Teaching at Coachella is a small yet significant dream come true in my young life.
2017 marks an entire decade of me and this festival.
2007, my best friend and I painted my car, packed what we thought would be needed based on our few festival experiences and drove from one desert to another to check out what this Coachella thing was all about. We slept in my VW Beetle in an In-N-Out parking lot, got ready in a CVS bathroom, and had the best damn weekend of our lives. I knew then, this would only be the beginning.
Every year has its own crazy story and each is just as special as the other. I have crashed on a friend’s friend’s aunt’s guest house kitchen floor, squished into a motel 6, camped with the best camp family one could ever ask for. I’ve seen hundreds of artists from tiny bands to huge legends. I have laughed, cried, bled, sweat (oh have I sweat), inhaled desert dust enough to lose my voice for a week and have never felt the level of happiness that I feel on those fields…well except for my wedding day. :)
One year, the year Jay-Z played, Coachella sold out. The first year it ever sold out. Which made me have to find tickets on craigslist. I was living in expensive SF going to circus school and had little to no money to my name, so I sold my only form of transportation (my bicycle) to get some cash for a ticket to my favorite festival. I found a guy selling two hard tickets with the Ticketmaster hologram and all. My best friend and I compared our tickets to our friends who actually bought them before the sell out and they were identical, so we were good to go. Or so we thought. Fast forward, day 1 of Coachella. The lines were so backed up due to the ticket scanners malfunctioning. After melting in line for a couple of hours we finally made it to the front and our friends get scanned in but our tickets do not. They said it has been happening all day so not to worry and just head over to the box office tent to figure out the issue. We trek to the other side of the field and show our tickets to the guy who we hoped would say “you’re all good!” Nope. Instead this is what we were told, “I’m sorry girls, but these tickets are counterfeit.” After a literal melt down, we decided we were not going to take no for an answer. I sold my bike to be there! We creepily scanned the fields and found a long pole next to a fence in an area that was pretty quiet and hidden. Neither of us were ever in track and field, but we decided pole vaulting into Coachella was our only way to go. I am not sure our skills would even earn a score but nonetheless we made it over and ran for our lives. Take that Ticketmaster. Later we learned that there were over 4,000 counterfeit Ticketmaster tickets printed to Coachella that year. Hence, the birth of the scan-able festival wristband.
I wanted to share that year’s story because I believe it helps express what it means to me to teach yoga at Coachella.
When I signed up for my teacher training I made a small goal/bucket list wish to be part of the yoga program at Coachella. I had taken classes there every year I camped and thought it was the coolest thing. I figured I would graduate and become certified by March and then be a teacher’s assistant and hope to teach in future years. Well, long story short, my very first public class I ever taught was that same year on Empire Polo Fields for 100+ festival yogis.
I got to play a part of the Coachella experience.
Grateful is an understatement. I have been invited back, along with my twin flame yoga brother (who I could not have done this without), to teach every year since.
It is beyond rewarding to not only be gifted a festival wristband for my favorite event, but also to be able to share the practice of yoga with so many people from so many places and walks of life. I’ve had students that are advanced practitioners to two guys who had never practiced yoga before that told me the yoga flow made their “roll come back”. I have even had a student come up to me after class to tell me their first yoga class ever was my class at Coachella and they were excited to come back the next year to tell me they have been practicing ever since. Seeing bodies gather, move, inhale and exhale together with my guidance will never cease to fulfill me, especially with the palm trees and ferris wheel in the background.
Sharing yoga at this festival is something I am and will be forever grateful for. Going from selling my bike and pole vaulting over a fence to being invited to share something so special to me there is pretty damn cool. At least I think so.
This experience has taught me so much but the one main lesson that stands out is that all you have to do is put yourself out there. To not be afraid and great things can and will happen.
State your dreams, big or small. Manifest them and let them come true. <3
Thank you Coachella, times a million.
Also, many thanks to two of my most favorite yoga brands Alo & Tantris for gifting me with the most beautiful pieces so I could look cool while teaching.
Lastly, thanks to my awesome friends for waking up early and using your camera skills to capture some great moments.
(Check out my sweet boy band mic)