We’re on the last legs of the year, and many of us are turning our attention to 2020. What are your goals for next year, what do you want to accomplish in 365 days? The clean-raving generation is here to stay, and wellness festivals around the world are taking off. What was once the centrepiece of hedonism is now being swapped out for mindfulness, yoga, and wellbeing. And, of course, being one with our surroundings.
Here are some of the best wellness festivals to travel for in 2020. There’s meditation, HIIT, healthy food, restorative gongs, music, and yes, there’s alcohol too, because what’s life but a balancing act?
Image credit: Envision Festival
Where: Uvita, Costa Rica
When: Monday, 17 February - Monday, 24 February
What: Come feel the music and stretch your mind and body where the ocean meets the jungle! Envision seeks to inspire love through music, dance, yoga, art, healthy living, and most importantly, sustainability. One of the more unique features of this festival is that a portion of the proceeds is donated to Costas Verdes Beach & Forest Restoration. Beyond wellness workshops, there will also be a focus on educating festival-goers on the Costa Rican jungle. Class highlights will touch on forest ecology, herbalism, restorative justice, assertive communication, as well as surf lessons, waterfall adventures, rappelling, and tantric yoga.
Image credit: The MindBodySpirit Festival
Where: Brisbane, Australia
When: Friday, 28 February - Sunday, 1 March
What: The MindBodySpirit Festival is Australia’s largest health, wellbeing, and natural therapies event. It is free to attend and takes place in various cities all over the country throughout the year. They’re kickstarting 2020 in Brisbane. All seminars and workshops are free to attend, and all are encouraged to come learn, grow, and discover themselves. Highlights include free guided meditation sessions hosted by Brahma Kumaris at the Mindful Meditation Centre where you can relax, unwind, and learn simple methods to gain more confidence, joy, open-heartedness, and love. There is the Soul Kitchen where you can tantalise your tastebuds and awaken your senses with RAW-some treat, plant-based diets, superfoods, and other healthy inspirations, the seminar series that feature International and Australian guest speakers on health, nutrition, personal growth, magic, spiritual guidance, and even a Psychic Readings Room where you can delve deep into what your future has in store for you. The main stage will also feature dance and music performances, yoga, and much more for all-day free entertainment.
Image credit: Bali Spirit Festival
Where: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
When: Sunday, 29 March - Sunday, 5 April
What: One of the world’s most inspiring yoga festivals to celebrate the global community, world music, and well-being. With a focus on restoring the balance within ourselves, our families, the community, and the world at large, through movement, dance, music, and spiritual rejuvenation. This festival encourages you to set your digital distractions aside and make new friends and new soul connections. There will be yoga and meditation, martial arts, dance, healing and pranayama, satsangs and dharmatalks, musical performances, and everything you need to heal your weary soul right on one of the most spiritual places on earth - beautiful Bali.
Image credit: TMRW.TDAY
Where: Negril, Jamaica
When: Tuesday, 28 April - Sunday, 3 May
What: With a focus to “Adventure Inward”, connect with yourself, your tribe, and to evolve as one, this amazing part-wellness, part-music eco festival is an all-in experience into what it means to live life joyfully, playfully, and just plain fully. Here you are encouraged to make soulful connections and push for a more meaningful life. This week-long event features intention fire ceremonies, yoga classes, conscious sound healing and ecstatic dance, meditations, transformational workshops, inspirational speakers, farm to table cooking shows, natural healing practitioners, plant medicine, and of course, cannabis culture and ganja farm tours that seek to inspire you, elevate you, and also challenge you to do better and be better. Let the real you out!
Image credit: Shawnn Tan on Unsplash
Where: The Great Ocean Road, Australia
When: Saturday, 16 May - Sunday 17, May
What: “Australia’s Most Stunning Running Event” is back for its annual marathon along the wild and windswept Southern Ocean. There will also be a weekend of fun free activities in the towns of Lorne and Apollo Bay. There will be free yoga classes, live music, mini-golf, a petting farm, and even a kite festival where a kaleidoscope of kites in all shapes and sizes will take to the skies. Festival Wristband holders also gain free access to the Lorne Sea Baths during the weekend that comes with trampolines and hydro baths for those post-run soaks.
Image credit: Audrey Jackson on Unsplash
Where: Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
When: Friday, 10 July - Sunday, 12 July
What: Not exactly what you would think about when it comes to “wellness festivals” per se (marketing terms amiright!) but being one with nature and music is just the thing many of us city folk need to clear the busy-brain. Named one of the 25-best music festivals in the world by Songlines for 6 years running, this unique event brings musicians from all over the world and indigenous musicians from the interiors of Borneo together. Besides the wide array of performances, music workshops, cultural displays and even arts-and-crafts, there will also be yoga sessions, animal flows, belly dancing, silat which is a form of Nusantara martial arts, tai chi, muay thai, pilates, and all sorts of dance workshops from street to line, to folk dancing and hip hop. There is no doubt that the main priority if emotional freedom and releasing oneself from concrete confines.
Image credit: Soul Circus Yoga & Wellness Festival
Where: Elmore, The Cotswolds, UK
When: Friday, 21 - 23 August
What: A wellness festival where you can run away to the circus! One of the UK’s most exciting wellness festivals that encourage you to “put yourself back together” and recalibrate. Come stretch out in yoga tipis and the lush Gloucestershire countryside by day, and dance under the stars by night. Start your morning with meditation and vinyasa flow, soak in the sound healing with Planetary Gongs, dance, fly with aerial yoga, and compliment your yoga practice with spa therapies that nurture the mind, body, and soul, then end your night with a constellation of beats, bass, soul healers, and truth speakers. There will also be burlesque and transformational workshops, live bands and DJ sets. Balance yourself.