Festival Yoga; Where’s Wallydo? A People-Game; festival & camp food

OMG….AumMG, or ALLMG—I can’t believe I just lost all that writing…just when you think you got the best thing you ever wrote down, just when I was beginning to think, this is cool…zap. It just suddenly dissappears. Now I have to try to recreate it…2 hours later.uugh. must try…

This is about festival yoga, not to be mistaken with a yoga festival. This is about how festivals can be yogic. I often have wonderful yogic experiences at festivals and even though it wasn’t the best Canada Day I have ever attended, tonight I was moved to share…

Thankfully, I am still fairly energized, despite it being 3 am. (and despite the lack of sleep last night too), I am energized by being with so many souls who were sharing a certain level of shared or common consciousness at the Canada Day festivities on the lawn of the legislature tonight.

Shared consciousness is an interesting thing to contemplate at festivals. I have noticed that the degree of shared or common-consciousness seems to reveal itself in the way the vast majority acts. For instance and in particular, how they respect or accept others and respect personal space and property. People walk carefully around your blankets and belongings, and no matter who they are, if you talk to them, they are friendly, open and accepting. Fortunately this characterizes most festivals, it is what makes a festival–a festival. That’s why festivals can feel magical and are prime ground for some profound yogic insights and experiences.

On Canada Day, I particularly love the way the thousands of weird, wacky and unusual, red and white outfits cut strong contrast against the perfectly deep green of the meticulously trimmed legislature lawn; it is chaos against control, it is practically surreal and lends a rare, superficial “oneness” to a rather large and disparate body of individuals. This spontaneous, voluntary and positive form, is something we don’t experience everyday.

When I look at this mass of humanity, I like to think of them as various cells of single living organism, on Canada Day there are a few random coloured ones, but the majority are red/white cells…(ironically like red & white blood cells)
As with any living organism, all these cells are ultimately made of the same stuff: food & water (earthstuff); and are driven by the same energy: life, love & breath (pranastuff). But when you look closer you can clearly see via outer manifestations, that each cell has its own individualize and unique configuration of consciousness or soulstuff. While each one clearly a unique soul, they are all momentarily and obviously being connected by a certain level of shared conscious awareness, in this case awareness of Canadianhood and festivalhood.

Oftentimes when I attend a festival, I try to practice ultimate non-judgement, trying to see all the experiences and people around me as neutral, its hard not to judge people when they are wearing and doing “crazy” things (that’s judgement right there!) It is interesting how much of people’s egos and concomitant limitations become revealed to you, when you are not judging but just observing with heightened awareness and deep compassion–you can almost sense the issues they have faced and have shaped them. Once I see this clearly, I am moved to meditate, and to gather loving energy into my heart chakra and to send out blessings to the group en-masse. Usually I do this thru dancing and visualizing the loving energy being sent out thru my arms and hands

Furthermore, I like to imagine what it would take for everyone to find and operate from an even deeper level of common consciousness. What would that be like once it happened? What if everyone suddenly saw themselves as cells of the same living organism?

Sometimes I see that feeling arise in people. It happens more near the front of the stage where people are dancing altogether. When I dance with others who really dance (and I don’t mean “look good”, I mean “giv’er good”) I get a strong sense of our individual consciousnesses aligning. This often happens at festivals; by simply letting the rhythm and message of the song penetrate our soul we feel a closer resonance with each other within the field of consciousness; it brings us into a blissful and welcomed entrainment with each other. Tonight I found myself entrained to the amazing African dancers on the stage and boy did we dance–and when they spoke in french I felt french too! Energetically echoing their shout-out, “Oui! Merci Beaucoup Victoria!!”–and when I walked away and forgot my purse among the dancers; I was not panicked, sensing somehow that it would still be safe–and it was.

The other bands did not have me dancing so much–save for Trees & Towers–whose song “I have been released” is definitely going on my yoga dance playlist. So tonight I made up a game, a people-game. Actually I might not have been the first to make-up this game–I am making no claim, but I would like to suggest some rules for a game which is not only super fun but could enhance the shared consciousness experience at any festival.

First I want to say “Hat’s Off” to the creators of what we call “Where’s Waldo” and in Australia they call “Where’s Wally”; and since my first test-players were Australians I’ll call this game “Where’s Wallydo”–its very easy to play, for any age, and needs no equipment.

One friend bows their head to count to 60 (or more) at the tens they should put a finger up–telling their buddies how far along they are…meanwhile their buddies scatter among the crowd and find new seats where they can clearly see the counter/finder-(on occasion, they may have to move to stay visible)-in other words, hide in plain sight.

They will likely find, that they need to ask permission to sit next to some strangers, or at least have to explain their presence to a fellow festivaller–sharing & promoting this friendly game even more. It is a good opportunity to have a nice little chat with an erstwhile stranger, while keeping your eye on the c/finder. When the c/finder sees you they raise their hand at you, and you rejoin them and also begin the silent search for those not yet found, each person gaining points for those they find first, or gaining a point for not being found.

If you are not found, you should raise your two hands until someone sees you, proving that you were in plain sight.

Ultimately the best hiders will likely be those who can integrate themselves the best with the strangers in the crowd, in other words; the more friendly you can become, the more camouflage you will gain.

It is important for conscious people to connect as much as possible with other people, ALL people, to build and grow a bigger web of consciousness. In time, this will be the only way to shift humanity into a new paradigm of living in consciousness; we know webs are stronger than they look.

A good Festival is one where people feel strong communitas. Communitas is a Latin noun commonly referring either to an unstructured community in which people are equal, or to the very spirit of community. It also has special significance as a loanword in cultural anthropology and the social sciences.
com·mu·ni·tas
[kuh-myoo-ni-tahs]
noun from Anthropology .
The sense of sharing and intimacy that develops among persons who experience liminality as a group

Liminalty, in terms of social structure and time, is an intermediate state of being “in between” in which individuals are striped from their usual identity and their constituting social differences while being on the verge of personal or social transformation.

