Howdy! 😀 Welcome to our Lamu Yoga Festival Guide, as I share all about our experience, plus some handy tips to get you ready for when you go!
The Lamu Yoga Festival has been on my bucket-list for a while now… I remember catching sight of the Lamu Yoga dhow during our first trip to Lamu, and thinking to myself: one day I will ride on that dhow. 🙂
I had hoped to attend the Lamu Yoga Festival in 2021, but they were still on a break due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The dream stayed alive though…
So, when Jackline of Soul Conscious Travels invited me to attend the 2022 Lamu Yoga Festival, I agreed…
Soul Conscious Travels is a boutique travel agency that offers personally curated luxury, wellness and business travel options to their clients.
>> You can check them out for more information on their services and offerings HERE.
What is the Lamu Yoga Festival?
The Lamu Yoga Festival is an annual event held on Lamu Island, that allows you to experience the beautiful Manda, Shela and Lamu Old Town through yoga. 🙂
This year, the festival marked its 8th edition (after a 2 years’ break) with attendance from yogis around the world.
By now, you might be wondering: what really is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on postures that improve breathing, while also boosting your mental and physical wellness. By fostering a regular yoga practice, you will develop endurance/strength as well as nurturing your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
The Lamu Yoga festival encompasses a mixture of yoga and wellness experiences that are suitable for both beginner and advanced yogis.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the chosen location of Lamu island, is one of the most beautiful destinations in Kenya! 😀
>>I hope this Lamu Yoga Festival blog post will inspire all you, my fellow Kenyans, to sign up for future events. Because we truly all deserve it. 🙂
How To Register…
Registering for the Lamu Yoga Festival requires some patience, although the process is fully virtual. You’ll need to complete a registration form, download and sign a waiver, then make payment.
Once they confirm receipt of your waiver (via email) and payment, they’ll send you an email acknowledging your registration.
They have two tiers options available: Ticket A (Kshs.25,000/-) and Ticket B (Kshs. 20,000/-).
Ticket A is all-inclusive with access to all the classes and workshops, final bonfire, Sunset dhow sail and the Swahili Dinner, as well as some of the Special Classes.
On Ticket B, you get access to the main classes/workshops and the final bonfire celebration. You can still pay extra to attend the Special Classes that interest you.
- Look out for a welcome pack email, a few days to the festival. Take time to choose your classes of interest.
- Register for the special classes asap (like the Meditation dhow Cruise), as they tend to fill up quite fast.
- Visit the Lamu Yoga Festival stand at the Shela Bazaar, on arrival to confirm your classes’ location and timings.
The Lamu Yoga Festival Experience: What To Expect?
How To Get There..
The one thing I can say without a missing a beat, is that it pays to get yourself booked on a Jambojet flight to Lamu.
I noticed that some of the other flight carriers were making cancellations at the last minute, which can be quite a hassle.
On the day of our trip, I was thrilled to spot fellow Yogis with their Yoga mats at the airport. I’d honestly never seen that many Yogis in one place. It felt like we had this unspoken spirit of camaraderie amongst us. 🙂
When we touched down in Lamu, the Jambojet team received us with song and dance, which added to the fun!
- Book your flights to Lamu well before the festival dates… You are likely to miss out on flight options if you wait until the last minute to make your booking.
- You can request your hotel to organize a boat transfer from the airport.
- There are no motor-vehicles in Lamu, so come prepared to do lots of walking. 🙂
Where To Stay:
Lamu is a beautiful island with a variety of options of places to stay. The Lamu Yoga Festival period is like their high season, hence these places fill up early on.
When we arrived, we noticed that most of the classes and events happen around Shela so it helps to find a hotel in Shela.
There are also AirBnBs available, but you’ll want to do your due diligence, before making that payment.
Here are some quick tips that I picked from our experience:
- Make your accommodation bookings months in advance.
- Plan to arrive at least a day earlier, to settle in and plan your classes ahead of time.
- You will find a map in the welcome program. Try to choose a place that is central in Shela, within walking distance to the yoga classes.
- Plan to stay a day or two after the Festival, to give yourself ample time to rest and recharge.
- Check out these places, that also host some of the yoga classes: Banana House, Moon House Lamu, The Majlis Resort (in Manda), Peponi House, Kijani Lamu, Dhow House, Waridi House and more.
All About The Yoga Classes…
Before the Lamu Yoga Festival, I’d mostly experienced virtual classes with my favourite teacher Adrienne Mishler. And until then, I was content with it. 🙂
As the festival approached, I was honestly a little anxious about attending physical yoga classes with all these new teachers and students… Little did I know that I had nothing to worry about! 😀
I would quickly learn that the yoga community is a warm and welcoming community. From day one, I noticed that the teachers are both accommodating and helpful.
Moreover, I was surprised by just how each class was unique in its own way. I especially enjoyed getting to experience and watch new concepts of yoga that I hadn’t tried before! There’s even a Yoga Nidra class, where all you do for the entire class is lie on the floor! 😀
My favourite class has to be the Aqua yoga class! We got to practice yoga in a pool of water, and it was such a brilliant experience!! I would certainly recommend! 😀
And as we went in and out of the yoga classes, my only wish was to see more Kenyans present. 🙂
I do love how they’ve designed the festival such that, there’s something for everyone. Hence, you can confidently show up even if you’ve never been to a yoga class before!
- Find out in advance (where possible) what a class entails… Thus, you’ll know how to pair up your classes and balance between the physically intense classes & rest.
- Arrive to the classes early. Most classes start on time, and you may be locked out of some (like the Yoga Nidra class) if you are late.
- They organize boats for classes to and from Manda Island; plan to be at the Jetty spot in Shela on time.
- Try and choose classes that are located in close proximity (where possible).
- Be flexible with your schedule and adapt to what’s available.
- Go at your own pace and listen to your body. It’s okay to take a break and sit or lie down on your mat.
- HAVE FUN. Whatever happens, go with the flow, say hi to strangers, enjoy yourself and the location. 🙂
Bonus: What To Carry for the Festival
Lamu qualifies to be among the top hottest places along the Kenyan Coast (in my books.) So it helps to pack with that in mind…
- Yoga Mat or shawl
- Light and comfortable clothing
- Water bottle (they provide a free water-filling station)
- Snacks and essentials. Most supermarkets and shops are in Lamu Old Town.
- Sunscreen and sunhats
- Comfortable walking shoes/sandals
Many thanks to Soul Conscious Travels for making this trip possible!
Thank you for reading my friends! I hope you’ve enjoyed our Lamu Yoga Festival guide post, and you are inspired to sign up in 2023! 😀
I’d be delighted to hear back from you, with your comments, inputs &/or questions. Do leave a comment down below! 🙂
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