Alice in Wanderlust Signing In
The dictionary defines wanderlust as, â€œa strong desire for or impulse to wander or explore.â€ I'm one of this globe's blessed and cursed victims of wanderlust. In three years I've lived in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and DC. In a week, I'll be landing in my new mountain home, Boulder, Colorado. I spend weekends hopping from city to city, yoga studio to yoga studio, and have a passport that is full of stamps from Guatemala to India and everywhere in between. I'm even writing this to a mix of kirtan music, bluegrass and hip hop. It's not that I don't love focus, I just tend more towards texture, change and the ever-opening and unfolding list of possibilities the future holds.
While I long for roots and that feeling of settling down, my feet keep wandering. There is a great big world of ideas, new faces and places to see and I'm endlessly curious to see the patterns, life and communities we create across the globe. As Alice in Wanderlust for our crew, I'll be embracing this world hopping, soul searching, idea exploring spirit, all with my yoga mat on hand.
My last week in the nation's capital has me loving up and soaking in everything this city has to offer. From cabs bumping NPR to cherry blossoms blooming, the District is rich with a political energy that pervades everything from yoga class themes to potluck discussions. It's not uncommon to have a morning commute disrupted by Obama's motorcade or a walk periodically stopped by incredible political street art. Though I'm living out of a suitcase my last few days here, I made sure to hold onto my mat and exploratory spirit. I also have been carrying around a slice of notebook paper packed with back to back plans. I'm juggling a blessed life whose blooming is beautifully paralleling the cherry blossoms and magnolias here.
My final days of DC wanderlusting have taken me all around town. I began by taking in a class with an estimated 2,000 fellow yogis at the Washington Monument last weekend.
The class was packed with people of all ages, wearing everything from jeans to pink spandex to match the trees. As a kula we celebrated the arrival of Spring, a season of possibility, growth and opening. For a lot of us locals on the mat, we also breathed out a sigh of relief that healthcare reform passed. After years of this bill ruling the DC scene (it was a favorite post-class tea talk with my yoga students, the buzz on buses and the reason I found myself watching CSPAN for hours for the first time in my life) we'll now see millions more Americans covered and discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and gender gone. Phew.
The whole week I've been hitting my mat in a few new-to-me studios here in DC, from Flow to Past Tense. I've hiked the last few trails I've wanted to check out and lounged in every park I can land in: Lafayette, Meridian Hill (which features a huge, amazing drum circle every beautiful Sunday), Rock Creek and even the green grass in DuPont Circle. I've commuted on the Metro, bus, bike and foot with a Wanderlust inspired playlist singing in my ears. Across town I've seen beautiful signs of deep community: strangers helping strangers off the bus, new friends dancing in the drum circle, sweet laughter in yoga classes.
Last night I was blessed with the opportunity to see Krishna Das perform with Deva Premal and Miten. The snapshot above captures Miten jamming out his guitar as Deva sings Jai Ram to the eight bar blues. As both crews played, thunder and pouring rain fell outside. The energy of the evening was a reminder of how powerful the yoga of sound is. From singing the blues to chanting to Ganesha one hundred and eight times, the collective creation of music shifted the vibration of the room. People were meditative, blessed, dancing, clapping, and breathing deeper. I can't even imagine what this sort of collective energy will feel like when the Wanderlust kula sends sound out into Squaw Valley's beautiful mountain air.
As I close out my slice of life wanderlusting here in DC, I'm planning to flow with Max Strom, browse the farmer's market with my favorite cup of coffee and lead a class of friends under some of the city's oldest and most beautiful trees. When one's genes tip in the direction of wanderlust over roots, goodbyes are inevitable. I'll soon be packing my love for my community here into my suitcase along with a few big deep breaths to hop on a plane to Denver via Southwest Florida (it's on the way, no?).
Whether your genes, like mine, have a tendency to span thousands of miles in a year, or they prefer rooting in one place, this past week of wanderlusting has shown me your own few square miles of community hold infinite space for exploration. Leading up to this year's festival, why not start embracing your inner wanderlust?
Make a list of where you'd go if you had one week left in town. Strike up a conversation with a stranger in a coffee shop, find a local concert, drop into a new yoga studio or finally do cartwheels in that park you've always wanted to breathe in. Wanderlust is a simply a state of mind. An openness to the new and different. A willingness to see the places we've visited a thousand times in fresh new ways.
Your co-pilot in exploration,
Alice in Wanderlust
PS. Let me know here in the comments where you're adventuring and what scenes along the way make you feel more connected, open and alive.