MUSIC // Top 3 Moments from Sunday, Day 4 of ‪#‎WANDERtribe‬ at Wanderlust Whistler 2015 // Written by Mara Falstein

Top 3 Moments from Day 4 of #WANDERtribe at Wanderlust Whistler 2015
Sunday // Theme for the day: Music

by Mara Falstein


Top Moment 1: Morning Mediation Hike—Take Two
Having so thoroughly enjoyed starting my Friday morning with Garth Stevenson’s hike and mediation, I knew I wanted to doit one more time for my last day of practice at Wanderlust. This time, I brought along #SOCIALintheCITY friends Sara and Jeremy for the ride. I was curious if I would enjoy it as much the second time, knowing what to expect and having done it before. It was almost a continuation of the last adventure in the best way possible. Again I found it easy to relax and let go, losing myself in the music but enjoying how the ambient sounds in the forest were just different enough to significantly affect the music. The second time around I noticed the regular, methodic padding of sneakers on hard dirt road as groups of runners padded along on a path nearby. It was a wonderful experience to share with my friends, and I greatly enjoyed the juxtaposition of our happy, ambient chatter on the way to the hike with our peacefully silent walk back, each sifting through what had come up for us during our meditation.
Top Moment 2: Yogi Code.
My first class in a room at the conference centre other than The Happy Place (a very large room where I’d already taken Hustle & Flow as well as Detox Flow), I walked into Shala surprised at the size of the practice space. They had us lining our yoga mats up completely touching, with about fifteen people across a row and five rows deep. At the front of class was Ryan Leier, the instructor and a favourite teacher of mine in Vancouver at One Yoga in Gastown. Next to him were two musicians: Sarah Neufeld (best known as a member of Arcade Fire as well as a founding member of Belle Orchestre) on violin and Stefan Schneider (a member of many groups including Belle Orchestre and Owen Pallett) playing a sampling of prerecorded sounds as well as “drums” made out of drum sticks played on the mat and a few cork yoga blocks.
Ryan began his introduction and overview of the class–we would be learning about the “Yogi Code”, a discussion of the yamas and niyamas as foundations to not only a yogi’s practice on the mat but in their daily life as well. Ryan would start by telling us about a yama, its definition and an example rooted in a story or tale. Sarah and Stefan would then use that yama as the inspiration for a burst of improvised music, during which we would have full freedom to flow through our own solo practices in whichever way our bodies wanted us to, before settling down to hear about the next yama.
We went through each of the yamas (nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-excess, and non-posessiveness). We flowed through a freeform practice, listening to our bodies and the beautiful music never sure exactly how much time had passed or how much longer we’d have left but instead remaining present and attentive to our bodies and being respectful of our fellow yogis. It was a wonderfully unconventional format for a yoga class, for which I was grateful. It felt nice to have my last two yoga classes of the festival feel like types of classes I’d never before experienced as it made Wanderlust feel so much more special.
Top Moment 3: Yogi Tribe.
For our final event of the Wanderlust festival, I joined Sara, Jeremy and our friends Mimi and Jozie for a true event: Yogi Tribe with MC Yogi, DJ Drez, Amanda Giacomini, and Marti Nikko. I was particularly excited about this class, having taken one other class before with MC Yogi. He’s originally from my hometown in the Bay Area and I had the pleasure of attending a memorable, intimate class of his three years ago to celebrate the grand opening of a new studio in Greenbrae, California less than a mile from my childhood home. Now, three years later and in a different country, I was attending a class of his held in the presence of multiple hundreds of yogis. The class began with MC Yogi’s wife Amanda taking us through the inimate story of how they first met and ran off to India together, deciding on that first spontaneous trip together what their life’s work would be—to spread love through the power of yoga and connection. The class was another which refreshingly knew no format. We enjoyed a seated meditation on each chakra led by DJ Drez dropping a beat while MC Yogi rapped us a guided meditation complete with a chant for each chakra. We flowed through a brief yoga practice. We joined together into long chains of each row of the class, bouncing and waving like currents in the ocean while we shouted and laughed gleefully and without inhibition, a bunch of energetic children at heart lit up by the power of connection and energy which was palpable in the room. We had a straight up dance party as MC Yogi and DJ Drez performed a track off MC Yogi’s new album, a sweaty mess of limbs and smiles. It was something I never would have expected and—having experienced—couldn’t live without. It was the perfect way to end a five day love-fest that was all about connection with a community of kind-hearted “strangers” united into a network of friends despite never exchanging a single word.
Find out more about Mara and what she’s up to here:

Instagram : @marafalst
twitter : @marasfn
#SOCIALintheCITY’s #WANDERtribe + #FindYourTrueNorth.

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