Finding Your True North, North of the Border

Finding Your True North, North of the Border

Finding Your True North, North of the Border. A journey through Wanderlust Tremblant 

Special collaboration by Marie-Piere Belisle-Kennedy. 

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Over 8500 yogaloving participants and I are here for the 4th edition of the Wanderlust Festival held in Mont Tremblant, Quebec from August 24 to 27, 2017.  It is a lot to take in, as there are likely as many different experiences as there are mats unrolled.  The 4-day schedule is varied and goes far beyond just the usual yoga classes; this weekend we will learn from international experts on various topics such as meditation, nutrition, sunset hikes, volleyball, wine cruise and photography.  Other novelties include Croga (crossfit+yoga), aerial yoga and hula-hoop sessions, to name a few 

There are already countless reasons to visit the bucolic region of Mont Tremblant in Canada. Nestled north of Montrealthe century-old ski town has developed into a full-fledged fourseason destination with its lakes, trails, mountains and attractionsWhat makes this destination even more interesting now is the recent acquisition of Tremblant by Aspen skiing company, and the 30% favorable exchange rate…  summer activities in the area include cycling, watersports, tennis, horseback ridingzipliningrace carting, camping and hiking, etc.  Do not forget the many spasunique souvenir shops in the three poles of the town. Parlez-vous un petit peu français? Here is a chance to practice your French but fear not; most of the staff and signage are bilingual.  

We arrived on the eve of Wanderlust to get settled in early.  We decided to make our base camp the well-appointed Westin Tremblant, a centrally located hotel on the pedestrian resort where many of the classes are held and a stone’s throw from all the activities on siteTravelling with my husband Jim and loyal Labrador Gucci, we took in the sights by walking the trails in and around the village to lac Mercier Wednesday evening included a wonderful meet-up with the Wanderlust PR queen Kim Small and our local coordinator France Gaignard over a beverage at the MicroBrasserie de la Diable, the locals’ microbrewery serving home brews and good food.    

Thursday started early with fresh juices and smoothies at Fluide – insider’s tip is to load up on the large to-go bottles! There will be long lineups at this popular vegan spot later.  Our go-to morning almond latte coffee place is called Au Grain de Café. I also tasted the nutritious Bullet Proof Coffee at the Wanderlust village fair. These guys seem to have found their powerful elixir!    

Now all fueled up, I was ready to attend the first event on my schedule (note: there are hundreds of classes to choose from and you can opt in or opt out on a moment’s notice so feel free to try new things), a wonderful SpeakEasy presentation by yogi master and author Nicole Bordeleau.  We learned that not every type of meditation will work for us, so keep trying new teachers and new approaches.  Neuroscience has now proven the health benefits on the brain’s cortex and the body’s immune system with regular practice to counteract the damage of daily stress.  The most important aspect of her 26 years in meditation after being diagnosed with chronic and nearly fatal disease is to remember to have compassion for others yes, but also for oneself.  In French she shared a wish “Que la vie vous soit douce” which translates to “May life be kind to you”.  A simple tenminute meditation can erase over a week of internal conflict. Worth a try!  

Next up was a very uplifting Kundalini yoga session with the purpose of “Detoxifying mind, body and consciousness” with Yogi Amandeep, a very charismatic Indian yogi and counselor. We all danced, chanted and moved to music and worked up a sweat.   

Quick break and light lunch of leftover juice and a raw energy bar.  Getting changed for yoga on the water, SUP yoga with pro Jeramie Vaine!  Even though I am used to paddleboarding and our northern climates, I must admit I found it cold and very windy to even think of getting wet on the board… Luckily a few more girls showed up so the class took place. We all wore warm layers and some even wore ski hats ha ha! Wonderful feeling of ebb and flow rocking our asanas to the waves, as we not so gracefully attempted the different poses without going overboard. A must-try on your Wanderlust list.   

Later that evening I was starving; we had a delicious dinner at nearby Coco Pazzo, an Italian restaurant with many gluten-free and healthy options, such as the beet, avocado and smoked trout salad, and the primavera pasta.  Later that night my husband had to try the Beavertail dessert; a local pastry served with all kinds of topping kids and grown-ups not on a diet go nuts for.  As we headed back to our hotelwe heard beautiful bonfire jams and concerts in various venues. 

Day 2 was just as fabulous, especially since the sun came out and temperatures warmed up. After our morning hike, I took the outdoor yoga class led by the gorgeous Chelsey Korus on the main stage by the mountain.   

Next up was a little shopping therapy through the village, where I met wonderful vendors and beautiful fair-trade items.  

Lunch was a comforting Buddha bowl of quinoa, avocado, grilled eggplant at the True North café (Wanderlust tent), with fizzy ginger kombucha and a sweet potato raw cookie.  (Tip, do not eat too much before a very bendy yoga class ha ha!) 

Other relaxing spots to just chill and meet people, you know the normal human way, included the Listening room set us just for us inside the Fairmont hotel, and for more hoppy vibes head to The Spot, otherwise known as Le P’tit Caribou, winner of best après-ski bar in the East .   

The second Speakeasy I attended was with Julie Graham, where we discussed the ABCs of positive psychology.  Did you know humans were actually wired to be negative? Our lizard brain actually over reacts to stimuli and creates false danger modes. If you follow her Instagram account @positivelypsyched you can understand the importance of living from Awe to Zest.  Ask yourself, “when was I last in a state of Flow?” For me it is most often when I paddleboard with my dog or when I ski fast down a mountain with no other thoughts in mind or this moment right here, attending a festival of bliss in the mountains. 

Please follow the #WanderlustFestival hashtags on social media. Maybe see you there next year?  

For more info on Tremblant and how to get there, see www.tremblant.ca and to see the full calendar of Wanderlust events see https://wanderlust.com/festivals/

Author, Marie-Piere Belisle-Kennedy may be found here.

A Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass 2016 Recap

An Interview with Yogi Matt Giordano

An Interview with Breathless Yoga Founder, Diana Vitantonio

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