Today was the final day of Wanderlust Taupo and although the activities were going right through till the late afternoon we planned to leave mid morning so the kids could arrive home with enough time for them to unwind as they start school tomorrow. Working within our time frame meant that I could do one morning class before packing up and heading home.
I had originally intended that my final festival class would be “Vino Vinyasa” with Steve White but as I had already taken a class with Steve I thought I should see if there were any other morning classes available with teachers that I had not yet encountered.
I found a class titled “Tame the Pain” that would be lead by Ana Forest. I’d only heard good things about Ana from people I’d spoken to at the festival so although I really wanted to do Steve’s class I decided that I had come to this festival to experience new things, I decided that I’d go to Ana’s class, after all I can pop over to Parnell and do a class with Steve”anytime” I wanted.
I’ll be completely honest and say when a crazy haired woman started walking around the room quietly chanting in what sounded like American Indian and squirting some type of liquid into the air I was thinking “I could get to Steve’s class, I’ve still got time” but I sat tight. As it turned out the crazy haired woman was in fact Ana and ceremony is a big part of her classes. We started our session with an aboriginal ceremonial cleansing to draw out any negative energy in the room, then we watched an aboriginal dance which we were then taught and performed with them.
Once the ceremony was over it was time for some yoga, we spent a good 15 minutes breathing and then moved into postures using bolsters. When instructed to grab a bolster my initial thoughts were “argh another lying down yin class” but boy was I wrong. Forest Yoga is definitely more boot camp than what you’d traditional envisage a yoga class to be. I guess we should have known that this wasn’t going to be your run of the mill yoga class when Ana yelled across the room to someone who had dared to come down from bridge pose
“I don’t know whose class you think this is, BUT you come out of a posture when I tell you too, just suck it up and don’t be a wuss”
I’m not going lie – this class was hard and not hard in a sweaty cool kind of way, this was a muscle trembling intense workout, so I was glad when Ana FINALLY instructed us to lie back and close our eyes, never have I wanted Shavasana to come so badly. And we were in for a treat, an Aboriginal elder played the didgeridoo amongst us while Ana and her helpers put their healing hands on people. I was lucky enough to have Ana come and lengthen my neck and remind me to inhale and exhale deeply.
But the coolest part was yet to come, we were treated to another Aboriginal dance, this time a celebratory up beat “rock” song which involved “flying around in circles” and the entire class got right into it, now that’s a great way to end a festival!
Till next time
PS – The photo showing the cleansing ceremony is NOT from my class, this is the same ceremony done in an earlier class she took in the main tent (stolen from NikkiR’s instagram)