How I learned to fly!

wanderlust yoga festival learning to fly

I learned how to fly. I let go. I trusted. I flew by being, not doing.

Yesterday, I returned from Wanderlust Yoga Festival in a peaceful state of bliss, feeling renewed, refreshed and very sore. From meditation to slack lining, this four day adventure blew my mind.

I had worried about my first class, acroyoga, mentioned in my last blog post. As I sat among sixty others waiting to become fliers, I wondered how my mending body would perform. Partial knee and broken wrist notwithstanding, I hoped I had the strength. I wasn’t worried about my own body crashing as much as face planting someone else. My mind jumped from doubt to regret that I hadn’t worked out enough. I worried my body wasn’t strong enough. That I wasn’t enough. As I sat under blue skies with the breathtaking mountains in the backdrop, my heart raced and my palms perspired.

Our instructor said we couldn’t fly without one, three letter word. Yet. We couldn’t fly, yet. He said we would all fly by the end of the class.

No way, I thought.

How did we practice? Through grounding trust exercises. We would have partners and had to learn to let go.

Looking back, this was the perfect class to start the festival.

supporting a flyer

That’s me on the bottom as the support system.

So much of the festival was about letting go. Letting go of the same negative thoughts. Letting go of old wounds. Freeing our minds to create space for new thoughts to grow. Learning to listen so we could trust our soul to guide us along the way.

Did I fly? In many ways, yes, I did. Old wounds both mental and physical reopened, so they could be released.

Was is painful? Yes! I was close to tears for three days. On the fourth, I felt stronger, lighter, happier. When I came to Whistler, I had planned to solve problems by doing. When I left, I had made a decision. Being and letting life happen was enough. My body was enough. I was enough.

I could fly!

flying high in acroyoga
Have you ever gone on an adventure that changed you in some way? Would you consider going to Wanderlust? Do you want to open your mind to new ideas?

72 thoughts on “How I learned to fly!

    • I did! I learned more about myself in four days than I have in a lifetime. Still in that state of chill, I went to my favorite gentle yoga class. The theme today? Letting go! No lie. The teacher couldn’t believe it either when I told her about my Wanderlust experience after class. She was in the process of letting go of negative crapola in her life. WILD!
      Thanks for stopping by, Kassandra!

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  1. Very inspiring, Susie! I’m not up for the yoga thing. YET. But a lot of food for thought about letting go and making room. I’m happy it went so well for you. Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

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    • Thanks, Maggie! I think being ready is very important. I quit years ago because the teacher made it more of a workout than a mind/body melding experience. The teacher I have now is so wonderful, I come out of class floating! Ha!

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    • You would love it! I wasn’t sure how it would be with my injuries. It exceeded all of my expectations and it changed my perspective on life. When I came to the event I planned to do things to make life happen. When I left, I planned to just be, while continuing to work hard and let life happen. Watch for one in your area, Mary!

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    • It really was amazing. Shapes, sizes, and weight didn’t matter. We all flew. It launched us into a weekend so profoundly gratifying. It reawakened me in ways I can’t even describe. I started to write about everything I learned, but instead of posting here in the comments, I’ll share few more posts later!
      They take place all over the world. One was held in Aspen not too long ago! I would definitely go again.

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    • Actually, I bought a flying lesson a few years ago. You reminded me! Ha!
      Letting go was the theme for the whole weekend, but I think it was grounded in the practice not the festival. By that I mean, in order to really get into meditation and/or yoga, we have to let go of negative thoughts, people who have hurt us, memories we regurgitate over and over again.
      The Wanderlust theme was “Find your true North!” I surely did.
      Thanks for swinging by, Daya!

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    • You are so right, Patricia. A week before we flew out, I turned to Danny and asked, “Why are we doing this?” I really worried it would be too hard for me, but I never had much of a problem or I adapted. That said, my abs still hurt from plank position! Ha! What I really got into was “letting go,” of expectations, of who I think I am, and past people and things that have hurt me. It was so emotional when I let it come to the surface after suppressing it for so long, but like I said, on that fourth day, I felt amazing and still do! Thank you!

