WLVT: Out of Many, One
It's not every day I find myself united with hundreds of strangers in a yoga class. I usually don’t love massive yoga classes, but per a friend’s suggestion, I went to “Out of Many, One,” a yoga experience hosted by yoga rockstars Seane Corn, Gabrielle Bernstein, Elena Brower, Suzanne Sterling, David Romaelli and DJ Fabian Asultany. Upon arrival, I learned that the "bonus" class was in support of Off the Mat, Into the World, a non-profit that serves to inspire yogis to to take their practice off the mat and ignite grass roots social change.
When I showed up to the huge "Greatest Place" tent a bit late, the tent was already packed from wall to wall. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I soon felt welcomed with joy by neighbors as we begun the class. After opening words from Seane Corn, the tent soon went from feeling like an enormous gathering of strangers to becoming a completely united group. Seane set the tone of the class by explaining the motive of Off the Mat, Into the World, and the philanthropic mission for this "Out of Many, One" class: to inspire action beyond your mat and get involved in creating change in your community.
After Seane’s opening words, David Romanelli led us through a series of Vinyasas to work out any tensions and tightness in our bodies. After David, Elena Brower took over, and encouraged us to stay in the present and to deepen our stretches, to hold the pose and sit through the pain. The energy was brewing and as we all got in the rhythm of different poses, I felt a fire sparking inside me.
After Elena, Suzanne instructed us to roll up our mats and gather around the center of the room. She took out a drum and began singing and this is when the energy in the room reached new heights and a magnetic connection was forged among everyone. This intrinsic bond that was cultivated through these series of exercise was only heightened through a series of meditative singing and poses. Looking around the room each person was glowing and emitting such beautiful energy. I thought, what they say is true: "I’m in complete bliss and wonder at Wanderlust".
After we danced and sang and chanted together, Gabby Bernstein had us settle down into some Kundulini postures. We did the "bear claw", and moved our arms up and down while chanting together. Again, suddenly hundred of yogis were united as one. It struck me that suddenly, the collaboration of all of these all-star yoga instructors made sense – out of many, one. Seane closed the class by having everyone put a hand on a stranger while we chanted Oms together. We sat with our backs against someone and let our bodies share the Om vibration - an experience I won't soon forget.
The interweaving theme through all of the different sequences was connection. That no matter our race, sexual orientation, religion, or any of those socially constructed identities, we are here to come together and honor the transformative powers of Yoga and of breaking down those boundaries. One quote that struck me early on was that if you take a single strand of DNA from any two people in the world it will match 99.9 percent, and it is only that 0.1% that makes us individuals. That 99.9% is really an incredible bond: once we realize that we all share the same insecurities and fears, we can overcome these hindering obstaacles and release ourselves to be able grow into the most powerful and honest versions of ourselves that we can be. Realizing that we all share so much in common allows us greater ease in working together and helping each other – opening our hearts to one another and allowing ourselves, together, to blossom.
I am so grateful to have been apart of this class, and the Wanderlust community this weekend. I left feeling united with everyone, with a new understanding of myself and of the deep connection that lies within.
~Taylor Angino is a surfer, dancer, music-lover, art history geek and fashion expert. He currently works at Vogue as a Fashion Assistant. We loved having Taylor at Wanderlust Vermont and seeing him embody and spread the Wanderlust spirit!