A great Festival is positive and prime ground for liminalty and the bringing on of a strong sense of communitas. It can provide a good, living example of personal and social transformations. Great festivals can give us a benchmark of new rules and behaviour. Rules and behaviours we might want seek to emulate in wider and normal daily life.

Since our Hugelkulture garden is going-off like crazy, my Summer Festival & Camping Food, uses plenty of organic veggies: (sorry no pictures yet)

SIMPLE CURRY FRIED POTATO HASH
onion & garlic, made translucent by frying in
coconut oil, then add
curry paste & solid coconut cream
boiled potatoes, not stirred too much so that they brown, add
chopped chard
& basil

salt & pepper, to taste.

GOOD HOT OR COLD
with or without CHUTNEY

GRILLED PESTO VEGGIE PASTA SALAD

grill a variety of veg:
zucchini, onion, eggplant, mushroom, peppers–cool and chop, add to
cooked penne pasta, add
chopped chard
plenty of purslane (if you have it)
quartered canned or marinated artichoke hearts
black olives
minced basil
feta & parmesan (or similar)
almonds slivers or pumpkin seeds

dress with:
crushed garlic in salt, with olive oil & lemon juice
add salt & pepper to taste.

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Creamy Tomato Veg Soup, Rice Bowls & Drizzles

1layering the rice bowls

Creamy Tomato Veg Soup Recipe

(This is truly a “clean out the fridge” soup….mostly made with food you might otherwise dispose of, and in truth I don’t know what it would taste like with brocolli or cauliflower florets instead of stems….I have made it 3 times and its so very tasty that it has already become a favorite)

rough chopped 5-6 cloves of garlic and 1/2 large sweet onion, simmer in butter or olive oil until tender
add 2 (non-msg) veg broth cube, salt & pepper
add peeled and chopped broccoli stalks (3-5, or couple of handfuls of broccoli slaw)
chopped cauliflower stems (handful)
big handful of shredded cabbage, about 1/4 head (when I made it without cabbage it didn’t taste as nice)
some celery if you have it
some carrot if you have it
some potato if you have it
simmer till softened

When softened slightly, add strained tomatoes (1 or 2 large tins, or glass jars–I like Italian Bella Tavola)
top with equal amount of water
simmer, till all is tender and blend with immersion blender till relatively smooth
add milk or cream (or not)
add small chopped tomatoes if you have some needing to be consumed
add good handful of chopped fresh or frozen basil
adjust salt
top with Parmesan or feta & cracked black pepper when serving

Avocado Rice Bowl

I like to make a few variation of Avocado Rice Bowl, but I always start with Brown Basmati rice. I love that it has all the extra goodness of brown rice with the delicious pop-corny taste of Basmati, the brand I buy is “India’s Own”, its gmo free and the large 10lb bag costs a very reasonable $12.

Cook your brown basmati 1:2 with water in the rice cooker. meanwhile…For the Rice bowl in the photo:

prepare chopped vegetables (baby carrots, brocolli, cauliflower, pepper strips, snow or sweet peas, chopped kale)
prepare cubed avocado
have pumpkin, sunflower & sesame seeds handy
have drizzle made up (see recipes for ginger-soy & creamy balsamic dressing below)

in a deep steamer basket place in peeled baby carrots (let steam for 3 minutes)
add layer of broccoli Or cauliflower (let steam for further 3 minutes)
add other vegetables if you wish (pepper strips, snow peas, sweet peas etc) (steam for 3 more minutes)
add thick layer of chopped Kale (put on the lid, let simmer for 1-2 minutes)

layer the veg in reverse onto the rice, begining with kale etc.
top with avocado cubes, and seeds
drizzle with dressing I recommend: Ginger-Onion Soy, or Balsamic Cream (recipes to follow–below)

Summer “Fresh” Alternative:
Top hot rice with any fresh mixed baby greens, fresh shredded carrot, lightly steamed broccoli
top with avocado & pumpkin/sunflower/sesame seeds & drizzle

Pesto Roast Veg Rice Bowl;

Cook brown basmati rice 1:2 with water in the rice cooker. meanwhile…

Grill on BBQ an assortment of vegetables tossed in olive oil & seasoned with salt & pepper
(zucchini & eggplant slabs, sweet spanish onion, mushrooms, red pepper, etc)

Cubed or crumble feta or chevre goat cheese
Get almond slivers handy

Make pesto drizzle:
crush 2-3 cloves of garlic with salt
Add 2:1 olive oil & lemon juice,
add small handful of fresh or frozen minced basil
(you can add whole basil and blend with immersion blender)
add a tbsp of mayonnaise for extra creamy texture

Top hot brown rice with a variety of roast veg, handful of almonds slivers (for protein, so don’t be shy) and goat cheese, drizzle with pesto and cracked black pepper.

Japanese Ginger-Onion Soy Dressing

1:1 hunks of ginger & sweet onion roughly chopped should make at least 1/2 cup of veg,
1 part rice vinegar (not “sushi vinegar”–it contains sugar etc. and won’t taste right–wine vinegar is a good substitute, or balsamic in a pinch)
2 parts Good quality Soya Sauce or Tamari
2 parts flavorless oil (eg: grapeseed )
blend with hand blender/food processor until a nice thick sauce is created, taste & adjust to get balance between vinegar & salty-soy flavor
add some black and white sesame seeds for interest
alternatives: nice with added dash of sesame oil &/or honey

Balsami Cream Dressing
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/3 cup soya sauce/tamari
2 tbsp Engevita nutritional yeast
blend with immersion blender
taste and adjust to your liking.