Was I really the sort of person to be going to a Yoga Festival? The sort of person my husband clumped together under the label ’yoga freaks and vegans’? I’m not exactly built in the image of one of his ‘yoga freaks’! Even kind people could never describe me as tall, slim, supple, young and dedicated. No, I’m afraid it’s short, chubby and not exactly old, but approaching my 80th birthday with only a few months to spare. Would they say to me: “What’s a dear old lady like you doing in a place like this..?”
I need not have worried. There were heaps of ‘mature’ ladies at the Yoga Festival – arranged for the first time in Bundaberg by my courageous teacher Tamar Boas. Some had even brought their spouses. (Mine was in Bali with his freaks and vegans – and massage ladies.)
Not being quite sure where the event was to be held I drove to the general area, then couldn’t miss the venue. Tents, flags and activity – and fortunately plenty of parking space – guided me to a covered area attached to basketball courts. I asked some ladies for the Registration desk and got the cheery reply: ‘Just walk straight ahead’. Smiling faces above orange shirts offer me a free raffle ticket for a table of goodies, free mandarins (because they happened to be the colour of the festival) and a helper knotted a yellow and orange crocheted band round my wrist. That was free pass to seven yoga sessions each with a different teacher.
It seemed like a good deal when I checked on line. $60 for 7 yoga sessions. After all, that was less than $10 a session – and of course I would attend them all. But what to wear? I didn’t want to walk around all day in black tights, my yoga ‘uniform’. I prefer to draw attention away from non-yoga-like bulges. So I compromised on trousers over the tights – which happened to be orange and were welcome on a cold morning.
By the time I had fed myself and walked the dog, I missed the first session. That was probably a good thing. I had a chance to nose through clothes on a couple of stalls, check out the food and sit down for a chat with a remarkable lady who painted mandalas suited to each person she spoke to. I could only afford 15 minutes before my first yoga session began – but in that time she managed to discover how brilliant I was (deep down of course!) but more important to me, suggest a way to promote what I do in the face of enormous competition. So she was practical as well as being able to peer deeply into my beautiful soul! Thank you, Kay. I appreciate that.
The next hour was spent lying on the floor which was meant to calm my stress (but I’m not into stress anyway), followed by a more sprightly session for Seniors. It was a relief to hear that some things simply can’t be changed and the teacher herself couldn’t make her knees touch the floor when she sat cross legged. Phew! Even yoga teachers can be normal!
I had promised my dog that I would return for lunch, so I indulged in a tasty chicken and cashew stir fry with rice to take home with me. That meant I missed another session but there were still three to choose from. I went to Yoga 4 Life. I hate to admit that I was actually tiring a bit. The middle hinge bit where the lie-down, sit-up things happen was creaking, definitely beginning to need oiling or at least rest. Rather than risk waking up stiff tomorrow, I decided that three hours of yoga was enough for me this year. Yee-ha! Free! That gave me an excuse to try a delicious ginger and macadamia Anzac with a drink of Chai and macadamia milk. Then I wandered outside to meet ladies who were offering an experience of sound vibrations to any brave enough. I wasn’t, but they were such good fun to chat to, I might have a go next time.
I had to leave before the raffle was drawn (the dog again – I promised her!) but was delighted to see the whole draw and presentation of prizes – each one accompanied by a hug from Tami – recorded in a video on Facebook. I want to congratulate Tamar for her initiative and the hard work of her family and team for presenting a delightful day of yoga and fun and offering experiences which I would otherwise have missed. Well worth the money.
Great stuff guys!
Diana, Festival participant June 2019.