If I thought Wilderness festival was love love love (which I certainly did), then I’ve found an event which raised that by a 1000. An event that compelled me so much that when leaving, I bought myself a ticket for next year. I didn’t even really have to think about it- it HAD to be done. Now that has to say a lot, right?
Based in the glorious setting of the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, Soul Circus is a small festival carefully and lovingly made. I arrived on the coach and my heart did a little happy jig as I could see the bell tents and fairy lights and the roaming fields around it. We pitched up in an area with ample green around us- no need to be squashed together like sardines. I really liked the fact that it took me just over 5 minutes to walk from the tent to the main site, and that queuing for a shower took 5 minutes as opposed to 45. I loved the fact I got to see familiar faces and that mums and dads could let their children run and play and still easily be able to see them and keep an eye on them. Where doing a 360 meant you could pretty much see all the main tents and plan your day easily. This is the kind of event that proves bigger doesn’t have to mean better. Its population size of around 4,000 meant for a restful and reflective time for ME. In an event that focuses on health and well-being, that felt so important.
I didn’t however love forgetting to buy a higher seasoned sleeping bag and choosing to ignore the fact that the end of August in the UK countryside can be seriously cold! Lessons now learned 🙂
There are so many styles of yoga classes by many experienced and big names that you’ll be spoiled for choice, and happily exhausted! I attended a few of these, and a lot of talks. I love listening to people, sitting there and scribbling their best bits of advice. Soul Circus had lots of choice in this regard from excellent speakers, and I wasn’t disappointed. Then there’s the food demos, gong baths, dance classes, wild running, aerial silk classes, classes for children, life drawing, boob printing, talks from nutritionists and more on offer!
I saw Jasmine Hemsley who gave a food demo, book signing for her recipe book East by West, and an informative and inspiring talk on Ayurveda. The discussion of Ayurveda resonated with me in a health respect and made a lot of practical sense and I immediately did the dosha assessment via her website (I’m mostly Pita it seems!). Jasmine was funny, lovely, well-informed and super interesting. She also runs her own sound bath experiences in London- I immediately whacked this on the “to-do” list! Find her and more details at: http://www.jasminehemsley.com/
Zofie Lloyd-Gucia, aka “The Happiness Coach” spoke to us about the significance of our beliefs. Believe you are something and you will prove it. My favourite take-away was when she told us “if you argue for your limitations you get to keep them”. Even if something is factually true, or has some fact to it, do the beliefs you are carrying actually serve you? Zofie shares her own personal challenges, but approaches life with joy and gratitude. Take a look at Zofie’s amazing work and website, offering 1:1 coaching, free weekly meditation sessions and more: http://www.relaxmehappy.co.uk/
Keeley Dann: professional dancer extraordinaire, and super relationship coach based in London. I attended her Beyoncé class which was broken down easily for those of us who are not natural dancers, with the emphasis on confidence and fun. In a separate workshop, Keeley spoke with us about self compassion, acceptance and appreciation, and is a charismatic, personable and knowledgeable speaker. Check her out for more events or contact her for 1: 1 sessions: http://www.keeleydann.com/ Absolute girl crushing on these gorgeous ladies, Keeley and Zofie, and took so much away from them.
Kundalini yoga class. Have you heard of it? The way I describe it is, remember when you were a child and you’d feel so angry about something you’d pummel your pillow to let that anger out? Kundalini yoga focuses more on the spiritual than the physical and encourages you to release toxic and negative emotions. I admit as a first timer, it felt a bit “out there” but I LOVED it!! Absolutely loved it and the after effect was immediate. It resonated so much that one of the first things I did was get back to London and check out local classes!
Radical Life Drawing by the Anti-Diet Riot Club. I loved the fact that the speakers at this event spoke positively about body image and not everyone being the size or the body that the media portrays. I felt it was a really good call to include this at a yoga event where perhaps a smaller body size felt the norm, to remind you that healthy encompasses all sizes. I love the message and manifesto this group radiates, not just about sizes but diversity in all its glory. You can find workshops and life drawing events in London, if they are not at a festival near you! http://antidietriotclub.co.uk/
What I recommend
Get yourself a ticket! Honestly: if self care and wellness is your jam, current ticket prices are an absolutely bargain at just £125 each! If you consider how much yoga classes alone cost, this is an absolute steal.
As above, don’t miss the talks- there are some amazing speakers and life coach professionals here and they each made such a positive difference to me and can to you too.
Check out the stalls- beautiful independent jewellery, art and clothing stalls. I bought some amazing crystals here for a fraction of what it would have cost in London! Varying in prices but all super beautiful to look at.
Don’t fret about “not being into yoga”. I wasn’t! There are all capabilities and levels here.
Take tea bags and a flask! You might be charged a bit for hot water, but it’s still cheaper than buying tea or coffee anywhere all the time. We didn’t have serious rain, but it was cold on the Saturday, when I probably drank 10 cups of hot drinks!
Bring snacks! Soul Circus didn’t really appear to offer any of the usual errr rubbish I like to indulge in! Well it’s a health and well-being event!!
Get a group of you if you can! It would be a magic place to bring friends along to chill with!