10 Inspiring Photos Reveal What Yoga Events Are Really Like

Thinking about attending a yoga festival but feeling intimidated by the unknown? Get an inside look here. (Warning: Major inspiration ahead.) Plus, enter for a chance to win two passes to any YJ LIVE! event and $500.

If you’ve never attended a yoga conference or festival, you may envision a convention of advanced, bendy yogis contorting into calendar-worthy attempts at the twistiest poses as someone stands by snapping photos for Instagram and captioning them in Sanskrit. We couldn't be more pleased to report that, nope, that's really not the case. We're about to show you what actually does transpire when master teachers and hundreds of passionate yogis of all levels of experience converge.


Default settings switch from stressed over to divine. 1 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Dedicating a day or weekend to yourself sends your body and mind a message that it's safe to relinquish the mental to-do list and stress that goes along with it. Once you've removed the anxiety overhang, eventually it doesn't take much—maybe dimmed lights and a simple mudra—to experience profound inner peace. 

Celebrate! Your favorite teacher is here. 2 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

With so many of the country's master teachers taking their sequences on the road, yoga events present the opportunity to snag serious mat time with faculty you'd normally follow on a screen. While we love our teachers' daily Insta inspo and streaming videos, gleaning insight and energy from their teachings in person can be a transformative experience. (No fan-girl or fan-boy pose necessary.)

Check out Kathryn Budig's workshops at YJ LIVE! NY, including UnF*ckwithable, Aim True, Gumby 101: Backbend Foundations and Beyond, and All About That Bass.

 
Your NEW favorite teacher is just one class away. 3 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

The big secret from seasoned yoga conference-goers? To get the most out of an event, they pack their schedules with a blend of familiar and totally-new-to-them teachers and yoga styles to expand their practices, understandings, and techniques. With so many enticing workshops offered in every time slot, the odds of stumbling across a new top teacher or yoga style is in your favor.

 
Challenging poses are made accessible. 4 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Autopilot just isn't a thing at yoga festivals, where workshops often zero in on particular types of poses (like backbends or inversions) and compel you to break habits to make way for a brand-new approaches. The results? Discover lasting techniques to take you deeper (and more safely) into postures.

Yogis help fellow yogis. 5 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

It stokes your practice to get one-on-one instruction from yoga faculty, but events also often help practitioners realize one of their greatest resources: the nearest yogi. While partner work doesn't make a debut in every workshop, being willing to collaborate with another yogi will take your understandings of poses to new depths. Plus...

Access your Pillars of Power and embrace your Perfectly Imperfect self with Baron Baptiste's events at YJ LIVE! NY.

 
Partner work breeds delight and confidence. 6 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

That is, if you're open to the experience of trusting someone and yourself.

 
You will draw encouragement from fellow practitioners. 7 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Events welcome diverse yogis of all levels, so no matter where they are in their practice (even day two!), a comfortable "we're all in this together" vibe means everyone is doing it right and likely inspiring others if she or he feels good.

Meet pen-to-paper pose. 8 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

As far as we know, yoga events won’t surprise anyone with a post-savasana pop quiz. But because many events hold workshop-style intensives designed to take us deeper into the layers of our practice—and ourselves—often the urge to journal or jot down a technique, quote, or approach will strike and be encouraged. Plus, when it comes to working toward change, the pen-to-paper approach makes our intentions and truths tangible in a way that letting them languish in our minds doesn’t.

Explore the lineup of Full-Day Workshops at YJ LIVE! NY this Friday.

Kinetic energy boosts are inevitable. 9 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Share a sequence with dozens or even hundreds of yogis, and a powerful synchronicity takes hold of the room, driving practitioners to ground themselves more solidly, extend a little further, and settle into poses for a bit longer. 

Get behind-the-scenes acro demos. 10 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Between sessions, catch acro yogis playing with routines and witness firsthand how much communication (the part you don't see on Instagram) it takes to make these seemingly effortless formations.

Love What You See? 11 of 11 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Enter for a chance to win two free passes to Yoga Journal LIVE! and $500 cash. Be sure to check out the full YJ LIVE! schedule here.