How to Maintain a Healthy Routine During Festival Season
This summer has been one for the books, and call me boring, but I think what I have loved most is the healthy routine I have established these last few weeks. I made a commitment to doing my Yoga Wake Up every morning (30 day streak, y'all!), followed by Dandy Blend, a delicious chicory root coffee substitute and homemade breakfast that usually consists of eggs and greens. It's made me fall in love all over again with mornings!
It takes 21 days to develop a habit and I feel like if I stopped now I would miss this great way that I start the day.
Enter Burning Man, that cultural movement/annual gathering in the desert of Nevada that always falls before Labor Day weekend (The man burns in 25 days!) It's not exactly known for its predictability. Quite the opposite, Burning Man will test you with its extreme weather, spontaneous wind storms and odd hours with general lack of sleep. Ultimately, the Burn is a complete surrender to losing one's control-- So how on Earth do I plan to continue my routine?
5 Ways to Maintain A Healthy "Routine" at Burning Man
1) Involve your crew.
You know the saying, it takes a village? Well, in this case, it takes a camp! Surround yourself with positive influences and friends that also value wellness. This year my camp Music Savages, which is known for its great DJ sets and dance parties, is emphasizing our own wellness values by launching Wellness Wednesday. The 7-hour event will feature morning yoga and meditation, followed by Smooth Funk, a superfood smoothie bar served to the highflying sexy beats of funk music, and wrapping with Raverobics.
When your friends' values are in alignment with your own, you can worry less about being negatively influenced or needing to plan your own experiences and join in together on the fun of fitness, cooking or getting the rest you need to stay well!
2) Source healthy food vendors or BYOHF (Bring your own healthy food).
I've heard it before, you're on vacation so it's a free pass to let it all go and eat all the bread. And that's totally fine...if you're in Italy. But for most trips, backtracking and throwing out all those healthy habits can really set you up for failure on your trip (ouch...indigestion) or when you get home and feel the effects. The best you can do is prep like you would at home and maintain your diet but that's a tall order at a festival, when you have limited resources, are not sleeping normal hours and are out and about all day.
This is why for the last two years we've made it easier on ourselves with Festie Food, an ingenious meal prep service by chef Daneen Green. Everything is "ready-to-eat" or "ready-to-heat", and made fresh with good clean ingredients and vacuum sealed and labeled. Nourishing, balanced dishes like tarragon chicken salad, cauliflower mac 'n' cheese, coconut ginger curry and chicken andouille gumbo are ready in minutes. It's also completely customizable with respect to any dietary restrictions! We're obsessed. Enter code "yogawakeup" at checkout for 15% off your order.
If you're at a festival that has food vendors, try to remind yourself how you want to feel and choose a grain bowl over poutine (although sometimes, you just have to eat the poutine and that's OK too). Also, try not to wait til your starving, when the bad choices are easier to make. Start the day with something easy like Bob's Red Mill oatmeal cups, some fruit and Philosophie superfood protein powder to give you the energy and stamina you will need for a full day of fun!
3) Seek out active adventures and experiences.
In advance or when you arrive, make a point to discover healthy event options. There are hundreds of different yoga and meditation classes on the playa. There's also a lot of unique experiences if you want to try something new such as holotropic breathwork, acroyoga or tantric yoga. There is also an annual Black Rock City 5K. Or you can just fly solo or with friends on a bike ride to deep playa where you will find plenty of art installations to climb or explore.
Just remember it's a commitment just like it is at home-- so be prepared to prevent yourself from making silly excuses to skip it. Bring comfortable workout clothes and always have your mat handy.
4) Prepare what you can in advance.
Maintaining your routine in the desert requires some advanced planning! For example, you will want to download any workouts or wakeups to your mobile device in advance, since you will likely have no cell service on the playa. I plan on maintaining my streak with Yoga Wake Up, so although I may not wake up to the alarm every morning, I want to have my favorite wakeups like "Love to Your Limbs from Bed" by Lindsey Valdez and "Grateful Morning Meditation" by Leila Dylla ready to play whenever, but I also want to download some of the wackier ones with personality, because... Burning Man, so excited for Kate Duyn's "Devotion" and Rachelle Tratt's "Purple Wakeup". I am also looking forward to doing a yoga nidra on the playa, such as "Effortless Reset" by Hilary Jackendoff. If you use other audio fitness apps like Aaptiv or if you have a particular playlist you love to workout to, download it in advance and bring it on the road so you have something fun to look forward to!
5) Don't expect it to be how you planned.
In the end, remember why you came. Burning Man is about self-expression, appreciating humanity, community and for many, it is a time of great transformation, so remember... Leave room for magic. If you are presented with a wild adventure and in the mood to let go, do it, and don't hold back. Your "regularly scheduled programming" will be waiting for you when you get back. So have a great time, experience it to the fullest and see you in the dust!