Wow – what an amazing experience Colourfest 2017 was! It was located at Gaunts House in Wimbourne, Dorset. I had a life changing 4 days and can’t wait to go again.
For a while now I have been wanting to do yoga and start meditating and finding a calmer and more peaceful way of living. I have too many stressful events in my life and need to be able to handle them peacefully rather than turning to food. I did a bit of yoga many years ago and remembered it helped me so I have been meaning to do it again for quite some time. However, despite my good intentions, I haven’t managed to do any until this weekend but I have now tried various types of yoga plus other experiences and I loved it all.
This is Gaunts House and the central meeting area.Some of the meditation sessions and workshops took place in here.This central meeting area was a lovely place to sit. It was surrounded by little shops and most of the eating places so we spent quite a bit of time hanging out and relaxing here.Hello girls. I was at Colourfest with Clare, Leslie and Diane and they helped make it really special. They have all done lots of yoga and were very helpful, supportive and encouraging.I enjoyed lying under these shapes.At night time they were lit up which gave the area another vibe completely.We camped! I never like the idea of camping much but I do like it once I get there. We were able to park really close to our campsite and if I had known that I would have brought a lot more things with me. I will know for next time.
We had 2 tents for the 4 of us and plenty of space around us. Plus a windbreak and a parasol and chairs so we were well set.We camped under the large cedar tree in the middle of the picture.This beautiful wooded area was near our tent. The trees were so tall and close together and it was really beautiful to walk in. It was also the location of a dance music venue which was at times annoying (because it was loud and open until quite late) but we did enjoy a few dance moments in there. It was lit up with little lanterns at night time and stained glass images were cleverly thrown up on the tree trunks, making it look like a cathedral.The grounds were set up in a way to create lots of little rooms and spaces. Wandering around you regularly came across groups of people interacting together. It was delightful.There was much to admire and enjoy.There were lots of treatments on offer, plus a swimming pool and a sauna but I didn’t get round to using any of those facilities.Some of the tents had cushions available and this one, the Acoustic Stage, had some sofas which I confess I did enjoy sitting on for a few moments one wet afternoon.Colourfest was very pretty in the darkThis area often had an open fire and also a chai and cake stand.So what yoga did I try? None on Thursday (the day we arrived) but I did hear my first ever Kirtan (a devotional song that is chanted) and I absolutely loved it. We heard Elahn and Radhe in the Sacred Sound. I was really moved by it and was keen to hear more.
We always had to take our shoes off before entering any of the tents/spaces and we usually had to sit on the floor which I found difficult but I will practise as it’s good for you (but I am enjoying my armchair tonight).My first yoga session was on Friday when I went to a restorative yoga workshop led by Elise Yuill Cohen in the Yoga Shala. I had been told it would be a good introduction; I enjoyed it very much.
I also went to a very interesting workshop in the Ballroom of Gaunts House which was a lovely space to be in. It was called ‘Soft Power, Full Desire, Women’s Sacred Space’. The women only session was run by Katinka Soetens and I have never been to anything like it before and I took a lot away from that session.
What I really wanted to do though was to participate in some more Kirtan so we headed back to Sacred Sound. I enjoyed the Kirtan led by Sivani Mata.It was lovely and I enjoyed it but it did not have the same power as the Kirtan led by Elahn and Radhe.Luckily for me they were leading Kirtan again in the evening. It was fabulous. Really fabulous. So powerful, when you sit and chant and listen to the beautiful music with so many people. The pipe, harmonium, guitar, drums and percussion combined with the chanting to make a really beautiful sound. I need more Kirtan in my life and would say this session was my favourite moment of the weekend.I didn’t make a meditation session but I did go to a 2 hour Hatha yoga session run by Swami Asokananda who had flown over from New York for Colourfest. He said something that resonated with me a lot. Some of the yoga he was leading was very advanced but he always gave warning when showing something that many people would have been challenged with. I was challenged with a lot of it! But he said we should be happy with what we can do and not to be disappointed about what we can’t do. Thank you for that Swami Asokananda.
We then went to a workshop run by JewelsWingfield called Deep Soul Awakening. That was surprising and uncomfortable and a bit strange for me and not a session I would repeat but I was glad I experienced it.
On Saturday afternoon we had one of my favourite sessions of the weekend; Elahn and Radhe Kirtan Bhakti flow yoga with Nicole. We had the pleasure of the Kirtan but as background music rather than participatory chanting and Nicole ran a fast but story based yoga which was exciting and beautiful and poetic with images of animals and elements. There was quite a lot of yoga I had to sit out of but I enjoyed the music and watching the experienced yoga being practised by everyone else which was lovely to see.
It was an extraordinary afternoon and I saw one man moved to tears (literally) by the beauty of the music. It was amazing to experience.We had a very musical evening too. Back to Sacred Sound for an evening of story, world music and chants with the Anjali Ensemble. I have never seen such a wide array of instruments and I enjoyed listening to them very much. It was very clever how they were used to tell the story. Afterwards we heard The Turbans in The Unstructure and finally some of the dance music in the Woodland Cathedral.There was more yoga and meditation today but I was very tired, aching all over and ready to head home so i didn’t participate in any today.
We had a vegan breakfast from the Vegan Pyramid in the central space before packing up and leaving. It doesn’t look great but tasted very nice; vegan sausage, beans, baked tomatoes, bread and really yummy roasted potatoes.Colourfast 2017 was a huge experience for me and one I enjoyed very much. I am very grateful to Leslie, Clare and Diane for showing me the way and sharing Colourfest 2017 with me. It really was lifechanging in a very positive way.