5 Ways to Get Silly Without the Sauce

Photo by Edward Clynes

5 Ways to Get Silly Without the Sauce

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Since its inception, Enchanted Forest Gathering has been an alcohol-free event. We hold no bias against alcohol, but feel this is an incredibly important element of our vision for the festival. It sets a remarkably different tone when thousands of people gather together in celebration of the human spirit without necessitating experiences with spirits. While altered states of mind can be a both a catalyst for understanding and your own personal rabbit hole, it’s possible to reach heightened states while sober. With the right stimulus, your body can serve you up a cocktail of its own psychopharmacological delights that evoke emotion and affect the way you process the world around you.

For us, Enchanted Forest Gathering serves as a proving ground for a new kind of experience and a container for an experimental way of life. Festivals are built to be incredibly stimulating to all your senses, we invite you to tap into these with a clear mind and see how they affect you. Need some inspiration on ways to get silly without getting sauced? Here are 5 ways you can get high without taking drugs.

Movement

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Exercise of any kind is great for our physical and mental health. It will increase your heart rate, oxygenate your blood, stimulate new growth, and make you more alert and focused. Among other things, regular dancing has been shown to reduce stress and depression, boost heart health, and help create new neural pathways in the brain. Dance that involves mental creativity such as partner dancing and flow arts has been reported to increase self-esteem and body awareness.

Whether you prefer the dance floor or yoga mat, Enchanted is full of opportunities to  shake loose some energy in your body. In addition to nights full of dancing, we’ve got over 50 movement classes for flow artists, yogis, and dancers featuring teachings from Suzanne Sterling, Aileen Lawlor, Amy Secada, and many more.

Contact

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Tactile stimulation is an important part of child development but also to adults later in life. Physical contact with others is a great way to get your oxytocin flowing. Known as the love hormone, oxytocin can increase feelings of trust and relaxation and is a facilitator for childbirth and breastfeeding. Hugging or holding hands can lower blood pressure and reduces both reduces stress and anxiety. Some massage therapists have reported that the healing process is incredibly impactful on them as well, reducing negative emotions in the therapist. Remember, consent is sexy! Always make sure you have permission before physical contact with others, especially new friends.

Another type of contact you may have not considered is the tactical sensations of music. In its most basic form, music is comprised from different frequencies of vibration. When played out of a large sound system, you’ll likely be able to literally “feel the music”. While many of us find this to enhance the live music experience, studies have shown the healing effects of sound vibration therapy to help with an array of conditions including Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, and depression.

Connecting

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

We have all felt the power of hearing music that speaks to us. Studies have shown music can help motivate or increase endurance in exercise, reduce stress, relieve depression and anxiety, improve cognitive performance, easing stress before and after surgery. Music can also help with your memory and even give you “skin orgasms,” which are more common when the listener is cognitively immersed in the music.

Meeting new people is a fan favorite part of attending festivals. Even as an introvert one can find all the different characters to be amusing and even enlightening. You’ll encounter people you’re unlikely to experience anywhere else. Whether you’re a music nerd, a flow-mie or mineral expert you’re bound to find new members of your tribe.

It’s more likely you’ll fall into a heart to heart conversation, or discuss the importance of biodynamic farming, than mundane small talk. Additionally you’re likely to meet some people with fascinating new opinions and ideas you haven’t encountered. Whether you are inspired or disagree with these new ideas, new perspectives and opinions can spark creativity and break you out of your comfort zone. Try meeting someone new, talking to a stranger, or sitting with new friends at the commissary!

Festivals are also a great place to deepen relationships with existing friends. The thrills and challenges you experience along the weekend can really strengthen the bond between people.

Mindfulness

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Mindfulness is the practice of staying focused the present moment, without letting thoughts of to-do lists or future worries to distract you. It’s the basis of many spiritual practices all of which can be very stimulating to the brain.  Meditation can be a powerful way to unlock energies within your body. Another type of mindfulness is intention setting. Try setting some intentions before you begin your adventure to Enchanted Forest. Are there questions in your life you need a resolution to? is there something you need to let go of? Take a moment to ground yourself and quietly sit under one of our venue’s beautiful oak trees.

Lucid dreaming is another form of mindfulness. Taking things a step further, it is a way to maintain awareness as we sleep. Lucid dreaming is more about actively participating in the dream than gaining control over it. It can bring on greater self awareness and the ability to adapt to situations as they evolve. On a similar note, Hypnagogic Induction is the practice of keeping your body in the stage between being alert and asleep.

We’ve already talked some about flow arts but “flow” is actually a mental state of being that any of us can achieve in many different ways. It’s a space where you are fully in tune and focused with what you are doing, complete immersion in the activity at hand. Playing music, painting, or even helping build crew can all bring on a state of flow. Beyond being a pleasurable state, flow is also a place where you are very receptive to new knowledge and can learn better.

Nutrition

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

Photo by Jacob Avanzato

We may not serve any alcohol but you can find many tasty beverages in our food court. We’ll have fermented Kombucha from Revive. Brilliant Elixirs will bring their alcohol alternative herbal tonics which are not only delicious but can produce delightful bodily effects. Lydia’s has all kinds of smoothies that can boost your system and cool you down. Check out the Ginger Ale found at Get Fried Rice, a sweet and fizzy drink with a good ginger kick.

How do you like to enhance your experience without drugs or alcohol? If you enjoy partying with us, Enchanted isn’t the only alcohol free festival, here’s a list of other cool alcohol-free events that bring the party. If you enjoy the biz of the festival without all the buzz, check out this list of 7 other events that are also alcohol-free!

Zac Krohn

Born and raised in the Northern Bay Area, Zac started out blogging as a founding member of West Coast based Booms and Claps. His first festival, Earthdance, planted the seeds for an ever growing passion for all the weird sounding music and open heart connections that can be discovered at these gatherings. Can often be found dancing around with a camera capturing all the excitement of festival culture.