The three and a half hour drive between Chicagoland and and Cedar Rapids, IA is pretty easy, especially at the crack of dawn when my mom and I set off for the two day Fields of Yogis festival. We weren’t sure what to expect other than a long first day filled with yoga and three amazing opportunities for Savasana (because let’s face it, who doesn’t love Savasana?). We spent last night building our schedules for the day based on the brief course descriptions online. We had booked a great little Airbnb conveniently located directly across from the main location. Our hosts were awesome and let us park in back and drop our things early.
Once we got settled, stretched our legs, and all signed in we perused the vendors and headed over to find a spot on the grass for our first class. Taught by the phenomenal Betsy Rippentrop, we focused on authenticity within ourselves and stripping away those things we cling to and think we are/should be because THAT’S NOT who we truly are. We went through a powerful flow to get us warmed up for the day. The morning that had started cloudy and gray had transformed into its authentic sunny self, adorned with fluff muffins of white gliding across the sea of blue. Our mantra for class was
Listening to the voice of my authentic self, I receive guidance for my true life.
After having only a quick Kashi bar and coffee on the road, we were grateful that it was time for lunch. I immediately found my way to the chair massage table in the vendor village because my rotator cuff and all the lovely shoulder and scapular muscles were screaming. While I work for an amazing chiropractor who has been helping me with my shoulder issues, I did not have time for an adjustment or kinesio tape before I left Thursday night. Afterwards, we ate a light lunch and browsed, looked for our class locations, walked across the street to our Airbnb to freshen up and then headed back over to set our mats for class number two.
I was so super psyched for this class as it was being taught by my guru, Cassandra Justine, with whom I will be spending an enormous chunk of time with over the next several months during instructor training. This class was also a flow, but with a combination of vinyasa, inversion, breath and exploring. The sun graced us with all of its afternoon glory which made us all supremely grateful for the cool breezes that passed through bring the occasional moment of cloud coverage. We heated up in a hurry, got to listen to her bowls sing and ring. We practiced forearm stands – ok some did and some didn’t. My shoulder was having none of that so I honored that and backed off. I’m excited to take her Yoga Nidra and Sound Bath tomorrow!!!
Next up, Mom and I headed in separate directions. She went to an energy class and I went on to a class taught by yet another sensational instructor, Dr. Katie Henry. I’m not sure what words to use to describe it, because I don’t feel I can do it justice. It was all about how we can get out of our heads where we are overly critical of and how we over analyze ourselves, again talking to the authenticity of self, and getting into our bodies and our growth there as well as into our bodies while practicing. We followed a very fast paced flow – and let me tell ya, we were all exhausted from a full day of movement, and then we settled into pranayama and chakra clearing. We made a quick Joy list of quick things we can do to bring us joy when we are have one of THOSE moments. For our closing meditation, she walked us back to a moment where we felt absolute joy. We wrapped that bubble around ourselves like a force field, as a place to go to when negative people, energy, news, what ever, threatens to bring us down.
To close out the night, there was live music by some great musicians, dinner and some HOT showers for our tired muscles.
Tomorrow I will bring you a recap of our next day’s events which include a peace walk, drum circle, and fire spinning. For now, my friends, it’s bedtime. Morning meditation is at 7:15!