On April 1st earlier this year I was on high alert for April Fools day pranks, my family (especially my Mum) are big April Foolers and take pride every year in fooling friends & family and providing a bit of harmless fun. This year April 1st fell on a Saturday, I had run my usual class at the Pavilion at Graylingwell and spoke with my class about my curiosity of what the morning would bring and how fooled I might be! When I received a phone call around 11:45, just before the April Fool’s midday cut off with a gentleman asking if I would be interested in running yoga classes at a summer festival I wasn’t sure how seriously I should take it.
My husband was within earshot and was laughing as he could hear how the conversation was going. He was mouthing ‘it’s your brother, April Fool ha ha’, however there was something about the way the conversation developed which kept me engaged and made me think this might not be an April Fool and might actually be legitimate and ….how exciting.
I went along with it and asked if I could be sent more details, handing over my email address and wondering if I would ever hear anything further. I had a smile either way – if it was an April Fools it was quite a good one, and if it was a serious summer festival yoga enquiry even better. I hung up the phone call and went about the rest of my day.
A friend came to visit in the afternoon and as we were enjoying a glass of wine I received an email from Stansted Park entitled ‘Summer Festival’. It summarised our conversation and stated exactly what they were looking for with regards festival yoga. I responded suggesting I pop over for a site visit to learn more and the booking progressed from there.
A few months later on a warm but windy Sunday in July I was delighted to be running a number of 45 minute classes at the Stansted Park summer festival and loved it! I had invited along another yoga teacher Louise (who I met last year on a yoga training weekend) to help on the day and we were positioned in the walled garden near the tea rooms, slightly away from the main activities however such a beautiful setting for outdoor yoga. I led each class and Louise provided amazing assists, which were very welcome as many of the people who attended were either new to yoga or put themselves in the very rusty category. Participants were a mix of families, couples, mother & daughter and some individuals coming along for some time just for them.
When we practise together as a group there is a wonderful energy which helps us feel more connected. Whatever reason you chose to practise yoga at a festival you will no doubt leave feeling more present and grounded.
The sessions were really appreciated and those who came along left some amazing feedback saying how relaxed, grounded and connected they felt afterwards, how healing it was and how it was a lovely activity to do with their family or friends.
One 5* review read ‘Ali’s yoga class at Stansted Park was a lovely experience. Her instruction is practical, supportive and mindful. Bringing together the physical and mental aspects of yoga practice in a way that makes it approachable for a newbie like myself. Me and my partner left feeling grounded and grateful for a wonderful experience‘
The reason I love to practice outside is to fully connect with nature, feeling the temperature of the air on your skin, hear the bird song in the trees and see the ever changing sky. The setting at Stansted Park provided us with all this and more – beautiful established trees, flowers, bird song and the general hum of families having fun together.
I have already pencilled the dates in my diary for next year and this time won’t be questioning if it is an April Fool’s Day joke or not !! The Stansted Park summer festival is due to take place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July 2024.
Ali runs regular classes in Chichester throughout the year which can be booked here