Lessons of a Wanderlust Wanderer

I knew I would have a spiritual life-changing experience at a yoga festival. When your day is booked with yoga after yoga, meditation and spiritual talks, it’s tough not to feel completely lucky to be alive! Get used to my positivity because there’s a lot more joy seeping from this 5-foot frame.

So at Wanderlust I had spiritual moments of pure bliss, times 1000! I experienced hours and hours of gratefulness as if my entire body was being taken over. I usually describe all assets of life for a living, but when it comes to Wanderlust words do not do it justice but I’ll try.

The Setting…

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Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful, energy-inducing, heart-filling, freeing places I’ve ever been to. The air is crisp and clear, the sky is this perfect shade of bright blue, and the smells are enough to put your body into a trance. The trees tower tall as do the mountains, making you feel like a tiny humbled speck in this world. Then there’s the Lake, which can be viewed from the very top of Squaw Valley at High Camp. The tram ride is worth it just to breathe in its beauty. They say Tahoe has the biggest heart chakra in the world. I never really knew what chakras meant until recently, so now I get it. My heart can’t help but sing when I’m there. It opens up as if it wants to be bigger and love more.

The Yoga…

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There is something that takes over your body, mind, and soul when you do yoga. It can only be understood when you’ve tried it. Yoga itself means Union. It’s meant to lead you to that union with your highest self, where you are able to worship yourself because you have the same beautiful qualities as everyone else in the world. Which is why the message is always that we are all one. “When you’re connected to your highest self, you have all the powers of the universe.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer  at Wanderlust at Squaw Valley, 2012.

Make sense? If not, no biggie. Just do yoga, then we’ll talk.

What I feel as I flow in these massive classes with hundreds of people led by the greatest of yoga instructors is this connection between my blind self and my heart, literally. I often catch myself closing my eyes just to truly be in touch with my surroundings and to connect with my insides.  Emotions come roaring through me as I take in the pure feelings of each moment.

I went with my dear friend Natalie to Wanderlust and we both wanted to take in as much as we could. So one of our first classes was with Shiva Rea. She is the epitome of feline feminism. She gracefully glides through her practice. Her seamless motions are contagious. She had us doing moves similar to animals in the wild. As we glided on each other’s mats I felt a little more graceful and a little less tense. I felt pretty and I loved my body for what it was capable of doing. That’s a rare feeling for me, I often find myself frustrated at my body for feeling tight, weak, or fat. Those are negative untruths that I am training myself to turn into positives. So during Shiva’s class that was very easy for me to do. I was thinking – wow, my body is sexy and light, I’m flexible and strong, beautiful and kind. It’s amazing how my body is the same body I’ve had my whole life, but one class can completely shift the way i perceive and appreciate it.

The Speeches…

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If you ever have a chance to take one of Sean Corn’s classes, sign up. Her words alone will wake up a side of you that you never knew existed. I found myself feeling like I was going to start a revolution. She had this ability to light a flame underneath me that made me want to jump up and down and scream for change! She mentioned crime, starvation, war and killings across the world but also said the change is up to us. By simply standing up for love not giving into fear and defending kindness by not cowering to anger, we can and will lead the shift the world is waiting for.

We took one of the classes that included all of the instructors at Wanderlust and this couldn’t possibly be any more exhilarating and emotional. Envision this… several different types of yoga coming at you back to back with each instructor throwing out their own message and their own energy and it all sticks! The grand finale for this session was probably one of the most memorable and all I did was sit there and move my arms. Seems simple enough but it was the message and the chanting that really made it impacting. Gurmukh led this spiritual moment of healing and being healed. She said we all have the power to help each other. She led a chant that I really can’t remember now, but I just know how it felt.  Waves of emotion flowed through us that she wanted us to put out into the center of the room. She encouraged people to go into the middle of the circle and lie down so they could feel the flow of people’s healing energies. For some reason, I stayed put. I wanted to help people heal from outside the circle. It was as if I was pushing for people’s health and happiness with every single breathe and arm motion. We would move our hands up , down and out while siting there. then bring our arms back into towards our hearts as if to regroup that energy so we could send it back out with even more strength. It was crazy. Natalie went into the middle and said she could feel vibrations through her body. There was something happening that I don’t really know much about other than it felt really cool.

The Freedom….

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There aren’t many places where I’ve felt comfortable to simply BE. This is a place you don’t HAVE to do anything. There is no “should” do this or “should” do that allowed. It’s all about what draws you. You’re allowed to not show up to a class you’ve signed up for. You’re allowed to just sit on the grass because it looks nice. You’re allowed to cry and laugh and sigh even when you’re feet away from someone else. You can dance just because it’s raining or because your favorite song popped into you head. You can talk to strangers about your emotions. You can ask people about their lives. You can hug your neighbor.

This type of freedom is childlike. It’s this attitude of gratitude where you’re enjoying existing. It’s something I often forget outside of Wanderlust. Now that I’ve been home I long for that freedom. I find myself looking forward to meditating every night because that’s when I can just BE. I wish we could all be in a place in life where we leave the “should’s” behind. We can. And I have proof that it’s possible from Wanderlust.

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Neda Iranpour

About the Author

Neda is an Emmy-award winning evening Anchor in San Diego, a cyclist, a marathon runner, a WBFF Pro & a member of the vegan club. She loves to share stories, including her own!