*By Ildiko S*
As a new yoga instructor I always seek guidance and advice from senior teachers. I’m interested in learning about their backgrounds and experiences. It’s these conversations that have helped me realize how much teaching is really an extension of my own practice. In my opinion, yoga festivals provide some of the best opportunities to speak directly with world-renowned instructors.
“Do your best to be forgiving, gentle and loving with yourself. It’s a practice to consistently notice when your inner-dialogue or inner-vibe needs to shift from hyper-critical or judgmental to more loving and accepting. Allow yourself to be a real human, to experience the full range, and learn as you go.”
Aarona has been teaching yoga for 11 years. She taught a couple classes at Wanderlust that were based on a moon deck; one that was a vinyasa flow and the other was on meditation and journaling. She had such an amazing energy to her – charismatic, warm and welcoming. She is the author and co-creator of the moon deck, which is an intuitive oracle set that is beautifully put together – I just had to get a deck while I was there! I left her classes feeling re-energized and inspired.
“Be who you are in every moment. Let yourself express yourself in the way you want. Always be you because that’s a true gift.”
Natalie has been teaching yoga for 5 – 6 years. She taught two classes at Wanderlust; hip hop yoga and yin yoga. Both sessions were back-to-back. This in itself was very impressive because they are completely opposite styles; one was a very high energy dance party and the other was a restorative relaxing class. Natalie was able to change her energy from the hip hop yoga class to a yin class in a very smooth transition. She was an absolutely lovely human being, had great energy and was very knowledgeable about the practice. She’s always been fascinated with the body and her combination of yoga therapy, breath and alignment approach came through in her classes.
“Lean into simplicity instead of chasing complexity”
Chelsey has been teaching yoga for 16 years. She taught a soundscape class, which is a Wanderlust signature class. She was extremely charismatic, friendly and had such a nice voice that made it easy to listen to her. What I also loved about her style was that she set an intention at the beginning of the class. She focused our thoughts on living in the present moment and not thinking about what we think it should look like, but instead accepting it as it is. Chelsey also came around and spoke to every student before the class to understand a bit more about our backgrounds and injuries. I thought this was a really caring gesture and was definitely drawn to her energy during the class.
“We have work to do, every one of us. The time is now in order to create a world that is free and equal and safe and loving for ALL”
Seane has been teaching yoga for 23 years. She taught an empower class which was a vinyasa flow style. She started the class with breath exercises as a way to get us to tune into our breath. The class was mostly filled with flows and sun salutations that all came back to the breath. What I loved about Seane is that her background includes International work: she’s shared her yoga teachings and self-expression with those less fortunate. I loved her compassion, kindness and I really felt like this selflessness came through in her class.
Although there are many amazing benefits of attending Wanderlust, the opportunity to speak to experienced instructors about their practice was a highlight for me. They each brought something unique to their classes and inspired many of us with their teachings. I hope their words inspire you too and hope to see you at a Wanderlust retreat in the future!
If you do plan on attending the fest, here are some things you should consider bringing with you:
- Mala Beads – I use these as a meditation tool to help me focus on my intention. I order mine online at Mala Collective and they also have some mala beads available for purchase at Wanderlust.
- Mat – Definitely bring a yoga mat! I prefer travelling with a light mat so it’s easy to carry as I go to the various classes and workshops.
- Accessories – I didn’t personally bring any accessories this time, but if it’s a part of your regular practice or if you feel like you’ll need the support, I recommend packing them (i.e. blocks or straps).
- Clothes – Bring clothes that are comfortable and breathable so you can move through poses with ease. Bring layers so that when it gets chilly (especially in the evenings) you can dress accordingly.
- Running Shoes – I really loved hiking during the festival so if you decide to do any activities around the property, it’s a good idea to have a decent pair of running shoes to explore in.
- Water Bottle – Bring a water bottle that you can refill. If you really don’t want to lug one around, you can always purchase water (or snag one of the limited free water bottles dotted around the festival).
Thank you to Wanderlust Tremblant for hosting me! As always, all reviews and opinions are entirely my own.