This year’s WYF at Beale Park beside the Thames, again took place under largely sunny skies and hosted the same wide range of Yoga approaches and related activities. Housed in tents with space for dozen or hundreds of mats, it was a buzzing event, especially on the Saturday. Appetites earned in sessions of āsana, prānāyāma, chanting or even laughing could choose from a spread of stalls, from salads to Indian street-food, from Italian coffee to Tibetan chai. There was even a children’s yoga area.
Quieter sessions ranged from Vedanta or Patañjali through meditation to diet or pelvic health. New teachers appeared this year, both from the UK and India, including Sanskrit scholars Dr Lucy Crisfield and Dr Ramesh Pattni and Pandit Radhyeshyam Mishra from the 100 year old Yoga Institute near Mumbai.
Once both exercised and edified, it was possible to add a massage or other treatment to your experience, browse for clothes or chat to stallholders from a range of organisations. Or, as last year, you could just lie down and bathe in healing gong sounds or didgeridoo music. Camping rights were included in the tickets and many chose to stay that way and be on their mats for 7am.
Alongside my TSYP colleagues Andy and Helen, shown leading our voice-work in āsana, I enjoyed teaching two of these early sessions. This year may prove to be a turning point for this important Festival, so book early for 2019. Hope to see you there, Michael H.
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