G L A S T O N B U R Y
IS THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH.
I should just leave it there…but where’s the fun in that, right?
More I hear you cry, tell me about the mud, the portaloo’s, not showering for five days and how you really get glitter out of places glitter should never go! And yes yes, they’re all great stories that I will certinaly come back to at inappropriate times when struggling to make conversation (lucky dinner party guests!) but Glastonbury is about so much more than that.
I’m not sure whether this is the done thing amongst the blogging community but someone sent me this article (read at your leisure) and it just emphasised how fantastically amazing this place is (after reducing me to a sobbing wreck for 20 minutes).
It’s the festival that I keep going back to, year after year, for five years now. The weather is hit and miss (mud bath anyone), the food is good but there’s only so many falafel wraps one girl can eat, the music is great, world-class in fact! But what really makes this festival “the best in the world” (Dave Grohl, Glastonbury 2017) is the people. The wonderful people that Laura talks about above. The variety of people from all walks of life who are there to share, teach and learn from every single person. They are amazing! In no other situation have I come across such a brilliant, inclusive atmosphere. Perhaps I haven’t lived enough yet. But below is my favourite festival experience from this year, take what you will from it…
I was fortunate (read sober) enough to participate in a morning Tai Chi / Yoga session in the Healing Fields. Now some people may choose to stop reading here, thinking words such as “hippy” or “geek” in a negative sense. And if that’s you then fair enough. But, to those of you who want to read on, let me tell you about my first ever experience of Tai Chi cum Yoga! And yes yes, I know I’m about five years late to the party, but better late than never, right?
Our tale begins on a cold, misty morning, in a field in Somerset. We ventured forth to the mystical Healing Fields, my friends and I. Having heard so much the previous years we’d come to Glastonbury and being, quite frankly, surprised to not be hungover, we agreed to “try something new” to mark the occasion. There were around ten of us gathered for the 9am session with Brian, our instructor. A modest bunch and I’ll admit, I was glad I had reinforcements in the shape of three friends. I’m brave but I’m not mini skirt wearing in a hippy field alone brave. We made a circle on the grass, in our bare feet, which I’ll come back to. And so began the most awkward five minutes of my life. Particularly awkward when Brian instructed us to rub our stomachs and I watched where he was rubbing and thought, oooo, Brian, that’s about ten inches south of where I’d call my stomach but run away pal! Once that awkward moment had passed, nothing, just peace. Just me, Brian and this bunch of strangers moving in time. We listened to every word spoken, every instruction. Actually listened. Then we did as asked. That’s it. That’s all I thought about for the following fifty-five minutes. I was so enveloped into this fantastic world of connecting with the grass (through my bare feet) and bringing energy down from the sky and moving it through my body that I honestly thought of nothing else for an entire hour. How often do you do that in modern life? I certainly don’t and more fool me for not.
Towards the end of the session we did a move where we turned around on the spot and it was only then that I saw our group had doubled, no tripled in size. There was what can only be considered a crowd gathered, all moving as one, enjoying this weird but wonderful experience together. It was great. Actually great!
I left feeling not only proud of myself for trying something new but also really energised and ready to take on the day. And in the magical world that is Worthy Farm, I bumped into some fellow Yogi’s (can you tell I’ve just picked up a new hobby?) over the next few days and we said hi and exchanged knowing glances, because we’d been part of something amazing together. I can totally see why people who I previously thought were crazy for separating with their beds before they absolutely needed to every morning, drag themselves to morning yoga sessions before work. I get it. I’m converted!
Until my next late night when the oh so tempting “snooze” button on my alarm is too easy to find.
So, to the person who was standing immediately behind the girl in a VERY short mini skirt who hadn’t been to the beauticians (cough cough) for a while. I am sorry.
To our instructor, Brian, if the universe does indeed work in mysterious ways, I hope you get to see this post and know how much of a positive effect you had on not just myself, but all the strangers who I spoke to afterwards.
And to you, reader, be brave, take friends and go, go to Tai Chi or Yoga or whatever takes your fancy and try something new and daring. You might just become a hippy for an hour, just like me.
And finally to myself, future me who reads this back someday…go do something that scares you. You got this girl.
Footnote: This was meant to be published straight after Glastonbury but lets just say that due to technical difficulties, it’s going live a tad late.