My Weekend at Wanderlust Sunshine Coast 15-18 October 2015
Only a few weeks ago I saw a fun competition appear on the Instagram account of one of my favourite health promoters – Food Matters. The competition required entrants to repost the image of 3 random ingredients (originally posted by Food Matters) along with a recipe of a delicious dish you’d make with those ingredients in the accompanying comment. The competition ran 4 times over 4 weeks and I entered the competition simply because I love coming up with recipes. However, on the fourth entry, I actually WON!
The three ingredients for that week were sweet potato, eggs and cinnamon. My recipe was Sweet Potato Pancakes (recipe on my Instagram page) and I had won a ticket to the Wanderlust Sunshine Coast Festival plus a subscription to Food Matters TV! WOW!
So what exactly is a Wanderlust Festival? The best description I can give it is to liken it to a Music Festival that runs over a few days. Similarly to a music festival, Wanderlust has a ‘line-up’. The line-up consists of leading yoga teachers in many styles from Vinyasa, Yin, Ashtanga, Bikram to SUP (yep that’s stand-up paddle boarding), acro-yoga and yoga for the vagina. As well as yoga teachers, there are many other presenters on all things mindfulness, wellness, fun, art and freedom such as – hoola-hoop dancing, hiking, meditation, health and nutrition, Thai massage, surfing, photography, sketching, music, psychology, Ayurveda and much more.Wanderlust Sunshine Coast was hosted at the Novotel Twin Waters. The workshops, yoga classes and talks were held among the hotel’s function rooms, in its gardens, on its beaches and throughout the whole resort. Full 4-day tickets are available or you can just get a ticket for 1 day if you like. Great news is that it’s booked-in for the same location, same time for the next 2 years, Hurrah!!
The ‘head-line’ teachers and speakers for Wandelust Sunshine Coast 2015 included Duncan Peak (founder of Power Living Yoga), Lola Berry, Insiya Rasiwala-Finn, Tamra Merceica, Sneaky Sound System, Pete Longworth, Cameron Shayne, Wild Marmalade, Swami Govindananda, and many many more.
I attended many yoga classes, workshops and talks over the 4 days and just about filled my sponge-like brain with information, inspiration and self-love. I’m going to pick out a few that really struck a cord with me but at the end of this article I’ve include a list of all the sessions I attended if you want to ask any questions about them.
Lola Berry, nutritionist, heath promoter, cookbook author, TV personality and social media guru has previously suffered from several years of eating disorders before realizing that she was destroying her body then finding her health through yoga, self love and great nutrition.
This really resonated with me as I’ve recently (finally) admitted to myself and my family & friends that I’ve struggled through the last few years with disordered eating. I don’t fully understand the triggers and motivations in my own mind yet; but I will be sharing my journey as I work through this over the coming and months.
“Great health is about celebrating life”, and “Health and Yoga are two awesome gifts we get to give ourselves,” Lola says.
The constant theme through all of Lola’s workshops and talks was that the basis of good health has to come from within – we have to love ourselves and love ourselves enough to nourish ourselves with amazing food, yoga, activity, mindfood, plus plenty of fun, passion and enjoyment AND indulgences. With 50% of women experiencing some form of eating disorder at some stage in their lives – whether it be overeating, binge eating, emotional eating, anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia or any non-normal eating format – it’s clear that many of us lack deep self-love and it’s easy to see why there were so many present at Lola’s talks.
Snaps from Lola Berry’s Farm to Table Dinner on the Friday night – all recipes from her Happy Cookbook.
This message was echoed by James Colquhoun (from Food Matters) when he spoke on his 10 Tips for a Healthy Life which indeed include green juices, fermented & raw foods, quality water & ingredients as well as not taking food too seriously (eat out, drink wine and have fun) and forgiving (loving) ourselves.
It was like the universe totally understood where my head space was at because I then stepped into a talk with Tamra Merceica. An absolutely enlightening workshop on how we can all love ourselves more, including a beautiful, deep meditation that I plan to practice daily.
Self-belief was reinforced again during yoga workshops with Duncan Peak and Honza Lafond where, through guidance, visualization, spotting and mindset, I was able to do 2 poses I hadn’t previously done before – Wheel and Handstand. This is what I love about Yoga. Yes it is a great way to stretch out or strengthen up if that’s what you need. But for me it’s about calming the mind. In a world where we are so busy and rushing about all the time with a zillion things running through out minds, yoga forces us to focus on clearing the mind and drifting thoughts by focusing on the practice (regardless the yoga style you enjoy). This is the aim of yoga and meditation – clearing the busy mind. By spending time clearing the mind, we are able to better see our thoughts, acts and the world with perspective and more patience.
Finally, Insiya Rasiwala-Finn shared with us an insight into Ayurveda – the way of Indians. The basis is that we all have different constitutions, or Dosha/Prakriti. These constitutions are based on how balanced we are with regards to the 5 elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether. For example, have you ever met someone who is really feisty or fiery? Or described someone as really ‘airy-fairy’? Or perhaps you know someone who is very grounded? These traits can be linked back to your constitution. The season, time of day, and time of life also affects your constitution and there are ways to bring your constitution into balance through daily practices, foods you eat, climate you choose to live in and people you interact with. You can read more about Ayurveda on Insiya’s website.
All-in-all it was a huge weekend, at times overwhelming, challenging and emotional, but it was a truly well-timed blessing for me with what I’m working through at the moment.
And the great news is that it will be on again at the same time next year! There are many more Wanderlust festivals around the world that you can find out about here. I would highly recommend it to anyone – no matter what stage of life you’re at, how many yoga classes you’ve done (or haven’t done), it will be for you!
These are the Workshops and Classes I attended:
Health, Nutrition, Wellness, self-love
- Begin your Wanderlust by Loving You,
- How to Shop Like a Pro,
- Our Relationship with Food
- Farm-to-table Dinner, with recipes from The Happy Cookbook
- Prakriti 101
- Urban Ayurveda
- The Art of Self-Love
- Yoga for the Vagina
- Backbends and Heart Openers
- Asana Lab – Flow Restore and Educate
- Electric Yin
Honza Lafond – Hero to Handstand
Janet Stone – Hipster Flow
Other Fun to be had
Deanne Love – Groovin the Hoop – Hoop Dance for Everyone
Pete Longworth – #sexupyoursocial
Chilling out in the sun on the beach – self-prescribed