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    • That is so cool, John! The last day we participated in Blissology with a yogi who really looked like a surfer dude. I met him afterwards and he was the most chill and happy person I’ve ever met. Anyway, he took this theme of letting go for a 90 minute ride through class. There were a few hundred people in attendance. At the end we all thought of the negativity, the people who oppress us or things that have happened that we regurgitate over and over. We inhaled fresh air and exhaled the darkness. It sounded just like waves on the shore! It was a great feeling!

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  2. I’ve never learned to fly and probably never will, given time and circumstances. However, I have been learning to let go, to laugh at myself, to find the joy wherever it may be. To my surprise, I’m actually getting lighter by the day. It’s so lovely that you found what you needed to find. :o)

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  3. What a fantastic journey for you! Great photos too. I went to a 4 day workshop a year and a half ago that was called Awakening the Intuitive Heart. It was beyond amazing for me. We spent 2 days doing healing exercises (there were only 7 of us, teachers included), and then two days preparing for and then entering our heart space. It was there that we connected to God, divine source energy, whatever you want to call it. The intensity of overwhelming unconditional love that I connected with left me bawling. And the messages poured into my head so fast I couldn’t keep up with them. The one effect I wish I could have held onto was having absolutely no physical pain. After one exercise, I walked up some stairs to get some water and noticed that for the first time in years I had absolutely no pain. I cried. Unfortunately, as I came back down to my everyday self, it returned. Having experiences versus reading about them, certainly cements things into us at a different level.

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    • I have goosebumps all over my body from what you said, Susan! My experience was so similar. We had to let go and empty the space for new thoughts to grow, just like you said. The last day of classes, the instructors reminded everyone that we will dry up over time and have to keep going back to “the well.” I plan to keep meditation in my practice. You’re right about experiencing these moments. I’ll never forget how I felt! I still feel really chill, but went back to my favorite gentle yoga class today. She taught about, “letting go.” No lie. 🙂

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  4. This looks amazing, I would definitely consider going to a festival similar to this one. I haven’t done yoga in any other place than my safe bedroom with YouTube video, but I’m planning to take classes soon. Very inspiring!

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    • Oh, you should go! There are all kinds of yoga classes. Some are more about the workout than the meditation or breathing. I can do without the workout. We do enough posing in gentle yoga for me. I love the meditation and clearing of the mind that happens when focusing on breath. After this experience, I find myself a lot more chill, relaxed and sitting up straighter. It great for stretching and the core! Let me know how it goes. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by, Dalindcy!

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    • It wouldn’t at all. You would rock it. There were all shapes, ages, and sizes. I took either “all level” classes or beginner/intermediate and had very little problem. The thing about anything new is to have an open mind. The heart and the body always follow!
      Thanks so much, Jan!

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  5. Duuuuuuuuude I LOVE your pic! Strength and balance. Grit and grace! Love it. So proud of you for doing that and for being able to free your mind and just going all in. Pretty awesome to see how letting things go turned out for you. Plus that guy’s pants looked awesome. Whistler, huh? I had an old friend who was up there this week on vacation too. Did a lot of biking and outdoors stuff. Wonder if they did the retreat too? How funny. Thanks for sharing, always like hearing how a journey or experience can change or add to your perspective, just help make life fuller. Nice job buddy 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Guat! Guys in yoga pants. You gotta love it! Danny even totally succumbed to all that is yoga and wants to keep practicing now that we’re back home. Pretty dang cool! All because Courtney’s friend couldn’t go, so she asked us!

      It was a spectacular, but unusual place. There would be one group of people with mountain bikes and tons of gear, another group with yoga attire and mats, another group donning camera equipment and hiking boots and yet another with serious mountain climbing gear. Something for everyone including paddle boarding! I even saw a bear. 🙂 I bet your friend had a blast!

      It was an emotional weekend. I asked Courtney, “Why?” She said that yoga helps you “feel your feels.” They need to come out in order to make room for peace and new thoughts. So true!!!

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      • Duuuude! I love “feel your feels,” What a great way to express it. Definitely need space for peace. I do it among the drama, but I imagine it would be so much easier in Whistler. You have definitely added a Bucket List item to my list. Paddle boarding in Whistler! Did you try it? Ohhhh! So great to hear that everyone came bad rejuvenated.

