I researched, bought tickets and packed for Wanderlust 108 all in the span of a few hours. After all, how could I possibly miss the opportunity to attend my very first yogic festival here in my home town. Granted Wanderlust is not just a yoga festival, far from it. Named a mindful triathlon it incorporates the basic idea of a triathlon only instead of running, biking and swimming there was running, yoga and meditation.
I was nervous. Sign me up for some communal yoga and meditation any day of the week but running? Suddenly, I’m outside of my comfort zone. Running 5k? Well I was practically jumping out of my own skin. My fear didn’t lessen when I walked past the gates of the park and found myself surrounded by thousands and thousands of people that looked fitter and more prepared than I was. Nathalie, as you imagine, fit right it. So there we were, in the middle of a relatively large park that was closed to outsiders during the main activities of the festival, surrounded by an enormous array of women and men of different ages. We were the smart folks that went to pre registration the day before so we skipped right past the registration line and onto the line for the KLM lottery to win tickets to Amsterdam. Needless to say we stood in that line until we got out ballots in (SPOILER ALERT we did not win). Then off we went, walking around the park where booths have been set up with anything and everything. From healthy foods, to books, to bracelets, the park was equipped with it all.
Thats when I heard quite a few of the attenders talk about walking the 5k and even some who wanted to skip it all together and my soul and body found peace. I ended up walking while Nathalie charged forwards with the rest of the “winners”. Mind you there were no winners. I KNOW! It was all done at our own pace with no score sheets, timers or regulations. So I cheered her on when she passed by me, twice too! Then we actually did somethings that I found great pleasure in. We got our hair done, took some pictures and got matching tattoos! Alright fine, they were fake matching tattoos but just ask Nathalie how long we have laughed at the idea of getting matching tats and she will tell you that this is as close to a victory as my dream is going to get.
When it was time for yoga and meditation I was already having the time of my life and it didn't disappoint. Different from your normal yoga class the instructor kept us motivated and commanded the energy in the room like a total pro while we breathed, danced and laughed as a unit of one and a unit of a hundred. What an amazing experience it was when we began to truly let go of our inhibitions and move our bodies to the rhythm, listening to the powerful words from onstage. We meditated and we laughed and we were brought closer together to people who’s names we did not know but understood their energy and I can’t say I’ll ever regret experiencing this.
We spent the rest of the day at the festival, joining other small yoga groups, forming our own and reveling in the peaceful, friendly atmosphere around us.
Long story short I enjoyed my time at my first ever Mindful triathlon emencly and will expect all of my readers to meet me at the next one!