Amateur Review of the Wanderlust Yoga Festival by a Kelowna Yogini

Namaste!  After spending 3 full days of yoga-ing at the Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Whistler this past week, I am full of inspired teachings and free love (the non-sexual kind!!).  I went with a group of fellow yoga teachers from the Okanagan; a pilgrimage we started last summer when Wanderlust decided to add Whistler on its tour.  We came, we stretched, we flexed, we left. 

 Pre Chris Chavez's epic class on the top of Whistler Mountain. 

Pre Chris Chavez's epic class on the top of Whistler Mountain. 

Here are the moments I loved about Wanderlust Whistler: 

 Cameron Shayne

Cameron Shayne

  • The floating workshop with Cameron Shayne.  So this guy I've never heard of (I took his class on a whim) walks into the room in booty shorts that are smaller than my underpants.  I instantly realized my yoga practice would initially be about non-judgement before anything else.  Well, let me tell you, his enthusiasm was instantly infectious.  I was mesmerized by his unique martial arts fusion style of yoga.  He was so damn passionate and his teachings were from a genuine place of personal practice.  I learned about a shoulder girdle placement called the "cobra hood" and I also learned the very important (but rarely taught) ways to safely fall out of a handstand.  Check out his style of yoga called Budokon.
  • Moby's (yes, the internationally famous musician/rockstar) "speakeasy" on Metta Meditation may have rocked my world.  He was entertaining, funny, and terribly intelligent.  His lesson on meditation was "go easy on yourself" and find a meditation that works for you.  We learned to let the awesomeness of fresh squeezed orange juice be a meditation.  He also led us through a guided meditation on Metta (a Buddhist word for loving kindness) that encouraged us to love and feel loved.  Delicious. 
  • Free concerts.  In the evening, Wanderlust hosted concerts in the park each night.  They included the absorbingly talented music and performance group Quixotic, an acoustic set by Moby, and a jam session with MC Yogi, among others.  The best thing about these concerts is that not only are they top notch quality, they are free for anyone in the area so even locals who did not want to attend 6 hours of yoga instruction a day could still check out the concerts at night.  Way to give back to the community, Wanderlust. 

Here are some of the aspects of this year's Wanderlust that I was dissaponted by: 

  • Shiva Rea.  She is one of the biggest yoga rockstars in the world and our entire group was quick to sign up for at least one of her classes. Nevertheless, we all felt her teaching was lacklustre.  Perhaps our expectations were too high or we were blinded by the sheer gigantic size of her classes.  I found it was difficult to synch my breath with the very slow breathing she was encouraging us to take on as we flowed through the repetitive yoga postures.  Her voice ("begiiiinnning, miiiiiddddle, eeeennnnd") became more aggravating as she continued to repeat the same instructions over and over again.  I do not doubt the skill or quality of her experience and leadership, nevertheless, in the 2 hours class I experienced with her I was not blown away.
  • Moby's DJ set.  I love Moby.  I love his music.  So why he only DJ'd music that was not his still mystifies me.   
  • Although I don't expect every room used for the classes at Wanderlust to be yoga studio worthy; I did find many of the rooms to be poorly ventilated, too small, and a bit smelly (an unpleasant mix of stinky carpet and BO).  A bit distracting I must say! 

 

 Cameron Shayne assisting us in "floating"

Cameron Shayne assisting us in "floating"

Overall, the festival was fantastic just as it was the previous year.  I think it is a must if you are an instructor and I highly recommend it to avid yoga practitioners!  

Lots of Love, 

l.e. martini

 With Chris Chavez- his class was most definitely a highlight.

With Chris Chavez- his class was most definitely a highlight.