What do you get when you mix yoga, music, some serious booty shaking and an epic location? Wanderlust Festival! This year’s Wanderlust Festival was held on August 23-26th in beautiful Whistler, BC. I had the good fortune of being able to attend Friday’s festivities. I wish I could have gone for the whole weekend but judging how sore I felt after the one day, I’m glad I got to rest a bit after. The day was super jam-packed!
First off, I want to say that I have never seen so many Lululemon-clad people in my entire life. Of course, I was wearing lulu too, but this event really confirmed Lulu’s utter domination of the yoga apparel market. The Lulu store even had hammocks set up outside for people to lounge in. I helped myself to a few minutes of relaxation throughout the day.
My first class was with Janet Stone on the main stage. It was really cold at 8am in the shade so we did a lot of warm up activities. Her class was centered on the five elements and she wove stories and mythology throughout her class. It was nice to get into this theme as I’ve been recently watching an animated series called Avatar: The Last Airbender (you can find it on Netflix). This series is so well-done. So many parallels with what I’ve learned in my yoga studies. Anyways, I had a really great invigorating morning practice with Janet Stone. We even chanted on stage for all to hear!
Then I spent some time wandering around the Village, checking out the scene. It was surprisingly quiet along the main walk since most of the sessions were happening in the hotels. It was nice to see a gratitude board set up with people writing what they were grateful for. I was grateful for sunshine!
My next session was with Eion Finn, the Blissology guy. I had never taken a workshop with him before, but he’s a bit of a local hero so I figured I’d check out what he was all about. The session I took was about how to give mindful adjustments and assists. I really liked his 5-step approach to adjustments: 1) Intention 2) Assessment 3) Attunement 4) Bracing 5) Adjustment. We spent a lot of time on a single pose (ardha matsyendrasana – seated half twist) but it was really valuable to practice with a partner and to really get into it. We did some arm balances and a short vinyasa at the end. Eion was hilarious. He had a really great vibe about him. He didn’t take himself too seriously which was nice. I met a really nice woman from that class named Jamie who owns a studio in Salmon Arm. She even picked up a couple of my shirts!
After Eion’s workshop I grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to the Olympic Plaza where they had some acro-performers and the Kula Market. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the Kula Market because I had originally applied to be a part of it with Inner Fire but was turned out. As it turned out, it really wasn’t a market at all! Most of the booths were information booths only – some without anyone to even talk to! I felt like this space could have been better used to help showcase local artisans and businesses. Maybe next year they’ll consider this.
My last class was a detox flow with the lovely Seane Corn. For lack of a better word, she’s a yoga celebrity. I wanted to take one of her classes to see what she was all about. Plus, it was nice to do a flow at the end of the day to get everything moving again. First off, the space was HUGE. I had never seen so many yoga mats on a single floor before in my life. There must have been like 300 people in that room. I guess she’s popular for a reason! She started by talking about the detoxification process, the lymphatic system, the breath, and a few other things. Then we went straight into some sun salutations and a pretty vigorous class with lots of compression moves, twists and half inversions. It was great. Her style was very passionate and she talked a lot (of course saying great things). I know she was trying to inform us while we were doing the class but at times it came to be a bit much. I just wanted to hear my breath with everyone else’s for a little bit. Nevertheless, she definitely has a way of getting through to you. No matter where you’re coming from, there’s always something she says that you can relate to. I really admire that in a teacher. I felt so good after that class. That savasana was so quiet despite how many people were in the room. It was pure bliss.
Then, I proceeded to go outside to check out the main stage again for the music. There, I met a few girls who asked about my “I’M WITH THE BANDHA” shirt that I was wearing. Luckily I had a few in my backpack and sold a couple shirts there. Woot! Everyone was heading over for the free concert with Sean Corn and Michael Franti. I wasn’t too sure what it was going to be about but I found a little patch of grass where I settled my mat and chillaxed for a bit while some peeps acro-yoga’d beside me. Then the class started around 7pm. There were TONS of people on the grass. We all stood up and started to vibe to the music while Seane led us through a fun and inspirational practice. By that time, my body was definitely feeling all the yoga I did that day (almost 6 hours!). It didn’t matter though. The vibrations were intense. The whole place was so alive with joy that you could feel it in your bones. We hugged, danced, clapped, booty shaked, om’d, sang, sighed, roared, cried, sweated and breathed together for that hour. It was definitely one of the most memorable yoga experiences I’ve ever had. Sean encouraged us to look deep inside us and to connect with our own truth. To free ourselves of our own limitations and to wake up to this world and make a difference. It really hammered home what yoga is all about. Living your truth with your community. I left with such a huge smile on my face. Thank you Wanderlust! Oh and special thanks to my friend Mark Warner for letting me crash on his couch. Thanks man!