Last year, as a relatively new student to Kundalini Yoga, and eight months pregnant, I decided to attend Sat Nam Fest in the Berkshires for the very first time. The weather was extraordinarily hot. This isn’t typical for the Berkshires, which usually enjoys mild summer temperatures. As you may know, when you’re pregnant, you feel rather warm and need to go to the bathroom frequently, so whether I wanted to or not, I became quite familiar with the grounds at Eastover Estate and Retreat. Here, I share insider tips from my experience last summer.
I attended the festival on two separate days, driving up from Litchfield County, Connecticut. Long before the event, I purchased my day passes on Satnamfest.com, which you can purchase here. I specifically selected passes for Thursday and Saturday because I was most interested in the presenters on those days. You can view this year’s daily schedule here. This year, I’m thrilled to be attending the festival all five days, which I now know is well worth it!
On my first day trip, I went alone, but since I’m a natural extrovert, and Kundalini yogis are known for their open hearts, I wasn’t worried about making friends. Sure enough, I met many new friends and easily found someone to sit with at lunch on my first day!
Bathroom and Snacks in the Tally Ho Building
There are many bathrooms onsite, and you may find that you will have a favorite spot to revisit. My favorite bathroom last year was in the Tally Ho Building. This indoor venue featured gorgeous hardwood floors, high ceilings, and sweet acoustics. Jai-Jagdeesh electrified this spot during her “Sole to Soul” yoga and dance fusion workout last year. Krishna Kaur also rocked the roof off the Tally Ho during her supercharged workshop that incorporated some hip opening dance moves.
The bathroom is tucked down the hall, past the concessions. Bathrooms were well-equipped with soap and paper towels. This was also my favorite bathroom spot because it’s near where they sold ice cream. Remember to bring some pocket cash for purchasing ice cream and other healthier organic and vegan snacks at the concession stand. Right outside the Tally Ho, there’s a beautiful patio with furniture that’s shaded by the building. This was my favorite spot for respite before journeying to my next destination.
Walking in Between Venues
There are four main locations where you will most likely spend most of your time at Sat Nam Fest: the Tally Ho, Sat Nam Pavilion, Mediation Hall, and the dining area. The walk from the Tally Ho to the Sat Nam Pavilion and dining area has an incline. I always decided to take this walk slowly and practice mindfulness. It was also an opportunity to wave and smile at familiar faces (or other strangers smiling because they were so happy) as they walked in the opposite direction.
Walking towards the Sat Nam Pavilion, I passed several vendors in large shady tents with beautiful items for sale. This was another place I would stop, catch some shade and my breath, and browse the items for sale or engage in interesting conversation. I found the shop attendees to be friendly and informative about the products they were sharing. I remember wishing I purchased a meditation pillow. The meditation pillows were so bright, colorful, highly adorned, and looked like they were sewn from high-quality Indian textiles.
Sat Nam Pavilion
Continuing on toward the pavilion, I always remembered to take off my shoes outside the tent and organize my belongings that I would need for the next presenter. Once under the big tent and usually late (since I spent so much time walking and talking), I always found a spot toward the back where I had ample room to spread out my tapestry and yoga mat and set my tumbler cup filled with cold ice water down beside me.
The Dining Area
Meal times are well thought-out in accordance with the festival schedule, so you may notice that after the close of a big workshop in the Sat Nam Pavilion, it’s time to eat! I can remember feeling so relaxed after a great yoga class under the big tent and slowly walking toward my shoes to prepare for the walk up to the dining area. Before entering the meal line, I usually put my belongings near a seat at the table and left behind my water cup. It was important for me to have two hands free to enter the line and fill my plate with all of the warm delicious food.
I purchased my meal pass the morning I arrived in the registration tent, but I recommend purchases ahead of time, which you can do here. I needed to show the Sat Nam Fest volunteers who were manning the line for meals my meal pass, and I always forgot. I had to go back to my table each time and grab my pass. I later discovered, the volunteers had a master list of names of people who pre-purchased their meal tickets, so those yogis didn’t need to present a physical meal ticket.
The food was abundant, appetizing, and healthy, and there was a wide variety of options including salads, dahl, rice, and refreshing cold beverages such as caffeine-free iced tea. Check out a sample menu here.
After meal times, I usually had to go to the bathroom again and found that the bathroom in the dining hall area was busy. I used this as an opportunity to take an after-meal walk to the Tally Ho, where the bathrooms were usually empty.
Another bathroom location that I frequented was hidden away in the East Colonial Building, down the hall from the Mohawk Studio. This was the site of the Gurdwara, a place of worship, so I had to be especially quiet as I slipped off my Birkenstocks and tip-toed down the hall to the single stall bathroom.
That concludes my firsthand account of the venue, bathrooms, and snacks at Sat Nam Fest East. My experience was blissful and radiant. Sat Nam Fest East is excited to celebrate its second year in a new location, and I hope that you’ll consider joining the tribe for a load of fun. The Berkshires’ gorgeous countryside landscape, especially the serene festival venue view, is a perfect backdrop to the vibrancy of Kundalini Yoga.