Envision Festival: Best Solo Festival For Yogis And Hippies Alike!
By Autumn Feldmeier
I have to be honest, I was nervous about Envision Festival.
Not because of Zika, not because of the high hotel room costs, but this was the very first time I've gone to a festival solo EVER. Usually I roll with a crew, or at least one other person. This time I was on my own and Envision Festival could not have been more perfect for my virgin solo experience.
Envision is a conscious festival that is held in the ‘Southern Zone’ of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica where the lush jungle meets the ocean. The culture of Costa Rica reflects their Pura Vida way of living and Envision lives by 8 Pillars that help reflect this life style. While I was there, I got to experience all 8 Pillars and here is my impression:
Co-founder and village mayor Stephen Brooke is an avid permaculturist, plant collector and ethnobotanist. Stephen and his wife are co-founders of Punta Mona, a Costa Rican based center for regenerative design and botanical studies. I listened to his inspirational talk on community on a panel at the festival. Stephen and I got to connect after the event so I could learn more about his role at Envision Festival.
- Where did you find your love for Costa Rica?
I've been here for 22 years and have been showing people a different way to think about everything from food, to people and how they work together. What's amazing is the amount of people who have become part of our community here in Costa Rica. My goal is to change the world through the way we live and what we eat.
- What was your impression of how Envision went this year?
We get better at Envision each year. For me, this year, I thought the herbal first aid clinic was a great accomplishment. It almost felt like a glimpse into the future of medicine.
- Where can we find you next?
We are teaching an on-site permaculture course for the Oregon Eclipse Festival.
Beyond just yoga classes, which were amazing (especially the Yonicize class with Nicole Gayatri) there were also spiritual Mayan workshops and Cacao ceremonies. Everything at Envision felt infused with Spirit.
The morning movement classes were key, especially after sleeping in a tent! Beyond the yoga there were classes like tribal belly dance with the amazing Olivia Mancino who blended clear lessons in technique with individual self-expression.
The art at Envision was everywhere! I had an amazing experience at the evening art gallery checking out the works of my name-sister Autumn Skye Morrison. The participants were also involved in the creating of art. Each day, a blank canvas was available for the creation of daily murals.
To be honest, I think most people came to Envision for the music. Random Rab, Opiuo, Autograf, whose staging was killer, and Rising Appalachia who had the vibrant dancer Aurora Amina jamming out onstage during their set. For me, it was the daytime sets that got me, and my hula hoop, going.
The Pura Vida lifestyle was infused in each part of the festival and I was glad to see the inclusion of local Costa Rican art, performance and food. I was also glad to see locals vending their items on the beach right outside of the festival.
I was able to speak with John Perkins, a chief economist, activist and the author of The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman. We talked about what we can learn from indigenous cultures. John said, "The further we wander from a connection to nature, the more our culture faces chaos and it can affect our own happiness. Increased amounts of money does not counterbalance the lack of social activity."
John also addressed how we can become Conscious Citizens. He said, "If you're angry at Monsanto, Nike or Exxon, start a campaign! Communicate with the companies you buy from and spread the message through social media." When I asked him how I could be a more conscious traveler? He said, "There is a price to pay when you travel. When I decide to take a trip, I make sure the cost to the earth is paid back by spreading the word. We should all commit to doing everything possible with our skills to transition from a 'death economy' to a 'life economy.'"
In John's daytime talk on Shamanism, John talked about his experiences in Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala with Mayan Shamans. He also tied this into current times saying, "In order to change things, you need to alter your perception. We can no longer support a death economy where the only goal is to maximize profits. We are all on this planet that we are destroying. We need to understand that we are all one."
From everything I could see, this festival is dedicated to minimum impact. From the use of local, renewable materials to the care used in the food preparation and distribution. These guys walk the talk!
For this solo festival traveler, Envision took me into a lush place surrounded by sweet and open people, many of whom I've stayed in contact with. It felt like a conscious spring break that left me feeling refreshed and light. And I left with a few new tribal belly dance and hula hoop moves!
Next year, look for me hooping in the gorgeous sunset!