Wish You Were Here: Hunter Mountain/Ahimsa Festival

November 7th 2017

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A weekend away can make a world of difference to how you see the world~

Prior to this weekend I was in a bit of a funk. Not a rut, but a funk. I was going through my days and there was tons of variety to what I was doing, but I sort of just felt numb and without emotional presence. I wasn’t sure how a weekend away would serve me or if I would just continue to feel in my funk but in a different setting, but I was more than willing to be open to new experience.

This past weekend, I went to Hunter Mountain, New York for a yoga and music festival called Ahimsa Festival. It was a weekend full of yoga classes, lectures, and workshops and allowed me the opportunity to try out classes and teachers that I would not normally be exposed to. As an aspiring yoga teacher/yoga teacher in training, being able to be exposed to different styles of teaching and different interpretations of yoga made me feel even more eager to teach because I realized that the type of yoga teacher I become is entirely personal to me and I get to pave my own way through self discovery and personal experience.

So my weekend started on Friday with a beautiful and scenic drive up. Just a note, most of my pictures are of the mountain roads because they were too stunning to not photograph every possible inch of!

The drive up as a whole took a little over 3 hours, but they were a relaxing 3 hours of pretty scenery and some good music to pass the time. Once we arrived at our destination, we went food shopping to get some things for the hotel for the weekend. We stayed at the Kaatskill Mountain Club resort, which is a super nice ski resort that is just as beautiful without snow on the ground. We had a full kitchen in our room which was amazing because it gave us the opportunity to cook for ourselves which offered some good bonding time.

Our first dinner was a vegan stir fry and some really yummy asparagus. We also made some guacamole to enjoy while we cooked! When I am at home, my friends and I usually cook every Tuesday night together and I think the experience really paid off this weekend because I feel like I did really well mixing flavors without a set recipe or set cook times! We also cooked some Tempeh which is completely new to me, but I was excited to give it a shot and it turned out great!

The next morning was out first morning of yoga classes. First we had a wonderful 8 a.m. vinyasa class that really focused on building arm strength and stability. I really enjoy playing around with side planks which was a large part of the class. We also worked on crow and preps for handstands which was super fun because I love inversions and I really hope to get my handstand some day.

The space we took the class in was also super beautiful so that was inspiring also. I find that spaces that have a good vibe make me feel more inspired during my practice and makes me feel as though I am moving with more purpose to match the vibration of my surroundings.

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I mean LOOK AT THIS SPACE!

After the first class we got to enjoy a little break before our class at noon so we went back to our room and relaxed for a bit then went shopping at the vendor space which was filled with so many unique pieces of clothing, crystals, art, CDs, tea, books, and more. I ended up only buying a zip up sweatshirt from the festival merchandise stand because I wanted a tangible memory to take home with me. Plus, it was super duper chilly up there so an extra layer really came in handy!

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Our second class was about the story behind the asana poses. I love learning about the mythology behind yoga so I found this lecture to be incredibly interesting and I actually took a class the next day (that I will discuss later) that sort of piggybacked off what I learned in this class.

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Afterwards, we took another brief break before heading out to our next class from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. To be honest, when I signed up for a workshop on hands on adjustments I didn’t expect much and thought it would be dry and boring. I was so so wrong and I am so glad I went into it with an open mind because I enjoyed it so much. I really loved the instructor and I would love to take one of her longer workshops in the future. I loved learning new adjustments and enhancements while getting to feel them in my own body as well.

After classes were done, we ended the night with another stir fry dinner with some really delicious tofu and went out to see MC Yogi perform a concert at the main venue. I wasn’t super familiar with MC Yogi besides a few videos I’ve seen of him on social media. But overall, despite it being a tad weird, I enjoyed the experience and had a bit of fun!

After we got back to the room, we did a yoga nidra meditation and went to bed. The next morning was another bright and early class about class sequencing. I was super excited for this one because I really want to get better at creative sequencing and sequencing with purpose. This is the class I mentioned before that piggybacked on the story behind the asana class. This class made use of the myths to enhance the sequencing of classes.

For example, if a myth about a goddess took place by river, you could theme your class around fluidity. If a myth was centered around strength and compassion, you could sequence your class around poses that were strong but also compassionate towards your body. So deep hip openers and goddess squats for days! I really loved the new perspective on sequencing and how you are not just limited to myths, all literature can help you sequence a lovely class if you frame it correctly! The class was also held in a beautiful space as well, so I just wanna share a couple of pictures.

The next class was something my friend and I signed up for rather last minute, but it was an acro yoga class! I have been wanting to try acro yoga for so long, but I was too nervous to try it alone. But since my friend wanted to try too, it was super fun because I had a partner I knew and trusted. I find that acro yoga is largely about trust more than anything else. I found that my body was more comfortable at opening up when I trusted that my partner could support me. I even got to do this beautiful bow pose that did a wonder on my hips and back!

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This class was so fun that it inspired me to look for a studio that teaches acro for my friend and I to continue attending at home! I also really found a love for the benefits of basing because it really helped ground my hips and added comfortable pressure to my legs; almost like legs up the wall with added weight.

My final class of the festival was one that focused on sending out our energy to different people in our lives and in the world. I personally thought the class was super fun and after a long weekend , it was super tiring. It was with a teacher named Seane Corn who had a super soothing voice and a lot of amazing things to say. I thought it was a nice way to end the festival off right.

The ride home took about another 3 hours but the views on the way back were just as spectacular! We also listened to a great podcast called Yogaland on the way back for a bit which offered some awesome insights and opinions about yoga and spirituality as a whole.

Overall, I think this weekend was super great and I am more motivated than ever to excel in not only yoga, but in other areas of my life like my blog and my career. I really needed this extra push of motivation. If you are looking to rediscover your inspiration, I recommend you travel, learn new things, and take some time off the grid. I am starting to feel like a whole new person.

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Until next time, wish you were here~

Jess~

**Check out some of my other Wish You Were Here posts!

Buffalo

Philadelphia

Washington DC

North Carolina 

Virginia Beach

Albany

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Published by

jessofearth

Jess, 23, yogi, believer in things, book worm, shy, aspiring human of Earth. I like to spend my time on a yoga mat, with a pen in my hand, my nose in a book, or behind the lens of a camera. I love to write about anything and everything. Book reviews, travel diaries, and abstract thoughts~

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