I have been very lucky this year. (And a little unlucky, but why dwell on that right?).
So far this year I have been able to attend 3 different yoga festivals across the state.
Wanderlust in Dallas
Whole Lotta Yoga in Houston
and the Find What Feels Good Roadshow in Austin
Us Texans are so fortunate to live in such a big, beautiful, diverse state and that same energy applies to our yoga communities as well. I am especially grateful for these opportunities because, as you may remember, I recently made it a goal to spend a little more time focusing on being a student again.
Each festival was amazing and fulfilling in their own ways and I just wanted to chat a little bit about them here.
So…. second up on the docket is….
In October I went to the Whole Lotta Yoga Festival in Houston Texas.
It was SO. MUCH. FUN.
My friend Sarah and I went on a kind of spur of the moment decision and I’m so glad we did.
The event was sponsored by Whole Foods to benefit their Whole Planet Foundation and organized by Black Swan Yoga Houston which is an entirely donation based yoga studio with locations in Houston and Austin. It was held at Levy Park in Houston and was so accessible to all types of yogis. You had the option of offering a $20 donation (Or $30 which also gave you a tank top) and with that donation you received a Class-Pass for one free class at each of the 5 participating yoga studios. BUT, if that was out of your price range, you could attend for free.
Each studio offered a 30 minute practice and then between and during those there were also smaller group workshops for arm balances, meditation, acro-yoga, and dance. Then there was a section for vendors, food trucks, photo booths, and such, and Levy Park to explore.
This was certainly the most diverse and most accessible of the three festivals. I know this had a lot to do with the price point (free – $50 depending on your choice) and the structure (you can do anything for 30 minutes). We saw yogi’s of all shapes and sizes and walks of life and it felt like a pretty accurate representations of the Houston yoga community.
Sarah and I got there bring and early (coffee in hand) and knew we’d made the right decision as soon as we walked up.
Levy Park is AMAZING.
There is an arts and crafts station, a lending library, ping pong tables, giant Legos and mats to build forts with, and a community garden (which you know is my ultimate weakness). We made a lap then went to get our mats set up and settle in.
We participated in the first 2 practices then decided to check out the market and vendors. Everyone was giving away samples and so were excited to share their passions and products. I got a free tank top, kambucha (I’m so obsessed with Live Kambucha and their new drinking vinegars – Austin Texas Baby!), Indian food, hot tea, wild flower seeds, and so many smiles.
After our quick snack, we went back to participate in one more studio practice before making our way over to the meditation workshop. It was a Stillness Mediation lead by the Houston Meditation Society and it was so good. Our instructor started the class by reading a passage from The Velveteen Rabbit and I was hooked. He lead us through a shorter 10 minute meditation, then stopped for questions and comments, then through a much longer 40 minute mediation. Let me tell you- being still for that long is difficult. But it was so incredible to dive in and really analyze my impulses to see which were actual needs verses which were simply distractions. It was the perfect way to end the day and get us centered and ready for the trip home.
This event made me feel so inspired. The whole day my wheels were turning and my heart and mind were jumping from big idea to big idea on what I want for my career and my practice moving forward. I left feeling empowered and proud of what is being created and cultivated in South East Texas, and so excited to see what my role will be in that moving forward.
It was such a good day and a lovely reminder that Houston really can be just a quick jaunt away if you have a good road trip partner, or a good podcast, or both. I loved getting to share the day with my good friend and it was really nice to be in a space that reminded me a little of Kansas City. I really can’t wait to make this an annual event.