BROOKE EKELUND

DESIGN + PHOTOGRAPHY

Soulpose vs. Wanderlust

Brooke EkelundComment

A Different kind of Yoga Experience

So I recently went to Soul Pose in Minneapolis at the Convention Center Downtown. I went in hopes of finding some sort of peace, love, sense of community... similar to what I felt at Wanderlust. I was originally going to go solo because I remembered how accepting and friendly everyone was at my Squaw Valley experience. Thankfully (sad to actually write that) I found my friend Kate to go with me last minute, because it was not the same type of experience.


A Few Things First...

1. SMALL FAN BASE
I appreciate startups, and this may be just that. But they did not necessarily provide what they promised. Vendors! There were only 4 (one being a Soul Pose shop). Fun! As fun as it was, it felt like forced fun. We were told when to throw confetti.. multiple times. Dance! They promised dancing. I don't remember getting a chance to do so.

2. DIFFERENT AUDIENCE
I get that the idea of this is to be somewhat like the 5K Color Run, or Glow Run.. or one of those other fancy things, for Yoga. But I felt like it didn't add to my experience or make it more fun... it was all about the photo opportunities. Once I realized this, I took quite a few photos as well. Because... well, why not? Everyone else is doing it.

3. DIFFERENT LOCATION
Some may hate me for saying this, but "Minnesota Nice" is not a thing. There were some nice people there, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't nice like the people at Wanderlust.

4. I MAY BE BIASED...
Considering I went to Wanderlust first, my hopes may have been a little high. I associated one with the other, when they weren't meant to be the same thing.


My Soul Pose Experience

They say to get there for check-in about an hour and fifteen minutes early. They were definitely right. They didn't have enough glow markers to go around, and people weren't too keen on sharing. The girls we were waiting for were very catty and didn't want to give us markers at first unless we had a different color to trade with them. We were almost late to the session because we were trying to get our hands on some! We just wanted to color like everyone else!

People didn't want to chat, or get to know any "strangers." They just kept in their groups, kept to themselves. Why? Because that's MN nice. We'll say "thank you" and "excuse me" and whatever else, but we won't ever let anyone else in.

While we were waiting around I was interested in chatting with some of the vendors, I was pretty excited for that considering I met some wonderful ones at Wanderlust.

The first booth I went up to was the CorePower booth. I went up to find out what she liked about CorePower and if she had ever tried Modo. I just wanted to know what she liked about CorePower vs. Modo and why she would recommend one over the other. Surprisingly, she had nothing to say about it and didn't really seem interested in having a conversation about it. She just had me fill out a slip for a chance to win a free month and gave me a free week at CorePower. Let's just say I walked away from that a little disappointed... Click on one of the buttons below to learn more about both.

I decided not to go up to the Soul Pose booth because I don't need more t-shirts and I figured if I really wanted one after the event, I could buy one then or buy it online.

There were a few more tables set up that I didn't visit. One was for the people handing out markers, one had nobody sitting at it, and one was Kind bars for after the event (or before, if you needed a pre-session snack). So, disappointed by the vendor choices, we filled up our water bottles and wandered inside.


The Event

We wandered around a bit to try and find spots, which was actually pretty difficult. Mats and towels were already set out for everyone, so you basically had to walk up to an unclaimed mat and put your stuff down. Well... quite a few people would leave one single mat in between another group of people because apparently they didn't want to sit next to each other? Which was rough for Kate and I because we needed 2 mats, but we didn't necessarily want to be separated from one another.

We finally found mats and got our stuff situated.

So the event got started after a while. Kate and I wrote encouraging notes on each other's mats with highlighter (I'm the ass hole who didn't get a photo of what Kate wrote on mine).

So the Yoga starts. The sound is bad, the music is too loud. Sometimes the instructor spoke with the beat of the music and sometimes she didn't. The mat was super slippery and wouldn't quit curling under (definitely bringing my own mat to any yoga event from now on). People were all about taking photos and snaps, rather than being present in the experience (I think Kate and I did a pretty good job though). Towards the end, we were told when to throw our confetti. No one really danced... and everyone packed up and headed out RIGHT after the event was done. No one really stuck around and chatted, people just up and left. And the event staff were pretty quick to get everyone out and close the doors so they could clean up.

There was one point though, that we were doing tree pose and put our hands out to our left and right and we were supposed to touch the person's hands next to us, use them for support. Kate and I did that and then there was a girl next to me that seemed somewhat open to it. So I did feel some sense of connection to the community then, but the window was small.

So after all my complaining just now, I want people reading this to know that it was a good experience, we did have a fun time, the instructor and helpers were wonderful and did a great job with what they had. This post is purely comparing the Wanderlust event and the Soul Pose event. Did I have fun? Yes. And I'm proud of Kate for stepping out of her comfort zone and doing yoga with me. Will I go again? No, probably not. But I'm glad I at least tried it once.


Lessons Learned

1. It's about the photos.
2. It's not as big as you would expect (vendors, location)
3. Community is different than what you would expect.
4. It's about the photos (I feel the need to restate this).
5. Make sure you can hear that day! Listening is key when there's a bunch of people, loud music, and bad sound in the space that's being used.
6. Bring a friend (or 5).
7. At least try it once (you may have a different experience than me, and it may be much better than mine was).
8. Bring your own markers, glow in the dark stuff (their supplies are limited).
9. Get there early (for all those photos, yah know?)