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Soul Circus Festival 2019 returned to the Cotswolds in August and, like usual, it was one to remember. Catering for all, this year’s music, yoga and fitness offerings provided all attendees with everything they could have wanted, and more.

So, what made this festival stand out this year? New to Soul Circus was the Lululemon Stage and the Breathpod Tipi, which joined the great line-up of DJs, yogis, food vendors and wellness experts. The buzz around this weekend really was as big as ever.

With that in mind, some Aspire staff have offered their thoughts on what stood out the most to them. From engaging workshops to tasty food, get the need-to-know feedback on what was hot at this year’s event – from the people closest to it!

Layla’s best bits

Goldie’s DJ set on Friday night was brilliant. After arriving in the pouring rain and packing up 30 gift bags for the media brunch in the production room, it was a well-deserved way to wind down (and up at the same time). Git was great to be carefree, have fun and dance with friends.

The food was great, too! It was all delicious. There was more choice than in previous years and I wanted to work around all the vendors once I saw what was on offer. I’m taking the vegetarian choice more and more these days and there was no need to even think about meat over the Soul Circus weekend. Locally sourced, nutritious food aplenty, I came back feeling nourished.

Lastly, the breathing workshop with Stuart Sandeman and his team. They are at the top of their game right now in that space and I can’t get enough of it. A rare chance to completely let go and focus solely on breathing; what a tonic. 

Becky’s top moments

The yoga class with David Sye was like no other class I’d ever experienced before. Known as the bad boy of yoga, David led a unique but highly entertaining yoga session that blew us all away. I also spent a lot of time in the Breathpod tipi – learning how to breathe properly and re-energising my soul.

Importantly, I also really enjoyed how friendly and happy everyone was at the festival. It was great to dance the night away listing to DJ Norman Jay with people smiling all around, and that’s something that I won’t forget, at least until I experience it all again next year!

Cameron’s highlights

There was a wide range of vegan food to try, that I would have otherwise not even considered, which I really liked. There were also meat options available, too (if that wasn’t to your appetite). The HIIT workout by the lake was a great mid-afternoon pump as well; it was in glorious sunshine with spectacular views over the lake.

The breathing workshop, in the Breathpod Tipi was a great way to have a total detox from everything around you and just focus on yourself for over an hour, relieving any stress and letting out any anger. It was a good insight for me into different breathing techniques and how to get the most out of your breathing. 

Kate’s picks

Stuart Sandeman and the Breathpod team is up there – having heard about this from Layla, I was keen to see what it was all about. I still can’t quite articulate what really happened but the sensation of letting go in a completely safe space was quite something… and it’s stayed with me too.

Finding my inner Queen Bee at the ‘Drop it like Beyonce’ class with Keeley Dann was also great! It took place in the Body Positive Tipi and I certainly came out feeling body positive. I have never laughed, or whooped, or shaken my booty with friends and strangers quite as much as I did in that hour.  

Finally, Norman Jay MBE opened with one funky soulful tune and just kept them coming. Proper fun and a perfect way to finish off the day.