I went to Soul Circus Festival as Viv from 76Sunflowers plus 1 so I did not have to write about it but loved it so much I wanted to share it with you.
So first am I a yogi? As much as I love yoga, swear by it and recommend it to everyone, I still only practice once a week in a class in term time. Am I a yogi, no. I know my downward dog, cat cowl and throw me a happy baby and I am. But I get easily lost when the lesser known terms get thrown out there and quiver at the very mention of a head stand. I have mastered the side ways glance to check what the hell I am supposed to be doing next. I have also mastered the ‘it really does not matter if today I can not manage it’ attitude which I think in any good yoga class is more than acceptable, which is also what I totally love about yoga!
As a non real yogi how was Soul Circus festival which has high percent focus on yoga? As I have already mentioned above, I loved it. Whilst I type I get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about it. I sat after my yoga lesson last night (the first since I left Soul Circus) talking to some of the class I was literally longing to go back to that weekend.
As it was my only break of the summer. I wanted to come back refreshed, relaxed and invigorated which I totally did. Add to that inspired, thought provoked, feeling healthy and totally alive and I think you could say that was a win.
I chose my classes perhaps with a little reserve. Though a few that definitely got my heart pumping, many I chose were for relaxation and rest. To re-set myself and for that moment get rid of any stresses. Every single class I took, I felt no pressure that I was not capable. Though naturally self doubt kicked in a few times, I did not once feel like a yoga failure. The teachers were so well chosen and I loved taking classes with very different teachers and I think every yoga teacher, teaches to their individual style which I really enjoy.
For my first class I did the lovely Heart Opening Class with Evelyn Cribbin. which I felt was a great one to kick off with. I came out feeling great and just ready for the weekend. The whole vibe of the festival was wonderful, happy, relaxed and no real rushing.
The food was amazing, filling and full of goodness. With breakfast, lunch, supper, hot and cold drinks and of course snacks available all day at the wonderful Solar Cafe Kitchen. With me being gluten-free and Viv being a vegan we both felt well catered for. There was loads of seating undercover and outside. With live music on from midday, the hustle and bustle of some fantastic stalls and some talks on the stage. The Solar Cafe Kitchen felt a great place to hang out.
They were also serving Born Wild Tea which was amazing fresh tasting tea with many a flavour to choose from. Charlie and Phil who run this relative new business in Cheltenham oozed the same wonderful personalities of their tea’s and I wish them every success in their business.
I love that Roman and Ella who bring Soul Circus Festival to us, had chosen companies that added to the whole experience. Nibs etc with her hashtag #thinkbeforeyoutoss (which did put a smile on my face…maybe just me?!) was selling her wonderful looking (I could not taste as not gluten-free yet) granola and crackers. Made using pulp from vegetables and fruit left over from juicing which otherwise would be tossed, hence the hashtag! She also gave some great talks and cooking demonstrations using up things that may otherwise get wasted.
My programme is somewhat in pieces as I look in it to tell you want else I got up to. There was so many things to choose from. I really feel there was something for everyone who wants to put their wellbing and happiness on track. Viv and I treated ourselves on the Friday afternoon to a Restorative yoga session with Karen Maidment from Pure Body Balance which ended with a head and neck massage. We were both in utter bliss!
Later that afternoon we both had our first experience of Yoga Nidra. which I think means yogic sleep. Stephen Marks first took us on a journey whilst we all lay in a relaxed state somewhere between consciousness and sleep or it was for me. We then did body scanning which I find really relaxing and something I use to help get me to sleep if I am feeling stressed. . With a nice endiing to the session getting over my fear of oracle cards (long story!) that Stephen offered us to chose. I was glad to pick out the King of Water from underneath many cards which reading up seems a pretty good card! This session I left feeling more enlightened than actually rested which I counts as equally good if not more so.
One of the Saturday afternoon sessions I had chosen was, The Happiness Plan with Emma Brooke Guilding For some reason I was feeling really anxious but Emma within her first few sentences put me at ease. The fact she had experienced panic attacks that left her feeling she was going to die meant she totally understood. Relaxed I got into the session which left me with lots to think about. I also got to say to two lovely people ‘I see you and I love you’. Which saying this to two complete strangers may of had every reason to feel very weird, somehow it did not. It was really nice and I got to hear it back too!
I promised myself no pressure on this trip. So whilst Viv filled the day with more yoga I headed back to the tent with a cup of tea .and did some writing! I love giving myself time just to think. Though part of me felt I really should be looking at the programme and choosing something else. A bigger part knew sitting and settling was better.
We were aiming for a Gong Bath session which is on my list to try. But this was one session with a very big queue. So Viv and I had a wander and ending up joining in with a chanting session with Kirtan Durga Devi. I admit the thought of this was, this is not for me. But how wrong was I, it felt so good and well right!
Back to the tent to drop stuff off, then to The Solar Kitchen for another filling meal. All ready to dance Saturday night away. Not one for drinking these day’s two bottles of cider in and the night was beginning to sway a little but only in a good way. It was a epic treat dancing to Maxi Jazz live. Reliving the feel good vibe of my younger clubbing days when actually after 6 years I had kicked anxiety back into a more manageable beast and nothing made me feel happier than dancing in a crowd! Dancing mainly with my arms in the air (the winners pose it has that feel good feeling) I really did not want the night to end. But in need of water and a promise of a 7am session we headed back to the tent.
We did not quite make the 7am session, slack I know! Instead we made a 9.30 session of Chakra and Sounds with the lovely Tracey Sadler from Happily Raw and Ian which again was such a good session. Set up for the day of knowing we had to pack up but wanting to fill it with good stuff too.
Double lined in my programme was Sunday Relax by Ashley Hunt oh my did we just want to take her home. What a perfect guided meditation. I can not remember the last time I felt so relaxed. Do check out the link above to her instagram as she does guilded meditation on a Sunday on her live stream which will stay up for 24 hours I think. I noticed also she runs online courses and one starts soon too! She was just so lovely but most importantly had the power to help us all totally relax ourselves to a state which has to be of such benefit to our bodies and minds.
I know there is so much I have missed out. I have mentioned the ones that truly stuck out for me or this post would be several times longer.
I spent quite of bit of time just soaking up the wonderful atmosphere that filled the whole Soul Circus Festival. It was hard not to feel good whilst being in a place buzzing with good energy. It struck me that there was no type of person, no age range that was more obvious just people having a good time and wanting to look after their well being and relax.
I can not go without saying about the delicious ice cream by vegan icegreen. which was totally amazing.
Not forgetting of course a massive thank you to my lovely friend Viv who invited me to join her. I am so grateful as I loved it so much and it truly made a lasting impression on me. It was also great spending time with a fab person who is also very inspirational to me (yes you Viv). Here is Viv’s review of Soul Circus Festival
Do check out what the Soul Circus Festival has to offer you. Next years dates are 17th – 19th August grab your tickets here currently early bird bargain at £150 for the weekend!