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A great feeling after a lively festival

Yoga and wellness were a top priority for this month’s Wadi Nader Festival entirely dedicated to health and well-being.

In search of some healthy hedonism, my friend and I spent a day at the VERVE Health Festival in the beautiful grounds of Hatch House, Tisbury.

We started by learning about the roots of yoga from Nikita Desai, who gave a short workshop, in which she told us how the practice has been distorted and heavily privatized in the West over the years and essentially shaped into a form of exercise. She then took us through her own Asana yoga class for “Emotional Healing,” which featured slow but effective movements focused on Asana and Pranayama – meditation benches and the rules of breathing.

Stretching and calming from this session, it felt like a good time for coffee, wandering around the grounds and browsing the independent food and retail stalls, while drinking in the scenic countryside.

VERVE was founded in 2019 by friends and Chalke Valley neighbors Anna Hayward and Charlotte Cummings, with the goal of creating an event that would embody their shared passion for health, fitness, food, drink and well-being. It was a one day festival with camping available nearby.

Heading up a bit of fun, my friend and I decided to unleash our inner goddess with Yoga Pip and Fizz’s disco flow. This combined yoga moves to dazzling disco music, which lifted our spirits and made us dance, smile and connect with all our fellow festival mates.

Continuing the yoga theme, we launched our stress and strains with Megan Romilly’s Qigong Medicine in the movement class. This included some powerful situations in a very hilarious and loud way, including slapping ourselves all over the place and growling like a bear to get rid of the negativity! We concluded our day at yoga with a lively yoga session and healing bath class, where Meghan helped us prop us up with some well-balanced yoga flow movements, before sound therapist Joan Solini sent us into a state of absolute relaxation – who knew the sound of a bell could be soothing!

But it wasn’t all yoga, yoga, yoga, we also felt the burn with the old school legs classes, Bums and Tums at Studio Belle, and had it not been for our focus on yoga, we could have participated in so many other classes, talks, and treatments. There was a host of conversations in the beautiful terraced gardens, from how to unleash your superpowers to connecting with nature. While in the food and beverage area, guests were invited to come in to chat or listen to two lectures on topics from the menstrual cycle to pregnancy advice.

There were also Pilates, meditation and breathing classes as well as holistic and alternative therapies.

To get more active, Studio Belle Fitness coaches ran a range of high-energy classes from Full Body Blast to African Dance, Arms, Abs, Legs, Bums, and Tums for Stretching, Strengthening and Stretching.

A program specially designed for children under the age of five included children’s yoga and nature meditation.

As the sun sets, the wall of gongs in the main VERVE marquee gives way to a sparkling disco ball. We stowed our exercise mats away and swapped out our refillable water bottles for a big G&T from the Botanico Bar, before we dip into delicious wood-fired pizza and dance the night away to funk, soul, hip-hop and classic dance from DJ Huey Morgan ( From Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Radio 6) and DJ Emma.

It was a great day out for friends, groups, couples and families alike. We worked out, relaxed, talked, danced and laughed a lot. Most of all, my friend and I came out feeling rejuvenated.