WLVT: Spirituality is a Party at Wanderlust
Most people have some sort of stereotype of what makes a "spiritual" person. Perhaps it involves being devoted to a particular church or temple, sitting in silence, worshipping their version of God. Maybe they think of nuns leading a sheltered life, or monks meditating in cross-legged contemplation. However, coming to Wanderlust is a fantastic reminder that spirituality doesn’t have to mean monastic asceticism. At Wanderlust, people have traveled from all points of the country to practice yoga, sit in on lectures, roam the grounds and eat the food. But what lies beneath all of what people seek at the festival is the fact that people come to Wanderlust to live in the moment and to love life, and nothing is could be more spiritual than that.
What creates a transcendent experience for you? It is physical postures of yoga? The music? The community of coming together for one purpose? You can find it all at Wanderlust. Sometimes you can find it all in one class- such as Yoga Soundscape led by Aarona Pichinson.
Yoga Soundscape begins with a flowing Vinyasa practice and of course, live music. The music is original and thus unique and intertwines perfectly with the physical asanas. The drums start with a heartbeat, thump thump, thump thump, at first so quiet you almost mistake it for your own. Then as more movement is brought to your practice, the beat of the drums drives your poses forward and slows them down right at the perfect moments. One of the musicians begins to walk around the room playing the crystal bowls, the sound ringing throughout your body as she weaves in and out of people while they are practicing postures. The sound of the bowl hits the core of your body and brings all the music together into one focal point, much like the sound of Om which reminds us that we are all part of this universe together.
Then the class moves in to more of a free movement class, the music becoming deeper and richer entering through your ears but filling your body from head to toe with vibrations and melodies that lift you up. The beat of the drums build up to a peak and settle in your gut, becoming a part of you as you release any fear or anxiety and let your body move almost separately from your mind: a true form of mediation. And when you do open your eyes and become aware again of the space around you, you see people, people who are feeling the same freedom, experiencing a higher power together and feeling the union of humanity all at once.
This is just one class of hundreds. The essence of that is everywhere at Wanderlust. It’s in the classes, it’s in the Kirtans, the performances, the hikes, the lectures. It’s on the inspiration board, by the harbor, by the lake, or the grassy knoll where the Yoga Slackers and Hula Hoop Yogis express themselves. It’s in the beauty of the scenery, the architecture of the tents, the art at your feet made of mulch and bottle tops. It’s even in the open fields where people lie down on their mats soaking in the beauty of life, taking a moment to be grateful for all the universe has to provide.
Dictionary.com defines the word Wanderlust as “a strong innate desire to rove or travel [across wide spaces]”. At the Wanderlust festival that takes on another meaning. As we wander through the mountains, the desire to rove is one we experience together and one that is a journey both physical and internal. Wanderlust attendees are not just sitting in cross-legs all day in silent meditation and so the past notion of what defines spirituality is falling away. A new spirituality movement is here. A movement of fun, of love and laughter, and of community. A movement of Wanderlust.
~ Tosia is both a certified yoga and Pilates instructor, hold a masters degree in Creative Writing and writes a successful yoga blog. She has appeared on numerous yoga and Pilates DVDs for the fitness company Regeneration from 2007 to 2011 which she held part ownership along with her support system: her sister and mother (also certified instructors) whom share her passion for fitness. A bit of a renaissance woman, she was also a featured singer on the Grammy award winning children's album Songs From The Neighborhood: A Tribute to Mr. Rogers in 2006, and my EP of original music was featured in Brazil's popular magazine: SPEAK UP in 2011. She is truly grateful to be able to merge her passion for yoga and creative writing into her blog: YogabyTosia: Experience. Evaluate. Evolve. Find her on Facebook here, Twitter here, and Instagram @bytosia.