Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The way a yoga festival should be (Part 1)

At the end of June, I (Jason) headed over to a little island in the North Sea for the Terschelling Yoga Festival.  Organized by the strong Kundalini communities in Amsterdam, Germany and England, the festival welcomed all sorts of Yoga, including AcroYoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, traditional Thai Massage, laughing yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and of course Kundalini.

After years of teaching at Yoga Journal conferences and other somewhat swanky venues, this was much more my style!  Everyone (teachers, organizers, participants, etc) camped the entire time.  There are no cars allowed on the island, so as participants dis-embarked from the ferry, we were all handed a bicycle.  The meals were all communal and simple, prepared with love and mantras by the Kundalini cooks of the Golden Temple in Amsterdam.  

There was kirtan every night, ecstatic dance, a kiddie blow up pool for bathing....everyone brought their own utensils and plates.  There was almost zero waste or impact.  All the yoga was done outside or in big tents.  Some classes started with a 20 minute ride followed by a 30 minute hike to a huge empty windswept beach.....then there would be a frenzied stripping off of clothes, 15 minutes of cold skinny dipping, and then an hour of yoga.  No one seemed to mind being dirty and sandy in the least.  My type of people.  True yoga if you ask me.  The asana was powerful and beautiful, but almost an afterthought with so much power and life in everything.   

I taught two Ashtanga classes (one primary series, and one Intermediate series) and also some Acro classes with Dieke and Iris.  Of course we set up a slackline as well!  We also did a mini- Adventure race training one day, and I managed to get us lost....par for the course I guess.  

I certainly want to go back next year.  
I was the only one who didn't speak German or Dutch or French.....

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