The irony here is that neither of us are what you would call yoga enthusiasts. Heck, neither of us are what you’d call stretching enthusiasts. So it was certainly outside our collective comfort zones.
Let me take a step back. The Wanderlust Festival is an event that has been held the past 6 years at Squaw Valley. There are similar Wanderlust festivals all over the world, allowing yoga lovers to get their Om on in exotic locales like Oahu, Aspen Snowmass and Squaw Valley. I was familiar with the Squaw event, though I had never attended.
Until this year.
My friends chortled when I told them I was going to a yoga festival, as it was endlessly amusing for them to imagine me on a yoga mat, amidst a bunch of hippies. I was as surprised as they were to discover that I actually enjoyed it. I even learned some stuff that I can apply to my real life.
You don’t have to go all in
Like the many activities I love (skiing, mountain biking, swimming), yoga doesn’t require you to jump in whole hog to enjoy them. I can dabble in yoga and reap the benefits, even if I still can’t touch my toes.
The meditation and wellness classes were the ones that freaked me out the most, as I’m one of those OCD people who can’t sit still without thinking about the mental checklist in my head, or some future task that I. must. get. done. Learning to stop and take a deep breath or three was the single best idea I took home. It’s not just good at quieting the barrel of monkeys in my brain, but it’s also useful when I’m out playing, as it helps combat the occasional bouts of exercise induced asthma.
I wrote about this for Wanderlust, but it’s relevant enough to me to deserve restating here. Sure, there were people there that appeared to be very concerned about their appearance (apparently putting on makeup before yoga is a thing), but generally speaking, folks didn’t care who I was, what I was wearing, or if I could hold whatever crazy-ass pose we were doing next. Which was very freeing.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to become some headstand-selfie-taking yoga zealot anytime soon. Adrenaline is still far more appealing than Nidra. But I do realize that yoga (and stretching) in moderation are good for me, and that putting myself outside my comfort zone every now and again isn’t a bad thing.
Check out my other pieces on Wanderlust:
The Wanderlust Newbies: Part 1
Five Ways to Be the Best Wanderlust Newbie Ever
Confessions of a Roller Disco Queen
The Wanderlust Newbies: Part 2
Why Yoga Should be on Every Athlete’s Radar