mat, you can be sure that your Manduka yoga gear will not only keep your practice thoughtfully grounded, but do so while leaving a very small footprint. Each detail is a conscious decision"
* Please know, I am not affiliated with Manduka or any of the products I suggest in this post. I simply love what these businesses represent and the efforts they put into eco / socially conscious product development. With Manduka in particular I made the effort to visit their HQ in California to meet the team and see operations for myself, their products are featured throughout our Mala Earth photography (beach yoga) too!
3. Dogeared journal and fav pen
Do take your favourite or a new favourite journal to document your festival experiences, new ideas, sequence glyphs, and perhaps sketches of beautiful things... My journal is full of useful titbits for referencing later, new asanas, sequences, quotes, music, feelings, ideas, ramblings from friends and loads of beautiful messy scribbles.
I take my journal with me everywhere for sliding in a business card, placing a sticker and I make sure to have a few spare pens at the ready as they'll likely take an unexpected walk with a new friend! A recent journal gift I received is made by Frank Stationery a wonderful social enterprise based in New Zealand who promises to "... disrupt the trend of poverty in New Zealand by ensuring every child gets the stationery they need. For every item you buy, FRANK will give one to a child in need."
4. Functional multi purpose scarf
I absolutely LOVE my vinyasa scarf from lululemon. This very special piece was gifted to me after I taught an OM Sunday class with the team at their Ponsonby (Auckland, NZ) store and it has been worn absolutely everywhere ever since! This wardrobe staple will carry you through the day (even making a great blanket or eye mask during shavasana) well into the evening as you dance the night away under the stars ... http://shop.lululemon.com/
5. Sunnies, foxy wide-brimmed hat and plenty of hair-ties!
An absolute necessity are your beautiful sunnies and wide brimmed hat to protect your eyes and skin as you wander in-between classes, speakeasy the eco-market and food stalls... We always expect the sun to shine down on us and we don't want to ruin our weekend with tender skin from sun exposure... better yet remember to apply sunscreen throughout the day and bring a loose shirt to throw on in-between class venues.
6. Baby wipes and deodorant
Yoga festival days are long, seeing you up early for that first detox flow class and moving you right through the day's events and activities until the big evening music acts start. I've found it really useful to have a little 'go to' kit of baby wipes, deodorant, suncream and any mineral based makeup needed to freshen up as day turns into night :) oh and of course the hair-ties! No one likes hair in their mouth during downward dog!
7. Jandals (Flip flops, thongs, whatever you call them where you come from! etc.)
Bring some easy to put on / take off shoes as you'll be in and out of them all day! Alternatively contribute to some social good by slipping on a pair of TOMS shoes, they pioneered the one for one business model, that Franks Stationary uses too!
8. Festival Dress
Of course every yogini needs her favourite little summer dress to throw on for an evening of dancing under the stars. We simply can't go past our staple being the gorgeous summer lucent dress by we'ar. This dress coupled with strappy sandals, a Mala and multi-scarf finds us in the perfect post festival-yoga class attire.
We'ar is a company who deeply care about where and how our clothes are made, do check out their ethos about conscious consumerism while your looking for that perfect little festival dress.
Please bring a water bottle! Preferably a reusable BPA free water bottle you can refill as you need during the day. Yoga festivals likely see you practicing more classes in one day than you have ever done. So I know I don't need to be your mum about the importance of keeping hydrated!
I love my BKR with it's big ring lid I can loop my mat strap through it and as it's bright pink I can easily see it in my bag or at the side of the class by my shoes. Either way I tend to go towards these type of glass reusable bottles and coffee cups (check out KeepCup if you can't go a weekend without coffee!) with the handy rubber or cork outer sleeves as I can feel 100% confident there are no nasties in my beverage!
10. Smart Phone
I know I know, this seems the anti-thesis of what it means to be away and especially away at a yoga festival and as we quickly head towards a hyper-connected world! BUT I do run an online business and I do love to have the opportunity to digitally take a few notes, grab a new friends contact details and connect with them on Facebook in realtime! Also to have shazam handy to find out what that amazing new tune was and to snap a few moments for sharing later on.
If like us you do decide technology is coming along for the ride it could be a good idea to setup some boundaries for use. For us it will be an online sabbatical unless absolutely adding critical value to you or our business. Otherwise we'll only be online over our morning coffee from 8:30am - 9:30am :) the rest of the time it will be in person with flight-mode on!
I can't wait to see you on the mat - Mala in hand :) and as you pack and prepare remember the wise words of Yogi Bhajan ...
“Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light”
Rebecca Agent - Founder of Mala Earth, MBA, Sustainability Advocate, Entrepreneur, Dreamer, Yogini and Traveller