We are all seekers in some way, aren’t we?
There is some inner sense of unfulfillment, a not-quite-contentment. It is a feeling that drives us to study and gain knowledge, to create art, to travel and discover new worlds, to challenge ourselves and to explore the truth of our nature. We somehow know there is an endlessness to life and living and we extend ourselves as far as we can to experience as much as we can. It is certainly this spark of knowing there is something more that drove me first to experience the self expression possible in dance and creating dance and then to experience the inner vistas of the self through yoga.
To me yoga is and probably always has been about developing self-awareness and then using that awareness to grow, transform, evolve. It has taken me all over the world, from Chicago to Thailand to Miami Beach to India in seeking deeper connection to this practice that creates a deeper understanding of who I really am. We all come to our yoga practice for different reasons. Maybe we are rehabilitating an injury, aiming to relieve stress, were dragged in by an enthusiastic friend, or simply find it fun. I have found that for whatever reason a person begins their yoga practice, if they practice long enough and consistently enough, it inevitably develops beyond the initial intention. It is no longer about trying some fancy new pose, although sometimes that is still there, but joy is found in discovering that over the course of weeks, months or years we have come to know ourselves so much more deeply and grown into better versions of that self. When those are the types of rewards we receive, we are much more willing to do the daily work, to approach those obstacles with joy and an open heart because we know what is possible to be found on the other side. It is powerful! And it is important to give ourselves these experiences in whatever way we find them, on whatever path we walk.
I was recently in Mysore, India studying at the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute, the home and heart of the Ashtanga Yoga lineage. Hundreds, even thousands of people from all over the world find their way to this city each year to practice this method to connect to the energy of the birthplace of the modern revival of yoga (Mysore is where Krishnamacharya taught for many years – he is considered the grandfather of modern yoga and most yoga methods can be traced back to this man.) It is not an easy thing to make that trip, takes a lot of dedication, commitment and even devotion to the practice. They are in search of transformation. The Wanderlust Festival honors this drive, creating a space for us to explore our desire to connect, learn, grow. I am excited to be a part of this energy, to contribute to it, to flow with it and allow it.
To be seekers is our nature. Travel, art, study – all of these things bring us more understanding of ourselves and our world. We realize how alike we really are in those subtle layers where it really matters. We see ourselves in everyone and everything and this naturally changes the way we exist in the world, the way we interact with others and our environment. Its about connection really isn’t it? What we are seeking is connection. Maybe it begins by seeking knowledge of the self that results in greater understanding of our relationship with everything outside of ourselves or maybe it occurs for you in the opposite direction, experiencing the wide wide world gives a deeper awareness of the true nature of the self. So, go! Explore! Seek! Grow!