Wanderlust Whistler – An Insider’s Guide
Editor’s Note – “While I enjoy herbal tea and the epic calf stretching feeling of a nice ten- breath “Downward Dog”, I am grossly under-qualified in yoga and wellness to give much insight into the upcoming Wanderlust Whistler festival set to roll into town this August 23-26, 2012. So in order to get an inside scoop The Whistler Insider is happy to enlist local straight-shooting yoga wonder-woman (and scheduled Wanderlust teacher) Julia McCabe for her take on what looks to be one of the more unique festivals Whistler will see this summer. Take it away Julia”
Julia McCabe (right) photo by Jim Martinello
by Julia McCabe
Wanderlust is new on the summer festival circuit. It travels to mountain towns with a mission to spread and share yoga, music, healing, wellness and the arts. It’s great that Wanderlust has expanded to Canada and even better that it’s landing in Whistler.
I haven’t been to a Wanderlust Festival yet, so I can’t speak from experience, but when I first heard about it I envisioned a cleaner and less smoked-out version of Woodstock— with stretchy luon fabrics replacing the tie-dye and a higher sitar-to-guitar ratio. Now that Wanderlust is happening right in my own backyard, however, I’ve ditched those preconceptions and to say I am excited is a total understatement.
As a yoga teacher I’m looking forward to the top-notch faculty coming our way. Even for people who are new to yoga, Wanderlust is the perfect tapas plate of some of the best teachers on the yoga circuit. The music, a very unique offering compared to most summer festivals, will be a real added bonus. The entire fest looks amazing but here’s a list of some things I expect will be well worth checking out.
Free is Key
There will be a free large-scale yoga class on Friday, August 23rd from 7pm – 8pm at the Whistler Olympic Plaza. Michael Franti will be singing, and that alone is reason to show up but since Seane Corn is also teaching the class you should bring along your yoga mat. It will be fun and most of the Wanderlust teaching faculty will be there practicing with everyone else.
Yogis on my “Must See” list
Nothing like a kick in the butt by Baron Baptiste, a bandana-clad super-motivational, no-BS teacher who also pioneered the “Power” of power yoga.
Seane Corn is an amazing visionary and a force to reckon with. She offers an amazing Detox Flow practice and created the Off the Mat, Into the World outreach program. She offers an empowering practice with an even more empowering dialogue.
Tiffany Cruikshank is someone I’m definitely checking out. I’ve practiced with some of her downloads and she seems really sweet and down to earth.
Also Eoin Finn – just for fun. He’s one big happy hug of a man.
I’m equally impressed by these yogis who all hail from right here in the Sea to Sky Corridor: Ryan Leier, Reno Muenz, Clara Roberts-Oss, Meghan Currie, Chris Chavez, Nico Luce, Mike Nichols. All of them are incredible. You should sign up for them.
I will also be teaching four classes at Wanderlust including the next installment of a special class I began this past spring at the Whistler Yoga Conference called “Yoga for Dudes who have been dragged to the Conference by their Wives/Girlfriends.” Come hither tight-assed men!
Music in the Mountains
Krishna Das is a true Bhakti yogi (one who devotes his passion for life/love through song). This style of traditional yoga music (Kirtan) isn’t exactly nightclub stuff but the call-and-response aspect is a great experience . Kirtans can go either way depending on the crowd’s energy and the environment in which it is conducted. A lame audience makes for a lame Kirtan so show up with an open mind and let yourself get into it. Sing like you’re in the shower.
And of course, Michael Franti is always a good listen under alpine glow. He plays Whistler a lot and it’s always fantastic.
The topic is “TRUST: The Student-Teacher Relationship” and I will be sitting in on this discussion panel via Lululemon on Thursday, August 23 at 3:30pm. Sianna Sherman, Janet Stone, Jason Nemer and Chris Chavez will also be there to discuss the delicate and intricate nature of the relationship between yoga teachers and their students. What happens when that balance is disturbed? Who is responsible when the boundaries of bond become muddied? What kind of behavior violates the unwritten rules inherent in this relationship? Is there ever at time that it is appropriate for these inherent rules to be ‘suspended’? This should be interesting. Eek!
I’m probably the most excited about these discussion/shop-talk style workshops. The Wanderlust website describes it best: “These are not stuffy lectures, but rather informal conversations that take place in an intimate lounge setting. Get comfy on the couch or cozy up on some cushy pillows, sip on some free tea and kombucha, and listen to some of the most fascinating people in the world of wellness talk about a wide range of topics including meditation, nutrition, technology, music, organics, spirituality, yoga, and more.” Sounds good to me, I’m always inspired by the stories of other and I’ve heard great things about Wanderlust speakers Marianne Willamson and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.
Tip: Don’t Overdo It.
Whether you sign up for a full day or the full weekend, take care of your body. It’s easy to sign up for five yoga classes in a row and totally exhaust yourself. Read the class details carefully on the website – know what you’re signing up for! Avoid taking back-to-back physical asana sessions. In between yoga sessions try out a meditation, speakeasy or get outside and go for a hike or try any of the other incredible Whistler activities.