Wilderness Festival For Wholesome Hedonism

Wilderness Festival Jenna Foxton

Are you a former hedonist, nervously approaching middle age, whose tolerance to partying isn’t what it used to be? Want to drink less but still have fun? Rave to DJ sets whilst high on your own supply?

Welcome to Wilderness Festival, a playground for pleasure seeking wellness enthusiasts that is the definition of wholesome hedonism. Get your dopamine fix at an all-day profiterole bar and a banquet in the woods. Oxytocin hit at a lakeside spa with massages and bathing under the sky.

A surge of serotonin with a sleep bootcamp and yoga courtesy of Adam Husler and endorphin rush at a disco dodgeball and 80’s aerobics dance show topped off by heart-stopping nostalgic performances by world class DJ’s… 

The Sanctuary and The Lakeside Spa

The Sanctuary and The Lakeside Spa return to Wilderness for 2023 with a diverse and holistic programme to nourish, restore and replenish mind, body and soul. It’s a safe haven and party launchpad, check in to offset that late-night Valley session; to find peace, stretch, and flow. 

Attend talks that question stigmas and workshops that open your eyes to the stars. Explore your sensuality, bask in a gong bath – or disco yoga yourself into sparkling nighttime revelry. Yin and yang: eclecticism is what Wilderness does best.

The Sanctuary boasts four distinct core spaces: The Studio, The Shala, Mindful Space and Wellbeing in the Wild, covering all your wellbeing needs, with private treatment yurts for ultimate indulgence and self care.

The Lakeside Spa: three words that have ‘good time’ written all over them. Pre-party warm up or post-party recovery, simmering in a hot tub with your dream team is the icing on the cake (Champagne optional…). The Lakeside Spa boasts its trademark wood-fired hot tubs and saunas, resplendent beside Lake Superior. 

The Sanctuary invites some of the globe’s most esteemed bodyworkers, gurus, yogis, therapists, nutritionists, sound healers, musicians and wellbeing professionals to bring their expertise. Fellowship Groups have their own dedicated space, offering four meetings a day to anyone with addiction issues needing support and Blink Mental Health will offer one to one talking therapy sessions across the weekend for those in need of more targeted mental health support.

This year, Wilderness welcomes accomplished South London-based studio Yogarise to deliver the full spectrum of yoga classes in their very own dedicated venue. The Yogarise teachers will lead flows in every yoga style imaginable; from yin to power vinyasa, ashtanga and hatha, rocket, dharma, dynamic and more. This new addition allows The Studio – the home of movement – to push boundaries into new, less explored disciplines, so there’s scope for everyone (even yoga pros) to discover something fresh.

The Sanctuary holds space for a multitude of disciplines weaving through all of its venues. 

The Studio

The place to get your sweat on, to build strength and tune in; be it via HIIT, a barre session or a dynamic moving mediation. Find classes focussing on, pilates, somatic movement and exploring fitness sessions in dance, family yoga and much more.

PT and yoga teacher from East London, Kage Douglas brings his fun, high energy movement classes with a focus on alignment. Fabienne Formosa leads Somatic Movement classes at The Sanctuary for the first time: the practice cultivates an awareness of the felt-sense as a way to listen to the inner self. Sophie Freya Cook is a pilates teacher who loves to move. Her focus is on the founding principles: breathing, concentration, centring, control, precision and flow. Cameron James is an ex-pro athlete and gymnast who brings his love of street dance to the mat for his Movement Decoded classes: a dynamic mix of soft acrobatics, callisthenics, capoeira and yoga.

The Yoga Brunch Club returns expanded and improved. Yoga Brunch Club started with a desire to bring people together through a love of yoga, great food and conversation. A 60-minute yoga flow precedes a well-laid table in beautiful surroundings amongst new friends. They bring an all-new Yoga Supper Club – the foraged answer to a wholesome long table banquet – presented by vegan organic and biodynamic caterers Trewhitts.  

Mindful Space

Mindful Space is a place for calm. Drop in to breathe, to attend a restorative movement class, a talk or workshop. Come to calm your mind, relax your body, uplift your soul.

New for this year, there will be headline conversations with Eddy Elsey, a British shamanic practitioner who is on a mission to make authentic spiritual wellness accessible to those in the modern world. Emily Syphas from Sober & Social will be speaking on how to implement a hangover-free lifestyle, while sound innovator turned sleep coach Tom Middleton presents a Sleep Bootcamp series.

Other practitioners include counsellor, metaphysical speaker and coach Kia Aileen offering reiki with EFT and conscious-centred meditation; Nix Brook facilitates healing through breathwork and Astrologist Francesca Oddie shares her insights. The Grief Space returns this year with the intention of remembering the lost art of grief: tending and creating spaces where grief can be deeply acknowledged, witnessed and welcomed.

IO Project leads sound meditation in unique locations. Founded by DJ Goldierocks, IO Project will create a candlelit opening ceremony for adults who need some play: their cathartic sound meditation under the moon is designed to help you kick off feeling relaxed, centred and party-ready. 

The Shala

The Shala is your home for sound experiences and musical journeys; welcoming people to the joy of connection through meditation, breathwork, movement and sound. This year, the incredible Ell Kendall and The London Ambient Orchestra perform some deeply atmospheric works. There’ll also be a mass yoga session, the opportunity to try body percussion and to experience the sound school, with gong bathing from crystal bowl guru herself – Cherub Sanson. Blok’s leader of yoga training Leo Oppenheim brings a Dharma yoga and breathwork experience. Enjoy dance performances from Ceyda Tanc Dance – a contemporary dance company creating performances with influences from Turkish folk culture – and Candoco Dance Company: the world’s foremost inclusive dance company challenging perceptions of what dance can be and who can do it. 

Wellbeing in The Wild

Nourish your soul with the grass between your toes and the blue sky arcing above you. Numerous sessions and classes are held with the rolling parkland as your studio. There will be fitness bootcamps, outdoor yoga, guided morning swims with Blue Blind Men Cold Water Swim Club, Qigong, wild runs from The Midnight RunnersAerial Yoga from Hang Out Yoga and of course, the hugely popular SUP Yoga hosted by Island Feather: come be at one in the Wilderness.

Yogarise

This year Yogarise, one of London’s top yoga studio joins The Sanctuary family. A family-run studio across two South London locations, Yogarise is friendly and down-to-earth, with varied classes from their experienced teachers.

Their flagship Peckham studio was established almost a decade ago, bringing with it a huge selection of yoga and pilates classes and workshops, teacher training courses, retreats and community events. 

The variety of classes on offer at Wilderness this year includes everything from uplifting Morning Bliss yoga, Dynamic Vinyasa and Rocket, to evening chill-out sessions, laid-back Yin, Flow-to-Restore and Yoga Nidra Meditation. Yogarise believes in the positive powers of yoga, and this year, they will be spreading those positive vibes across the fields of Wilderness as they headline the Yoga Stage, bringing you all the yoga, all weekend long. 

The ultimate holistic experience in paradise surroundings, The Sanctuary sits calmly amidst the revelry and festivities. It provides the opportunity to retreat from the party, recharge your batteries and re-energize for the next dance floor release. See you there… 

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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.

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