Though my body was already feeling a little sore from the previous two days of yoga, hikes, and even ballet, I was excited to be boarding the tram to go to the top of the mountain to take another yoga class. I was already surrounded by beauty and peace at the Wanderlust Festival, I figured it had to be even more amazing to take a class up there. In planning for the trip, my motto was to try as many things that I wouldn’t otherwise get to try elsewhere. And mountaintop yoga is not something you can find in my teeny coastal(read: totally flat) Carolina town.
During the 10 minute tram ride, I glared at my phone and its pathetic ONE bar, which was not allowing me to reply to emails or check twitter or facebook. And while I can let some of that go for my own personal accounts, I was feeling stressed about getting behind for work.
But when we all unloaded at the top, I followed the signs for my Basic Flow yoga class and was blown away by the sheer natual beauty.
The class was right on the edge, overlooking a massive drop down the side of the mountain. You could look straight across and see the mountain peaks. I set up my yoga mat and simply stared out ahead of me, enjoying the quiet.
Even as others approached the practice space, it never got loud, as everyone automatically hushed as they got close to the spectacular view.
Class began and our instructor had one of the most melodic voices I’ve ever heard.
The class was called “Harness Ur Awesomeness” and I admit that I took it more because it was 1. at high camp and 2. it was a gentle flow class and I wanted something that wasn’t going to completely kick my ass, rather than paying too much mind to the class description of “Stand in your power. Align with your truth. Flow with your passion.”
Even though I love yoga and the happy peaceful environment of Wanderlust is one that I’d love to have all the time, I have to admit that I sometimes roll my eyes at bit at some of the spiritual parts of the practice and instead focused on the workout and the calm that would come over me. For example, when I’d be in a class where we’d be asked to chant a certain word(or sound), I would usually do it, but it always seemed a little weird. Or if the talk got too far out there for me, I simply ignored it and tried to get a little deeper into a stretch.
But as I went through the class and listened, really listened to the instructor, my thoughts began to change.
We all stood in Warrior Two position, with left hip and arm pulling back toward the mountains behind and right hip and arm extending towards the mountains in front of us. Doing as our teacher instructed, I felt that pull and extension and felt the strength in the connection of my feet to the earth, feeling solid and strong.
She encouraged us to feel our energy, our strength, and to realize that we are what is permanent during our lifetimes: that each of us, whatever is inside of us and our bodies- this is what we have. Not everything external. Not our stresses, our jobs, all that outside noise. Everything around us changes and what we have, what we will always have, through everything, is ourselves. So we need to be taking care of ourselves.
In that moment, it really hit home to me. And I started to let go of some of my worries. Like that one bar showing on my iPhone.
Shortly after, we were relaxing in Child’s Pose and encouraged to “Om” with the class… instead of any eyerolling, I joined in. And as each individual on top of the mountain chanted it in their own rhythm and for their own length of time, it began to sound more like the chiming of hundreds of bells.
We went into Shavasana(final resting time at the end of class), though our teacher told us if we were feeling chilled or needed a little more comfort, to take this time on our bellies instead of our backs. Having goosebumps on my arms, I took the time on my belly, breathing deeply and feeling so peaceful, so strong.
And then our teacher began to sing, beautiful words that I couldn’t understand(Sanskrit, possibly?). But I could feel the emotion, the overwhelming joy and harmony in those syllables.
And I never wanted to leave that space, that mountain where it seemed so easy to be aware of what is important, to feel that peace and strength, and to let go of the rest.
Disclosure: I attended Wanderlust as part of #toyotawomen. I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of Toyota.
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