Wanderlust found me.
Without thinking about it too much, I signed up as a volunteer, and when they chose me to participate, I immediately found a hotel and started reading about classes at the festival. I really didn't know any of the "big name" yoga teachers, but read a little about them and knew I'd find the classes that were right for me once I got there.
Class 1: "Sky Dancers" with Sianna Sherman, A class that boasted a "challenging sequence of backbends" and a "greater refuge in the power of love." Nice. I'm in. There's only 1 problem. I hate backbends. I'm actually scared of them. The pain in my lower back was saying, "don't you dare step foot in that room," but there was a light somewhere in my body saying, "you better get over this fear!" I went for it.
The teacher could tell I was struggling in Ustrasana (Camel Pose) so came over to help. She could see the fear in my eyes, knowing the full wheel would be next. She left me, choking on my fear. A minute later, a girl a few feet away was crying. I think she was worse off than me.
Before you know it, Sianna Sherman had me and the cryer up in front of the entire class, using us as examples to do backbends the RIGHT way. "We're going to help you two," she said in the most motherly fashion. I would've done anything she told me. A few simple instructions later, Brenda and I were in full wheels, and the whole class was applauding. Talk about empowerment.
Class 2: Creating Art through the Body with John Friend (founder of Anusara)
As a volunteer, I had to work, but I tried to sneak into every class I could. Usually they'd let me after all the other yogis took their place. I found an open spot in the back, next to the door, a draft blowing up my yoga pants the whole time. I didn't care. Somehow I made it into handstand in this class. John talked about how we are meant to share our art with the world. I was almost in tears of bliss by the end of it.
Class 3: Getting High: Using Yoga and Meditation to Access the Infinite Pharmacy Within with Tommy Rosen
Ouch. My shoulder tendonitis REALLY didn't like this. Long-winded-detailed explanation of this session cut short, we did crazy things with our bodies that made our kundalini energy rise, namely, for the first 11 minutes we jumped / danced with our arms in the sky NONSTOP. Try it. E-L-E-V-E-N minutes.
Deepak Chopra - Diamonds on the glasses, squished on my fanny in the front row on the floor. He said some insightful stuff. :)
Class 4: Power Yoga Master Class & Meditation with Bryan Kest
Let me just sum it up for you with some quotes from Mr. Kest: Quote 1 "Lower down, baby cobra flow, ass in the air, High as it'll go." Quote 2 "This is called foot in the air asana. You want to know the sanskrit names of poses? Go to India." Quote 3 "People always ask me, 'Bryan, which way should I point my foot?' I don't fuckin know. If you like the way it feels when you point it, then point it, if you like the way it feels when you flex, then flex. I don't fuckin care!" Quote 4 "You know, I'm looking all around at you folks and your glutes and lips are all so tight. Loosen up your glutes, man! Do you make love like that?"
Such an unexpected beautiful 8 a.m. class
Watched Shakti Flow with Seane Corne
Cool scene. Some girl blew out her knee. Not a cool sound.
Class 5: Finding Your Voice - Off The Mat - Suzanne Sterling + Kerri Kelly
"Ahhhhhh Ohhhhh Ahhhhh.....EXPRESSION! (which was, of course, my contribution) Ahhhhhh Ohhhhh Ahhhhhh GOD'S LOVE! Hooooooooooooooonesty.....Ahhhhhh Ohhhh ahhhh!!!"