For the last five years or so, I have thoroughly enjoyed everything festivals have to offer; from the food, to the people, music, art, and activities. Festivals are a great opportunity to really step outside of the ol’ comfort zone.
My festival experience began with Wanderlust, a pretty well-known yoga festival hosted in ten different locations across North America. I’m lucky enough to live closest to the original launch of their fest at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California. This particular festival offers 4-day, 3-day, 2-day, and single day passes, which includes three yoga or physical activities per day, one talk, and includes a music performance. I typically opt for the three-day pass, but a two-day pass will get the job done as well. You can even find smaller scale city versions offered too, Wanderlust 108! I just attended one here in San Francisco which was super nice.
When I choose to attend a yoga festival, it hasn’t always been because of the big names in the industry. Instead, I go intending to discover something new about myself and the practice. I also prefer to travel in a smaller group, so it’s less about keeping everyone together and more about being open to whatever the Universe has to offer.
Without fail, the weekend unfolds perfectly, every single year. I believe it’s the combination of leaving expectations and the daily grind behind. One of my favorite memories from the first time I attended Wanderlust was totally unplanned and not even on the program. A large group of yogis were riding the gondola up to the ‘Highest Point’ for classes offered near the top of Squaw Valley. My friend Julia and I happened to catch a ride with a group of musicians that had a guitar and tambourine. Before we knew it, the entire gondola was singing their hearts out. It was pure magic to feel so connected with all these strangers with shared interests. I remember looking at Julia, grinning ear-to-ear, and feeling like my heart was going to explode. The good vibes are palpable.
The yoga is out of this world as well. In one day, you can practice with the likes of Sean Corne, Noah Mazé, Tiffany Cruikshank, Kathryn Budig and discover someone brand new that will completely alter your yoga experience. I’m also a huge fan of the speakers that Wanderlust lines up, I’m not usually one to find a talk to sit through on my own so having these available is a really great way to break up all the physical activities. I’ve sat less than ten feet from some of the most profound speakers, Kyle Cease, Jason Wrobel, and Nadia Bolz-Weber and consider myself forever changed by the lessons and stories they each shared.
Wanderlust festival has always delivered: spiritually and physically.
Here are a few tips to ensure you have the best yoga festival possible:
Create your schedule as early as you can; popular classes and times fill quickly. Get your pick in early.
Try something new! Be sure to include someone or something new each day.
Set an intention for the weekend, this can be something you’re working on personally or professionally. Having dedicated time away is a great time to work through some of our stuff that’s easy to push down amidst the daily grind.
Remain open to the experience. By checking your expectations at the parking lot, you’ll be more open to going with the flow and you might even find yourself in moments of pure magic.