I usually have a rule against rising early on Saturday mornings, which are reserved for a cup of tea and reading in bed.
But on June 24 I was up before 7 a.m. to make it to the morning sun salutation yoga class with Mollie Sommer. It marked the beginning of the Mountain Spirit Festival, in Sun Peaks for the first time.
The room in the Burfield Lodge (known as the Yoga Lodge for the weekend) filled up quickly and mats had to be shifted to squeeze in the last few attendees.
Sommer announced it was the largest class she had ever taught, and she was delighted.
As we moved through cat cow, downward dog and cobra poses, I was struck by the view out the windows on three sides of the room. Despite spending time in Sun Peaks for more than 15 years it was a different view of the mountains and valley and it took my breath away.
My breath also might have been slightly laboured from trying to hold poses I hadn’t attempted in months. But the combination of relaxing stretches, careful breathing and stunning views made me calm and ready for my day, maybe even more than the cup of tea would.
I spent the afternoon poolside at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel and Conference Centre soaking in the sun before heading to an afternoon speaker session.
My chosen session was ‘Uplift’ which featured three women from three very different backgrounds who came together with advice for creating power and calm in your life.
First to address the room was Stephanie Banks, business owner, author and inspirational speaker who shared how a near death experience changed her life.
Banks encouraged us to align ourselves to tackle challenges, be our true selves instead of bowing to societal expectations and separate our ego and soul when in conflicts.
Up next, after the room stood to stretch and wiggle, was local Tracy Munson. Munson spoke to her new book, From Overwhelmed to Overjoyed the Busy Mom’s Greatest Companion.
Despite it being one of her first speaking engagements ever, she effortlessly gave practical advice to be less stressed in life. From keeping a journal of daily celebrations to taking time for yourself, she provided bite-sized bits of advice I can’t wait to apply to my everyday life.
After a final stretch and debrief with seat mates, Fran Banting took the microphone to
share a message about the power of thinking. She gave examples on how changing the way you think can change the outcome of situations and help you work towards goals.
By the end of the hour and a half there was a certain contagious energy in the room.
At the end of the weekend, having taken part in yoga, speaker sessions and enjoying the outdoors that surround us, I was refreshed and looking forward to the festival’s return to Sun Peaks.