By Leslie Daly
It was a question I heard and asked throughout the weekend. Why yes, it was my first Wanderlust. I had the great honor and pleasure to teach, practice and listen at the festival in Vermont this weekend. The question was warranted, it was like saying, "Have you experienced this amazing blend of people coming together to celebrate what is good and true about humanity and nature?!" No, I hadn't. But now I have.
My own class was early on the first day of the festival. I had a small group of smiling faces, each of them ready to tackle the weekend ahead of them. My class, The Skillful Practice: Finding Balance, was all about meeting the needs of your body in that moment. So often we are rushing into class or reconnecting with friends that we don't take a moment to find out what we are bringing to the mat that day. This class was about checking in and noticing. Setting an intention from this place of awareness means that we can mindfully enter our practice and sense the shifts along the way. When we align our bodies, hearts and minds, we come to a place of internal balance. This is the place from which we strive to live our lives, the place from which we experience how connected we all are.
I gave my students the option to start in child's pose (feeling a little more inwardly drawn, with tired or passive energy) or reclining bound angle (feeling a little more externally focused, with anticipatory or excited energy). Everyone started in reclining bound angle- bodies and hearts open! The tone was set, for my class and the weekend ahead.
I participated in a fun, sweaty class with Seane Corn. Her heart and her voice are so clear that you can actually feel activism and global change pulsating through her body! Did I mention she played songs from the Fame soundtrack, Poison and Phil Collins?!
Elena Brower led an eloquent and deep psoas-focused class which reminded me that when I feel connected internally, I can be present and listen from a profoundly authentic place. Garth Stevenson's accompaniment was truly divine.
I listened to Kelly Morris talk about the development of her own spiritual path and reconsidered by own commitment to developing the feminine in my teaching and prioritizing (and increasing) the amount of time I spend in nature in my life.
I practiced with Rolf Gates, who focused on the third Niyama, tapas. Zeal for practice.This was particularly poignant for an 8am class! He was articulate and grounded, and offered the concepts and his sequence in such an accessible way that I believe even my non-yogi husband walked away feeling like maybe yoga is for him too.
And then there were friends and music, food and a *little bit* of wine. A ride on the ski lift. And a mini rainstorm, or two.
Wanderlust Vermont has left me filled with excitement and love and a deep appreciation for the yoga community. What an amazing and diverse group of smart people that want to change the world. For the better. My own practice feels enlivened, my body feels nourished and I feel utterly grateful to have been a part of this event.
Yoga provides a venue for activism, self-awareness, self-care, community, education and health. Personal shifts and global change. I'm in.
When's your first Wanderlust?