Festival Essentials

Yogalife Edmonton Festival Bag

Summer for me generally means gallivanting and getting out there.

There are so many incredible offerings around the city and into our extended backyard to experience through the summer months. Also, as you venture further it really starts getting interesting! It can be draining to spend life out of a bag, but there's a few things I have come to call my festival essentials that make life a little more perfect out in the wild.

From Burning Man to Bass Coast, this is what's in my bag. 

*Note: Always have the sometimes-not-so-common-sense commonalities like WATER, ear plugs, sunscreen and a flashlight. Trust me. A buddy is usually a good idea too! 

Sage wellness oils

Stay Cool With This Mist

A spray bottle is a godsend on those 35+ days, and even more wonderful with essential oils added in. Pro tip? Leave it in your cooler until you're ready to spritz. Hello. 

I love Liquid Sunshine from Saje. Grapefruit, Bergamot, Lime.

This also makes a really nice (and easy/inexpensive) gift to bring along and share. Find small spritz bottles and create your own blends to gift people you meet along your adventures. I remember being given a little blue spritz bottle with water and lavender oil at Burning Man one year - it made me so happy! 


yogalife festival essentials

Sunnies Rock

Bring extra sunglasses! Chances are you are probably bringing a few pairs if you're travelling around, but these things seem to always be on an adventure of their own when you need them the most.

Heart-shaped rocks (like the one shown here) are not essential but will always find their way into my bag at some point. I once collected enough heart rocks at Shambhala Music Festival to bring to my entire yoga retreat the following week. Good vibes, man. 

Pure essential oil blend

Pura & Pages

In an ideal world I would bring Pura Botanicals everything along with me, but it's nice to have a little slice of home in the form of this petite sample oil blend. This particular one has peppermint - a beauty for the occasional aches and pains that come along with excessive music, dancing and gallivanting! 

Another essential is a little journal. You will meet so many new friends, encounter new teachers and workshops, hear tons of new music and just generally want to document some of the magic. If you're camping, it's a really fun thing to pass around or just leave out for people to contribute to. Future self will thank you. 

You may also find yourself drawn to hang by the river or up on a hillside somewhere and reflect on these new experiences.

Home Base Blanket

A good blanket to romp around with is key. Depending where you're festivalling, you might be posted up and taking it in for awhile! Having a home base for your crew to ditch their stuff and come back to for rests and reconnects is the way to do it. I love this cotton woven one from Halfmoon - it's pretty and does the job. 


Snap Snap

Polaroids have gone from fun to essential in my books. I usually have another camera handy, but this one is instant gratification and requires zero turnaround time! These little silly snap shots make such a lovely gift or keepsake for people you meet along the way as well. Just remember to not leave your film out in the hot sun! 

Proper Footwear (or something)

These are my go to "rave shoes" (situation depending!) that I've pranced around many festival grounds in. Yes, Burning Man too. If you're someone who loves to go barefoot but wants a little barrier of protection wrapped up in tenderness and charm, I highly recommend real dance slippers. These are not for the faint of feet though - you will hit rocks and mud and could even twist an ankle. I just love them and wear them out in the wild religiously. Proceed with care!  

As you gear up for the rest of the summer, pack wisely! What makes you most comfortable when you're out and about? How can you feel the most prepared to have the best time of your life? August brings us the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Shambhala Music Festival and Oregon Eclipse, to name a few. Safety and comfort are the biggest festival essentials - what's in your bag?

Wishing you the best time out there! 

Zen Garden

Intentional Gardening is Meditation 

“And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” ― Shanti

The practice of yoga reaches far beyond your mat; breath and attention create the sense of union that occurs through the practice. The feeling of caring for something is so incredibly healing and the sanctuary of a garden is a powerful place to connect. Whether you have a full yard to mess about in or an assorted array of apartment plants, getting your hands in the dirt and caring for your own slice of nature is a wonderful source of meditation. Even the tiniest shrub reminds us of the cycles of the seasons and the magic and power of our planet.   

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous."   ―  Aristotle


Here's 5 simple ways to ground into your gardening practice, cultivate relaxation and connect to the craft:

  • Get to know your plants. These living, breathing entities have so much to share. Get close.
  • Sing to them, talk to them. It feels good for all parties! 
  • Create your garden as an expression of yourself. Let this be a creative outlet to connect to your internal landscape.
  • Infuse intention into the food you grow for yourself. Bottom line, you are what you eat. 
  • Reflect your goals and desires into your work. Try assigning a mantra or intention to each piece of your garden and remind yourself each time you water. 

