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Spirit Of Yoga Festival Lingers Among North Shore Followers

Turtle Bay finished hosting the Wanderlust yoga festival Feb. 27-March 2 which, along with a number of yoga retreats throughout the year, is helping to establish the North Shore resort as a certified yoga destination.


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Neil Richardson demonstrates slackline yoga at the recent North Shore Wanderlust

During the four-day fest, the place transforms into a yoga cirque, of sorts.

On the beachside lawn, veteran practitioners twisted into positions alongside the up-and-coming generation of yoga experts. In one area, an older woman quietly contorted into impossible shapes – it was Ana Forrest, founder of Forrest Yoga. The self-labeled “planetary citizen” spends her time traveling the world, teaching classes and retreats. She first embraced the yoga lifestyle in 1973, before most of the current guests were born.

A group of onlookers formed at a respectful distance to watch the master in action. Even if one has seen yoga a thousand times, Forrest takes it to a new level.

Several participants, meanwhile, spontaneously paired up with others they’d just met, joining their limber bodies in acro yoga, or acrobatic yoga postures. Laying down their yoga mats and towels they would bend or lie down in various positions, hoisting their partners into the air or balancing them on their feet. Mutual talent and interest instantly made them members of a global community as they communicated with British, Australian and Puerto Rican accents.

Nearby, an outdoor yoga class kicked into gear, with 50 or so mats laid out. A drummer played a soft rhythm, accompanied by two didgeridoo players, while the instructor guided the group in proper alignment. Another outdoor class featured a dozen contraptions that flowed with silken cloths, in which students wrapped themselves for aerial work, hovering above ground in inverted yoga positions. Meanwhile, indoor rooms facilitated various additional sessions.

Booths at the outskirts of the lawn handed out healthy food samples or sported ergonomic footwear, gem and om jewelry, and yoga wear. Folks from Maui, Washington state and Vermont headed toward the beach, where slacklines were set up for slackline yoga, while others headed to the ocean for standup paddleboard yoga. Still others went for guided shoreline walks or mountain hiking.

In the evening, folks were lured from their tents and hotel rooms by the rhythms of Moby, DJ Drez, MC Yogi, Mike Love and Hawaii’s Donavon Frankenreiter, transforming the lawn into an ocean of dancing bodies.

Music also was incorporated into some of the hip and unusual yoga classes, like ones that featured Beastie Boys tunes or rock hits from the ’70s and ’80s. For four days, the resort’s halls and outdoor areas were swimming with men and women in athletic wear with yoga mat bags slung over their shoulders. Whether they looked like they just stepped out of an office or exhibited dreads, tattoos, piercings or uniquely shaved heads, they all belonged to the Wanderlust yoga tribe that will return to Oahu next winter.

For more information, visit wanderlust.com.