It won’t come as a surprise to anybody that I’m prone to running myself into the ground, especially given how much I bang on about it (and yet still struggle to find that elusive “balance” – let’s just say it’s a work in progress). Nor will it come as a surprise that I am a helpless “yes person” and that this causes most of the trouble to begin with. But sometimes, an opportunity comes along that you desperately want to say “yes” to that also REFILLS the cup rather than depleting it (I know, they DO actually exist). I am still pinching myself to have accompanied the amazing Aveda team to Wanderlust Festival this year on the Sunshine Coast for a weekend of wellness, wisdom and wonderment.

Each day began with some grounding and pampering getting our yogi braids crafted by the amazing team in the Aveda Beauty Bar using Aveda’s beautiful botanical products. I’m not usually a big braid fan (as they tend to make me look bald), but by day three I was in full swing with some double braided space buns that spoke to my inner child. The first day also included an incredible aromatic chakra journey using Aveda’s chakra balancing sprays to rebalance my base, sacral and third eye chakras. The second day involved a beautiful yoga practice by the water followed by a fairytale picnic breakfast in the gardens and an Ayurvedic workshop explaining the Ayurvedic dosha and Aveda’s connection to this incredible body of knowledge.

My aromatic chakra journey with the lovely Tiff!

First mind-blowing learning – “Aveda” is a shortened form of the word “Ayurveda”. WHAT EVEN? If the above paragraph made absolutely no sense to you whatsoever, some other useful revelations might include:

  • Ayur (science) + veda (life) = the science of life in Sanskrit
  • It is a 5000+ year old Indian health practice focusing on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state
  • It consists of many disciplines like aromatherapy, diet, herbal medicine, acupuncture, yoga, massage, meditation and balancing of energies
  • “Chakras” are the seven different energy centres in our body
  • “Doshas” are the three different forms of energy that make up every individual (and we all have one that is most dominant)
  • Aveda was born out of Austrian founder’s experiences of Ayurveda in India and vision to bring beauty professionals botanical products that would be good for them, their guests, and the Earth and its communities

The weekend was filled with many other mind, body and spirit related revelations too. From a physical perspective, one of my key reminders was the importance of moving the body, particularly in the face of today’s sedentary lifestyle. I did acro vinyasa with Warrior One, yin yoga with Duncan Peak, and even THE most liberating two hour hip hop class thanks to Fee all of which reminded me that movement is a form of expression or release and the body needs different forms of activity at different times, so sticking to one sole form of exercise is self limiting. I also learnt about the functions of different styles of yoga, particularly that yin is about fascial hydration more than flexibility (which is nonetheless a side effect) such that practising at 60% is more beneficial than straining yourself to 100% which can cause injury. Similarly, in life generally, going at less than 100% is sometimes a good thing to allow you to sustain yourself and not burn out!

Acro play with Dustin of Warrior One Yoga

In a more philosophical sense, I had a MUCH needed wake up call around my priorities before I arrived. I had let myself (yet again) become caught up in the trivial things and lose perspective on what is actually urgent or important. I had forgotten how fleeting our presence is here in the scheme of the universe – as one of our instructor’s put it, “we need to move beyond our momentary drama” and focus on appreciating the miracle and beauty of life. In one of our classes, we finished by sitting in a circle and putting our right hand on the back of our neighbour’s heart space and our left hand over the front of our own. While it sounds more woo woo than I care to admit, it was one of the most moving moments sitting in silence for a length of time with strangers noticing that we are all just a heartbeat and that we should never take that for granted. I could go on forever about the shifts that ensued, but I’ll spare you the earbashing. Suffice to say it was an amazing weekend and I already wish we could go back!

Our fairytale picnic

Thanks so much to Sophie and Lauren from Aveda for having me and to the beautiful girls I shared the weekend with, particularly my dearest Laura Trimble Thompson and Liv Phyland. Thank you also to Wanderlust’s True North Cafe and host Hemple for serving up our Matcha Maiden to all the yogis there. To find out more about Aveda, click here.

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