Local to Austin, Yoga Practice

Wanderlust ATX 2014

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Doing only a single day of Wanderlust this year is about all I could handle. I haven’t really found my way back to the mat for a regular practice since I returned from maternity leave, so 3 classes in a single day is a LOT.

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I started with the shoulder therapy workshop with Tiffany Cruikshank, and she broke down chaturanga to a very technical and anatomical level. I feel like I need to take this workshop every year when I start to fall back into old habits. It brought a lot of attention back to supporting the shoulder girdle and keeping the “points” of the shoulder from collapsing and pointing down.

Two helpful things that I’ve been forgetting:

1. Don’t feel obligated to get elbows at 90 degrees. This often causes the shoulder points to dip down, and then you lose strength in the posture. I’m probably strongest around 110 degrees. After that I start collapsing or shaking.

2. Open the chest by pulling the heart forward. It’s *almost* the feeling of looking up, but by pulling the heart forward, it creates a lot more room and sets up for upward facing dog. I’m super guilty of the collapse from both the elbow bend and not opening the chest.

My second class of the day was with Eoin Finn!

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I first discovered him at a Kimpton Hotel, where they always have yoga programming free on TV. His Pursuit of Happy Hips series was on, and I was hooked. I actually purchased the whole series a couple months ago, and I’ve been working on them as part of my (very limited) home practice. I’ll come back and review the series once I’ve gone through all of them with some regularity.

Anyway, Eoin’s style of yoga is coined as Blissology. He’s this surfer dude yogi from Vancouver, and he totally talks the part. He was kind of a trip! He started the class with a little yoga rap. Uh huh. You read that right. And he ended it with some girl vs. guy dancing.

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His classes are a fun flow, and some of the twists and hip stretches are perfectly intense. It was a nice warm-up with some arm balance play too. I’d never tried doing side crow with eagle legs before. That was fun!

In the end, I got a warm hug from him and a pic.

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My final class of the day was with Vinnie Marino. He’s a vinyasa teacher from LA, and he doesn’t do any of the breathy yoga talk. He seemed very ashtanga-esque in that we got straight to the practice without chit chat. The class was labeled Rock and Roll yoga, and the playlist was awesome. A lot of classic rock. This was labeled advanced/intermediate, and we pretty much just got down to business.

We did proper sun salutations (A and B), which was asking a lot of my triceps after the shoulder workshop and arm balances. We flowed. We balanced. We inverted. I was sweating liberally. I was shaking. A good old-fashioned vinyasa class. I can see why he’s a very popular teacher in LA.findingdrishti-wanderlustatx-2014-05

Some things that changed from last year: They used these inspirational mantra stickers to mark spacing for mats. This year felt less crowded (maybe it was in my class selections), so the stickers didn’t really make that much of a difference. They were cute though.

The spaces were also much better marked, so people knew where to line up.

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And then, some things were what you’d expect, like displays of acroyoga and hula hoops.

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The sponsorships were a little more varied this year, and you can tell that it’s expanded since last year. The music entertainment was pretty awesome too. I really enjoyed the brass band that played during the day, and I of course love the White Ghost Shivers, which is a local group that my husband and I try to see anytime they perform. We brought the kiddos back out (musical acts are open to the public, by the way), and we danced the night away. The turnout was super small, which made me sad since we love them so much. But for those who stayed, it was a blast.

Depending on the teacher lineup, I’d love to do the full weekend next year. PLUS, I’ll be done with this whole pumping thing by then, so I’ll finally be able to attend a Wanderlust Fest without any physical limitations due to pregnancy or breastfeeding!

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