Wanderlust 2017: Opening Our Hearts – Day 2
It’s finally Friday, yes!!
I was so excited for my first Wanderlust Yoga festival to finally begin!
Wow! I was mentally and physically under prepared for the coldness of being in the mountains at night. It was hovering around 40 degrees and a light fog had settled in the air around us. We quickly got dressed and freshened up in the nearby bathroom. We then found the lift from the help of the Wanderlust volunteers that helped us unload.
When we got all the way up to the top we were immediately lost in the hustle of the mountain. The fog had seemed to immediately turn from a mist to a full on cloud. The wind was whipping us all around in nothing but our little pullover jackets. Maybe it was was shock from the cold, but we couldn’t seem to get our heads straight! No matter how hard we focused we couldn’t read the map right. It turns out it was just printed upside down, phew! We didn’t lose it yet! Picnik had a tent set up in the food lot and we couldn’t pass up a hot cup of their heavenly butter coffees. We spent a few moments eating a quick yogurt parfait for breakfast and giggling hysterically over the label of “Sip Hole” on our coffee cups. This was going to be a fun trip.
Slow it down!
Our first adventure was a hike titled “Rediscovering The Wonders of Nature.” We thought this would be a great start to the trip. Since we camped, and probably overbooked ourselves a bit, we had to bring our yoga mats with us for the next events as we didn’t have time to take the lift back down to go back to the camp before hand. This posed a problem for where the yoga mats were going to go during the hike. Oops! We ran into a building across from the depot and the lady was so nice and understanding and let us drop off our mats to be picked up later.
Our hike began and everyone was so fast in front of us! Jen and I were not too thrilled with how fast we were moving, partially due to us being shorter and slower, and mostly because we wanted to absorb magic of the forest. There was moss covering vast areas of the forest floor, strange plants we have never noticed before, pine trees that seemed oddly different, and the most beautiful morning sunlight filtering in through the trees. In our wonderment, we got separated from the group and went the wrong way. Shortly enough though, we were able to meet back up with them.
You are perfect.
“Ashtanga for Every Body” with Peg Mulqueen. She had so many insights into the practice, and how it’s really not such a big deal, it’s simple. She said “It’s not your body, it’s what is inside.” I think of this often during my practice to remind me that it’s just poses that I am doing in my physical asana practice. The biggest work is being done inside.
She showed us techniques on how to float back and back up easily, quietly, and with more grace. I absolutely loved her teaching style. If only I could live closer to where she teaches!
Throughout the class Peg would encourage us to get up in front of the class for demonstrations. I got up to demonstrate my “bent arms” in Trikonasana (Triangle Pose.) She looked me over and said it looked great and she wouldn’t change a thing. That was so comforting as I always think that I need to “fix” them or make them to be straight. What if they are just fine the way they are? Huh. “Get out of your mind. Stop thinking about it. Stop wanting to be perfect. You are perfect.” She would say. (Check out her blog/podcast site here!)
Jen and I were now ready to move onto our third activity of the day. We headed on over to The Quiet Place for our first meditation class of our Wanderlust experience. Our class was “Love Revolution: A Sound Journey for Inner Awakening” with DJ Taz Rashid. I wasn’t fully prepared for the experience that was getting ready to begin.
DJ Taz Rashid started our group with beautiful binary beats in the glow of black lights and had us contemplating our Sankalpa (intention) for the meditation. I felt drawn to the front so we guided ourselves up to sit in the first row. We were to start with relaxing and writing down this intention, and then sharing it with the people around us. My intention was to find the cause of my chronic pain and to be at peace with it. I was a little bashful in sharing this with the strangers around me, but I bravely turned to the women behind me and introduced myself. I met Jessica and her friend and we shared our intentions to each other with sincere love and respect.
“Get out of your mind. Stop thinking about it. Stop wanting to be perfect. You are perfect.”
Our group started our practice by standing and saluting each for the 4 directions, the elements of our world. I do not remember much after that moment, and how I got to where I was but I do remember sitting with waves of energy washing up from the bottom of my spine and up and out my crown. It felt like intense surges of cleansing, like waves crashing on the shoreline during a storm and I felt SO much emotion. I felt a release. Like I had been gripping onto something precious for far far too long and handing it to the person it belonged to. Tears were coming and I had a sense that the other people in the room were all in this together, and that I was not alone in my emotions.
I shared my experience with the room and Jessica told me about the documentary she was working on called Heal. (The DVD is now released and available to purchase – I highly recommend it.) The documentary is presented by scientists and spiritual teachers who discuss how our thoughts, beliefs and emotions impact our over all health and ability to heal.
At the end of our journey, everyone in the room was emotional and crying. Our hearts were all opening and expanding with compassion for each other. Afterwards we sat in outside the sun with a fresh juice overlooking the mountains.
Let’s take it easy.
As we finished up relaxing in the afterglow of our meditation, we moseyed over to The Speakeasy for “Tapping Into Your Hidden Superpower for Peak Productivity and Flow” with Kate Northrup. She was speaking about syncing daily life activities with the moon cycle! In today’s world we are praised for how much we do and not what we do. How we are always expected to do more. She gave us the opportunity to ponder on the notion that there is a balance that you can attain by simply shifting your work load throughout the cycle of the moon. For example, really putting in the extra effort during the full moon time and winding down more towards the new moon time. It was really great information and has sparked some really great ideas for me!
Food? What is that?
After the talk was over, we headed over to the Wanderlust Food area and had a curry bowl, it was so good! I had forgotten how famished I was. And how tired I suddenly was!
Back down at the camp now, we spotted our showers for the weekend! They were fashioned in a single stall outside, portapotty style with a tub. It felt almost tribal bathing outside with Hackensaw Boys playing at the beach next door. The bass was pounding and the sweet crooning of the singer reverberating against the trees as the warm water was bathing off what felt like had been years.
The Wanderlust Welcoming Event!
The invite for the gathering was very specific about wearing an all white outfit. Jen and I stressed for weeks trying to find the perfect all white ensemble. Jen and I excitedly got dressed in our outfits and made it back up to the top for the gathering. It turned out we were the ONLY people wearing white! Everyone was staring at us like we were in some weird cult. We felt like we stuck out like sore thumbs but we didn’t care too much and settled into our lawn chairs for the evening.
Soon after we sat down, a woman sneaked over to us and said that she wanted us to meet the director of Wanderlust! Wait, what? Apparently her vision for this event was based of of a previous Wanderlust where the attendees all wore white and it was one of her favorite memories. As everyone was filing in for the evening, she was saddened to see no one was wearing all white, until we arrived in our all white outfitted glory! (A few others there were dressed in white, but hey it was cold! So some were covered up in different layers, taking away from the overall white theme.)
In gratitude she gave us free face painting and took our picture. During the ceremony we watched Priya Deepika sing. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. After her performance, Raghunath was up to speak. He told us all to stop complaining and to breathe more. Ha! I love it.
It is a good thing we went to bed early this first night because so many new adventures were waiting for us on the second day of Wandertlust!