I make a point to attend at least one yoga festival or conference per year. I’ve been outdoors in the mountains and the desert and inside lots of hotel ballrooms. Over the past five+ years of attending, I’ve cultivated a list of what I would consider "essentials" to bring along in order to get the most out of the experience and to avoid spending a bunch of extra money at the event. Your festival packing list will likely be a little longer than if you were just going to a yoga class, but buying in advance can help cut costs.
I’ve picked out some of my favorite yoga festival essentials that won't leave you feeling guilty about how much you’re spending.
I'm often frustrated by overpriced yoga products, so all of these options can be found for around $20 (or less!). If you struggle with spending too much on gear, then keep reading; I’ve picked out some of my favorite yoga festival essentials that won't leave you feeling guilty about how much you’re spending.
If you generally find that a comfortable and supportive bra allows you to flow freely on the mat, consider this a must-pack item! I’ve practiced in enough uncomfortable bras (bras that were scratchy or pulled on my neck) to know that the right support can make all the difference when it comes to having an enjoyable class experience.
Here are two of my personal favorites (the first gives you the option of layering casually, and the second you can wear alone during a sweaty practice):
1. This Strappy Back Bra, from Free People ($20) is not really a sports bra, but it's SUPER-comfortable and perfect for less-athletic endeavors like a gentle restorative practice, perusing the marketplace, or chanting along during concerts. I own this one and love how comfy it is as well as how interesting it looks from the back.
2. This bra ($14.90 at Forever 21) offers a little more support and is still super-cute to wear both in and out of the yoga class.
If class is outside, you’ll probably want a pair of shorts for when the weather is warm and sunny. These RBX shorts from Target ($16.99) are a nice option because they are a little longer than average, so you won’t constantly be pulling them down during your practice! There’s a hidden pocket and flat-lock seams to ensure comfort. They come in a few different colors, the "military green" being my favorite.
I like to have a pair of capris with me during outdoor festivals just in case the weather is rainy or just cooler than expected. If you're sleeping outside, they're also a good option for keeping a bit warmer at night. And during indoor events when the AC is on full blast, having something more substantial than shorts can help to keep the goosebumps at bay. While the typical yoga brands certainly offer a wide selection of capris, for a more affordable option you can scope out the active-wear section of your favorite mall, department, or online store for a practice-worthy pair. I really like these Heathered Mesh-Paneled Capri Leggings from Forever 21 ($17.90), for example.
Keep your mat in this handmade bag by iLoveHeyJute ($8.06) made from jute, natural plant fiber, hessian, burlap, organic cotton. The pouch is useful to store a few other small items that you might need during class, and might even allow you to get away with not carrying any other bags to class!
It would be ideal NOT to spend the weekend scratching at bug bites, right? (Plus, the threat of Lyme disease kind of freaks me out, and we should all try our best to prevent it!) This all-natural bug repellent from Sweetly Citron (16.95) is a great choice to keep the bugs away. (If you don't believe me, check out all of the great reviews on Amazon!)
Flip-flops are easy slip on and off when you're coming and going from your classes; plus, if you get a unique pattern they’ll be easy to spot in the inevitable crowd of shoes waiting by the door. (Believe me, you don’t want to end up frantically trying to figure out which of the many pairs of black flip-flops are yours!)
I like this pair from Natural Life ($11), firstly because I love the company itself, secondly because they're sturdy and comfortable, and the striking pattern makes them easy to pick out in a shoe crowd.
A good headband will keep the flyaways out of your face so that you can focus on the yoga, not your hair! This one by Lucy ($10) has two straps for a nice style that does double the work. It comes in a few different patterns and colors.
Don’t forget to drink lots of water during the festival! A nice water bottle makes it that much easier to stay hydrated. I really like the
Vapur Element Bottle (price varies depending on size) because it's lightweight, especially when empty, and rolls up for easy storage when not being used!
Why is this an essential? Because you’ll smile every time you look at your fingers or toes! I highly recommend this awesome non-toxic nail polish from Scotch Naturals ($15). I’m a girly-girl and love painting my nails so I’m happy to find this option that’s safe for my body too!
These are just a few of the things you’ll want to pack for your yoga festival. I’d love to hear in the comments what essentials you pack!