Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass always looked intriguing to me but as someone who is more partial to practicing yoga and meditation in my own space – without having to get touchy feely with strangers (sorry, it’s my East Coast/British genetic structure), I have always been a bit reluctant to purchase that ticket. This year though, master teacher, Rod Stryker, was going to be there. This was my chance to have my long awaited interview with him, and so I procured media passes.
Admittedly, at first both Christopher Gsell and I were not drawn in by the groovy vibe that was pulsing in the “Uncommons” with people standing in circles together and then using each other’s bodies to practice balancing postures, I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather not do than play my favorite kid game of airplane with people I didn’t know.
I warmed up a bit after walking into the “Happy Place” to receive my bulging media bag which included a six pack of my favored beers, Tres Agaves Tequila and two large bottles of organic Margarita Mixes, and lotions from Sweet Spot, the first pH balanced feminine skincare line, but that happy loving feeling quickly reverted back to agitation when I couldn’t find the elevator with the magical P2 button in it to find my car in the parking garage and put my goody bag in it. Missing classes I had signed up for while lugging around the heavy weight of my gifts, and my yoga mat, cracked my latent dark side wide open, and the more I heard songs of peace and love emanating from the Ford Zen Den the more my body-hair and mental state stood on edge, pushing me towards flight mode.
Christopher, a writer and intern at ARL and a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sophomore majoring in physics, left me in my aggravated state to find his true north on the slack line and on trail runs with competitive marathon runner Boise Bettie, Gretchen Hurlbutt (stay tuned for his article), and I, after finally finding my car, re-emerged to rush to a Taoist Insight meditation class with Thomas Droge in The Quiet Space (that was far from quiet with beeping construction trucks and drills going off).
Meditation and meeting Thomas (who you will soon read all about) helped to ease me into a calmer state and I zeroed in on taking the classes of the other teachers I was to be interviewing live; Rod Stryker, Eoin Finn, Matt Giordano and MC YOGI (stay tuned for stories and interviews to be posted on AspenRealLife).
Not wanting to get hung up (ha) on the molasses slow Skittles gondola, I got my workouts in before ever entering the classes by huffing up and down Fanny Hill in the rain, and flip flops shooting invisible arrows towards the happy peaceful spandex-clad people floating above me, all decked out with patterns of ocean life and celestial planets printed on their yoga pants, paired with T-shirts expressing their mental spiritual state, just in case the peaceful expressions didn’t send the message. Next year I’m designing a t-shirt that reads, “Welcome to Aspen-Slowass Wander-Lost “.
With each class and each exhaled breathe my agitation began to wear off and with Christopher by my side navigating through any technical issues, we conducted live Facebook interviews and I transitioned from dark-to-light with the help of all my new professionally spiritual friends.
A global event, Wanderlust hosts 40 events annually, reaching countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Mexico, Chile and Argentina, it was crucial to thoroughly read the Wanderlust site front to back before attending so as not to miss the incredible line up of yoga “stars,” meditation teachers, spiritual musicians and artists and chefs (I missed too much).
In between the classes I visited as many vendor booths as possible to meet the people and see if their products would suit my site and be appealing to our readers. My favorites included; Manduka, Spiritual Gangsters, Kashi (with their new plant powered shakes and organic breakfast super blends), Temple Turmeric Juice and Elixers, Epic Bars, Rad Roller (unlocking body muscles and pains), Canyon Bakehouse (gluten free), Go Raw and dr. Praeger’s purely sensible food.
The booth I was most attracted to was, Wolven Threads. Entering in I met McKinley Tennant and Kiran Jade, both gorgeously natural, one hand-making and selling with her boyfriend very cool recycled, breathable and waterproof yoga pants printed with Eastern sacred geometry fabric patterns, and the other, a woman who left her Corporate job at a tech company in San Francisco to be free, practice yoga and start a luxury metallic flash temporary tat company called, TribeTats (which we will wear at our next event).
In the end my aggro side got tucked back into my inner-depths and Christopher and I found our happy places and were able to get unplugged from the ordinary at this all-out spiritual yoga- music festival celebration covering as much as we physically could without overdosing on downward dogs and triangle postures, leaving the festival different from when we came — with new ideas, new friends, newly-discovered abilities, and a greater peace of mind and can’t wait to tell you all the stories.