It won’t come as a surprise to anybody who knows me that I’m prone to running myself into the ground, especially given how much I bang on about it (and yet still struggle to find that elusive “balance” – let’s just say it’s a work in progress). Nor will it come as a surprise that I am a helpless “yes person” and that this causes most of the trouble to begin with. But sometimes, an opportunity comes along that you desperately want to say “yes” to that also REFILLS the cup rather than depleting it (I know, they DO actually exist). I had the pleasure of accompanying Aveda to Wanderlust Festival this year on the Sunshine Coast for a weekend of wellness, wisdom and wonderment and am delighted to share some of the experience with ACC.
Each day began with some grounding and pampering getting our yogi braids crafted by the amazing team in the Aveda Beauty Bar using all botanical products. I’m not usually a big braid fan (as they tend to make me look bald), but by day three I was in full swing with some double braided space buns that spoke to my inner child. The first day also included an incredible aromatic chakra journey to rebalance my base, sacral and third eye chakras. The second day involved a beautiful yoga practice by the water followed by a fairytale picnic breakfast in the gardens and an Ayurvedic workshop explaining the Ayurvedic dosha (and Aveda’s connection to this incredible body of knowledge – did you know that “Aveda” is a shortened form of the word “Ayurveda”??).
If the above paragraph made absolutely no sense to you whatsoever, I picked up a few things about the amazing body of wisdom that is Ayurveda (I’ve only just scratched the surface but am so keen to learn more):
- Ayur (science) + veda (life) = the science of life in Sanskrit
- It is a 5000+ year old Indian health practice focusing on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state
- It consists of many disciplines like aromatherapy, diet, herbal medicine, acupuncture, yoga, massage, meditation and balancing of energies
- “Chakras” are the seven different energy centres in our body
- “Doshas” are the three different forms of energy that make up every individual (and we all have one that is most dominant)
- You can do quick tests on which dosha is your most prominent, which will inform what foods, activities, and lifestyles best suit your composition. It mostly seems like common sense, but is SO fascinating to confirm what I had thought all along.
The weekend was filled with many other mind, body and spirit related revelations too. From a physical perspective, one of my key reminders was the importance of moving the body, particularly in the face of today’s sedentary lifestyle. I did acro vinyasa with Warrior One, yin yoga with Duncan Peak, and even THE most liberating two hour hip hop class thanks to Fee all of which reminded me that movement is a form of expression or release and the body needs different forms of activity at different times, so sticking to one sole form of exercise is self limiting. I also learnt about the functions of different styles of yoga, particularly that yin is about fascial hydration more than flexibility (which is nonetheless a side effect) such that practicing at 60% is more beneficial than straining yourself to 100% which can cause injury. Similarly, in life generally, going at less than 100% is sometimes a good thing to allow you to sustain yourself and not burn out!
In a more philosophical sense, I had a MUCH needed wake up call around my priorities before I arrived. I had let myself (yet again) become caught up in the trivial things and lose perspective on what is actually urgent or important. I had forgotten how fleeting our presence is here in the scheme of the universe – as one of our instructor’s put it, “we need to move beyond our momentary drama” and focus on appreciating the miracle and beauty of life. In one of our classes, we finished by sitting in a circle and putting our right hand on the back of our neighbour’s heart space and our left hand over the front of our own. While it sounds more woo woo than I care to admit, it was one of the most moving moments sitting in silence for a length of time with strangers noticing that we are all just a heartbeat and that we should never take that for granted.
I could go on forever about the shifts that ensued, but I’ll spare you the earbashing. Suffice to say it was an amazing weekend and I already wish we could go back! I would highly recommend a visit to the full Wanderlust Festival (there was not only a range of physical activity but also food and nutrition panels, workshops, adventures offsite and a wonderful marketplace) but there is also an abridged version, Wanderlust 108, that is also worth looking into. We all need to make more space in our lives for self care, self reflection and self actualisation and what a better way to do so!
To find out more, see here.