In the midst of searching for places to visit and things to do in Europe, I stumbled across the Forever Now Festival in Berlin. I almost paid no attention before realizing that it was the weekend as my proposed visit to the city! These festivals are things I occasionally see friends attending or posting about on Instagram, but rarely am I in the right place at the right time to attend. I didn't buy the ticket immediately as I still had the cost to consider, these events are never cheap, but it was definitely an appealing option for a way to spend my first day in a brand new city. After giving myself a few days I decided to compromise and buy a one day pass (vs. the entire weekend) thus giving myself a good dose of yoga and opportunity to meet some locals, while not completely destroying my budget.
Another consideration to make before buying my ticket was that there were only a few classes each day offered in English. Taking a look at the schedule I decided Friday would be the most advantageous day for me to visit, thus cutting my time in Copenhagen a bit short. The website recommended booking spaces ahead of time in the classes you wished to attend. I did so, but was skeptical that this would actually be checked or enforced, correct assumption. As I browsed the class option and selected 'attend' I soon realized I had a full day of yoga with back to back to back classes lined up.
I chose a hostel nearby the festival grounds so I didn't have to trek across the city in the wee hours of the morning. I had plans to attend the first meditation session of the morning, but those faded quickly. 7:30 didn't really seem like a necessary time to be out and about, after all I was on vacation. Instead, I showed up around 9:00 to check in and get my wrist band, not the best event organization but I managed to sort it out before my 9:30 'slow-motion' yoga class. Despite being taught entirely in German the first class was enjoyable, a slow opening flow to get the day started.
From here I would have appreciated a tougher flow to really warm up and get moving, but instead, it was time for a handstand workshop by Dylan Werner. I actually hadn't heard of Dylan before this day, but my Instagram feed is exponentially more exciting and inspirational now knowing who he is. This guy is a handstand and arm balance genius, you know those people you see in pictures and think "There's no F-ing way that is possible", that's him. The cool thing about Dylan though, is that he makes it all seem possible, well kind of. Although his before class warm up could have easily been viewed as showing off, once he begins to speak it's clear that he has an intense passion for what he's doing. And let's be honest, if you could throw yourself into the air or twist into weird shapes, wouldn't you do it every chance you had too?
The workshop was interesting, however it didn't really get me moving, I suppose I should be grateful though because immediately following Dylan I moved across the hall for a heart opening flow. I should've had a half hour break here but Dylan pays little attention to time and we ended with just enough time to change spaces. The next flow was taught at a good pace and left me feeling refreshed, just in time for a short break and then off to meditate. Meditation is arguably not my strength in the world of yoga, but this hour flew by and was pretty cool. I really should work meditation into my daily practice, but don't we all have a big list of should's waiting for us?
The day rounded out with two more yoga classes, the first of which I could have done without. The teacher was from Oakland California and the quintessential definitely of a free spirt, she was here to teach us how to break out of our shell. Sorry, but my shell doesn't need any breaking. There wasn't so much yoga as there was prancing around the room, dancing, and rolling around on the floor. Fine, I'm glad I gave it a shot and didn't go running (as I may have really wanted to), but I don't plan to be repeating this style any time soon. Thankfully the final class of the day was just what I needed, one more steady flow to wrap up the day before sending me on my way.
My day at the Forever Now Festival was a good taste of the yoga festival world, but only that, a taste. I'm sure it would have been completely different had I bought the full pass, allowing for four days of exploration and fun, but time nor budget allowed for such. I suppose it also would have been more interesting had I attended with a friend, but again not exactly possible in Berlin. I'm happy with the classes I took, people I met and things I learned, but next time I either want to fully immerse or pass. I think to really get the feel for these things you need to commit and go all in, a weekend of yoga, friends and meditation, that's how it's meant to be done. Any suggestions for your favorite yoga festival?