Wanderlust Yoga Festival @ Squaw Valley

Throwback Thursday #TBT#1

Debating about Wanderlust Tahoe – want to go but to be honest, not so much – been there done that feel –  as I discovered the best teachers already right here in San Francisco Bay Area – why trek over there – the cost both monetary and opportunity cost, the time, the … effort.  I’ve already found the teachers that I want to study with more deeply so … may pass while loving the idea of all people who love yoga coming together in a beautiful place…with partners and families gathering to support the community.  It was beautiful.

Why am I practicing and teaching yoga?  Going back to my intention.



At the edge of a tree trunk log so … Crown of your head gracing the tree trunk; then, a bit of dip back for my pelvis then – Up up goes my manipura, not tempura,  chakra to drink up the sun … Opening the heart working with shorter arms and legs than most Western bodies – this backbend is thoughtful in that I am engaging the ribs (spread opening them) and distributing the arch into the thoracic spine, minimizing the unwanted compression in the lower back – that’s  what I look out for. Then allow the head to just dangle; float your belly up into the sky …Urdhva Dhanurasana

is coming up next month.  It’s a venue that combines yoga conference to a music concert – creating a one time experience of a summer “festival”.  Squaw Valley was their first location inaugurating this unique blend of gathering in 2009 … I volunteered at this venue maybe 3-4 times in the past. I assisted with registration; with ticketing office; just traffic control; environmental (read – trash control); help feed the volunteers picking up pizzas – pizza delivery girl from village to the lookout by way of tram ride up the steep mountain; serve at Farm to Table dinner … out of all the odd jobs, best was registration – easy anyone can do it-  checking off names to let students in, keep organized mat layouts – as you can then take that class or at the very least audit.  If you work the event 2 full days, you get a free pass for one day – I think that was a fair trade back then for as at the time for me, I was passionate and so interested in learning from all the greats.  Being lucky with secure lodging (thank you !), I did not mind paying the full ticket price but the point was to see the festival from the eyes of a volunteer, a little bit from the inside to be closer.  It was cool to be able to talk to the teachers I admired – star-gazer and a groupie, me?

The venue provided kind of a way for yoga teachers to learn from others to stay fresh and connected, while for their families, friends and for general public to get an array of classes to discover and sample.  It’s a bit commercialized these days compared to the earlier days – now companies like Toyota and Ford are some of the sponsors to what started out more sort of a Burning Man of yoga?

If you are going to Lake Tahoe, it’s still not too late to get tickets while some classes appear to have filled up. If you are not into the big festival scene, then, I  would also recommend yoga retreats led by yoga teachers we trust … if your everyday yoga teacher is not leading one (sorry), then ask for referrals.  I can refer couple of really enticing retreats coming up … Staycation at local yoga studios with excellent teachers who dedicate everyday to serve up a good practice – for me, right now, that’s enough.

To Lake Tahoe

From Tokyo … within a week … how does some globe trotters do this without having a dizzy spell ?

Tahoe & the unrelated Tokyo photo but one summer I was in those 2 places with in a week … 6000+ ft. altitude atop Squaw vs sea-level at Tokyo then flying in-between – was probably not the best plan for this dosha type with internal clock going haywire.

I returned from Tokyo, then to Tahoe to volunteer and then drove back to assist restorative yoga teacher training and after the third day into the week of training, I just felt so …. dizzy with heavy fog in my head and so fatigued beyond sleep … ignored jet lag catching up traveling with intense schedule, I can see how Anthony Bordain put himself in extreme risk keeping a fanatical schedule which brought on total imbalance in his sleep cycle and once the sleep cycle is disturbed, so are you – anyway, that’s my theory.  Restful sleep is a barometer of good health as during rest, our brain and body cells repair and regenerate.  Much needed older one gets.

So those in or reaching mid-age, caution against pushing yourself extremely.  There are those going through middle age “crisis”, that fear of old age spurs you to take on exercise programs with adjectives like  “shred” “rip” “power” – yourself, forcing into shape willing yourself to go back in time saying stuff like – I used to be able to do this and that – but … that might be counterproductive by speeding up the aging process even more. Acceptance and then Action, appropriate action can bring about the balance we seek and maybe bring back the clock 10 years or so:) Says the Taoist wisdom.

Find a practice that gives you ease and lightness not more stress by getting you more stuck.  Of course exercise is much needed, but wisely. Case in point – everything for a reason – from yoga therapy, this was interesting – so some menopausal women gain some weight and instead of fighting against it unnaturally, first there could be acceptance and then doing something about keeping FIT.  It’s known that body is wise and compensates – with decline of estrogen hormone level with reproductive organs not producing those hormones, surprised to find out that, other parts of the body such as “fat cells” actually produce estrogen to keep you in balance so … not all fat cells are evil as long as it’s not excessive putting you in risk of heart disease or becoming diabetic .  Let’s cherish our body and care for it with tenderness and love – Routinely, pushing it to work up a sweat is a good thing – all that single pointed efforts – repeat and then … let go into a juicy yin pose or two and more then into restorative poses. (there’s a distinct diff between yin and restorative)  In full awareness, yet letting go.  Just be.

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