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  6. I am so glad the experience went the way it did for you! I would love to go to Wanderlust sometime. Very soon, the kids will be out of the house and these things will become more possible. In the meantime, I’m off tomorrow for a short writing retreat. I don’t think my body will fly but I’m hoping my imagination will.

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    • Enjoy your retreat! There is nothing like spending time with the people inside your head. Being empty nesters really frees our time and yet it was our daughter who invited us. Ha! Thank, God she did. I’m still on the wave that was Wanderlust.
      Thanks Audrey!

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  7. I took a yoga class for one semester in college in San Francisco in 1979. This was three years before I moved East. The instructor didn’t like me so he gave me a C. Who the hell gets a C in yoga? I remember losing my balance while trying to do the tree and joking, “This should be called timber.” He accused me of having bad karma, even going so far to say that my demeanor would fit in much better in a place like New York City. According to that expert NYC is the black hole of bad karma. I dished it back at him and said, “That’s not a very karmatic thing to say to a student.” The memory of that hypocrite makes me want to fly all right, fly off the handle. But, Susie, I’m glad that you enjoy yoga. You are no doubt highly karmatic.

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    • Hahaha! That dude had no sense of humor. I bet he’s a day trader now. I probably would’ve flunked out with my quips and major fails.
      This festival was very mind-opening and positive. No one would have called anyone out. That said, I got called out by another classmate for trying to help others in a slack line class.
      There’s always one black hole in every dozen.

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  8. I do admire your inner strengths and determination Susie. I envy that you got to be there in the realm of clean air and vivid green scented conifer trees and soft cool upon bare foot and feet’ grasses and oh the vivid blue sky among those majestic mountains. Makes me want to grab one of my packs and lace up my boots and take off up into the Mount Jefferson Wilderness …as for you’ my friend, the more your soul experiences life without fears or being weighed down as dross of daily life skimmed from’ and away and cleansed of conscious chatter of mind’ the more your dear soul will yearn to soar free. Look at you there seal juggling Mountain Sherpas…

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    • Thanks, Brock!
      Ha! I’m glad I didn’t drop him.
      I would say that determination has gotten me into trouble in the past, but got me through my fears and trepidation. You’re right about the soul experiences. Mine seems so much lighter. Letting go of the mistakes and wounds was so freeing. I took my favorite yoga class yesterday. What was the theme? Letting go. Ha!
      Lace up those boots, Brock!

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  9. Sounds like you have an AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL Experience – love your photos 🙂 Traveling, adventuring and exploring is always mind opening to me as well as quite the life experience gained too. I am all for discovering my strong and it truly comes from within my whole being. I actually had a proud moment of strength this past weekend. I upgraded my recovery bicycle to a ready to ride bicycle – biking is so freeing and it just lets my whole being just go free. I have come a long way in my recovery and relearning how to do the basics of living is a humbling experience and am so grateful for the life I get to live each and every day. You GO Wild Rider – Head Out & CONQUER TODAY!!!

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    • What recovery? Did you have surgery or a stroke? Wow. You go girl! It’s all about life testing us and overcoming setbacks. You are so good at being grateful and opening your mind!
      Rock your Wednesday, Renee!

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      • I experienced a spinal cord injury a few years back and have had to relearn to do a lot of basic stuff. I am hoping one day in the near future the medical technology will be there to repair the one issue that I can not repair or recover right now. I did not look at the couch when I experienced this injury and got to recovering and gaining strength again. I have had my fair share of sports related injuries, but this has been the toughest challenge. Here’s to ROCKING Hump Day!!!

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    • I’m so glad! During my first yoga class, I was filled with so many regrets. One of them was not going back to yoga sooner. Later, I realized, I wasn’t ready to open up and clear my mind. It was life changing! Most people think yoga is for stretching and strengthening and it does both, but if you listen to the instructor, it opens and releases the mind too.
      More of what I learned is on its way!

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    • I’m so glad, Robin! At first I regretted not going back when I had breast cancer. It wasn’t the right time, nor did I have the right instructor. NO MORE REGRETS! Ha! I’m working on that. 🙂 There is something very special about the mind body connection brought about by yoga. It does something to us!

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