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Sometimes, when we hear the words, ‘music festival' our minds quickly think of, ‘party,’ or ‘rave'. Shambhala is definitely a massive celebration in the forest, there’s no doubt about that. This year was especially exciting as it was the 20th Anniversary of Shambhala Music Festival. Just like every year, it took place at The Salmo River Ranch.  For two decades this gathering has been happening. This year, I was stoked to be a part of it.

Shambhala is also a place that many refer to as, ‘Home’.  Home can mean something different to each person, but to me means happiness.  I find joy in human interaction, electrifying music, being outdoors, and maintaining healthy habits. There were a lot of healthy practices that I do at home that I could continue to do while I was there. Those practices were intensified and on a much larger scale, which is what makes it so great. Here are a few examples:

Eating healthy

I eat pretty damn good at home so there was no need to throw that out the window when I attended the festival.  With the combination of bringing my own food and the various vendors at the festival, there was no excuse NOT to eat healthy.  I made a killer glamwich (see photo below) and quinoa salad but I also indulged in superfood smoothies and vegan pad thais when I didn’t feel like walking back to camp.

Oh and tacos, can’t forget the tacos.  My fave food truck was Gaia Ma which was, 100% organic and completely vegan! I also went a little crazy for the Hive Cafe behind The Grove. They had tasty kombucha,  delicious energy balls and the friendliest of staff!

Hive Cafe
glamping food

Meditation

I try to meditate every single morning and practice gratitude. It sets me up for having a great day, and I much prefer it over pushing the snooze button a bunch of times and rushing out the door. At Shambs, you could pretty much meditate wherever your little heart desired.  My favourite places to find headspace was behind The Grove or Living Room Stage amongst the mystical growth forest. The trees there had to be a few centuries old which I found very calming.

yoga at shambhala

Yoga

I enjoy my time on my yoga mat at home and was happy that I had the chance to continue my practice on the Farm. The yoga at the festy is always taught by Jenna, a resident of the farm and main organizer. Doing this practice in the morning was a great way to set my intention for the day.  Jenna’s voice was calm when she explained the postures but she kept things light by cracking little jokes in between.

Positive People

I always try to surround myself with happy, stoked-on-life and driven friends! Some of my favourite moments of Shambhala happened between the stages in random encounters. I had a lot of laughs and met so many great people. This place is one of the happiest places on earth, it was hard to not have an awesome time!

Cleansing Myself

 PC: Blake Jorgenson

PC: Blake Jorgenson

At home, in the morning, I wash my face to help me wake up and reset. And at night, I take bath to relax and unwind. I light candles, use essential oils and sometimes pour myself a glass of red.

The sacred river water at shambhala was relaxing in a different kind of way.  It rejuvenated me and helped me break away from the exhausting heat. The Salmo River flows swiftly and carried unicorns, golden swans and pizza…..floaties, of course ;). It was lined with large rocks that festy-goers lounged out on and to soak in that summer sunshine. The first thing I did in the morning to reset was go for a swim and wash my face with the sparkling, cool water.

The Grove

The Music

What is life without music? I listen to music from the minute I start getting ready for the day.... pretty much until I go to bed.

There were tons of DJs that I absolutely loved. The Fractal Forest will always have my heart. This is where I boogied down to The Funk Jam hosted by the Small Town DJs. Other favourites were Z-Trip, A-Skillz, Defunk, Opiuo, The Funk Hunters and Stickybuds. But, as far as DJs that gave me the most ‘feels’ this year, I’d go with Moontricks, Illenium and Frase.

Setting an Intention & Hoping for the Best

 PC: adam straughn

PC: adam straughn

I’m a dreamer, a hopeless romantic and I think about the future often. I sometimes find myself pondering what is to come for our beautiful planet. But, if I have learned anything in life, it’s that worrying does nothing and you have to have hope. To help me focus and clear any worry that I wake up with, I set an intention in the morning. I also try to write out goals for the week, month and year to help keep me on track.

The Wishing Tree in the Shambhala grounds was full of dreams and desires. When I looked around at all of the pieces of paper hanging from the old cedar tree, there were hundreds. I couldn't help but hope that one day, the dreams and goals of those complete strangers would someday be fulfilled.

The Village Stage Shambhala

Shambhala IS a party. But for many people, it transcends past that. Sure, not everyone eats the greatest when they go. And not everyone meditates or practices yoga. But we all listen to the music. We all dance. We all dream. Music connects us and draws everyone together.  It creates a community of unique, yet like minded individuals. Advocates for freedom of expression.  Believers in movement and melody.  Supporters of every kind of love. This is why we feel at HOME. Until next year.

*Much love,

Jenny D xx