When I first heard about the Music & Movement Mindfulness Festival, I quickly grabbed a couple of VIP tickets. A subject so close to my heart would be the focus of a festival that included some of my favourite things. Yoga, barre, indoor rock climbing, live music and health foods. What else was I to do?
Arriving at Urban Climb Newstead on Saturday morning, I heard some great music and felt a nice energy around the place. This was the festival. Two beautiful picnic areas, a DJ and live music tent, and stall holders encouraged a relaxed atmosphere outside. While inside promised yoga, bouldering, climbing, barre, health foods and an opportunity to speak up about mental health issues.
While everything looked like a perfect social media photo shoot, understanding what was going on was a challenge. As learned from years of London life… if there’s a queue, join it. I found myself in a queue for what I thought was to present my ‘ticket’ and obtain some kind of VIP access and goodie bag. Actually, it was a queue to write down my name to opt into the yoga, barre or rock climbing classes. Although I did get a purple wristband – but had no idea what it was for.
So I wandered around the place and checked out the upstairs class area. Noticing some people taking away some goodie bags, I asked if they were for the VIP ticket holders. They were. GREAT! I thought. So I picked mine up and wandered out for some breakfast. The Unrefined granola with fruit was possibly the tastiest $9 I spent all weekend.
Participating in the express Yo Yoga Hip Hop Yoga class was fun. But once it had finished I needed to leave for other commitments. Not before I stopped by The Buff to chat to Jasmine and sign up for some natural beauty education.
Speaking to one lady in the picnic area, it seemed she wasn’t able to get into any of the yoga, barre or climbing classes. As she fruitlessly rustled inside her goodie bag for the free Yo Yoga class pass, she expressed how disappointed she was. It was her main attraction to the festival. I learned later on that anyone who participated in a Yo Yoga class would receive the free class pass.
It became a bit of a theme throughout the few hours I spent at the mindfulness festival. However, I did see the organisers and stallholders making it up as much as they could with passes and free treats. And while it wasn’t quite the VIP ticket holder experience most of us were expecting, I think it was still a really unique and fun event. The most important part was being there, together, supporting our community, raising awareness and raising funds.