Featured Teacher: Sarah Zandbeek

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If you've been around Yogalife Studios for a bit you've probably had an interaction with Sarah Zandbeek. From her thoughtful, informative classes and workshops to the teacher trainings facilitated each year, she is a staple member of the Yogalife family.  Today we're catching up with this beautiful human; enjoy her words!

Check out Sarah's Facebook page. Although since having a baby, she has taken a break from teaching publicly, she continues to develop and refine the teacher training each year. 

I am a woman with a curious heart and a fierce, graceful edge. I am a seeker, turning over every stone, searching the world and my Self for the truest of true. I am a Lighthouse, holding up a strong pillar, unwavering, bringing light to the depths until the light shines from below. I am a student of life, a deep lover, and a healer. At the same time, I am none of this. I am a girl trying to figure out how to exist in this world, a wanderer having forgotten my way, a student unwilling to see the teacher in front of me, and someone seeking to be healed; yet, I am always a lover and observer of life.

Every thing in its context, every thing with a lesson to be learned, everything in its place.

— Sarah

Trainings Taken:

200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training with Open Door Yoga in Vancouver 100 Hour Teacher Training with Ryan Leier, Troy Hadeed, and Dustin Fruson 200 hour Advanced Teacher Training in Bali with the brilliant and devoted Tara Judelle and the wildly, unfathomable Scott Lyons Time spent with Stephen Thomas in quiet seat studying breath and mantra University degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture at Macewan University

Share a favourite poem that inspires you:

Self Portrait

It doesn't interest me if there is one God or many gods. I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned. If you know despair or can see it in others. I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you. If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand. I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living falling toward the center of your longing. I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat. I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.

-- David Whyte



What's your favourite music to practice to (or do you prefer silence?):

Anything that takes me on a journey into the deep caverns of this body.

Your favourite books, yogi-inspired and fiction: Radiant Sutras by Lorin Roche Five Spirits by Loris Dechar The Gift - Poems of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky The Anatomy of the Spirit by Carolynn Myss ....I could go on for ever, I am a bit of a geek.

Where's your favourite vacation spot? I use to dream of being a traveller and when I became one, I used to dread coming home. Now, my favourite vacation spot is in my heart. Sounds cliche, but it is true. I like being home, I like being away...everything has its purpose and I mostly enjoy my life and the work I get to do.

What is your favourite meal to make and share with friends? Wine, cheese, crackers, olives, bread and butter and on the other hand, I love me a green smoothie. Kale is King.

What's the coolest experience you've ever had with a student? Any time a student discovers something new for the first time is pretty cool for me. Watching the growth, the mind-boggles, the ripples of awareness seeping in. It's all so cool.

What's your favourite pose/sequence/area of the body to work on? I don't know that I really think about the poses all too much, I am mostly "favouriting" the insides! Get inside, what is happening in there...something juicy surely, something a little ragged, some cob webs, a few intricate disguises, so many things.

Who inspires you? Humans inspire me. It blows my mind often how we are all having a totally different experience and view of the exact same thing. It is all so curious to me.

I am inspired mostly by those seeking their truth through the depths of hell and choosing to keep going. The ones getting pummelled by Life's sweet lessons, but their heart continues to beg the question, "but who am I really." Taking only truth and laying everything else to dissolve. The ones that are curious about something more than what they already "know." The ones willing to give it all up for Love. Those are the ones who inspire me. The ones with fight in their heart and soul that denies nothing.


What is your favourite festival to attend?

Burning Man....yes, Burning man. Woa.






Photo: Trey Ratcliff


If you could study with one person who would it be and why? Lorie Dechar, I read her words and hear the refinement and depth of her wisdom.

What is the best concert you've ever been to? Ooo, hard one. Probably Radio Head, outside in Vancouver, pouring rain...total Bliss!

Where's the next place you want to travel? Switzerland :)

Share your favourite self-healing practice. Quiet Solitude steeped with rich conversation with those who have learned to listen

Share one of your life goals. To write a book.

May we share in this practice together.