The tents have been leveled and carried away, leaving little trace of the infamous four-day yoga festival that attracts an unusual band of high-level teachers, fun-loving youth, seekers-to-contemplatives, and the random lost souls. We can see parts of ourselves in everyone present, the common thread a passion for yoga and the requisite mat slung over one shoulder. No matter the differences in purpose, physical condition or shape, everyone is drawn to their mat, inevitably for a bit more peace, a bit more connection to something deeper and elusive in the day-to-day rumble and push of life.
This was my second year attending and each time Seane Corn has been the highlight. She is a fierce and unapologetic teacher committed to offering a practice that evokes yoga’s true essence and depth “with strength and flexibility as nice by-products.” Her teaching asks everyone to look within for the healing of self and the inevitable impact on others, our broader communities, and ultimately the planet. Out of context, it can sound New Age lofty. In her presence, it is purely authentic and deeply moving. The ultimate by-product in her presence is full-hearted living, with heavy doses of clarity, love, and deep compassion for our shared humanity.
The other highlight this year was hearing Kevin Pearce speak about his life as an Olympic hopeful, the traumatic brain injury that ended his competitive career, and his remarkable recovery which is currently supported through yoga and mindfulness practices. His inherent kindness, humor, and remarkable resiliency shined through. With family support, Kevin has helped to initiate the Love Your Brain Foundation whose primary goal is to create access to yoga for individuals affected by traumatic brain injuries.