Before I left for CO last week, I thought I would for sure be blogging while I was gone. I mean, when do I not blog?
Oh, yeah – when I am too busy to do anything other than jump from one activity or event to the next which is exactly what Yoga Camp (a.k.a. Wanderlust in Aspen-Snowmass) turned out to be in terms of schedule intensity.
So here it is, a full 24 hours+ after getting home and I am finally finding some time to write. Trust me, my brain needs it and has for several days now, but for real, minus the many long hours on the road that bookended our trip, there was zero downtime in which to record and sort thoughts, much less do so coherently.
Will tonight’s offering be coherent? Well, I’m not entirely sure as I am still totally exhausted from travel plus lack of sleep plus abundance of experience and learning, but I wouldn’t trade any of that away, so my apologies in advance if my yoga brain does not translate to the best writing brain. But for my sake and perhaps your entertainment, let me recap just what it was like to hit the road with my yoga girlfriends for five days:
(in a word, awesome!)
Day One: Travel. Travel, travel, travel. But it totally felt like camp because as we came together to leave town, it was suitcases and goodbyes to our rides and then all the driving. We did the entire trip out to Snowmass which Google Maps says is at least 9.5 or 10 hours on a good day, and when you account for pit stops and photo opportunities and traffic and food breaks, it took us 10.5, maybe even closer to 11 hours to get all the way from Hastings to our ski lodge hotel at the venue in Snowmass. Ouch. I mean, literally – OUCH. That much time in the car was seriously rough on my back. But then we got to the festival and the altitude and excitement kicked in and away we went to explore and celebrate the fact that we did indeed make it all in one day. I mean, there were s’mores and campfire singalongs and how were we totally not at Yoga Camp?! 😉
Day Two: To be honest, I don’t know if I slept Thursday night. Not for lack of trying, for sure, but I was not about to let total sleep fog take over – there was far too much awesomeness happening Friday, Day One of the actual festival for us, for that! After getting to hear my yoga idol, Kathryn Budig speak as my first activity of the day, and then take an actual live class from her an hour later, my heart was already ready to burst with joy and that was just the start, as the very next class after that was a flow and LIVE CONCERT from MC Yogi (bestill my music loving heart!), and then an outdoor class with the most frank and real discussion of mediation I have ever heard that just so happened to take place in the pouring rain (under a tent, but still) with Gina Caputo, and then a random invite to a sake tasting/class before we “ended” the night with some pub food. Was that a run on sentence? Imagine how my brain felt as I scurried up and down the mountain from one event to the next, while also making time to pump every 4-5 hours in the midst of all that. WOWZERS!
Day Three: After beginning the longest day of days for my weekend with another speaker (about community organizing for the greater good/community wellness which was AMAZING), I went back-to-back with four 90 minute classes, with just 30 minutes between each to get from venue to venue (again, up and down and all around the mountain). The first was with Seane Corn and it was the biggest blessing as she broke vinyasa styled yoga down in a way I have never seen before and really taught, I felt, the class to other teachers (and also those who are newer to the practice). Incredible! And she assisted me out of triangle pose for Pete’s sake, so holy crap! After Seane’s class, I participated in a walking meditation/mala designing class with Silver and Sage jewelry which may have felt pretty darn awkward in the beginning but turned in to such a cool experience, and I cannot wait for my new mala to arrive in a couple weeks. They even offered to take my very first mala, which I was wearing at the time and has never fit properly, to resize it for me. Score! The third class of the day was black light yoga to Madonna songs which unfortunately wasn’t nearly as fun as it sounded (the neon body paint markers they used to draw on us, however, were pretty kick ass), but the final one that was for-women-only and called Urban Priestess was intense and incredible. And Saturday night’s other amazingness? Beyond super yummy food and the best tasting Aspen ale? Xavier Rudd in concert! Holy crap, I love his music, and even though it was pouring freezing rain, we hung in there for almost an hour (thanks to my friend M for loaning me her jacket as my actual concert garb turned out to be wildly inappropriate for the weather).
And again with the pumping and trying to eat throughout the day whenever and wherever I could. I did not realize how hard it was going to be to get in basic nutrition between all of this, especially when I was still having to “feed” Trumy while I was there.
Day Four: The/our last day of the festival and the sun finally came out! It was glorious! It was also the first day all four of us started with an 8:00 class and didn’t stop from there, which meant we had to be packed and out of our room before riding down the gondola to get there on time. Oof. But somehow we did it and it was well worth the effort because that first class was by the one and only Rod Stryker and again, I learned more about yoga in the first 15 minutes of his class than I ever have before (truth: every class made me feel that way, because each teacher brings such great experience and perspective and knowledge – the learning never stops with yoga!). After a quick photo session under the arch, it was off to a yin class, and then I played hookie on my last speaker so I could get just a couple hours to myself to wander the mountain alone and be off for just a bit. It was perfect and exactly what my introvert heart needed.The last official class for our foursome was at 2:00 that day and was another R.S. offering, this time of yoga nidra. Needless to say, again, there was much to learn and feel. Then it was one last round through the shops and free food booths before hitting the road home. We only made it as far as Denver before deciding we needed to stop but even that didn’t put us in bed much before midnight with plans to leave by 5:00 the next morning.
Day Five: Coming home. And we did make it on our way by 5:20 a.m., which worked out perfectly because I got home just after B and the kids returned from the Kiddie Parade shortly after noon, and was finally able to hug and squeeze all my babies and their daddy and wish Mr. Lincoln a very
happy 3 in person (I sang to him at 7 a.m. from the car). And just like that, after one of the biggest whirlwinds I have ever experienced, Yoga Camp was done.
Except there is still so much to consider, so much to take in, and so much to process. I actually have a ton more to write and will try to do so in the coming days as my body and my brain readjust to life at home and (hopefully!) lots more sleep. For now, I will leave it at this – I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity, to have traveled with these women, and to have learned from these teachers. I may not realize the full impact of this trip for quite some time, but I know it is imprinted on my heart forever for so many reasons.