The bliss-filled nostalgia of Wanderlust Squaw 2014 is still swirling around my third eye and I’ve been home for just under 4 hours.
Yes, I’m tired.
Yes, I’m sore.
And yes, I’m a little hung-over from Wanderlust shenanigans.
But mostly, I’m deeply grateful for having gone to my first yoga festival alone.
I’m no festival-going pro. I’ve never been to burning man, or reggae on the river, or bhakti fest. I know. The shame. I’ve always thought that it wasn’t my scene. But last year I decided that if any festival was my kind of festival it had to be Wanderlust. I mean, come on. Yoga, nature and music for 4 days? Yes, please. So my girlfriends and I rented a cabin, brought a bunch of food and had an absolute blast.
I knew I wanted to attend again this year but the challenge was that nobody wanted to go with me. It’s a pretty pricey ticket and with an increase in yoga-enthusiasm my yogi-friends were concerned it would be too commercial. My newbie yoga-friends found the idea of doing that much yoga intimidating.
The result? If I was going, I was going alone.
And you know what? Going alone was exactly what I did.
Here are 5 things that I learned by going to Wanderlust alone.
1. There is no separation.
My all time favorite Wanderlust teacher, Seane Corn, always reminds us that there is no separation between the mind, body and spirit. And there was nothing like going to Wanderlust alone to realize that there is no alone. There is no separation. Period. We are one and that means that we will make connections.
Thanks to a magnificent article by Andrea M, I was able to be more engaged in making the connection. People are primed to make magical connections because this is a tribe of yogis. Okay, maybe not everyone is in the tribe, but most people are
2. Yoga has a cumulative effect.
No single class kicked my ass-ana, but after practicing 4.5 hours a day you are going to feel sore. Good sore, but sore. It also opens up space energetically. My heart is more open. Thanks to the teachers for that.
3. Learning from masters happens everywhere.
I came to Wanderlust to study with American Yoga Master Teachers that I would either have to pay a ton of money to practice with or travel the world to practice with.
But by being alone, I was acutely aware that everyone I met was a master with something to teach me.
From the ladies who cut in front of me at the Chai stand, to Amir who initiated me into the #tribalmarkings family with beautiful blue-pained body art, to giving up my staunch veganism to eat cheese pizza with new friends; I was learning about myself and the kind of World I want to co-create with the Universe.
Masters are everywhere, all the time. Being alone opened me up to seeing them in everything, all the time.
4. Silence is powerful.
Taking time to be alone, journal, and process what was coming up for me and what I want to take away from this experience was powerful for me. Being alone meant that I was really able to carve out space for silence. Whether in my car, in my cabin, or eating lunch in silence on the grass, I was able to cultivate silent space for myself.
5. I have everything I need inside me already.
The biggest teaching of the trip? I don’t have to be afraid. Ever. Of anything. I have everything that I need to navigate all that is before me. I can make good choices because I am connected and reconnecting to the Guru within. That Guru knows how to take me safety through my journey.
I am already signed up for Wanderlust 2015. What can I say? I love being in the majesty of the forest, om-ing it out with the rest of the yoga tribe. And next year, I will absolutely seek out friends who want to go in on a cabin together.
Come on, friends are great. But I will also know that I can come out refreshed, revived and renewed if I head up to the festival alone.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas via Flickr