Yoga Festival Thoughts

When evaluating my thoughts on a strange or different event I have witnessed or a subject I learned about from a client, I often wonder when an observation turns into judgment? This is especially true when the client is reporting something in them or happened that society seems “bad” or “wrong.” I try to keep in mind a Shakespeare quote from Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

This observation/judgment issue has come up quite a bit in the media these days, what with the political talk on both sides and how the other is “bad!” It also came up for me personally several days ago when my wife and I spent a few days at Lake Tahoe celebrating our birthdays. While driving around the lake, we read in a local rag about a yoga event happening in Squaw Valley called Wanderlust 2016. It bills itself as “Our festivals are all-out celebrations of mindful living.”

Wanderlust offers education on yoga practice, classes, music, and food. We headed there on a Saturday and mainly walked around the booths, but also listened to a positive message rap band, interesting! The booths seemed to break down to about 50% clothing, 30% food, and 20% yoga equipment or art.

What had me thinking if I was judging was the materialism of the clothing, equipment, and art; everything was quite expensive. So, is this a judgment or an observation? These entrepreneurs had to pay a fee and need to put food on their table, but it seemed a bit counter to the “mindful living” pledge.

I have written before that I am an interesting mix of traditional and eclectic; well I am VERY traditional when it comes to yoga. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think all yoga is healthy and beneficial; however, I practice a style that is quite traditional and minimalistic, adhering to a strict interpretation of the Yoga Sutras. I show up in comfortable shorts and shirt with my sticky mat, a sweat mat, and a hand towel (even the latter is sometimes looked upon with askance!).

No music and very little socializing, just focus, breath, and movement. Again, I think I wrote about this also (too many blogs to remember!), but enough focus that I was a third of the way through my practice ten years ago before I noticed that Julia Roberts was across from me! These are some of what translates into mindfulness to me, not the newest yoga clothes or fad.

Judgment or observation, inquiring minds want to know? I was with a colleague last week that suggested a way to know was to ask myself, “What was my energy around these thoughts?” Maybe a little sad and dismayed, but there was also a bit of excitement and wonder at some of the innovations in mats and styles. I am guessing that, since I was not upset, I was not judging; at least I hope so!

Of course, eating great food, much of it free handouts, is sure to take the edge of anything!

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